Courier workcan throw up some interesting situations, with drivers often finding themselves called upon to deliver weird and wonderful objects to a range of different destinations. But can you imagine arriving to pick up a medical item, only to find that it is a limb that is still attached to its owner, or that you were given a child to deliver to its grandparents? These are just some of the bizarre situations that drivers have found themselves in over the years. Here are four of my favourite tales from the courier workhall of fame to make you chuckle.
You’ve Got Mail
Today, there are plenty of laws covering what you can and can’t send by courier (or any other form of delivery for that matter), but spare a thought for those who carried out courier workback in the early days of the delivery services. When the postal service was first introduced in the United States, some enterprising families worked out that it was cheaper to send their children by special delivery than it was to buy a train ticket. Thankfully, this trend came to an end in 1915 when the Postmaster General declared sending infants by post illegal.
Getting a Leg Up
Medical deliveries play an important part in the world of courier work, but usually these items will be carefully packaged, well-labelled and properly protected. Given this, imagine the shock of the driver who turned up at a pick-up point to collect a medical item, only to discover that it was still attached to its owner! The item in question was actually a prosthetic leg, which was scheduled for delivery. Unfortunately, its owner was unable to take the leg off without help and, in the absence of anyone else around to help, had waited for the driver to lend a helping hand. Of course, the driver was more than happy to help and was soon on his way with the leg, which he safely separated from its owner.
One of the little highlights of delivery driving can be an unexpected brush with celebrities. Delivering to famous faces is always a great tale to take back to the depot. Some of the best star stories that I’ve heard include the driver who was asked to deliver a portrait of Taylor Swift to the singer, only to realise that the portrait had been painted on a tortoise shell. Another is about a driver who was asked to transport a whole shark (dead, thankfully) to the American band The Jonas Brothers – who knows why they wanted it (if they did...), but I’m pleased to report that it was delivered safely and on time.
Drivers are not immune to the world of practical jokes, as one driver found out when they stopped to pick up an item and received a single piece of fruit. The fruit was a banana, which had the instruction “Do not bend” inscribed on its skin.
Courier workcan be stressful, but every now and then a bizarre request or unusual client reminds us of one of the many things to love about this important job.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier work in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.