Hello, all. This is going to be a PSADS (Public Service Announcement for Delivery Services). As I am back to working as a local delivery driver, for food, with an expected delivery time to be met. I want to get to your private domain as fast as I can, I really do. However, there are things that the general public can do to help every local, county, state, interstate drivers, every day, and night (night being when I am generally delivering, hence my rant...)
1. Visible Numbers: During the daytime, delivery drivers can usually see the tiny numbers on houses, and businesses. When the sun sets it gets incredibly difficult to see them, if they even face the road at all. My personal favorite is the houses that have the two inch tall numbers mounted above a hooded porch light, effectively turning them invisible. I ask everybody reading this to consider that for a minute, unless you already took care of that problem when you started ordering delivered foods, or love Amazon a little too much, or anything that brings delivery drivers to your door.
If you have a curbside mailbox, do your numbers need replacing? I see a lot of faded and/or curled numbers on mailboxes. I, as most delivery people do, want to deliver your food to you as fast as I can. Sometimes things get backed up in the store during a rush, but the easier it is for us to see numbers on mailboxes and houses, the faster you will get your food.
2. Working Porch Lights: Some people are wise enough to turn on their porch lights when they order food. An alarming number of people don't. I understand that apartment dwellers rarely have any control over that, as they don't usually have porches. Houses usually have them, but not all. All I ask is, if you have one at the time of ordering, turn it on after you hang up/log off, it's not hard to do, and it does make a difference in how fast we find your house (which may or may not have numbers, but I beg you to get new ones, and place them below the porch light, by at least six inches.) If you don't have a porch light, you can probably find an electrician to install one, unless you're a DIYer that hasn't maimed themselves too bad, and it won't cost you as much as you might think.
3. Mailbox Numbers: I've already mentioned this, but let me drive it home. If you have a curb side mailbox, make sure it has big, bold, reflective numbers, on both sides. Some of you might already, and I thank those who do. No, really, I do. Said large reflective digits can be purchased at any hardware store - big box, or mom 'n pop. They are fairly inexpensive, so say you have three digits for an address it should only cost you six dollars (at about $1 per, for two sets), and if you need four per side, it should cost around $8. For a long term investment in warmer food deliveries, that is a cheap and wise plan. Also, even if you you can only afford one set of numbers, please place them on a side of the box, not the front (thank you.)
4. Online Order Etiquette: This is something that has only been around for about six or seven years, and though some people get it right, a lot of people don't. Not the food options part, but in address info, apartment numbers, telling the online ordering system that you live in a private house, when in fact you are at a business, or live in an apartment/townhouse/condo/upper. etc... If you are aware that there are multiple different doors for a driver to choose from, when you get to point in the online ordering, which will typically ask for "special delivery instructions", put them in, please. I am not, nor has any delivery driver I've ever known, in any driving job I've held, psychic. I don't know when you're living in the attic, accessible via the staircase at the back of the house. Or, when you're hanging out in the backyard, while I'm ringing the doorbell (if one is actually installed, and working) and pounding on your front door.
5. Basic Tipping Information/Education: A personal rule of mine is to never order for delivery if I can't afford a tip. It's cheaper to go grocery shopping, generally. That said, I feel I need to explain the whole "delivery fee" v.s. tipping. No driver, with the exception of independent semi/straight truck/HD pickup drivers, ever get anywhere near whatever delivery fee you're being charged. Expedited drivers get a puny amount in reimbursement for their labor, your local food driver rarely receives even half of your delivery fee. I've worked for as low as $0.25 per delivery, for fuel reimbursement. That meant I had to deliver four orders to make a dollar. Meanwhile, people were forgoing a tip, because they had to pay a delivery "fee".
If you ask me, any time you hear the word fee, it implies corporate profit, period. And, fee does not rhyme with tip. Tipping, by its nature, is reserved for people who provide a personal service to you, right in front of you (except for bank tellers, because face it, they all work for major corporations, aka giant financial institutions), in less than an hour. Also, if you're dealing with a waitstaff, or a delivery driver, you are dealing with people who make way less than the federal minimum wage per hour, and when it is the drivers, we are usually driving our own cars, on our own dime.
In closing I will hazard a guess, and say that less than 1% of any tipped employee has ever written in their own tip on a credit card receipt. Hell, I check them every time, and when I find that somebody took the time to fill in the whole thing (on a receipt there is a Subtotal line, TIP Amount line, and finally the Total line, which has been standard for decades, mind you) and did the math wrong, I will simply fix it. I am more insulted when people take the time to write out $0.00 on the tip line, and don't tip me in cash currency. I do appreciate the people that put a dash through the tip line, and actually tip me with cash.
End of rant.
I hope everybody is doing well. I am still trying to plug away at Mike's Eye, though I've been on a roll doing more reading than writing. Yup, writers block. Anyway, don't forget to let the ones you love know that you do, and enjoy time with friends and family, in whatever sense you care to. Enjoy some good music, some laughs, some of your favorite beverage, and take care of each other. Peace out, y'all.