A Monologue with the Æther

I Walk Off the Job

June is traditionally when I will do something life altering. I began my cross continental bicycle ride in June 1990. I quit my job without notice on Monday 28 June 1993 although my supervisor at the time was not surprised. I had no savings, no plan, and no job, but still, I walked away or rather I rolled into the office on my bike and dumped all of my Road Runner Delivery uniforms on the floor of my supervisor’s office.

From September of 1990 through June of 1993, I worked for Mayne Nickless, Inc., an Australian multi-national, with transportation holdings all over the world. I worked initially for the Executive Courier Network division running blue prints out of the Broadway plant of Blue Print Services. I then transfered to the Road Runner Delivery division. Road Runner Delivery was a route courier service whose clientele at that point in its history was solely title companies. I had a circuit called the Chinatown Route which consisted of everything north of California St (non-inclusive) and east of Stockton St (inclusive). I picked up inbound deliveries at the warehouse near 5th and Harrison at the start of my day. Periodically, we, the bicycle messengers, would meet up with one of the delivery drivers and turn over collected outbound materials at 1st between Mission and Howard and later meet up with the drive to collect inbound at Fremont between Howard and Mission. The job was so predictable that I did it on autopilot, and years later would find myself, about to enter a regular stop on the old route even though I had nothing for that stop.

On Friday 25 June 1993, my supervisor, Charles, let me know that as of 1 July 1993, Road Runner Delivery would cease operations. Mayne Nickless had been in decline in its San Francisco operations since before I began working there. On Monday 28 June 1993, I rolled into the dispatch/supervisor office, dumped my uniforms on the floor, and informed Charles that I was quitting then and there. Charles said that he wasn’t surprised. I was done. I spent the morning bullshitting with Charles. I remained unemployed until the end of October 1993. I managed to eek out an existence until then, not easy in San Francisco.

I was never going to collect unemployment; the company had planned to offer me the sole remaining position for a bicycle courier. I was done working for them. No regrets, it all worked out.