Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: ankle deep in the gowanus canal
Bikes: IRO Mark V
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those ads on craigslist are for breakaway. they will hire anyone, any time of year. but during the winter they are especially hard up, and eager to hire.
the way it works is you call them up, they tell you when to come in for training (usually the soonest monday or thursday morning). they give you a little talk and a test, you fill out the forms, and you start work that day. (this is all for breakaway, btw)
despite their lax hiring policies, they are actually a very good company to work for. they actually pay workers comp for accidents, and they even have (mediocre) 401k and health for full-timers.
the pays not great. he should PLAN to make $400 a week, which isn't easy to live on here. once he's been doing it for a while, he may make considerably more, say $500, $600, even $700 some weeks. all pay is by commission, between 40-50% of the cost of a job he gets to keep. if it's busy, he might make 30 runs a day, at $4 take-home pay per run. if it's real slow, he could make as few as 10-15 runs in a day. those days are no fun. for the amount of work involved, the pay is literally criminal. wages for messengers have been virtually stagnant since the 80s. he had better be planning on living in an outer-borough share.
fitness doesn't really factor in that much. contrary to what many people think, biking fast is a very minor part of the job. mostly it's about planning routes efficiently and being agile in traffic. plenty of young whippersnappers such as myself find the phsyical toil of a hard, grinding 10-hour days work more daunting than riding real fast would be. on the other hand, there are a bunch of grizzled old-timers out there who don't have any trouble staying in the game. legs of steel are fine and dandy, but the real test is how easily he can wake up at 8:30 in the morning after 4 days of 10 hours on the street.
hope this helps.