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Malaysian Shares The Reality Of Being A Grab Rider After Losing His Job Due To MCO

Malaysian Shares The Reality Of Being A Grab Rider After Losing His Job Due To MCO

Food delivery riders are frontliners, too.

Tasneem Nazari

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Some of us meet food delivery riders as often as once a week. We know what they do, but do we know their story?

Hariz, 26, and his family were hit hard by the Movement Control Order (MCO). His contract ended just as the first MCO was implemented in March 2020, and it was never renewed.

Meanwhile, as most of the country moved to work from home, his mother, who was employed as a tea lady in KLCC was let go as well, causing both mother and son to lose their sources of income.

Becoming a full-time Grab Delivery Partner

(Credit: TRP)

According to Hariz, most food delivery riders who joined the gig economy during MCO did so because they lost their jobs and sources of income. This forced them to find different ways to earn a living and survive during the pandemic.

Hariz has actually been a Grab Delivery Partner for the past 2 years and 6 months. He initially joined as a part-time rider to supplement his income. At the time, Hariz was employed as a CAD designer, specialising in creating computer-aided 3D models.

When MCO began and his contract ended, Hariz needed to find other ways of earning an income. This led him to become a delivery partner on a full-time basis.

Challenges faced as a Grab Delivery Partner

As frontliners, we have SOPs that we must follow. The company also provided some SOPs. Such as frequently using hand sanitiser, sanitising our delivery bag, as well as carrying out contactless deliveries.

Hariz, Grab Delivery Partner
(Credit: TRP)

Hariz shares that Malaysia’s unpredictable tropical weather is one of the challenges he faces as a food delivery rider. One moment, it’s as sunny as anything, the next thing you know it’s pouring rain with thunder and lightning.

Fulfilling food delivery orders on time is paramount, but, being extra careful on slippery roads will mean that the orders will be delayed.

Of course, my helmet doesn’t have a wiper. Sometimes, I can’t see the road and I have to make sure I deliver my order on time.

Hariz, Grab Delivery Partner

This problem became worse when MCO hit. As the number of food orders doubled, they also varied. 

(Credit: TRP)

He no longer had to just pick up cooked meals from restaurants. Now, he also had to pick up groceries for customers. Hariz shared that he would walk into supermarkets himself and pick out products and produce for his hungry clients.

I had to make sure the produce looked good, that they were still ok, and even checked that the prices for the goods were reasonable, to avoid getting customer complaints.

Hariz, Grab Delivery Partner

Perks of being a Grab Delivery Partner

Of course, it wasn’t all that bad. More orders meant more money. Hariz said that during MCO he could get up to 26 delivery orders to fulfil in a day. These generated about RM260 – RM280 of income from just one day of work.

Every job has its own set of challenges, but with Grab, there is the flexibility to work based on your own timing and schedule.

Hariz, Grab Delivery Partner
(Credit: TRP)

Hariz said that since he started working with Grab full-time, he’s had the flexibility to work based on his own timing and schedule. He can take days off whenever he likes or take a break if he has issues to settle.

Otherwise, if he feels like he wants to work, he can keep on working. 

He shared that he has also been able to spend more time with his family.

The job has also given him some memorable experiences, such as the time he delivered food to a customer who turned out to be a local celebrity.

(Credit: TRP)

But some people have misconceptions about their delivery riders

Hariz, Grab Delivery Partner

Hariz said that some customers assume that riders purposefully take their time and delay delivering their orders.

In reality, there are a few factors that can result in late delivery orders, no matter how fast a delivery rider rushes through his jobs.

One common factor is the rainy weather. Hariz said that sometimes customers need to consider the rider’s perspective on whether or not they dare to brave the storm as this endangers their lives as well.

(Credit: TRP)

Another factor is the order queue at the vendor. Hariz said that often, vendors don’t have just one order to fulfil. Instead, there may be 5, 6, 7, or 8 orders to fulfil. Waiting for their turn at the shop can also cause late deliveries.

All in all, Malaysians are a grateful bunch, especially to those who deliver their food

Regardless of these misconceptions, Hariz shared that Malaysians are generally appreciative towards their food delivery riders.

When delivering food to a customer’s house, some give me tips, others give me something to drink. Those are the ways Malaysians show their appreciation.

Hariz, Grab Delivery Partner

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