I’m going to take some time today to introduce some new faces here in Metroland.
Coery is an ex employee from way back in the day. Before his illustrious return, he sent his son Evan to test the proverbial waters which must have been just fine because here he is!
Our newest dispatcher is Melinda Jones who has spent the last couple weeks getting a feel for how we do things on the road and is now settling herself into the office. We all look forward to working with her and know that she’s going to be a valuable addition to our desk jockey crew!
We had an awesome time at the parade on Friday! We passed out over a thousand beach balls, we walked a few miles, and we made a lot of new friends!
Thank you to everyone who came out! We had managers, drivers, friends, and family show up to help pass out beach balls and to make sure everything was safe while the vehicles went along.
And car 147 was there with a dispatcher in the driver seat!
We passed through packed streets and heard a wave of cheers as we went by.
I’m sure it had nothing to do with the beach balls!!
The trucks are being washed, the beach balls are inflated and we are ready to roll out at the Ann Arbor Jaycees parade tomorrow morning! I can’t wait to see everybody there! I’ll be the one in the red shirt…
We’ll be participating in Ann Arbor’s 4th of July parade again this year. We hope everyone can get out to see us! We’ll have a few vehicles including our largest truck and there will be mini beachballs! It has been an awesome event for the last several years and of course I will have pictures in a couple of weeks!
When our driver Dick Nolan came to work Monday morning, he brought along a special passenger in his engine compartment. It was a groundhog! He called the Humane Society when he noticed it and they promptly dispatched an animal rescue officer to help get it out.
After many trials and tribulations we got the little guy out and safely into a crate for transport. He was a fiesty little guy, but very cute!
We loaded him up in the back of one of our trusty Rangers and took him out to a field near where he hitched his ride to let him go.
It took a little coaxing, but we got him out of the crate and on his way. I didn’t know that the little buggers could run so fast, but he bolted right for the first tall grass he could see and was gone.
When Metro Delivery merged with ParaTransit in 2001, the most valuable thing we acquired wasn’t a client or a vehicle. It was a manager. Sebastian Wreford has been an unsurpassed resource when it comes to all of our needs, including art, sales, and most importantly being a center of stability whenever things become chaotic. Over his time here he has been the heart of our company, an avuncular figure who gives advice to anyone who asks. I’ve personally learned more lessons about work, management, and life in general from him than anyone else I’ve worked with.
Thank you Sebastian for all of your calm wisdom in wild times. Thank you for making this office a bright and colorful place full of art, soul, and one of the craziest assortments of musical taste that I’ve ever had fill my ears. Thank you for performing my wedding, and those of so many others of the staff. Thank you for years of hard lessons with a laid back attitude.
From all of us here at Metro: Thank You and Good Luck! Food Gatherers won the lottery and all of the people of our area are going to be better off because of it.
The story of Pheidippides inspires us here at Metro Delivery, as it has inspired millions of other messengers over the past 2,503 years or so…
Pheidippides, a herald, was sent off running, all 26 miles and 385 yards from the Greek City Marathon to Athens, to announce the first victory of the Greeks over the invading Persians, at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC.
Yes, yes, this is where we get that “Marathon” thing that all your runner friends talk about- but that’s a secondary point for us here at Metro. The point is, the dude was a COURIER, and as such, prepared to give his all.
After proclaiming victory to the joyful crowd at the Acropolis (“Nike!” he gasped, forming a shoe company), he expired, tragically, from the exertion. That’s one sad version of the story (weeps).
In another variation, from Herodotus, Pheidippides completes a much more impressive feat of the feet, running round trip from Athens to Sparta and back again to request aid from the Spartans from the invading Persians. That story has him running around 145 miles over two days. The Spartans don’t actually get around to sending any aid and the Athenians have to handle the Persians themselves, but this more robust Pheippides does not die from the run.
Robert Browning, in his 1879 hit poem “Pheidippides,” tells a story that’s a popular confluence of events. Pheidippides runs from Athens to Sparta and back again, then actually fights in the battle of Marathon, and THEN runs from Marathon to the Acropolis in Athens to announce the victory and dies. That’s a total mileage of around 171 miles, and you know there weren’t any folding tables of Gatorade along the way.
Browning’s and Herodotus’s versions also feature a guest appearance by the Goat-God Pan, who Pheidippides happens across enroute from Sparta back to Athens, and who is persuaded to assist the Athenians, since the Spartans are of no immediate help.
Pan indicates his willingness to back the Athenians by handing Pheidippides a handful of fennel, a good portent for the battle, as the Greek word for fennel is Marathon. (Goat-Gods prefer metaphor to just plain saying something, as a general rule.)
So what do we, as messengers, learn from Pheidippides? First, we admire his resolution and dedication, and the sacrifice that he was prepared to make to see that his noble duty was fulfilled.
Secondarily, we recognize that if he really DID run himself to death, his dispatcher probably should have figured out a way to get the poor guy a lunch hour, and we have to suspect that under hours-of-service regulations the Athenians would probably be looking at some pretty steep fines…
Thirdly, they should have given Pheidippides an E250 van, like Metro Couriers drive, and then he could have carried a pallet or two of grapes and olives to drop to some other Greek city along the way, and improved his profit margin.
Image from Mlive: http://www.annarbor.com/news/ann-arbor-residents-capture-images-and-video-of-flooding/