Jimmy’s Table PodcastCuriously evangelical. Politically homeless. A dreamer of small things. On this podcast, I am having conversations about the intersection of faith, life, and culture.

The Cosmic Career Of A Bike Messenger: Bill Fehr – Episode #44

Bill Fehr Biking (Credit: Ben Premeaux)

UPDATE 5/11/2020: Since the original broadcast of this podcast in January, I have been notified by former coworker friends that I and Bill worked with that Bill Fehr passed away this weekend. Please pray for him and his family during this sad time. Unfortunately I do not have any more details at this time. Rest in peace Bill. You were one of the most amazing humans I have ever known. It was an honor to count you as a co-worker and friend, and to conduct this interview telling your life story. I pray it’s a blessing and source of comfort to all during this time of grief...

Update 5/12/2020: Bill Fehr’s obituary can be found here.

Today we are going to talk about taking the path less traveled, and what it means to be successful in America. I think today’s show will be a fascinating one. Not only because the topic itself is interesting, but because the person I am talking with today is one of the most interesting and intense people I have ever had the privilege to work with. 

For today’s podcast, I am sitting down to talk with Bill Fehr.  I worked with Bill almost a decade ago when I was a mailroom clerk at a law firm in uptown Charlotte. Bill is a professional bike messenger, and has been zooming in and out of traffic for the past 22 years in uptown Charlotte.

His career as a bike messenger is unconventional, as was his path to get where he is today. I don’t think it’s a career many aspire to while they are in school. In fact, it’s one that many probably would discourage their children from pursuing. But that’s what I love about Bill. He is in fact an unconventional man. But as you will hear in today’s show, Bill is passionate about living life fully, and I think he has a story worth sharing, especially for those who feel in their gut that they need to be doing something other than working in a cubicle for the rest of their lives. 

My interview today is rather long, and runs over an hour, but I think it is one you we really enjoy. I would encourage you to listen to our fascinating conversation in full. I would also like to give a shoutout to all my former co-workers from Nova Office Strategies, which is the company Bill works for, and that I used to work for as well.

Talking Points/Questions From Today’s Show

  • A story about a strange elevator ride where a man in a suit pointed his son towards Bill, and used Bill as a cautionary tale of what happens if you have to “work with your back.”
  • What does success look like? How do we define that in America, and how should we define that?
  • Career day: What did you want to be when you grew up?
  • Unconventional career path and resume: US Marine, Corporate Manager at Sears, Bike Messenger. How did this happen? Why did you turn your back on corporate America for a career as a bike messenger? What experience triggered this unpexected change?
  • How supportive has your wife, family, and friends been of your unusual career choice?
  • Is your profession dangerous, and how many accidents have you been in? What’s the worst accident you’ve ever been in? Have you ever been hurt?
  • Can you really make a career out of being a bike messenger? How long can you do this physically demanding job?
  • How does one develop the situational awareness necessary to be a bike messenger?
  • What’s the typical work day look like for you? How many miles do you bike a day?
  • What’s the most important and valuable passage you’ve ever delivered?
  • Do you feel there is a spiritual component to your job?
  • Do you listen to music or podcasts while biking around Charlotte?
  • If someone wants to be a bike messenger one day, what does it take to make it in this industry?

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