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Sunday, October 2, 2022
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GRAB RIDER SHARES WHAT HE SEES FROM THE JOB AND LEARNS “HOW TO BE HUMAN”

I’ve been delivering as a Grabfood rider for the past 3 weeks.

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Been driving Grab previously until the car spoiled, hence no choice but to deliver Grabfood part-time to supplement my income. I’m not like others who need to support their wives or children or parents but need to service my credit card debt which I blame on my bad financial decisions in the past.

Anyway I heard from my fellow riders about the bad press reported by the media, such as how so many new riders have signed up recently that even though demand is going up, some riders are seeing a drop in orders due to more riders, some new riders lost their way and received complaints, 1-star ratings by customers, people take picture and kbkb why riders eat outside the restaurant while waiting for the orders to be ready.

After 3 weeks, I can say the experience has been good and bad, both heartbreaking and heartwarming. It’s quite different from a Grab driver, where we interact mostly with just passengers. Grab food delivery you have to deal with both the F&B merchants and the customers.

The not-so-well-off family

During my 3rd delivery I was delivering to what looked like a 2-room flat, and the main door was open. The whole living room was so packed with furniture, cardboard and other stuff that there was almost no space to walk, and a little boy and little girl were sitting down on the floor doing their homework I guess.

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As it was evening, the whole room was dark except for a small lamp beside the boy and girl. I called out and a guy came over and looked surprised to see me.

Long story short, the guy didn’t know that his wife had ordered Grab food, and started scolding her using vulgarities about why waste money et etc, when they could just cook at home.

Worse, the children started to cry. I was left standing outside for almost 5 minutes, not really knowing what to do and could not bear to interrupt them. Eventually, the wife came over, passed me the money took the food, and slammed the door in my face. I don’t blame them.

Every family has its own difficulties, and while I might’ve been in the wrong place at the wrong time, it made me appreciate that my own situation is sometimes not as bad as I think compared to others.

Coffeeshop Auntie

Then there was this coffee shop stall selling noodles. I was about to leave after collecting the order, then the cashier auntie suddenly showed me her phone and asked me what did the next order meant. I was like huh???

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I explained the next order was which noodle dish, whether want chilli or not, add extra ingredients etc. Turned out that the stall owner’s son had signed them up for Grab food, without really teaching them how to use the app and understand the orders.

Usually, the aunties will just randomly ask customers to help them interpret the orders. It just hit home to me that while nowadays such technology is everywhere and people just take them for granted, installing and deleting apps like nobody’s business, there are still many people out there, our elderly, the not-so-educated, those who cannot see well, those who cannot afford even the cheapest smartphones or data plans, who are struggling to catch up so as to earn just a little living that many of us will not find much. I reckon these stall helpers earn maybe not more than $800 – $900 per month.

Again, my situation now doesn’t look so bad. A few days later I went back to the same stall for another order, and the auntie still recognized me. And this time, other than the order, she also passed me a dabao packet of fishball soup. Translated from Hokkien: This one for you eat. Young man run here run there also not easy. Gam xia for helping auntie last time. After some to-ing and fro-ing, I gave up and accepted her treat.

This period is not easy for all of us. Each of us has our own “mini-crisis” to handle. Stay at home, go out only when really needed, and if possible, lend a hand to those less privileged, less fortunate or simply need some help at that point. Everyday now I deliver food, I also learn about all these human touch.

Sometimes things are not as bad as they seem.

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