I am just as lazy as anyone. I too love on-demand and over-night delivery services, because I hate to leave the house and like to avoid wearing pants as often as I possibly can. So to think of a world where I could get more than just pizza delivered? Well, that was the dream! And now, thanks to the sharing economy, the dream is a reality because we can get pretty much anything delivered by simply downloading an app on our phones. Well, at least in my home of Austin we can, likely because ATX is also a huge hub for startups and app related business. The choices are endless, you can order basically everything from hot, fresh baked cookies to groceries to alcohol, all straight to your door. Life is pretty sweet. But as with any service, we need to remember we are getting just that—a service—performed on-demand and to our exact specifications. The least we can do as customers is, in my opinion, not be a dick to delivery drivers.
Make Sure You Tip
I do feel this should go without saying when you’re discussing ANY service, but there are always those folks who simply do not get it, so I’ll begin with this first, and most important one. TIP. TIP. TIP. I do not care if the service has a delivery fee, service fee or even a coupon for “free delivery.” Delivery drivers are most often, if not always, tip-based. Any additional delivery fees likely get funneled directly into the company’s bank account and the driver is left stiffed if you choose not to tip them. I get it, we all want to save some cash, but if I’m being real with you, and I assume we’re all internet friends here, so I will… If you can’t afford to tip your driver you have no business ordering something for delivery. Something that you deemed too much of a hassle to do yourself, something that requires another human to pick up your item, get in their car, drive God knows how far to your home, get out and physically walk it up to door and place it directly in your hands. You are literally being catered to. This is convenience at its highest, and like it or not that should not come for free.
Give Clear Directions
You know exactly where you live and how to get there at any time of day in any condition, because you live there. Your delivery driver does not. The next time you place an order for something, really think about any special instructions or information that could be helpful. Think, “If I was asking a friend who had never been here to come over with this stuff, how would I tell them how to get here?” This especially applies to those that live in apartment complexes, businesses that order to the office, urban or rural areas where addresses are not clearly visible and buildings with complex security. If you’re ordering heavy, large or cumbersome items, be kind and assess the best way to instruct this driver how to get these items to you. As a grocery delivery driver myself, I can’t tell you how many times customers have ordered an immense amount of heavy items, only to not inform me how to get into the parking garage/gate/building, where to park, how to get through security or even where exactly their unit or home is. There is no Google Maps for your apartment complex, so please be as informative and clear as possible. It will make your driver happy, which means they will do a better job and you’ll be a more satisfied customer.
Be Home/Answer Your Phone
Oh yes. This is a thing. I’ve experienced it many times. Maybe convenience has become too convenient, but there are those people who just happen to not be home at the time they scheduled their delivery. More often than not those people are also the same folks who don’t answer their phones. Like I’m some magic delivery fairy who knows when you’re going to show up and has nothing else to do all day but wait for you. If you have a scheduled delivery, especially a perishable delivery like food, for God’s sake be home at the time you have your order scheduled. And if something comes up, because hey this is real life and I get that things happen, then the least you can do is answer your phone or call to let someone know you won’t be there.
Refrain From Phrases Like “Stay Dry!” Or Other Weather-Related Comments
On horribly rainy, snowy, hot, cold, windy days, delivery businesses are at their busiest. I understand it from the consumer standpoint, I truly do. However, don’t assume that your acknowledgement of just how awful it is outside makes the driver feel any better. When it’s 40 degrees out, I’m soaking wet from the torrential downpour and the windy is stinging knives in my face as I hand you the delicious food you ordered, your “Stay dry!” comment does absolutely nothing but make me resent you. I cannot stay dry. I am already soaked, my toes are raisins in my shoes after all day of running around town for people in their pajamas. When it’s hot, I cannot “stay cool” because I’m already sweating my ass off. It’s like reminding your server at a restaurant that it sucks for them to have to work on Christmas. TRUST ME, they know. So if the weather is too bad for you to want to leave your house to run an errand, a simple “Thank you so much” and a great tip is all a delivery driver needs. If you want to be extra great, maybe offer a cold bottle of water on a hot day. But that is all. We don’t need to be reminded how much we’d rather be at home like you.
All in all, just remember that your delivery driver is more than a means to get your grub on. They are a person who, like you, deserves to be respected and paid well for their work. It’s the least you can do. After all, you didn’t even have to put on pants!
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