With every job, you have to take the good with the bad. For example, one of the upsides of the on-demand food delivery gig is the flexibility to work your own schedule. But there’s plenty of things that will annoy the heck out of you.
Here are the 13 most annoying things you’ll encounter as a courier in the gig economy when it comes to food delivery.
1. The Empty Restaurant With A Slow Kitchen
Has this ever happen to you? You arrives at a restaurant to pick up an order, and the manager tells you it’ll be a few minutes before the food is ready. You agree to wait. But then you look out at the restaurant and realize the place is empty. Barely any customers. How is the kitchen running behind?
There are a bunch of restaurants in Portland where you’ll consistently encounter this. I will not name names, but if you’re a Portland courier, I bet you know who I’m talking about.
2. The Trendy Place With No Parking
You’ll run into these more with Postmates. They’re annoying because the cynic in you thinks the customer knew there’d be no parking and decided to use the app to make you suffer.
3. The Friendly But Terrible Tipper
Ever ring the doorbell, and the customer comes out all smiling? Then you ask if they’re Jason and he goes “Hi! Yes! That’s me!” in a high pitch voice that’s jolly. You complete the food delivery and then finds out, as he closes the door behind you, that he didn’t tip. I don’t expect tips all the time, but what’s annoying about this type of customer is they confuse you with the mixed message they sent out: If he’s broke, why is he so jolly? If he’s a jerk, why is he so friendly?
4. The Recently Moved Customer
This is more a problem on platforms that stores customer addresses. Sometimes people would move to a new address and don’t update their account information. Couriers have to find out the hard way and waste time going to their old address for a food delivery. It’s super annoying when the customer moved across town. This is amplified when they don’t tip after you traveled the extra distance because they didn’t update their information.
5. The “I’m With Postmates” Introduction
Postmates uses Foursquare’s’ API for their website’s database. Some restaurants have partnerships with Postmates, but many restaurants are added to the database without permission. For these restaurants, the courier has to explain that they’re with Postmates when arriving for a pickup. It’s a very awkward introduction because they don’t know who Postmates is. Even more awkward when the restaurant has had a bad experience with Postmates in the past.
6. The No Tip For You Signature
For orders that are not prepaid, Postmates couriers have to sign the receipt on the customers’ behalf after paying with a prepaid PEX card. Couriers are not to tip for the customer unless told to. It’s not a fun experience when the merchant gets the receipt back from you, the courier, and you didn’t tip. It’s really awkward.
7. The 18-Inch Pizza-Loving Startups
I dread going to a pizza place during lunch hours. There’s always the possibility it’s for a tech startup. They’ll order 18-inch pizzas for their team, and their office usually requires using the elevator. It’s fine until you have to make multiple trips because the pizza bag you have can only carry five pizzas at a time.
If most of these startups weren’t building apps to solve first world problems, it would be less annoying.
8. The Not In The Call Box Renter
Sometimes you deliver to someone who lives in an apartment that requires you to be buzzed in like you’re in Seinfeld. It’s annoying when someone just moved into the apartment building, and their name isn’t in the call box. This is amplified if the customer is a terrible tipper.
9. The Zero Reception Zone Homes
If they’re not in some apartment or a startup, they’ll live near the perimeter of the city where couriers will lose phone reception. This is annoying when you don’t know how to get back into the city from their home. Plus the disruption in phone service prevents you from accepting another job until you get reception.
10. The No Drink Carrier Restaurant
Some restaurants don’t have cup carriers, and occasionally customers will order several unbottled drinks to-go. The hassle with these restaurants is that you have to drive slower than you’d like because you want to avoid spilling the drinks that aren’t secured down in a cup holder.
11. The Slow Sushi
Raw fish. How long does it take to prepare raw fish? You’re not even cooking them.
12. The Homes With An Alleyway
Some homes are located near an ally, and for some reason navigation apps almost always route you into these allies. If you’re not paying attention, you could even up to a block behind the home and waste time.
13. The “I will beat the courier home” Customer
I try to avoid being on duty around 5 PM on weekdays because sometimes a customer will order food on their way home from work. Some folks think they can beat the on-demand food delivery courier to the porch. But traffic usually wins. As a courier, it is frustrating knocking on the door of an empty home. Especially when you have another order in the queue. Some customers are more courtesy about the situation and call you to tell you to leave it at the door. Some just make you wait for them to get there.
What are the most annoying things you’ve encountered as a courier?