From a former A-1 Courier driver…
When I saw that A-1 Courier had some blogs from their drivers, I asked if I could write one, even though I’m a former messenger for A-1 Courier. Anyway, here goes…I always enjoyed the rush of having a deadline. Especially behind the wheel of a nice car. The thought of getting in an accident is always on my mind, but I know I’m a talented driver and I see driving as an athletic event. So, even though I drove for A-1 Courier for many years, I never got in an accident, professionally or personally.
Besides the need for speed, as I got more courier service experience, I realized it was a challenge to have a perfect day, where I didn’t make one mistake. This means not so much as even reaching into the wrong pocket for my keys or my wallet. A perfect day as a messenger means no wrong turns or strategy mistakes. So, the goal has always been to be fast without having any aggravation because of stupid mistakes.
When I started as a courier the technology was very different. We used Thomas Brothers map books. and landline phones.
I’d guess the average delivery took 10 minutes longer with having to plan and execute what Los Angeles roads and turns to take. And there are also traffic jams that were unavoidable, whereas today Waze tells you how to avoid them, saving probably 15 minutes, on average for each delivery, so there’s a world of difference for courier services today. Things are way easier.
I remember A-1 Courier was hesitant to hire me because I was new to Los Angeles, but I quickly got efficient with the map books and parking strategies, and I think I became one of the faster couriers in Los Angeles, but this wasn’t only because I drove fast. I think it was strategizing that helped. A lot of people think that the courier service job is easy and there’s no thinking involved, but I found that if I wanted to earn a lot of money as a courier, I had to pay attention to all the details. One of which is parking.
Los Angeles, like all major cities, never seems to have enough parking spots. One of the things that I loved about A-1 Courier, compared to other courier services, is that they always preached to pay for parking since they reimbursed us for all job-related expenses. I took that to heart. If I saw that parking for free and easy spots were not available, I made sure to not only pay to park, but to also make sure I was in the correct parking structure. For example, in downtown Los Angeles, it’s very easy to miss the building’s parking entrance. There have been many occasions in downtown Los Angeles that I parked next door to where I was going, only because I had missed the correct entrance.
Driving around Los Angeles for a courier service was fun. Getting to see so much of the city that people normally would not get to see in Los Angeles is something I’m grateful for. Especially being able to see all the movie lots in LA. Back when security wasn’t so strict, couriers were able to go to the various movie lots to make their pickup or same-day delivery. I saw the lots at Warner Brothers, Paramount Studios, and 20th Century Fox. I don’t recall seeing any movie stars, but just seeing the sets and the fake city scenes, along with some of the food spreads, that accompanied some live shoots, was great.
I will say this, I’ve worked as a courier in other cities besides Los Angeles, and A-1 Courier was by far the best courier service. I miss those days, but I do have fond memories.