Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: Tales on the Courier Shift: Tipping is Not a City in China.


Tales on the Courier Shift: Tipping is Not a City in China.

On this episode, highlighting bits from early 2015, some action didn't even require me to clock in for work! For full disclosure, I was actually on a date with someone at Venice Grind on Venice Blvd. when this incident happened. The part that sucked was that I still received a ticket after all was said and done. When I did deliveries, I had to make sure that I budgeted for at least once parking citation a month. Fortunately, I never exceeded my violation average in any given month.

At this time in 2015, I semi-retired from Postmates and began my delivery stint for DoorDash. Early during my time with them, I experimented with the Manhattan Beach zone to see if I could do well without having to ride all the way to the West Los Angeles region for my daily work. Most of the restaurants that I picked up from already offered delivery options for their customers, so adding another courier to the mix didn't affect their workflow at all. Unfortunately, I couldn't say the same thing about Cafe Rio on Rosecrans Blvd. [Side note: I returned there as a customer to try their food out and it was alright.]

The following night, I had several pickups at a small burrito stand in Venice and came across their very poignantly messaged gratuity jar in front of the cash register. This also turned out to be a night that my tips were at an all-time low, and it seemed like nobody could cut me a break. As a person who still works in a service industry, I do attempt to be as generous as possible to my fellow service workers. It's not easy to do what we do on a daily/nightly basis. Every little bit helps.

The biggest difference between deliveries with Postmates and those with DoorDash were that the latter were far more straightfoward and predictable, thanks to a better managed app and a diligent customer service center. Instead of my jokes coming from the actual process of pickup and delivery, it came from the contents of a customer's order. During my time servicing the Venice Beach region (also covering Marina del Rey, Playa del Rey, and Westchester), many an order came from Loyola Marymount University, the local four-year institution. In most cases, deliveries there involved a single entree, and the students who received them didn't leave tips. And around that time, guaranteed hourly rates for drivers were being phased out. Well played, guys.

In the post below, this was my first foray into LMU since 2006.