Now that we are unable to go to the shops, the shops have come to us.
But they’re not coming here all on their own.
Where I live, when there is a knock on the door and someone (not me, of course) is awaiting a delivery, the most dangerous place to be right now is the corridor.
One lives in constant danger that impatient online shoppers awaiting a shipment will be trampled by them. The rise in the number of shipments, items and meals that arrive at our doors during the day is one of the very unforeseen effects of the pandemic. The letter carrier still rings twice, but compared to DPD, Yodel, Deliveroo, DHL, UPS… he’s a rank starter.
If we can’t go shopping, we need to go to the stores.
And they have, thanks to the thousands of new drivers and couriers who have emerged across parcel providers and networks to deliver this service. Of course, these are not stable or well-paying jobs.
Instead, they are often a form of “bogus self-employment,” where drivers have their own cars, fuel, insurance and so on rather than the businesses they work for.
If they don’t always smile as they do in the commercials, don’t be surprised.
It could go on for some time like this.
So, shouldn’t some of us lucky enough to be able to afford it think that some of these hard-working people who come to our doors 24 hours a day, seven days a week, are tipping or tipping more generously? Every time I fish out a few bucks or top up a Deliveroo driver’s fee, the mixture of surprise and relief I see tells me that tipping is not that usual. In November, Jonathan Clarke, an artist, told the BBC that only one in four of his Deliveroo customers were giving tips.
Tipping can be a cultural and social nightmare. I bear my civic guilt on this issue heavily. At Christmas, I almost broke my foot once, racing down the stairs to catch the trash guys with my holiday envelope.
Also, I had a harrowing experience as a young man on my first work trip to the U.S. that might have influenced my views.
I was staying in a downtown Manhattan corporate apartment, and ordered a Chinese meal.
A young driver arrived at the door right on time and asked for the fee. “One moment, I think I have that exactly,” I said in a joyful and, no doubt, extremely annoying voice in English.
I handed the precise sum over. A pause occurred, during which the nonsensical young moped driver glared at me angrily.
And then he stormed off unexpectedly crying, “I’m never coming back here!” That night, this was not my only cultural error – the light meal I thought I ordered turned out to be enough for a family of four.
The bitter legacy of previous British travelers who built our awful reputation as bad tippers is regularly felt by British tourists in the U.S.
“Tip goes here!”Tip goes here!”20 percent is the usual amount for tips.”20% is the usual amount for tips.
Not every nation or community believes in tipping.
It’s much less usual and potentially disrespectful in China or Japan to tip at the wrong time or in the wrong way.
Apparently, Dutch cab drivers do not expect a tip, but French ones do.
And so forth.
Attitudes toward tipping also differ according to age.
A 2019 YouGov survey of over 2,000 U.K. individuals. It was discovered that 41% of those over 55 still tip their waiter, while just 19% of 18- to 24-year-olds do. Just 29 percent tip their hairdresser; yet again, between the 40 percent of over-55s and the 16 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds who tip, there is an age gap.
There is certainly a factor of “each to his own” here.
In reality, tipping is becoming more difficult as cash becomes rarer. The bills and coins are not precisely consistent with Covid.
But does cashless technology allow for easy top-ups that go straight to the server in any case? It’s not always clear.
I love tips. Yes, it reduces some guilt.
But it’s not just that. Good service should be noticed and rewarded.
And low-income earners need more generosity from those who are