I’ve been delivering for a well known online retailer for a couple of weeks now and it’s been a baptism of fire in some ways, not so much in others.
Induction was reduced to one short day where more time was spent telling us about how to drive a van safely than about how to use the delivery app which is now installed on my phone. The induction used to be 2 days, then 2 days out with an experienced driver but they can’t have people in such close proximity so we were just thrown in the deep end although given shorter “nursery routes” to help us get used to things.
I hadn’t realised that the rounds are staggered during the day. I’ve no idea what time the first ones leave but I’ve had 2 different time slots so far: enter depot at 10.10 or 11.20, queue to be moved onto loading area approximately 20 minutes later. During this time you are sent route details and you need to make a list of the order of the parcel bags so that the van is loaded in the correct order so as not to waste time looking for the next bag once you’ve left the yard.
Having loaded up, trying to avoid contact with other drivers pulling cages of parcel bags around, it’s time to set off. It’s at this point I feel most optimistic, with a journey of 45 minutes or so to the first delivery and this optimism continues for about the first 4 hours until I realise that there are still 50 or so stops to do before I can finish. Rounds are typically a little over 100 stops with some deliveries being multiple parcels. Restrictions on how and where you can leave parcels are tight, especially at the moment. Age verification for booze, knives etc eats up more time.
Like any job, it’s a curate’s egg. People are generally pleased to see you and are pleasant and I don’t get much grief or heavy supervision. On the negative side, some addresses are are difficult to find which eats up time, people don’t answer the door because they’re in the garden and don’t answer the phone when called to alert them. I’m definitely slower than anyone else, possibly because I’m older, possibly because I have a long wheel base van which makes stopping more difficult but I’m also possibly a little more conscientious. The area I’ve been in this week is very hilly and the houses have a dozen or so steps up to them and don’t get me started on blocks of flats or flats over/behind shops.
It’s good to get out and the money will come in useful but after an initial enthusiasm, I hope I’m not still doing this after the end of September.
Be nice to your delivery driver. They’ve probably already had a difficult day by the time they get to you. Here’s World Party.