A while back, I came to the conclusion that in spite of the fact that I make more money than I’ve ever made in my career, I basically still have no money when it comes to any sort of leisure or just wanting to treat yo-self on rare instances. To no surprise, it’s all going towards my children or expenses related to my children, and this is one of those instances where I think about how much simpler life can be for those without kids, not to say I have any regrets at all for having them they’re perfect and I love them until the end of existence.
But I don’t really do well when it comes to financial anxiety, and a lot of my general well-being is often tied to how comfortable I feel about paying bills while staying out of debt, and over the last few months, as much as I loathe and avoid it at all costs, I’ve had to carry partial balances over with my credit cards, simply because my outgoing money was surpassing incoming money, no matter how much I try to avoid it.
In the prior two years, I made a pretty penny on doing online surveys for nickels and dimes, enough to make people take notice in like the ten new wrestling blet replicas I was able to get with all of them, but that well has kind of dried up in the sense that the circumstances in which I was able to do them aren’t really applicable anymore, because my kids command a lot of attention, and I can’t absent mindedly bullshit my way through multiple surveys a day like I used to.
Needless to say, I had this revelation while I was in the car one day, that my household now has a third car that’s kind of dormant, and how it would be an ideal ride if I were to get into online food delivery. It’s small, gets great mileage and is pretty fun and agile to drive, and it would be getting some use, instead of just sitting around deteriorating in dormancy. Plus, the take home from doing online food delivery would be exponentially larger than doing online surveys, and it was something that I could do when the girls were down for the night.
And so I signed up for both DoorDash and UberEats, and over the last 6-7 weeks, I’ve embarked on moonlighting as a delivery driver. Suffice to say, I’ve learned a lot in that span, but overall I can’t say that it’s been that negative of an experience as far as wanting to make some side cash for only as much effort as driving around picking up and dropping off bags of food takes.
It’s also been giving me a lot of perspective of being on the other side of the transaction, and naturally a remark like that isn’t said if it wasn’t to commentate on the sheer lack of respect and consideration customers have for their drivers. Which is all a more eloquent way of saying that the vast majority of customers are a bunch of cheap motherfuckers who by all right shouldn’t deserve to eat if they’re unwilling to pay the people that bring their food to them.
For every generous tip I get from a customer who seems to recognize that I beat the estimated time, took into consideration the swing of their doors when placing their shit so they didn’t hit it, or other little things I do to make sure everything is right, I will have probably like 6-7 cheap motherfuckers who tip the bare minimum it takes for their order to not get outright rejected by all other drivers. Like in 98%* of instances, I won’t even entertain a request where my take away is $2.75 or less because there’s a 100% chance that $0.00 is a tip and you’ll just be getting the base fare, and these are the shitheads that truly don’t deserve to eat if they’re not willing to pay for any labor.
*why not 100%? Because sometimes UberEats will do these quests that give you bonus money for completion of trips, regardless of their amount, so if I’m teetering on a quest completion, I’ll take a shit fare if it means getting a bonus afterward
But the majority of tips that I accrue are somewhere in the $2-3 range, and these are orders that looking at the things they’re ordering, are usually well over $20-30, meaning on average, these are barely 10% tips.
The point is, it’s a good thing that I’m doing this as a side hustle and not relying on this to be my primary income, because I think I would go insane by how much passive abuse I’m getting from cheap-ass customers who use the veil of anonymity to justify being cheap assholes to have their shit delivered to their doors.
Another thing I’ve observed is that initially, I thought doing this, I’d be exposed to a lot of new restaurants where I could passively learn about through delivering their stuff. I mean I’ve found a few places that I wasn’t really aware of, but when it really comes down to it, I’d have to say the majority of the drops that I’m doing are usually delivering someone their fast food, or Chinese food, or chain-establishment pizza, which really befuddles me, because I’m usually passing a number of Chinese or pizza joints on the way to these delivery spots, so I have no idea how these algorithms are when it comes to people and their choice of food.
I’ve learned that chain joints like McDonald’s, Popeyes and other massive chains don’t really give two shits about service time and having an order ready for pickup, because no amount of negative feedback to them is going to really improve their operations, so when I’m able to be picky about things, I try to tell myself to avoid them, because the bane of my existence is waiting for these businesses to prepare orders, and not a single night has gone by where there hasn’t been one pickup that hasn’t made me wait because I’m fast and they’re slow, and as far as I’m concerned, they’re the ones who cost me the chances at getting better tips on account of being extra early.
Favorite words to see: Leave at door
Least favorite words to see: Meet at door
You guys are assholes: Customer PIN required
Overall, the experience hasn’t been that bad. I’m making some side cash in about 60-90 minutes on the nights I decide to go out, and I can usually do like 2-3 drops whenever I do go out. It’s a decent way to clear my head and do something mindless, but at least make money in the process, and with these funds, I’ll hopefully be able to supplement my income for the ever-mounting expenditures that seem to be creeping into my life, or maybe even sack some of it away for some me-shit like a new raptop or inevitably, moar wrestling blets.
And to get in front of an inevitable question: yes, I have taken a French fry from a customer’s order before. They didn’t tip, Chick fil-A didn’t seal the bag, I was hungry, and I didn’t know how to cancel orders yet, so in order to feel like I was getting any sort of retribution to an asshole, I totally took a French fry out of their order. So the picture of Johnny Lawrence from Cobra Kai isn’t entirely just coincidental.