Monday, July 22, 2019

Please Tip Your Über Eats® Driver ©2019 by Joe Sixtop all rights reserved

     Please tip your Über Eats® driver. As well as your driver for Postmates®, Lyft Chow™; Deliveroo®, Take Out Taxi™, Grub Hub®, Amazon Restaurants®, Waymo Calories™, Door Dash® and Bring Glutton ™,  But don't order cookies! Just check out These American Servers™, we've got plenty of 'em  here! Thanks.

     What was I on about last time? Oh, yeah. I shared how my friend Jakey G works for an app that's about delivery of restaurant grub. And how I've occasionally ridden along while he worked. The first time I rode with Jakey G was almost my last. When we got near the restaurant, Jakey G asked me to get out of the car and stay out of sight. Same deal when we got to the client's place. None of this had been discussed prior to us starting out. I thought it was dumb, didn't like it and said so and declined to do any more ride alongs.
     About a year later, Jakey G asked me to go on a run again. He explained that a lot of single moms do Take Out Taxi and the like and bring their kids along, not having good childcare options. Therefore, Jakey G thinks it's Ok. He doesn't know the actual company policy and I can't seem to find out. Hey, if any of y'all know, hmu, Ok? Anyway, I went.
     Our first ping sent us to a nearby Burger King®. We got there quick and the drive-thru line was crazy. I suggested that he try to go inside. He didn't want to. Have you ever heard of someone with a "can-do" attitude? Jakey G has a can't-do attitude. He argued that it would be a waste of time. He used to work for Burger King and knows they close the lobby at 10:30 and blah blah blah. I pointed out how crowded and slow-moving the drive-thru was and that it couldn't hurt to try, even though it was a little after 10:30. He reluctantly tried the door and it was unlocked. 
     We went on five more runs over the next three hours. Twice to that same Burger King and once to a different Burger King. By then doors were locked and the drive-thru wait each time was at least 20 minutes. We also went to a pizza joint and a bar that's famous for great burgers. All the deliveries were within two miles of where the chow had been ordered, so Jakey G wasn't getting a lot of cash that night. Drivers don't get paid for getting to the pick-up point or for waiting around for the product.
     After about three hours, we decided to call it. Jakey G had kept glancing at his mobile device. "Damn. They didn't tip me," he kvetched after each delivery. From what I can gather, Take Out Taxi's clients have quite awhile to tip on the app but most either do it soon or not at all. A few tip in cash but it didn't happen that night.
     We weren't far from my crib and got back quick. Jakey G came in for a minute. He looked forlornly at his phone. He'd only made $25. I know he'd burned at least a ten-spot in gas, so not a very lucrative night for my friend. He was about to turn off the app when it chimed. Jakey G smiled. "Remember that last delivery?" he enthused. "That lady tipped me five bucks!"

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Chinga La Migra Hot Wings ©2019 by Joe Sixtop all rights reserved

     I've got this friend, Jakey G. He's signed up for two— maybe three—of those ride-sharing/chow-delivery apps. He's been with them for about three years. One of the services he's with doesn't operate in the small city where he lives and business isn't exactly stellar up there for the others so he mostly comes down here to work.
     Jakey G's a late-night kind of guy. He gets to town about 7:30 or 8:00.  Depending on weather and how he's feeling or whatever, he works about six nights a week. Sometimes, when I'm likely to be home from work but still awake, Jakey G will find himself in this neighborhood. And then he's liable to knock on my door. Jakey G usually hangs out here for 15 or 20 minutes and then gets back to driving for a few more hours. But there's been three or four times when he's invited me to ride along.
     Of course, if I were to ride along, it would be delivery only; he'd nix the "Accepting Passengers" setting or turn on an app that was delivery only. Even then, I was reluctant to go, though intrigued. Jakey G's none too bright. I was concerned that my riding along could cause him a problem with his employer that neither of us could foresee. The first time he invited me, I declined, citing that reason. A few weeks later, he asked again That time, I was like "fuck it" and tagged along.
     Jakey turned on the app. It pinged him in a few minutes and sent us to Chinga La Migra Hot Wings™. Jakey G stopped near the strip mall that was our destination. "Ok. Jump out here and wait for me to get this order and I'll be back in a minute." I didn't like that shit and said so but didn't argue and did as I was bade. I wanted to get this done and go home. I'm a grown-ass man and I don't have to sneak around.
     My concerns about riding along had not been with picking up and delivering the chow, they'd been about the company that runs the app, Jakey didn't tell me before we began our adventure that he didn't want me seen. If he had, I wouldn't have gone. Does the fry cook or anyone else at Chinga La Migra Hot Wings give a rat's ass if the driver picking up an order has a passenger, in the unlikely event they notice? Hell no. Is the half-drunk stoner playing Fortnite­­® on his big screen, rabidly jonesing for chicken to slake his munchies, concerned about how many people were in the vehicle that brought him his fix? Not bloody likely. But when we got about a block from the half-drunk stoner's crib, I was asked to dip out and wait again.
     On the way back to my pad, I told Jakey G that it was kind of fun except the part about getting out of his car and hiding. I laughed and told him he's a 'tard for stressing about what the restaurateurs and clients think about him having a passenger, on the off-chance they might even be aware of such. Our convo wasn't contentious or anything. I basically said it was a bad idea for him to have a ride-along when he was working and to not invite me again. And he didn't. For about a year.

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