Keep truckin' like the do-dah man


I took an unexpected turn in my journey this past week, something that I never thought I’d want to do, but it has turned out, for the most part, to not be bad at all. Not something I want to do long-term, as a career, but for providing some supplemental income, it’s pretty easy and, again for the most part (more on that later) even kind of fun.

I saw an ad on Facebook in which DoorDash was advertising for more delivery people, or Dashers. The application process was quick and easy, and I did my first “Dash” on Tuesday. I made a few deliveries and averaged a little over $24.50 an hour.

My second Dash on Wednesday was a little longer, but my average was a little less. However, this was only because my DoorDash app malfunctioned. The app is designed to take input each step of the way and provide directions for those steps. For example, it provides a GPS map showing the route to the restaurant from wherever I am.

Once I get there, I tap a button letting it know that I’ve arrived, and another one letting it know that I got the customer’s food. After that, it shows the route to the customer’s address, then waits for my input stating that I left the food at their door, or that I handed it directly to the customer.

In the case of one delivery, I was at the restaurant to pick up the food, but the app wouldn’t accept my input that I was there. No matter how many times I tapped that button, it would spin for a bit, then reappear, waiting for me to get there.

Finally, I clicked around a little on the app and found a list of customers for this run, so I could see which bag I was supposed to take. I took that one and went on to the next step. This Dash was a combination of two deliveries, from two different restaurants in the same vicinity. The app sent me to the first customer, a few miles away. I made that delivery, then was ready to make the second one.

Unfortunately, since the app didn’t think I ever made it to the second restaurant, it wanted me to go back there to pick up the order. The order that was sitting on the passenger seat next to me. Nothing I did in the app would allow me to make the delivery without picking up the order.

So I rushed back to the restaurant, through lunch hour traffic, and clicked the arrival button, only to have it refuse to accept my input again! Ggrrrrrrr!

Finally, I found that customer list again, which showed the customer’s address, and I punched the address into my own GPS. I made the delivery, a few miles away (not far from the first delivery on that Dash). I called her as I approached and apologized for the delay, since she had placed her order quite a while before. When she heard why it was late, she was very understanding and gracious.

My average per hour would have been more if I hadn’t had to spend so much time on that one Dash.

Anyway, it’s turned out to be an unexpectedly pleasant way to make an unexpected amount of money. Like I said, not something I want to make a career out of, and of course it’s not something I can do online when we move overseas. But until then, it can provide some nice supplemental income, so we can help our retirments funds last longer.

Another nice thing is that I can log on when I want and log off when I want. And while I’m on, I can pick the deliveries I want to make. Each one that shows up also shows how much I’ll make from it, so if it’s a decent amount, you have to jump on it before someone else does.

After those first two days, I didn’t do any Dashes. Linda’s daughter tested positive for COVID, and we had spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with her. We feel fine, but since we don’t want to inadvertently infect someone, I thought it might be best to curtail that activity until we can get tested.

We’re both fully vaccinated and boosted, as is her daughter, so we’re not worried. An anti-vaxxer, in an attempt to criticize the vaccinations, tweeted recently, “Both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated can catch COVID.” This is true. The vaccination doesn’t make you immune to COVID. The difference is in how badly it trounces you. As a doctor responded to this tweet, “Both Serena Williams and I can play tennis.”

Linda’s daughter feels as if she has a bad cold. We’re both fine, but if we do come down with it, since we’re vaccinated, we’re fairly confident we won’t die.

When we are able to resume normal functions, I’ll be fine with going out Dashing again. I haven’t experienced the dread that I did with my recently-divested job. One thing I’ve noticed, when you’re delivering food, people are happy to see you!