“Essential Workers” are NOT Heroes

Contributed opinion piece by a food delivery worker.

I didn’t sign up to be a hero. I signed up because it was easy money and convenient. I’m not doing it out of some duty to humanity… I’m doing it because I get paid to do it. There’s nothing heroic or altruistic about doing delivery work.

The hot times for delivery is weekend evenings. While that would normally be inconvenient due to other social events, the reduction in social events means I’m not giving up much to do food delivery.

The biggest risk I face isn’t due to COVID-19… it’s due to traffic or getting mugged in a bad area. Washington Heights is marked as a “hot spot” at night in the app for deliveries, but it’s also a risky area to be in at night. On the traffic side, it’s actually safer due to less traffic. So overall I’d say my risk is down due to COVID-19 🙂

On the matter of tipping. Yes I appreciate the tips. No I don’t expect or require the tips. Things I hope for include tips but they also include more frequent pings (pings mean when the delivery platform gives you an offer) so there’s less downtime, and less travel between locations. I do it for the base pay, the tips are just a bonus. You’re not “stiffing” anyone if you don’t tip them, the agreement for delivery from our side is we get a base amount per delivery, $X per minute waited (yes that’s way under minimum wage), and $Y per mile traveled. Tips isn’t in the agreement there.

Food delivery workers are doing a service. But it’s a service we signed up and are compensated for. Anyone can choose not to do it… if it’s raining or I’m busy I go offline and don’t do it. It’s that easy.

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