As of 2021, at least 1 in 3 Americans have a side hustle to help them make ends meet and there are a number of applications, available on popular software hubs like the App and Google Play Store, that make it pretty seamless to get yourself another job lickety-split. Take Uber, Lyft, DoorDash delivery, etc..
And while it's fairly painless to secure secondary employment, the reasons for why so many folks are in dire need of another job in America isn't as easy of a conversation to have.
Housing costs in the USA are at an all-time high, not to mention the State Government's "unethical" and "criminal" implementation of property taxes that increasingly gouge homeowners, even ones who have their properties paid in full. Then there's the fact that Americans get the lowest rate of return for their tax dollars, which are ultimately just commandeered by mega-corporations whenever they need a bailout for not knowing how to run their businesses without going bankrupt.
Ultimately it's "the little guy" who's working to stay afloat and manage their bills, taking on every extra bit of side hustle money that they can get. Oftentimes, these side-hustles become a primary means of employment for many and full-time jobs, with folks working well over 40 hours a week to ensure they can make ends meet.
And for delivery drivers, their ability to make ends meet hinges heavily on the tips they receive. Something Esmond Fountain went to great lengths to convey to everyone in the internet.
If you've ever worked a delivery job, then you know how disheartening it can be to make a series of deliveries, racking up mileage and maintenance work on your vehicle, just to break even or even lose money for your time.
Esmond decided to do something about it, sharing the way he "shamed" a customer for not tipping him for a delivery.
He posted a video to TikTok where he left a note for a customer who didn't think it was necessary to tip him for his services. Judging from the visual of the letter, it seems that this has happened to Esmond on several occasions, as there is a blank space to write the customer's name.
The letter reads: "If you can't afford to tip then you should go pick it up yourself. Who do you think you are to order food and have someone come and bring it to your door for FREE? FOR FREE?"
It continues, "I just drove my personal car to your house to deliver your food for fun? Naw not today — you can right your wrongs below."
Then Esmond includes a Venmo handle: "@iforgottotip".
He also added a disclaimer at the end of the letter which states: "The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of DoorDash."
In Esmond's video, the delivery driver stated that he began working for DoorDash in December and decided to leave the note at the customer-in-question's house because they were a "habitual no tipper." His reason for posting the clip? "To make a statement."
It's a statement that DoorDash as a company didn't seem to appreciate.
Yahoo reported that a spokesperson for the company said: "This behavior is clearly inappropriate and has no place on the DoorDash platform. We are looking into this incident and will take appropriate action."
There were several TikTok users who applauded Esmond for taking the initiative and calling out the customer for not valuing or respecting his time.
And then there were some who, while they understood his frustration, didn't believe it was a good idea to call out the individual on social media and "shame" them for not tipping.
And then there were others who flat-out thought that Esmond's actions were entirely inappropriate, seeing as DoorDash gives its drivers a commission for completing their deliveries.
The company's official policy promises that drivers will earn at least $1 per delivery. However, when you factor in pick-up and delivery time, that means that in some instances, delivery drivers could only be earning $1 an hour. Greater distances, however, will result in higher payouts.
DoorDash drivers keep 100% of their tips, which could help to offset the costs of vehicle maintenance, gas/energy bosts, along with any expenses they incur while doing their job.
Labor laws pertaining to delivery drivers vary from state to state, however, they are generally considered "tipped employees" akin to waiters. Mansell Law in Ohio, for instances, writes: "Tipped employees’ hourly wage can be as low as $2.13 per hour ($4.35 per hour in Ohio and varies in other states). Delivery drivers, especially those who deliver food and pizza, are considered tipped employees because they frequently receive tips from customers."
Restaurants who employ delivery drivers who perform other functions, however, must be paid the state's official minimum wage, however: "...if you are employed as a delivery driver but you also perform other job duties that are NOT tipped, then you must be paid at least the federal minimum wage....when you are performing non-tipped work. For example, if you deliver pizzas but also help in the kitchen to make the pizzas, you must be paid the full minimum wage for the time you spend making pizzas since this is not a position where you would receive tips."
It appears that Esmond has taken down the video from his TikTok page, but he's got other clips where he shows his "unconventional" responses to customers who don't show gratitude to drivers, like one customer, Danielle, who was upset that he was updating her with the status of her order.
So he told her he wasn't going to deliver her food in response and made it look like he was going to eat it.