For the past few months I’ve been driving for Amazon Flex. The extra cash has been helpful, and as the daughter of retailers, I’ve found the logistics of the whole thing fascinating. And, I like the idea of helping make maybe this one thing – groceries – easier for people during this crazy time.
As you’d suspect, there are tales of horrors about Flex out there, but I’ve not encountered any of them. Sometimes the system breaks under the strain of overuse, but most of the time, things work smoothly. And sometimes, like tonight, I get a glimpse of people being good to each other.
- At the pickup station, all the drivers, masked and bundled up against the rain, held the doors for each other as our carts came in and out.
- At my first stop, a lady met me at the door and came out into the rain to haul packages upstairs (usually I do the hauling and leave them at the door). When I said “You have quite a few bags,” the mom replied: “That’s ok. I have the boy helping.” Then she grabbed 4 bags, wouldn’t let me help, and sent me off, admonishing me to stay safe in the rain.
- Next stop, the nice young man was waiting for me at the door and must have thanked me 3 times, before telling me to drive carefully and be safe.
- Next stop, the moment I pulled up, the door opened (customers can track me on the way to their house). It was raining hard and the lady shouted “Do you need help? We’ll come out!” I told them to stay inside, and on the two trips to their door, I got to meet the loveliest gray pit bull who really, really wanted to say hi. I was so busy sneaking a pet that I almost missed my cash tip. No one ever tips in cash – bonus!
- On my final stop, there were 10 heavy bags and the address was on the 4th floor. I’d been dreading this stop the whole trip, and by this point, it was pouring buckets. But someone – I choose to think it was my customer to keep this good human trend going – left the door propped open, and had the courtesy to have the first apartment off the elevator doors, so the drop-off was super easy.
All these nice moments seemed a good balm for a Monday, and I got gentle amusement out of the fact that my go-to hiking gear – waterproof shoes, rain hat, rain coat – turned into the perfect uniform for a rainy night of deliveries. And, I was so busy trying to avoid puddles that I nearly forgot about my hiking-sore calves…except that one time I had to go down the stairs. Yowtch! 🙂