This Week: Gig Workers Wait for Unemployment

This week in rideshare news we cover:

  • Gig Workers Wait For Unemployment
  • Uber Eats Adds Alcohol
  • Uber Eats Adds Restaurant Tip Feature
  • Uber to start shipping face masks to drivers and delivery workers

Want to guess what the most common questions I kept running into in the forums this week? “Dude, where’s my unemployment?” Okay, so maybe they didn’t say, “Dude,” because it’s 2020 and not 2000. But, any rate, everyone’s super excited to hear that the federal government has included independent contractors in the stimulus bill. However, they didn’t really do a good job in explaining what it would take for that to work. So, the feds will give money to each state and now those state departments have to create a program with criteria about who’s eligible and ways to disperse the funds and all this other stuff. So, these changes are not only administrative but they’re also technical, requiring everyone from your local government officials, right on down to web developers to implement these changes. They have to do all of this at lightning speed. So, some departments are actually having to hire additional people, they’re doing that here in California, my dad actually works in an agency connected to EDD and he’s saying it’s crazy.

From what I heard, some people didn’t even know that independent contractors were a part of this. So, you can get Joe Blow on the phone and tell him that you’re an Uber driver and he may not even know that you’re eligible at this time. So, it’s all very, very frustrating. And trust me, you’re not alone in wondering it, everybody’s wondering what’s going on. And I think this conversation helps because it least let you know that you’re not alone. Last week, I filed for unemployment as well and even the max here in California is way below the standard of living. So, I too am looking forward to that stimulus and seeing how that’s going to bump that up. People need it, I get it. You need it to survive. We all do. But you’re not going to get that information from media, you’re not going to get it from press conference, you’re going to get it from the employment development website, whatever that’s called in your state.

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Now, on those websites, they should have a media section or something that has press releases or bulletins and things like that with this information. The reason they do that is because they know that the media in your state is going to be looking for the information, they can just copy it right there. When I go to the EDD website, I see press releases and I read them and they have stuff like that. They also have program benefits as well. Also, this is very key, if you applied for unemployment prior to this and were denied, you should file an appeal. Now, I’ve done the appeal process and it’s pretty easy. If you win your appeal, your money will be backdated to the time that you were approved for benefits or the time that you applied. So, rest assured that if you’re supposed to get it, you’re going to get it.

There’s a ton of people that have made videos on this channel, so you can look at those things as well, but I encourage you to go to your state website and just go through it with a fine-tooth comb and read everything you can and you should be able to find something that will at least get you in the direction of knowing more than what you know right now. I hope that helped.

Here’s a collection of things I thought was interesting that happened this week. First and foremost, this driver went to deliver some food and the folks that live there and let her know that they had COVID-19 and to be safe. At least they’re being honest and they’re warning you. My hope is that she didn’t touch anything, but yes, yes, if you’ve got it and you’ve got people coming near your house, I think you should let them know, so that was pretty cool.

Some over Uber Eats drivers are able to deliver alcohol. You can now opt in for alcohol deliveries with Uber Eats. It’s a pilot program that’s not available in all areas. But I’ve got a tip for you, anytime I’ve ever delivered alcohol and that’s for Saucey or for DoorDash, I’ve got a nice tip. People like to see their alcohol coming. Now, they don’t want to see that cold food. They will probably forget about you after they eat. But that alcohol comes, they’ll be happy, they’ll be really, really happy to see you. If you have an opportunity to opt in for the alcohol, do it.

Tons and tons of carriers have complained that restaurants will not allow them to use the restroom. I get it. I understand that. They want to contain their area. They want to basically keep it safe for their employees, but it’s causing a huge problem for food couriers. My advice would be just to drive close to home. If you’re able to stay close to home, then do that. Honestly, at this time, I don’t want you to use a public restroom, it could definitely be a place where you can come in contact with the virus. So, if you’re able to stay close to home then do that.

Remember when your mom would schedule the bathroom rig for you? She said, “Go to the restroom before we go somewhere,” and then you would go somewhere and then they will do the little pit stop and force you to go to the restroom again, you’re going to have to do that to stay out there and to make all the money that you can. I know tension is high and I’ve seen a lot of people going at it back and forth with restaurant employees, et cetera. You don’t have time for that. Just stay close to home. You got to make a stop, make a stop and get back out there and making money. You ain’t got time for that.

And so we’re learning this week that Uber is going to start sending out face masks, they’re sending them to both their rideshare drivers and their careers. This should have happened this week, this upcoming week, and they’re going to start sending them to New York, of course, and then started distributing them in other parts of the country. Last week, they started sending out disinfectant spray for cars. You can’t buy that stuff anywhere. So, love that, appreciate that and we need to see more of that across the board.

So this one blew my mind, I was ordering food earlier this week and when I saw the order go through, there was an option for me to tip my restaurant. Now, huh? I read an article the other day where a restaurant manager was complaining they don’t receive tips and it was in a driver form and all the drivers were laughing like, “Ha ha ha,” like, “We barely received tips,” like, “Why do you think you should get a tip?” The reality is that there are workers there and they’re essential and that sort of thing. And so I guess if the tips go to the workers, then okay, I feel you. But I thought it was really interesting that they implemented that and there’s been no rollout, no press releases, anything. It just showed up in the app. So, if you guys has seen that option, let me know in the comments. But yeah, I was like, “Oh, okay. So, we’re tipping restaurants right now. It’s cool.”

And last but not least, Lyft did partner with the City of Chicago to offer free rides to victims of domestic violence. All these folks needed to do was to call them the Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline get a ride and to be taken to a safe place. That makes me happy. It’s good to know that that’s happening. The instances of domestic violence are definitely growing now that people are at home with their abusers with no place to go. I know here in Los Angeles that all of our domestic violence shelters are at capacity in times like these where tensions are high and you can fill in the blanks. This kind of assistance is needed and I’m hoping that Lyft partners with other cities to do the same.

All right, with this week’s What Would You Do? Honestly, no one’s really asking questions this week, everyone wants to know about unemployment and stimulus benefit, important stuff, the important stuff. I was able to squeeze a scenario out of his Facebook post. I’m going to try to make it shorter just so that you guys don’t die 1000 times.

“Okay, y’all. So, today was a good day for me, but earlier someone at the restaurant pissed me off. I’m just venting, by the way. So, I had an order and she was like, ‘Are you here for the Uber Eats order?’ And I said, ‘Yes ma’am.’ So, then she said, ‘Here you go, have a good day.’ The bag is sitting on the counter, not tied up, but mind you, no napkins, condiments or anything. Most times I go into pick up the order, I at least get napkins in the bag. So, I asked her if I can put some in the bag and she said, ‘We don’t do that unless the person asked for it. And it doesn’t say that in our system.’ I said, ‘Okay, I’m the driver and my job is to make sure that the customer has everything, whether they ask or not.’ She had an attitude, gave me the napkins, and I asked for ketchup too because the man ordered a Philly steak. No matter if the customer asks or put in the app, I’m always courteous about an order and put things inside the bag, just in case. Y’all, in my mind, I’m thinking, ‘How do you know that this person has condiments, napkins and stuff at home, especially with what’s going on?’. Other than that, I had a good day, but isn’t that crazy? Y’all have anybody that rude or treat y’all rude lately?”

So, there are a number of people who are experiencing what she’s experienced, are restaurant workers who just are probably over it. It may not be personal, but my response to her was like, “One, don’t take it personal. You don’t know where that person’s coming from. They only seen one aspect of what they do and they probably don’t care about what happens after it leaves the restaurant. Two, right now is a really crazy time.” And now you hear birds and my grandson, right?

It’s a crazy time. People are on edge and so you might get some pushback. The reality is is that it’s not worth you losing the time, the energy and trying to confront that head on. Just let it go. When you’re dealing with the general public, you really have to have a laid back attitude and have boundaries to protect yourself. Anything that’s going to take you out of your center, make you upset, have you putting energy in any direction, away from getting the bag, AKA getting your money, is unnecessary and a distraction, especially right now. And so you got to have to develop that skill set working with the general public that you cannot flip out every single time somebody looks at you crazy, says something to you, tries to disrespect you.

I mean, general public, this is just the big old basket of everything. For you to do what you need to do, you need to focus on your goal, like, “Oh, okay, that’s interesting. Thank you.” And if you need the condiments and napkins and things like that, go for it. If they didn’t request it, to be honest with you, it’s displayed there in the app, it says it very plainly. People probably do look over it all the time, and I get it, you don’t want any complaints. But right now is not the time to be going back and forth.

Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments. And appreciate seeing you guys every single week. You can follow me on my personal channel, Drive Girl Drive, or on Facebook as Drive Girl Drive. Peace out and have a good one. Bye.


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