Yesterday, the Instacart worker who was shopping for my food contacted me.
My online shopping list included a pound of 80% ground beef. And the store had none. Not in a one-pound pack – but they did have a pack of five pounds of ground beef. Did I want that?
And I had to think for a second. I’m one person. I don’t need five pounds of ground beef. Yeah, I could freeze it and save it for later, but I’m also thinking that there are families who need five pounds of ground beef, and I would be selfish for taking what they need.
I texted the Instacart shopper back, and asked her if there were any other one-pound packages of ground beef. She told me there was 85% ground beef in a pound package. I’ll take that. Let someone else who NEEDS five pounds of ground beef in one sitting get it.
A few minutes later, she contacted me again. The store was out of antibacterial hand soap. There were fragrant hand soaps, however, did I want those?
She texted me a picture of what was available. That’s fine. Look, as long as I can keep my hands clean during this time of COVID-19, I don’t care if they smell like fruit. Clean hands are clean hands.
A little while later, my groceries arrived. I thanked the Instacart worker for her diligence and her care, and made sure she received a good tip.
We are currently in a brave new world. COVID-19 has turned our world upside down. And we’re now relying on gig workers from companies like Instacart and Doordash and Grubhub and Uber to help make our lives reasonably manageable. The workers are doing everything they can to help us out. They’re making sure we all stay at home and avoid contracting COVID-19. They’re helping us flatten the curve.
And if you think they’re making a ton of money during all this … think again. They’re certainly not making an hourly wage, and they’re relying on tips to keep themselves going.
Be nice to them. If they can’t find a certain item for you in the store, at least talk with them about an alternative. Don’t kvetch to them because they want to swap out the ten Hershey bars you asked for with Nestle’s bars. They’re just trying to help, and at least they’re asking ahead of time.
Trust me, we don’t know how long these “stay at home, shelter in place” rules will be in effect. Don’t take your frustrations over COVID-19 out on them.
I know we’re all frustrated over COVID-19. But we have to get through this. Together.
Be nice to your gig workers. They’re trying to keep the lights on in their place, same as you.
Just be nice.