MANY of us go a little overboard when shopping online – when your purchases are delivered right to your door, why wouldn’t you?
After all, it is so easy and convenient and essential when we work from home or at home with children.
But have you ever thought about what it must be like to be the courier who brings the parcels from A to B?
Here’s Mike Simpson, 31, who’s recently ‘retired’, lifting the lid on what it’s really like to be a delivery driver – and what he’s really thinking when you open the door in the middle of the afternoon in your pajamas…
“I was stressed before I even delivered a package”
They say dealing with customers is one of the worst parts of a job For delivery drivers, however, the stress begins before they even enter the van – as they have to contend with a huge, less-exciting version of parcel Jenga.
Mike says, “Oddly enough, one of the most stressful parts of the job was before I even got a package delivered.
“Filling the van with all the packages in the right order was an absolute nightmare because, ironically, despite being a logistics-based company, they are one of the least organized companies I’ve ever worked for.
“Sometimes it took hours just to get all the packages onto the vans, as everyone’s packages were often just mixed up in piles.”
We’ve all been there and opened the door for the postman in our pajamas or sweatpants and looked like we’d been pulled backwards through a hedge.
But maybe you’re less embarrassed knowing delivery drivers are guaranteed to have seen far worse.
Mike says, “I was blown away by how many people just never seemed to wear regular clothes.
“There were a lot of properties that I delivered packages to almost every day, and they always seemed to be in their dressing gowns — no matter what time it was.”
Package puzzle solved
Have you ever come home to find a package “hidden” next to your trash can, thrown over the fence, or left in some bizarre location and wondered what was going through your delivery driver’s mind?
Well, apparently there are a few reasons why this is happening.
Mike says: “Parcels are sometimes left in risky places for a variety of reasons.
“Firstly, some drivers receive a bonus for every package they deliver above a certain amount.
“If they have to take the package back to the depot after spending all that time getting to the property, they don’t get paid for it and also have to try to deliver it again the next day.
“Depositing a card and returning it to depot also takes more time than the allotted time slot, so leaving it in a hopefully ‘safe place’ is often a better option than if you’re not delivering enough packages to get you.” Bonus not.”
In addition, some drivers claim that they have very tight time limits – and even if it’s not their fault and they’re stuck in traffic, for example, they could even get fired if they don’t meet their targets.
Adds Mike: “Every delivery is given a one-hour time slot in which you have to drop off the package.
“For that reason, it’s hard to avoid driving like a maniac just to make sure you’re actually getting paid for all the hard work you put in to not ‘fail’ the delivery.
“My routes were pretty rural, so I didn’t get a lot of multi-package packages, but the guys who worked in the city centers sometimes got over 20 packages, each weighing 30kg, for a single delivery.
“This was going to be an absolute nightmare as you would only get the same amount of time for that drop as you would for a single pack.
“Trying to find a parking space on a busy city street was also very frustrating, especially on the one-way streets.”
Beware the dog (poo)
They say our canine friends are man’s best friends, but if you’re a delivery driver it could go either way if you have a pooch that lives in the house you’re trying to ship a package to.
Mike says, “Dogs were often one of the highlights of my day and I’ve never had really bad encounters with dogs, but some of my co-workers have been bitten multiple times when the owner was out of control.
“I recently heard a story where a dog attacked one of the guys while delivering, but got the package instead and then destroyed it in front of the customer.
“Some lots with dogs would have the added challenge of also dodging huge piles of dog poop everywhere.
“An absolute nightmare when you lose the challenge and it ends up back in the van on the bottom of your shoe.”
When you open the door to a grumpy or nervous-looking driver, it may be for a very good reason. Working up to 14-hour days, Mike says, “There was never time for a break.
“No one took a break all day because the days were so long that you didn’t want to do anything anymore.
“You’d have to eat while driving and hope to find some roadside bushes if you need some pee.
“You don’t have many options for finding a public toilet as you’re working against your delivery’s time limit, so I’ve been told some people had previously ‘missed out’ and workers have been known to use a bottle to Pee in the back of the van.”
covered in mud
Don’t forget your delivery driver, even if it’s raining.
Adds Mike, “Guaranteed that made your day that much harder than spending the day cold and wet.
“When it was property I had never been to before, it was often a lot harder to find the right address in the rain and as I delivered to a lot of farms you were almost immediately covered in mud.
“In addition, almost all of the packages are cardboard boxes that disintegrated when the van was being packed, so when it was delivered it was a squishy, mushy box.”
https://www.the-sun.com/lifestyle/4092434/ex-delivery-drive-think-wearing-pjs-parcels-odd-places/ I’m a former delivery driver – what we’re really thinking when you’re in pajamas and why we leave packages in weird places