Published in Mar-Apr 2019
Since I work for a logistics and courier service company as a delivery and pickup person, I am required to be at work every day at 6:30 a.m. Hence, I wake up daily at five in the morning. My two children (a seven-year-old son and a six-year-old daughter) also wake up around the same time. Once I have offered my morning prayers, we all have breakfast together. My son and I leave home at 6 a.m.; he in his school van while I set off on my motorbike to our head office (TCS Courier – Express & Logistics) near Jinnah International Airport.
By the time I reach work, the initial sorting of the day’s shipment to be delivered has been done according to different areas of Karachi. Saddar is the area assigned to me and it has 12 different routes set by the company. There are 12 couriers assigned for each route. My route constitutes Shaheen Complex, Haroon House, the Pearl Continental and Möven Pick hotels, PIDC Building and its adjacent areas.
From the already sorted deliveries for the Saddar routes, I sort parcels, letters and documents and list them. Thankfully we don’t do that manually on a sheet of paper. The company provides us with a handy device that scans the barcode on each parcel, after which it is automatically registered on to the device. The barcode carries all the information about a package, including the sender, consignee, contact details, shipment date and time. Once all letters and parcels are logged on the device, I take a printout of the sheet and then place all the packages in the delivery box attached to my motorbike. On an average day, I deliver around 150 to 200 letters and parcels.
We are not allowed to carry any weight over two kilograms on our bikes and placing any parcels or letters on the fuel tank is strictly prohibited. It’s a safety hazard. Hence, if there are extra parcels that I can’t carry in my delivery box due to the weight limit, they are dropped in the company van to our nearest courier office on the route, which in my case is the TCS Courier office at QM House on I.I. Chundrigar Road. It takes me 20 to 25 minutes to reach QM House. Once I reach, usually by 9 a.m., I park my bike outside and set out on foot to deliver each parcel and letter.
We are supposed to report back to QM House at 2 p.m. and submit the sheet of listed items delivered in the morning. If for some reason a parcel or letter is not delivered because a consignee has moved to another location or the postal address is wrong, we write the reason on the package and return it at the office.
Most of the mail I deliver constitutes applications addressed to banks and the Sindh Secretariat and most pickups are billings from insurance companies, hotels (Möven Pick and Pearl Continental) and clubs (Sind Club, Karachi Club and Gymkhana). Since there are hotels and clubs on my route, the shipments are often very large because there are events happening all the time and the invites or brochures have to be delivered overnight.
We also make sure that wherever we deliver a parcel, the name of the receiver is written down in case the consignee is not available to receive the parcel and someone else has received it on his/her behalf. This way, in case there are any complains of not having received the package, we can tell the consignee the name of the person who received their parcel.
On an average day, I complete my deliveries in two to three hours (earlier than 2 p.m.) and head back to my office at QM House. My colleagues also arrive to report back around the same time and once they have done that, we eat together.
Lunch is followed by some relaxation or brief siesta. The office has a small room upstairs with an air conditioner installed for us.
Sometimes, we are required to do a second round. This usually happens when a shipment due to be delivered that very day arrives late because of delayed cargo arrival at the airport. For the second round of deliveries, the company provides us Rs 5,000 separately and an extra litre of fuel.
While the daytime is for deliveries, evenings are for pickups. At 5 p.m. we start picking up shipments from different locations, which is comparatively easier than deliver parcels. To deliver, we have to visit individual consignees but for pickups, we get the shipment from two to three different locations in different offices.
On a daily basis, most of the mail I deliver constitutes applications addressed to banks and the Sindh Secretariat and most pickups are billings from insurance companies, hotels (Möven Pick and Pearl Continental) and clubs (Sind Club, Karachi Club and Karachi Gymkhana). Since there are hotels and clubs on my route, the shipments are often very large because there are events happening all the time and the invites or brochures have to be delivered overnight.
I normally complete the pickups by 7:30 p.m. Like deliveries, we have to report back to QM House at 7:30 p.m. I usually reach home by 8 p.m. My wife, children and I always eat together, regardless of whether I come on time or very late. There are days when there is a bulk shipment to be picked up and I don’t return home till 10 p.m. My family still waits for me.
After dinner, I take my children out to buy breakfast items and whatever my wife requires to cook the next day. By the time we return home, my wife has already watched her dramas, so I have the TV to myself. I love watching action movies and I usually go to bed by midnight.
I have been working for TCS for the past 16 years and I don’t see myself working for any other company in the next five. The best part about my job? I love waking up at five; it gives me a chance to pray on time and see my kids off to school before I set off to work. If I started work at 9 a.m. I would miss out on these things and that would not make me happy at all.
As told to Anusha Zahid by Hasnain Raza.