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Old 03-23-05, 07:52 PM   #1
linchuan
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Computer Programmer Turned Bicycle Messenger

A former computer programmer who quit his job and became a bicycle messenger posted his experience on Kuro5hin. You can read it here.
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Old 03-23-05, 09:13 PM   #2
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Interesting read, thanks for the link.
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Old 03-23-05, 09:16 PM   #3
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Awesome. Thanks for the passion hit.
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Old 03-23-05, 09:32 PM   #4
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that was a pretty cool article, thanks!
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Old 03-23-05, 09:48 PM   #5
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Posted before... in fixed forum.
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Old 03-23-05, 10:29 PM   #6
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that rocks
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Old 03-23-05, 10:39 PM   #7
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Too bad he wasn't a stock trader / wall street guy...
Still... as long as I get to ride 2 hours to work everyday pushing like a time trial, I'll take that over the romantic image of being a messenger that this guy presented. I make more money sitting around eating lunch and breakfast all week than most messengers take in on average. Not to mention riding around at 15mph all day isn't quite my thing. Most messengers ride at a pretty slow pace since they have to do it 8 hours a day. I only have to do it 2 hours a day so I can push all out and make it exciting.

Last edited by slvoid; 03-23-05 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 03-23-05, 11:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by operator
Posted before... in fixed forum.
Not everyone frequents the fixed forum. Odd that it should be posted there, too... the guy rides a non-fixed bike <index fingers crossed, held out front and hissing noise>

I am laughing my head off at slvoid's post. Poor guy has yet to see the light outside the corporate corridors!
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Old 03-23-05, 11:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowan
I am laughing my head off at slvoid's post. Poor guy has yet to see the light outside the corporate corridors!
I've seen it. I used to work at a materials science lab where I had enough time waiting for samples to be tested that I went out to a lunch and matinee movie before going back. Else I'd go back to my office where I had a tv and vcr in it, a home made fridge made of a styrofoam box and dry ice that I smugged from the chemistry lab. I could go in any time between the hours of 8-11am and no one cared. Time sheets were filled out by us and my boss didn't even look at it, I'd frequently just fill out 8-8-8-8-8 at the beginning of the week. If it were a nice day out, I'll stay out for 4-5 hours and just run a few more tests and analyze them either at home or the next day. I can't even count the number of times I was so bored I took the left over liquid nitrogen from the electron dispersive analyzer to make ice cream from frozen yogurt. At that time I made about a hundred bucks over what messengers averaged. I can't imagine a job with as much freedom as I did. Best of all, it was goverment funded half the time, so the more money we spent, the more we got.
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Old 03-23-05, 11:52 PM   #10
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I quite enjoy reading personal stories like this. I did one of my knee replacement surgery. It gets a lot of hits.. about three per month... probably accidents.
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Old 03-24-05, 12:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
I've seen it. I used to work at a materials science lab where I had enough time waiting for samples to be tested that I went out to a lunch and matinee movie before going back. Else I'd go back to my office where I had a tv and vcr in it, a home made fridge made of a styrofoam box and dry ice that I smugged from the chemistry lab. I could go in any time between the hours of 8-11am and no one cared. Time sheets were filled out by us and my boss didn't even look at it, I'd frequently just fill out 8-8-8-8-8 at the beginning of the week. If it were a nice day out, I'll stay out for 4-5 hours and just run a few more tests and analyze them either at home or the next day. I can't even count the number of times I was so bored I took the left over liquid nitrogen from the electron dispersive analyzer to make ice cream from frozen yogurt. At that time I made about a hundred bucks over what messengers averaged. I can't imagine a job with as much freedom as I did. Best of all, it was goverment funded half the time, so the more money we spent, the more we got.
Nup... missed the point altogether.
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Old 03-24-05, 12:11 AM   #12
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The guy in the article probably didn't quit. He probably got canned and had his job outsourced to Bangalor just like I did. They don't just weave Madras anymore.

At least I'll say this, he's making lemonade out of lemons. Gotta give him credit for that. Kudos Transient0.
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Old 03-24-05, 07:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowan
Not everyone frequents the fixed forum. Odd that it should be posted there, too... the guy rides a non-fixed bike <index fingers crossed, held out front and hissing noise>

I am laughing my head off at slvoid's post. Poor guy has yet to see the light outside the corporate corridors!
It was my imgaintatino that it was a singlspeed MTB. At least it looked that way in the picture?
And isn't it a girl?
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Old 03-24-05, 08:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by operator
It was my imgaintatino that it was a singlspeed MTB. At least it looked that way in the picture?
And isn't it a girl?
Looks like a SS w/ front a rear brakes and shimano 540 spd's. Looks like she did what I did on my old mtb and stuck reflective tape on the inside of her rims.
And that's either a girl or very femanine dude. S/he's kind of cute.
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Old 03-24-05, 03:47 PM   #15
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Lol...

Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
S/he's kind of cute.
Let it be known that slvoid is bi...! ;D
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Old 03-24-05, 04:27 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
I've seen it. I used to work at a materials science lab where I had enough time waiting for samples to be tested that I went out to a lunch and matinee movie before going back. Else I'd go back to my office where I had a tv and vcr in it, a home made fridge made of a styrofoam box and dry ice that I smugged from the chemistry lab. I could go in any time between the hours of 8-11am and no one cared. Time sheets were filled out by us and my boss didn't even look at it, I'd frequently just fill out 8-8-8-8-8 at the beginning of the week. If it were a nice day out, I'll stay out for 4-5 hours and just run a few more tests and analyze them either at home or the next day. I can't even count the number of times I was so bored I took the left over liquid nitrogen from the electron dispersive analyzer to make ice cream from frozen yogurt. At that time I made about a hundred bucks over what messengers averaged. I can't imagine a job with as much freedom as I did. Best of all, it was goverment funded half the time, so the more money we spent, the more we got.
It's so much more than the money or freedom. And I don't know who you know who rides slow all day? Until you've done it you will have no idea what you are talking about. Try getting up day after day in Seattle when it is raining for weeks at a time. You get soaked through just riding into the office and you know you still have 9 more hours of being wet. Or better yet, the look of pure envy on the office drones during one of those rare sunny days when they are all stuck inside and they know that you are outside riding a bike for a living.
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Old 03-24-05, 06:09 PM   #17
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Oops, my mistake on the fixed gear (I'll cover up the gender confusion by saying guys seems pretty universal for both these days, like in "Hey guys"). Back to comprehension classes for me.

Still a neat story.
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Old 03-24-05, 06:14 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treespeed
It's so much more than the money or freedom. ...better yet, the look of pure envy on the office drones during one of those rare sunny days when they are all stuck inside and they know that you are outside riding a bike for a living.
I don't get it, first you say it's so much more than freedom. Then you go on to describe that the advantage of being a messenger is basically back to freedom, but then going back to it, I had even more freedo mand more pay...
I had the freedom to go outside on a "rare" sunny day (85% of all the days in NYC are sunny in the summer usually) and take a 4 hour lunch break and do damn near nothing and I still got paid. I think that's even MORE freedom than what messengers have.
Forgive me if I think that while someone's stuck "having" to deliver stuff back and forth to get paid on a sunny day, I can be out riding where ever the hell I want outside the city on nice roads with fresh country air and I *still* get paid whereas if a messenger did that and stopped delivering, they *won't* get paid.
Maybe you can help me cause I'm really confused on this issue. Are you trying to say that it's better to be riding through dense traffic everyday for 8 hours hauling packages and being paid more to pretty much do absolutely nothing more than throw in 2-3 hours of analysis time a day is somehow WORSE?

Not everyone sees a stressful 8-6, 51 week, $350,000/yr job as the end all to happiness.
Not everyone sees a dangerous, 5 days a week riding through dense traffic making $35,000 a year if you're lucky as the end all to happiness.
But if someone's paying double that for 20 hours of work a week while you can pretty much sit on your ass (or saddle) and do whatever you want, I'm sure most people here would gladly take that over the 35k/yr job.
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Old 03-24-05, 06:57 PM   #19
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It's not about the money, for heaven's sake, and how much work you do (or don't do) to get it.

I think that's the point of the article. Pay cut, sure. But a lifestyle that's active and exhilirating and with some camaraderie, and challenging with no real boss except yourself.

I don't know whether bragging about four hour lunch breaks and getting paid for them really substantiates your position. Seems to me that your life revolves entirely around money. And there is not much challenge to getting that money.

Some people want some challenge in their lives. Makes it much more interesting.
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Old 03-24-05, 07:25 PM   #20
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Slvoid, most people would rather do little or nothing for twice the pay. You're "normal". Bike messengers have a different kind of work ethic. At least we can take some pride in our work. We aren't wandering around the city waiting for our samples to get tested. I wouldn't want a job like yours.
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Old 03-24-05, 07:27 PM   #21
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Obviously everything revolves around money. No money means no beer, girls, sex, roof, bikes, girls.
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Old 03-24-05, 07:35 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qmsdc15
Slvoid, most people would rather do little or nothing for twice the pay. You're "normal". Bike messengers have a different kind of work ethic. At least we can take some pride in our work. We aren't wandering around the city waiting for our samples to get tested. I wouldn't want a job like yours.
I was very very stress free and happy.
SO that's not a good thing right?
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Old 03-24-05, 07:47 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MERTON
why the shizzle would he drop a fuzzle good job for a bad one? he's a dizzle idiot!
You're still at school Your opinion doesn't count. Shut up and listen. You might learn something.
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Old 03-24-05, 07:49 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by operator
Obviously everything revolves around money. No money means no beer, girls, sex, roof, bikes, girls.
You have a point there. But it depends on HOW MUCH beer, girls, sex, roof, bikes and girls you want.

Let's see, eliminate beer, girls and sex, and substitute tent for roof, and you've got yourself a happy touring cyclist.
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Old 03-24-05, 07:50 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
I was very very stress free and happy.
SO that's not a good thing right?
But was it all the money that made you stress free and happy? What would have happened if the money was half or a quarter of what it was?
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