So, after weeks of interviews and scheduling with no real prospects in sight, I decided this week I would try my hand at being a delivery person. I did it once before for a pizza joint. That lasted all of 2 weeks when I saw the paycheck and realized it wasn't worth my time or gas. I was poor back then. I needed money, not a slim paycheck that mostly went to gas and food. This time was going to be different, in 2021 so many people order from the comfort of their homes; there's plenty of money out there. I downloaded the app. I got in the car and got ready to go. Listening to Eminem for some reason gets me pumped and ready to make money! So blasting the music as I drove out of the driveway. I opened the first app and nothing. Apparently, people do not go shopping on Friday mornings. Next app, an update. Needless, to say my pumped-up caffeine kick was slowly dwindling down to a "Can I please make some money?". I pulled into a gas station to update the app and input some additional information. As soon as it loaded a little alarm went off signaling a new order had been placed. Yay! I immediately accepted the order and headed towards the restaurant. The excitement was coursing through me as I thought about the tip I was sure to make because who doesn't love a bubbly personality at 10 am? As I drove to the destination 11 minutes away from where I started, I thought about how easy this was. Driving in the morning to areas of town I seldom travel to. Getting out of the house and around people was great until I got behind the driver that was about 200 years old and drove at 20 mph in a 45 zone. Apparently, I was the only driver on the road not aware this white van was a slow driver. As the other cars sped past me I could feel their jeering looks. I continued until I was able to pass and then continued on my way. I was a bit irritated until I remembered I was going to make money. I could see my bank account go from just hundreds to thousands within the week. I would work this like my full-time job setting my own hours! Finally, I arrived, grab my phone and open my door to pick up what was going to be my lucrative start of self-employment freedom. As I unlocked my phone, the app dinged again letting me know the order was canceled
1 minute prior to my arrival. WTF? At that moment I saw my bank account go negative, figuratively. I just wasted gas to drive 11 minutes away from my home area and now I have to go back. Is this the way it works? You drive somewhere then the order is canceled and yet I make no money for my time and effort. Jesus, please give me strength.
Mad, I closed that app and went to the previous one to see if there was anything available. If not I had decided to call it a day. Lucky for me, I found an easy shopping order. It wasn't a huge order so I was able to get a taste of what it was like. I went in, accepted the order, and realized it was not 1 but 2 orders for 2 different customers. I was excited because I was going to get double the tip plus the tiny amount of money for actually driving for the company. The $8 was going to refill the gas and I was almost positive that I could make at least $10 in tips.
I arrived at the grocery store, Aldi's, amped up and ready to shop. I opened the app to get my grocery list out and I'll say it wasn't super difficult but it was a bit confusing. Instead of names during the shopping, they used 'customer A' and 'customer b'. After checkout, the app updated the customer's name to their actual name. Umm ok so customer a is which one of these? I figured out which order went with which name and bagged everything separately. It wasn't long after that I arrived at the first home ready to present my smiling face and bubbly personality. I was greeted by the Ring doorbell asking me who I was. I responded and the nice gentleman abruptly said just leave it on the porch. I did and completed the purchase confused as to why he was so upset sounding. I remembered I hadn't shared in the app that I was at the store or starting the shopping. I was upset with myself for not being customer service-oriented but realized it was my first time and I'd get better. Everything is a learning experience after all. Luckily for me, the next order was a few streets away in the same neighborhood. I quickly handed off the wine verified the ID and went on my way. I was excited I made my first 2 deliveries and was sure I was going make at least $20 for the hour of my time I spent shopping and delivering. Unfortunately, I only made a total of $14 for my hour. I was pissed. Do people not tip others for doing their dirty work. I do. I usually leave a great tip. As I drove home defeated from my low pay, I thought about all of the waiters and waitresses that usually busted their ass for people each day smiling when their backs are on fire. Bringing that glass of water to the diner that has asked for a million things but hasn't said thank you once. Serving the food while trying to remember each table's orders. Trying not to cry because their kid is at home sick and they can't be there to comfort them. They wait on people each day in hopes of making a customer smile, hoping to meet the highest expectations a customer sets, yet they get the bare minimum. These men and women work for low pay and are dependant on tips to get by, however, there are people that don't understand this. Maybe these people just don't care. I drove home thinking that continuing to be a delivery driver, it didn't matter that I was smiling and bubbly, it was a job that was mostly dependant on a person's perception of excellence, and IF I met that then I could have a couple of extra dollars.
That was my first and last day of driving for Instacart.