Customer Orders Breakfast And Leaves A $1.50 Tip, The Delivery Driver Snaps And Leaves The Food In A Tree Interview
Sometimes, a food delivery driver’s patience hangs by a single, thin thread… but is that really an excuse for doing your job poorly and having a go at paying customers? Is it really an excuse to swear at someone who just wants their breakfast?
A viral TikTok video about a delivery gone very, very wrong sparked a fiery debate about deliverer conduct and tipping culture. Tipping is an extremely hotly debated topic, especially in the United States (while the rest of the world watches, slightly perplexed). On one side, you have people who believe that customers have a duty to tip, and tip well because delivery drivers put in a lot of effort to bring their orders. On the other side, you’ve got folks who believe it shouldn’t fall on their shoulders to pay a large part of a worker’s wage—the companies themselves have to do that. The debate got pretty heated.
Scroll down to see what happened when customer Aaron, aka @i.aaron, from Tennessee, ordered some breakfast from Chick-fil-A via DoorDash and was told that his order was left in a tree. We really want to hear what you think about this, Pandas, so be sure to share your opinions in the comments.
Bored Panda got in touch with Aaron, who told us a bit more about the situation, how the internet reacted to his video, and how DoorDash employees could potentially change things. He told us that he “couldn’t stop laughing” when he realized that his order was up in a tree. “I was super confused at first and had no idea what he [the DoorDash delivery driver] meant. “I thought he left it at the back door. But while I did appreciate the engagement in my video, the comments concerned me for the future of our workforce,” Aaron told us that he got some very nasty messages from people.
Meanwhile, we also interviewed delivery driver Smithson Michael, from New York, who shared his thoughts about tipping and the future of delivery with us. Smithson is fighting for change (you can find his petition right here), and he explained just how tough deliverers have it. However, he urged delivery drivers to have patience and be optimistic that things will change for the better, and not take their frustrations out on their customers’ orders.
“With the costs of living these days and how expensive just about everything seems to be, it doesn’t seem like you can buy too much with a dollar,” he said that you have to factor in just how much effort a deliverer has to put into an order. From fetching it, waiting for it to be prepared, and dealing with potential delays to delivering the order through traffic while also dealing with parking and getting to the front door.
When you order some food, you don’t expect it to be left in a tree. That’s exactly what happened to TikToker Aaron who just wanted some breakfast
He shared the angry messages that the DoorDash delivery driver sent him due to the size of the tip he had left
Image credits: i.aaron
Image credits: i.aaron
Image credits: i.aaron
Image credits: i.aaron
Aaron told Bored Panda that he got some “nasty DMs” from some people saying that the delivery driver should have hurt him “and it just spiraled out of hand.”
“I tried saying that the Chick-fil-A was 0.4 miles from my place and I know for a fact I still live in a ‘hot zone’ or whatever it’s called, so it’s not like I made the guy drive out of the way. People love to make assumptions online and make judgments based off of those,” he said.
Aaron said that, from what he understands, DoorDash delivery drivers get to choose what orders to accept. “I’m sure the guy grabbed my order because it was super close. I think if dashers did a little internal protest and went to Uber or stopped picking up orders, DoorDash would get the hint! Unfortunately, DoorDash pays so little and people still take the job,” he explained.
“It’s the same situation with serving tables, which I did all through college. It’s a gamble to survive off tips, but when you do your job well, you make way better than hourly. DoorDash should allow you to change your tip after the order, or just prompt it once your food is delivered. Tipping before is insane to me, tipping is for providing a service, not people who throw food in trees,” Aaron shared his frustration with the system.
According to Aaron, he uploaded the video on his burner account. “My actual TikTok is @aye.squared where I promote bars and restaurants in Nashville. I made this just to laugh with my friends and people just RAN with it.”
Here’s Aaron’s viral video, in full
@i.aaron #greenscreen @DoorDash GET YA BOY!! hope he’s having a better day now. #doordash #nashville #doordashdriver #ubereats #chickfila #breakfast ♬ original sound – a2
Meanwhile, some people said that they side with the food delivery driver
The TikToker made a video to respond to those comments
@i.aaron Replying to @dav9800 ♬ original sound – a2
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: delivery drivers seriously deserve a ton more financial stability than they’re given, as well as the same respect they give their customers. With how convenient food and item delivery is now these days, you can sometimes forget that it’s a living, breathing human being who’s carrying out your order. Someone with hopes, dreams, and a very concrete need to pay their bills and put food on the table. However, the key point here is that you ought to treat others as you’d expect to be treated by them. If you don’t respect your customer… everything falls apart.
The topic divided TikTok. Some were completely in customer Aaron’s corner, horrified by the way he was treated. Meanwhile, others went as far as to call the deliverer a ‘hero.’ Aaron, in fact, made a follow-up video responding to one such comment, explaining why it doesn’t make sense to do your job in a horrible way if you feel frustrated with your career situation.
If I realized that my order was somewhere up a tree, I’d honestly have a good long laugh and tell everyone about it. But if I got into contact with the driver, I’d try to get their perspective: realistically speaking, what can be done to improve their situation. It’s obviously not just about a single tip—there’s a larger story here, and that particular situation was just the last drop.
“The two or three dollars that the app is paying per delivery is already spent due to the fuel consumed. So if the person decided not to tip, the driver makes nothing. All of that work and effort results in the driver not even pocketing a penny. They actually lost money because fuel is well over three dollars, just about everywhere, I believe. So I think people just need to give that a thought: if no one delivered because they didn’t want to get nothing for all of that work, then these services would have to shut down,” New York delivery driver Smithson shared his thoughts with Bored Panda.
“The delivery fees might be high, however, they don’t go to the drivers,” Smithson said that those who have the means might want to “strongly consider” ordering a little less and give their drivers five to ten dollars extra so they can “put a gallon or two in their tank.”
“Imagine the driver’s frustration: They know the companies aren’t lowering the delivery fees, and because of that they are on their own out there, at the mercy of someone’s willingness to tip, just to make a small amount for a considerable amount of daily work.”
However, there are some people out there who are lobbying for food delivery companies to lower their delivery fees. Smithson is one of them. “I created a petition that I believe can get their attention if enough people sign it.”
Delivery driver Smithson wants fairness for both sides. “The companies are the catalyst for the strife that has built up regarding delivery fees on the customer’s end and lack of a reasonable wage on the driver’s. Imagine if all of the people that looked at this petition—took a moment to electronically sign it. Things like that get attention, and could start a wave of change in the way the companies charge customers, and treat drivers,” he said.
Smithson urged drivers like him to have patience and optimism. He has a lot of hope that things will change for the better. “I know that isn’t paying the bills, but we can’t trade customers’ orders badly—that will only make matters worse. The right thing to do is to drop them off correctly, and look for outlets to express your concerns. Perhaps documenting your experience could help shed some light on things- and give customers some insight on how this feels, and affects drivers,” he suggested.
“I know that many love to work delivery. It can be a rewarding feeling to successfully deliver goods. I honestly wonder about the future of delivery, as many would seek work elsewhere I imagine if this wage problem does not change. Perhaps, that might be the inevitable outcome? Only time will tell I suppose.”
Here’s what some internet users thought about the entire situation
Aaron told Newsweek that he got in touch with DoorDash and got a refund for the order, as well as a generic response regarding his dissatisfaction with the deliverer. The customer said that he’s previously had other bad experiences with DoorDash employees. That led him to lower the tips he leaves.
“I had one guy put my food down at my door, take the picture, and then pick it back up to take it with him and he left. Couldn’t get a refund on that one,” he shared with Newsweek. Aaron noted that he is “very pro workers rights.”
However, he was shocked by the deliverer’s behavior and the expectation that large tips are almost mandatory. “I literally tipped one of DoorDash’s ‘recommended’ tips and from that comments section, if I’m not tipping at least $10, I deserve what happened. It’s just comical.”
We’ve covered the situation with minimum wage and tipping in the US before here at Bored Panda. In short, what you’re paid depends a lot on the state where you live and the company you work for. Statista reports that the minimum wage can vary greatly.
For instance, while it might have been $15 per hour in California in January 2022, the wage drops to merely $7.25 in Texas, and $5.15 in Wyoming and Georgia. This means that depending on your location, you may be forced to shoulder the burden of paying someone part of their wage via tips, as a customer.