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It Doesn't Matter if Your Food Is Late—Don't Harass Your Delivery Person

Lizzo accused a Postmates courier of stealing her food, although the miscommunication was her fault. It's a symptom of broader disrespect for service workers in precarious jobs.

by Harron Walker
Sep 17 2019, 9:29pm

On Monday night, Lizzo tweeted that a Postmates courier had stolen her food, sharing a picture of the courier’s face along with their first name and last initial. “Hey @Postmates [courier’s name redacted] stole my food,” the musician tweeted. “She lucky I don’t fight no more.”

A spokesperson for Postmates told VICE that they have handled the matter privately. “As soon as Lizzo reached out, we looked into the matter and quickly resolved the issue,” the spokesperson said. “We apologize to Lizzo for any inconvenience." According to the spokesperson, the courier waited at Lizzo’s address for five minutes, but they left after they were unable to reach the musician and continued on with their deliveries. Postmates instructs its couriers to wait at the delivery address for five minutes before moving on to their next order. Regardless of the company's rationale for this rule: Waiting any longer would likely cost the courier money, as it would impede their ability to take more orders.

Lizzo has since deleted the tweet and apologized for writing it in the first place. “I understand I have a large following and that there were so many variables that could’ve put her in danger,” she tweeted on Tuesday. “Imma really be more responsible with my use of social media and check my petty and my pride at the door.”

It’s great that she understands where she messed up. More concerning is the size of her platform, many of whom will miss this apology: Her nearly one million Twitter followers might think she did nothing wrong—like the people who tweeted “Postmates do better!” over Lizzo’s allegedly stolen food, which wasn’t stolen at all.

Harassing a delivery person from Postmates sucks ass. Same goes for couriers from Seamless, UberEats, Grubhub—anyone who works in the service sector, honestly. Just don’t do it! Couriers earn very little money delivering food for Postmates: The company maintains that couriers can earn as much as $25 an hour, but according to a report by journalist Tobias Coughlin-Bogue for The Stranger, that rate is difficult to achieve, impossible to guarantee, and highly dependent on problem-free deliveries and steady tips—which leads me to the next thing!! Per The Stranger's report: So many people who use Postmates don’t tip their courier!!

When underpaid workers are doing unpredictable, time-consuming, labor-intensive work, don't publicly shame them the second your food doesn’t arrive on time. Not only will that fail to accomplish your ultimate goal of getting the food to your home-slash-mouth—it’s cruel.

For most of us, regardless of our influence, the best option is to just pick up the phone and order directly from the restaurant you want to order from itself, thereby cutting out the exploitative middleman entirely. But if you’re going to use Postmates…just don’t be a dick about it! Try placing laborers' well-being above your own convenience. There! Simple.

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Tagged:
Tech
Food
labor
Celebrity
LIZ
Delivery
Postmates