Michael Smithson is a delivery driver that works for several services - UberEats and DoorDash among them. These apps have grown in popularity and demand during the pandemic due to restaurant closures, staffing issues, and an increase in Americans working from home.
But Smithson is defeated and frustrated with what he (and other drivers) say are unfair payment practices from the delivery services and less than generous gratuities from customers. In a series of TikToks that have garnered millions of views, he breaks down.
I just spent an hour driving around for a $1.19 tip. I mean, would it hurt ya'll to tip us, throw us five dollars? I got a $1.19 tip and two dollars from the app...that's not even enough to cover gas. How am I supposed to survive like that?"
In a separate tweet back in November, he began his mission to "help all delivery drivers" and create awareness for what he considers less than stellar employment practices.
Many in the industry are sharing their own horror stories and joining in Michael's mission
Others are making an attempt to point out that there are plenty of places where he could likely make more money than delivering for UberEats pays only a few cents per mile, and getting stuck in traffic really messes up your potential payout. Plus being a delivery driver can take a toll on your car.
His mission isn't to complain, but to raise awareness and encourage Uber to pay more to delivery drivers that are in high demand and often working through less than ideal conditions. He also wants users of the apps to realize how little drivers are getting for their services and tip more generously. He's created a change.org petition and is asking for 7,500 signatures to get the attention of decision makers who can force fairer wages for delivery drivers. It currently sits at just over 5,000 signatures (as of 2pm EST on 1/14/22).
Smithson points out that