When you’ve reached the point I’m at, it seems every path has a crossroad, in that there are no decisions without life-changing ramifications. Ever see one of those videos which closes the local news where 2 or 3 teens have set up seven million dominoes in an attempt to break a world record? Imagine standing right in the middle of that configuration. You want to get to the door but no matter where you step you’ll start a chain reaction. That is what the homeless deal with every day. If you’re trying to change for the better, you choose the step which will disrupt the fewest dominoes. The crossroads I was at a year ago was, I had watched nearly $20,000 drip, drip, drip away until there was almost nothing left. No longer could I spend the majority of my day seeking capital for others’ projects. Damnit, I needed a job. A friend suggested food delivery. She told me of the benefits, mainly a chance to be paid daily and extremely flexible hours. The main drawback is that there is almost no conceivable way to go from homeless to an apartment rental you can call your own because the income is (usually) just enough to maintain. No way in hell you’ll be able to save a dime. So I became what is known as a “Dasher”, working for Door Dash. Their website promised good pay (mostly true relatively speaking) and you get to keep 100% of your tips (a flat-out fucking lie). I figured with my rapidly deteriorating looks I better be damned charming if I wanted to
survive (sorry) stay sheltered.
I quickly learned these companies are revolving doors of independent contractors, and more importantly, they don’t give a shit about me or anyone else.
I don’t know why society tries to improve on a pretty good line/insult. “I don’t give a shit” seems sufficient to me. Perhaps it was for a while. Somewhere somebody decided it wasn’t enough. The successor was “I couldn’t give two shits“, which really isn’t a higher degree at all. By definition if you couldn’t give two shits, you might still conceivably give one, so how does “I couldn’t give two shits” become greater than “I don’t give a shit” on the Uncaring Shit Pyramid? If you want to indicate less interest, it should be “I don’t give half a shit”, and then continue downward in whatever increments you like (1/4 of a shit, 1/8 of a shit, etc.). I suppose for those North of our border or in Europe you could go metric, “I don’t give a centi-shit”.
The website shows photos of cheerful college-types on bicycles, and retirees handing over a delicious meal to a thankful mom or dad at their doorstep. There may be quite a few of them working for the various food delivery services. The closer reality is that the author of the “wretched refuse” line mentioned at the base of lady Liberty had probably just finished looking at a Door Dash yearbook photo. There are homeless like myself, mixed in with people flying their own freak flag (I once saw a male Dasher dressed in the shortest of shorts with 2 strands of fabric disguised as a shirt. Picture the muscle-bound dude at the gym and you’ll have an understanding of the outfit), and many tweakers; people with an addiction to meth, seeking to make just enough money to secure a fix for the day. I’ve witnessed them all first-hand. I don’t know if they ever help themselves to a fry or onion ring on their way to your door, but if I had to guess…I’d say yup. My reasoning is because fast-food places have now started sealing up the food bags with stickers, and there were no stickers when I started delivering. Many major chains started doing this within a week of each other. That’s no coincidence. As for me, I have never done such a thing. Lowly and debasing as the job is, I have a great deal of pride in getting food to people as the restaurant packaged it. Whether I am feeling sorry for myself or not does not impact how I do my job. Every customer gets a smile from me, and an, “Enjoy your meal!”.
To be clear, I am loyal to the customers, not the company, because I know the company doesn’t give a flying goddamn about any of the Dashers. They look at us as disposable temps, and a driver, even with a legitimate issue, will have his opinion ignored until frustration necessitates quitting. But the complaining driver will quickly be replaced by another chump who will gladly take his/her place without the commentary. And there is my conundrum; I desperately need to earn X amount of dollars per day, and in order to do it, I need to swallow much more crow than the FDA advises, which goes against my grain in a major way. Door Dash knows the laws of supply and demand, and it remains to be seen if their practice of keeping the majority of delivery tips is legal. To my knowledge it hasn’t been challenged in a court of law, but expect it to be soon. Anyway, for better or worse, this is my lot in life, at least for the time being.
I’m not done with Door Dash as I do have some unique tales to pass along in a future post. Subscribe so you’ll be the first to know when a new post goes live.
Now that I think about it, I don’t know why “you’ll be the first to know” is important here. It’s not front row tickets for Springsteen for fuck’s sake. And the post won’t disappear in a day. So maybe just wait for me or someone else to remind you on Twitter that a new post is up.