If you’ve been doing remote work for quite some time, you probably rely on delivery riders all the time. I know I certainly do. When you’re toiling away in your home or office for much of the day, it’s not easy to nip out to the grocery, pharmacy, or the nearby fast food joint.
And ever since the country was placed under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), more and more people now rely on them. On the one hand, it’s great that delivery riders are finally getting some sort of acknowledgement as essential workers. Along with our medical professionals, they are indeed serving on the front lines of the war against covid-19.
On the other hand, the pandemic does seem to bring out the worst in some people, and delivery riders tend to bear the brunt of that. So, as a tribute to these modern-day heroes, let’s all review a ten-point list of what we all SHOULDN’T do when availing of their services:
1. Skimping on the tip.
Okay, so, money’s probably tight right now, what with some clients canceling their remote work contracts. Yeah, we get it.
However, do consider that delivery riders risk their health and lives picking up your stuff so you won’t have to. So, if you can spare a little bit of change, do use it to tip them. For all we know, it’s probably a significant portion of their pay.
2. Attempting to hoard scarce items.
Sadly, delivery riders don’t have access to a magical warehouse full of face masks, ethyl alcohol, or canned goods. If it’s hard for you to find an item on your last grocery run, it’ll likely be the same for them.
The same goes for observing purchasing limits. Don’t ask your rider to pick up ten bottles of ethyl alcohol knowing that individual shoppers can only get two each, maximum.
3. Not abiding by “no contact” protocols.
Many delivery apps now offer this option. This is where the rider simply leaves the items outside your front door and just about zero interaction takes place. (A godsend for introverts, I know, but I digress.)
Also, this means absolutely “no contact.” So, no, you can’t go and help your rider unload your package. Neither can you ask them to bring stuff into your house.
Strange as it sounds, it’s better if you don’t open the door until they’re gone. Sure, it sounds rude but it’s the safest thing for both you and the rider right now.
4. Ignoring texts and calls from your delivery rider.
There are several reasons why your rider might need to get in touch. First, the item you want might be out of stock. Thus, you may need to decide whether to settle for a substitute or cross it off your shopping list entirely.
Second, to ensure a successful (and contact-free) delivery, the rider might call you to confirm your address. If you don’t pick up or reply, they’ll end up having to wait for you or you might not get your order.
So, please, please keep your phone nearby while your order’s being processed.
5. Constantly changing your orders once they’re placed.
Zipping around a supermarket trying to pick up items is stressful enough. Keeping up with a customer that’s constantly changing their mind just makes things needlessly difficult.
Worse still, if you change your order once your rider has lined up at the cashier, they’ll have to abandon their spot to accommodate that. This, of course, means that they’ll have to line up again afterwards.
So, do the riders a favor and finalize your list of orders before you proceed. If you absolutely need to change something, do tip them for their trouble, okay?
6. Ordering a ton of heavy items.
Delivery workers toil all day to fulfill huge orders, and this can be tough on their body. To save on gas, they’ll probably take on multiple delivery routes at a time. This means they’ll be carrying other people’s orders apart from yours.
By all means, order what you need but don’t force your rider to lug ten big bottles of your favorite soda. Save it for the post-ECQ celebrations, when you can pick them up yourself.
7. Taking out your frustrations on the rider.
With shortened store hours and social distancing measures in place, delays are inevitable. When you send a rider out to pick up your groceries, be prepared to wait a while and don’t get frustrated when it takes longer than you expected.
Furthermore, don’t yell at the rider or withhold their tip over the long waiting time. It’s really not their fault most of the time, ditto for stock shortages.
8. Lying about an order to get something for free.
Apparently, some douchebags have this MO where they complain about their orders being botched just to get freebies or a discount, even if there’s nothing wrong with them.
DO NOT BE THIS PERSON. Seriously, don’t try it. Someone could lose their job over this, and it could be your rider.
9. Still opting to pay in cash.
Huh? Why is this a bad thing? Well, it’s impossible to trace where paper bills or coins have been and they’re hard to disinfect too. Cash payments might be unavoidable in some cases, but go for cashless options whenever they’re available. These include credit card payments, bank transfers, or mobile payment apps.
If you have no other choice but to pay for your stuff in cash, place it in an envelope. Try to come up with an exact amount as well so that the rider won’t have to handle loose change.
10. Neglecting to list down your complete address details.
Since your rider will be delivering to your doorstep, providing the right address is crucial. Otherwise, the poor guy/girl will probably end up circling the block and you might just risk treating a stranger to a free meal.
Apart from supplying your complete address, add helpful information as well, if possible. Nearby landmarks along with the color of your door/gate would help.
Sure, you can get creative and find ways to stretch your produce at home, but at some point, you will need to replenish these. So, let’s all be nice to our delivery riders not just for now, but from here on out.
After all, it helps to have their goodwill if you ever decide to go full-time into remote working.
Stay safe, everyone!