what makes a messenger a messenger?

some of the comments on the images of the messengers has me thinking....

what makes a bicycle messenger a messenger?

do they have to work several years?
do they need to work through several winters?

it is an issue of how much money they make?
does it depend on how skilled they are on the bike?

are those on set wage/guarantee weighed the same as those on commission?

what are the answers?

who decides?


coach said...

there was once a company that you could not get hired by unless you had I think 3 winters under your belt.

gwadzilla said...

I seem to recall KingFish not working winters
and he claims to be the FIRST DC messenger
which of course is not possible
as Pharmacies and such had delivery boys on bicycle
then again
he is pretty old

even though he rides a Moped
I would put him on the page

although there have been messengers over seventy working the streets year round on their bike

Anonymous said...

The first courier place I applied at, back in the day, gave me a 5-page application with a series of questions about best ways to get to an address, and whatnot. I knew I'd flunked that and never even bothered to call back to see how I did.

The second place, the guy just handed me a radio and said "go." He just figured I'd either survive or not... in fact, I could tell he kind of expected me not to, and I proved him wrong. That seemed more in keeping with the spirit of the job....

Of course I'm biased, but to say someone who is riding around all day through DC traffic on a bike for a living is not a messenger because s/he hasn't done a certain number of winters is a bit elitist... once the novelty wears off it is a tough job, and those who can't cut it filter out pretty quickly, regardless of season.