You may not think you know me, but you do. I deliver your groceries.
I have a full-time job, but I need the extra money, so when I deliver to you on a weekday evening it’s after having put in a full day’s work elsewhere. If I’m delivering to you on a weekend, it means I’m probably working from 7:30 am until 7:30 pm, depending on the orders I’m able to take. This is gig work, so any order I deliver is thanks to my waking up at 2 am and staying awake however long it takes for the system to throw out the day’s available orders or camping out for the day in a grocery store parking lot staring at my phone to grab whatever batch pops up next.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not afraid of hard work. If I was, I wouldn’t have been living my life this way for the past year. Most of you are appreciative of the service I offer.
But a few of you are jerks.
Like those of you who place an order on an Instacart platform with a big fat tip so your order will be picked up immediately. And it is. You get first-class service and as close to everything you wanted as we can get these days. And then you go back into the platform and take back that fat tip… because you can. And there’s nothing that gig worker can do but suck it up and learn from the experience.
Some of you are tipping your delivery people well, but some of you aren’t tipping at all. You think you don’t have to tip us because we already get paid. But we are literally putting our lives on the line so you don’t have to. The least you could do is give up a few dollars for the privilege.
I have people be downright rude to me. One woman insisted she needed me to bring her groceries inside for her because she has a back injury, so I did. She thanked me for the effort by accusing me to my face of stealing her $17 pack of toilet paper. And when I left, she called the store I delivered from and told them I stole it too. They told her that’s highly unlikely because the store was sold out of toilet paper. Another customer yelled at me because he said he wanted his items left on the table, so I sat them on a table that was by the door. But no! He wanted them on the table INSIDE the door!
Look, I get that you’re stressed. But we are too, and we gig workers aren’t like those poor souls that have put up with your ass in a brick-and-mortar store because “the customer is always right.” We can choose to deliver to a particular address or not. You cheap bastards that don’t tip? You rude cows? We choose not to. I have a list of people I refuse to deliver to again. TP Lady and Table Man both made the list.
I have to say, though, it’s those of you that are thoughtless that hurt me the most. You want your groceries delivered and you ask for a no-contact delivery, then you run out the door as soon as I get there and are in my space before I have a chance to back up. If I wear a mask, you laugh at me. Just tonight I delivered to a woman that I’ve delivered to numerous times. I put on a mask because i know she cares for her elderly mother. And she came right out the house when I got there and laughed because I had a mask on.
I don’t even much wear a mask anymore. I used to, but the mask is to protect others, not me, and if you don’t care about me, why should I care about you? Just remember, though, you’re not the only one running up on me, so you’re going to be exposed to everything I’ve been exposed to both in the stores and at other homes. Caregiver that laughed at my mask? She was the third person to walk out the house on me today, and probably the 15th to do it to me since Sunday morning. I’m a walking roulette wheel of germs. Go ahead. Try your luck.
Personally, I’d prefer you stay your ass inside until I’m done unloading your groceries. No, I don’t need your help. Yes, I can carry a case of water or a 50 pound bag of dog food. No, I won’t say anything to you if you do help because I need the money and you’re probably the type to not tip me if I say anything. If the choice is between COVID for $7 and COVID for $20, I’ll take COVID for $20. And if you get sick? Oh well. I’ll just add you to the list.
I know what you’re thinking. I should be the bigger person and set an example. Nope. I’m tired. And I’m stressed. And I’m living and working in a Red County in a Red State where Trump’s word is golden and science is of the Devil. I will never teach these people anything, because you cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. I am in survival mode. The government doesn’t care about me. You don’t care about me. That leaves me to care about me, which leaves zero fucks in me to give to you. Don’t like it? Then stay inside until I’m done. Or go buy your own damn groceries.