Want a job as a part-time package courier?

6 Dec

       Frank is in his late fifties. His first impression of me was, “Hey, alright! A hippie!” I assume he got this idea from my long hair.
I rode with him for three days to learn how to deliver packages in Napa. He speeds. He parks in handicapped spaces, doesn’t wear his seatbelt, pees in a plastic bottle, clacks his teeth together loudly, and loves the Grateful Dead so much that he’s written an entire movie (in his head) based on their songs. He is one of the best drivers Golden State Overnight has, with one of the best records and fastest technique. I assume this is why they let him do training. He taught me to forge signatures and just leave packages if nobody is home. He taught me to ignore the rules of package priority and just deliver what you have for where you are. “It’s a waste of gas,” he says, to comply with the “Early Priority,” “Standard delivery” stuff. I guess the lesson is that nobody should pay extra to have something delivered to Napa with Early Priority. If he broke any fewer rules, he wouldn’t be the best at this job.
       Frank told me, as we were delivering a package to a winery in the middle of nowhere, that the first time he did mushrooms he remembers crawling out from under a desk and being very surprised (as well as slightly disappointed) that he was still alive. The skin on his neck is stretched and scarred and smoothed out because he hung himself. He’d be dead, but his (now) wife saved him.

       Other things I have learned in two-weeks delivering packages:
– A package for “Plumpjack Hotels LLC” on “Sonoma Hwy” is actually for “The Carneros Inn” on “Carneros Hwy.”
– “Part-time” means “might take from 8-4 depending on how many packages there are.”
– “Meet at 7:45 to get packages” means “meet at 7:45, wait for at least an hour doing nothing until the van shows up, and then get packages.” This would be better if I were paid hourly, but I am not.

       How does this company keep going?
       And why does Frank do it? He needs extra money to send to his prostitute wife in Thailand, the one who thwarted his suicide and is “still whoring.” He proudly has a picture of her on his dashboard, and calls Thailand home.

       I may quit soon. “Selling my soul” isn’t fun.


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