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Leila made a shift from coffee to courier last week. She has been fraternising with the Sydney couriers all along with her boyfriend being one of them and it seemed only a matter of time before she signed up. A Facebook conversation happened about it to and we discussed how she thought it went and how it is living up to expectations.

Leila 

Moi
Hey girl. I have been patient but I can’t wait to hear about your first week of work?
Tell me about it please!

Leila
It has been the most intense, exciting, exhausting and liberating week I’ve
experienced in my life. Ive struggled with frustration and doubt and utter defeat and
risen above it. The courier crew have given me so much support and I couldnt have
done it without them. I want to pick everyone’s brains! I’ve come from 8 years of
hospitality and never really riding much further than a K or 2 a day and now… Mind blown.

Moi
I don’t think that male couriers would feel that ‘liberation’. Without getting too feminist,
women still as a result of so many things honestly believe they aren’t capable.
It is a little like ‘the burning of the bra’ type thing in my eyes.
Is it what you imagined it to be like? or harder? I can’t imagine it would be easier?

Leila
I’m not sure if I agree that male couriers don’t feel liberated. It’s a really intense job,
not just physically but mentally also. I’ve also noticed that I’m treated better by receptionists
and dock masters because I am a small lady as apposed to a gruff male. It can come
across as a mans world that you are proving yourself in, but I believe it should come
down to the individual and not the persons gender.
It’s harder than what I imagined It to be because I never realised how much your
communication with your dispatcher comes into how your run will flow. To add to that when
your run is a cluster fuck and you have 50km winds.. Makes you wonder how couriers could
be “at the bottom of the food chain”. Rain, hail or shine you ride for 9 hours and overcome
the stress and frustration. I’ve been told that it gets easier once the city becomes your own
and you build your fitness and one day you are flying instead of trudging through mud.
I believe it!

Moi
I guess I am wrong for not allowing men to feel liberated but at the same time it is an
exclusively feminine experience to be running around with the men, treated as equals,
this is what I took from your use of ‘liberation’

Any good ‘making a boob of yourself’ stories from the week?

Leila
The other day I was riding home down Castlereagh street with Bullet Belle and thought
I had a gap between a bus and a van, but underestimated my size! Belle jumped the curb
and went around and heard me get stuck. I came out the other side riding fast to get away
and half a block down realised I’d pushed my bars out of line. We laughed all the way home.

Moi
Thats a great one. I confess that even after riding fixed for years I can’t jump up a
gutter, it’s embarrassing. I once, after seeing it too late, just slammed
straight into a really high gutter and went over my
hand bars to land on my recently healed broken elbow.
I just sat there and held myself
for a long time with some guy waving at the on the opposite
side of the road asking if I was ok.

Since I can relate, tell me how having a partner already in the courier biz has helped?
When I first started I was with someone who I am no longer with, and he always held
it above my head that if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be in this position. To quote him
‘I made a courier out of you’ I hit the roof when we said it, but thats another story. When
I had met Dan we had already been couriering for a while so the ground was even. Nobody
made anything out of each other. So what is your experience having Issy?

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Leila
He’s been really supportive and reminds me on the hard days that I’m killing it. He wanted
me to be more into bikes so never holds it over me. Yesterday was the first day he wasn’t
at work and I was and it actually felt like this is now my job. I’m on the road for myself
now and I’m starting to figure it out and not looking to him for support. Hearing belle and
Morgan tell me stories of them starting out without knowing anyone, I realised I’ve had it
really good already knowing the crew. I’m set on earning my own respect and not just
being an extension of issy though

Moi

Thats good to hear, when Dan left for Canada I couldn’t believe what a difference it was
without him. It was really… liberating (theres that word again).

Has Issy warned that the job is addictive? Do you see yourself doing it for years, or is it building
a bridge to what you want to do next?

Leila
I have heard from many that it’s addictive! I love the lifestyle and I love the people so if being
a courier is a gateway into something else than i am open to that. I don’t see myself sticking
to messaging only forever, and I hope that at some point I get a chance to try different
styles of riding. I’m into the mechanical side of bikes as well.
I guess when I made the transition into the courier world it was a choice to be apart of the
community and lifestyle, and I found a chance to push myself in ways I never had before.

Moi
Such a great answer, is there anything else you want to add?

Leila
As an added part, in my opinion, why there aren’t more lady messengers: I think it’s because as an outsider the job is so surreal. It doesn’t seem possible! I only got into it because at the right time in my life I had the right friends around me giving me the push. I think more girls would get into it of there was more genuine encouragement

Moi
I agree. We are just as fast, just as capable, and love the job just as much.

Leila
Here here!!

Moi
Nice one girl. You are building up a new bike I see. When will it be finished?

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Leila
Should be on the road by Monday fingers crossed! I’ll actually have a bike in my size! Teeny tiny haha

Moi
Very cool… What kind of courier will you be? For me I thought I would always be a happy go lucky courier, just happy to be riding my bike, and not being to serious, but there were stages where I was as filthy and as rude and as vicious as they come. I think it was during the coldest winter London had had for 50 years when I turned feral. I snapped out of it though come summer.

Leila
I hope to stay kind to most people – bus drivers and cabbies not included. I’d like to maintain a part of myself that isn’t all bikes and work. But each day that goes by I feel like I’m falling away from everything I knew. Or maybe a better way to explain it is that I’m all consumed right now before it clears in my mind and the two lives will combine

Moi
Have a great weekend! Eat and be merry : )


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