GrabFood rider reveals treatment by restaurants and customers; netizens react by treating him well

PHOTO: Facebook / Jerry Toh

Weary and worn out by the demands required of his job amid the pandemic, a GrabFood rider has taken to Facebook to express the challenges he faces as the middleman between customers and restaurants. 

“Sometimes, life feels like s***,” Jerry Toh began his post. “It feels even s****er when you are a food delivery rider and being rude at [sic].” 

Toh laid out the stress and pressure that he and his fellow food delivery riders have been facing from both ends: the restaurant workers rushing out the orders and the customers waiting for them to be sent over. 

He understood that restaurants are facing their own issues too, including a lack of manpower during the circuit breaker. “They simply can't cope with the orders & their walk-in customers,” he acknowledged. 

What he doesn’t understand is how restaurant staff treat delivery riders like him with disrespect and rudeness, especially during peak hours. Toh also brought up how some restaurants start taking orders even before they open for business, leaving riders waiting for some time. 

“So, who gets the blame when your orders are delayed or you waited too long for your orders? Us. Riders,” he declared, asserting that no riders “in the right state of mind” would intentionally delay anyone’s orders as they would be rushing to reach daily targets. 

Sometimes, life feels like shit. It feels even shitter when you are a food delivery rider and being rude at. Many...

Posted by Jerry Toh on Saturday, May 9, 2020

Toh also sounded off about unreasonable customers, including one that questioned him about wet plastic bags despite the rainy conditions.

But the man wasn’t all gloom and doom about the job, acknowledging that there are many kind souls out there who treat delivery riders well by sending messages of support. 

“[It’s] just the [minority] out there that spoils our day/mood,” he wrote, urging people to have some patience with food delivery riders and tip them too if they deserve it.

With thousands of likes, shares and comments on his post, netizens wished him well and voiced their support for delivery riders. 

Screengrab / Facebook

Toh wasn't the first (nor would he be the last) food delivery rider to publicly express frustrations over the stresses of the job — things have gotten pretty explosive during the course of the circuit breaker. 

For local artist-turned-deliveryman Ke Weiliang, it gave him a new understanding of privilege and empathy.

“Do tip your deliverymen if you can — even a $1 tip is appreciated!” he encouraged in a widely-shared Facebook post last month. “It is the only form of income that companies does not, and cannot touch [sic].”

I have been working as a GrabFood deliveryman since I lost all of my arts income due to the current COVID-19 climate....

Posted by Ke Weiliang on Friday, April 10, 2020

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ilyas@asiaone.com