Confessions Of Food Delivery Riders: “Some People Think We Do This ’Cos We Can’t Get Jobs Elsewhere”
Food delivery riders bust misconceptions about their job in a YouTube video. One even reveals that a customer said to him: “People with tattoos have no future, that’s why you [do this job].”
Hangry customers, unusual requests, run-ins with restaurants. While there’s no such thing as a perfect, smooth-sailing job, it's no secret that food delivery riders have had to weather their fair share of encounters that are weird, maybe wonderful and sometimes downright bizarre — incidents that most of us who are waiting at home for our food wouldn't even think possible.
Two food delivery riders recently guested on You Got Watch’s Spill It, a YouTube series where folks from different professions — you guessed it — spill the tea on their jobs. The food delivery riders tell-all features Raphael, who took up the job two years ago for the flexibility that it offers, as well as “better earnings during the Covid-19 period". Alongside him was Hui Shan, a musician who’s been doing this for a year since she lost live entertainment jobs during the pandemic.
The duo made some juicy revelations in the video, including anecdotes of unpleasant customers and unusual requets.
“I’ve had some customers saying to me, ‘Oh you’re late but it’s okay. I know people with tattoos have no future, that’s why you become food delivery riders,’” shared Raphael, who sports arm tattoos.
Meanwhile, Hui Shan revealed one of the more bizarre requests she’s gotten from a customer. “Someone wanted to send something to a friend but didn’t want to say who sent it. So I said, ‘I’m okay [to pass on a message]...So they told me to read one whole chunk of stuff about siam diu (Thai discos) and partying and whatever,” Hui Shan shared with a laugh. “So I went to the door and actually did it. The person [who received the food] was like “Sshhhh my mum is behind me!”
Then there are customers who expect food delivery riders to do the impossible. Raphael, who travels around on bicycle, recounted “one of the most rolls-eyes experiences” he’s had when a customer ordered chendol from Novena to be delivered to her home in Serangoon Gardens.
“She actually scolded me asked me why the ice melted. I remember I was so pissed off. I told her, ‘Ma’am, you take ice cube from your fridge and put in your hand, will it melt or not? I came from Novena, you think I carry fridge, is it?” he recalled.
“She complained to [customer] support and they called me. I told them in the nicest way that she scolded me vulgarities what, and said I’m stupid and made the ice melt. You think I take lighter and do this [waves it over an imaginary bowl of chendol]?”
But it’s not always about hangry or hilarious customers. Raphael revealed that one of the inevitable pitfalls of the job is the waiting time in restaurants. He explained: “Restaurants will tell us, ‘If you cannot wait, then cancel [the order].’ But every time we cancel, our incentives will drop, then we may have to complete like 10 more rides in a row.”
“And sometimes when I walk into the restaurant in my food delivery uniform, they’ll say delivery riders aren’t allowed inside and tell us to wait outside. ‘You’re sweaty, stand outside’.”
Hui Shan chimed in: “I mean, we are customers also. We can well afford the food there as well. But they will treat us as low life [and tell us to] go away.”
Of course, it’s not all bad. In the video, Raphael and Hui Shan also let viewers in on other industry secrets, perks of the job, like customers who tip generously (up to $70!), and just how much they earn in a week. Yes, it’s a four-figure sum.
Watch the full video here: