Pandemic fuels demand for delivery drivers and tutors


Looking for work? The editors at SideHusl.com have found jobs for drivers, tutors, warehouse workers, cleaners and creatives of all types.

Although the pandemic crushed travel and entertainment jobs, it fueled rapid growth in other industries. Delivery and tutoring jobs are particularly hot and are expected to remain so.

Jobs for drivers

Delivery Drivers Inc. enlists drivers to deliver groceries, legal documents and more. The company says it quadrupled its roster of freelance drivers in 2020. It plans to add 140,000 drivers nationwide this year.

“Delivery drivers have always been essential,” Aaron Hageman, chief executive of the Irvine-based company, said in a statement. “But especially this year, we’ve seen a demand for more drivers across all industries, from grocery to e-commerce.”

Delivery Drivers is a middleman between freelance drivers and companies that need delivery services. It says its corporate clients determine the workers’ pay, which makes it difficult to generalize about the drivers’ wages and working conditions.

In California, the drivers earn at least 120% of the minimum wage. In other states, wages vary dramatically but largely depend on tips.

On average, the service says drivers make 1.5 to 2.5 deliveries per hour and earn a $5-per-delivery fee plus an $8 tip. That’s good pay if you’re lucky enough to receive tips on every delivery. But if you’re not, it’s sorry wages for using your own car and gasoline.

Other options in delivery include Amazon Flex, DoorDash and Uber Eats.

Jobs for tutors

Many students have fallen dramatically behind grade-level expectations as the result of distance learning. As students prepare to go back to classrooms, demand for tutoring, both online and in person, is brisk.

What do you need to qualify as a tutor? There’s no standard answer. Although some tutoring platforms require teaching credentials or tutoring experience, others merely demand subject-matter mastery and patience.

TutorOcean makes few demands on tutors, who select their own subject areas, rates and availability. It expects tutors to post their education and experience. But you’re not barred from registering on the platform if your experience and credentials are less than stellar.

Using the site is free for tutors who bring in their own students and handle their own billing. The site charges only if you want it to help you find students or bill for you.

Other sites to find tutoring jobs include Wyzant, Wize, Juni Learning and Lessonface.

Light industrial work

A site called MyWorkChoice hires warehouse, janitorial and light industrial workers in 10 states, including California. Unlike many other online platforms that offer flexible jobs, MyWorkChoice hires its workers as W-2 employees. That means it pays the employer portion of Social Security and Medicare taxes and provides other employee benefits. That’s a big plus.

Unfortunately, the jobs are physical and the site pays only slightly more than minimum wage. There’s also no guarantee that the site will have enough work to keep you busy.

If you’re looking for work in warehouses, you may also want to sign up with Wonolo, Shiftgig and Bluecrew.

Jobs for creatives

If your talent is in fashion, fine art, marketing or filmmaking, a new platform called Creatively could work for you.

Launched by Alice + Olivia founder Stacey Bendet, the site makes it easy to post a portfolio and apply for jobs offered by a wide array of local and national brands.

Creatives can sign up and post a profile for free. Brands and employers are asked to subscribe to connect with creatives.

Launched last summer, Creatively doesn’t have a long enough track record to indicate whether it’s an effective tool for finding work. However, there’s no downside to posting a portfolio here. And, possibly because of Bendet’s reputation and connections, there are already numerous high-end help-wanted advertisements on the site.

Kristof is the editor of SideHusl.com, an independent site that reviews hundreds of money-making opportunities in the gig economy.





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Amazon to Pay Fine for Withholding Tips From Delivery Drivers


Amazon agreed on Tuesday to pay $62 million to the Federal Trade Commission to settle charges that it withheld tips to delivery drivers over a two-and-a-half year period, in a case that highlights the federal government’s increased interest in gig-economy workers.

The F.T.C. said in an announcement that Amazon had promised its Flex delivery drivers that they would receive 100 percent of all customers’ tips. But starting in 2016, the F.T.C. said, Amazon secretly lowered the hourly delivery wages, which were advertised at $18 to $25, and tried to mask the smaller wages by using customer tips to cover for the smaller hourly pay. The net effect was that the contract workers received smaller overall take-home pay, the agency said.

The practice wasn’t disclosed to drivers but the Flex drivers noticed the compensation reductions and began to complain. Amazon stopped the practice in 2019, after it became aware of the F.T.C.’s investigation, the agency said. The company settled without admitting wrongdoing.

“Rather than passing along 100 percent of customers’ tips to drivers, as it had promised to do, Amazon used the money itself,” said Daniel Kaufman, the acting head of consumer protection at the F.T.C. “Our action today returns to drivers the tens of millions of dollars in tips that Amazon misappropriated, and requires Amazon to get drivers’ permission before changing its treatment of tips in the future.”

Flex workers are classified by Amazon as independent contractors and often use personal vehicles for deliveries of the company’s Prime Now and AmazonFresh items. Customers can give a tip to delivery drivers on the checkout page.

Amazon is facing greater regulatory scrutiny overall. The Seattle company is under investigation for antitrust violations amid growing concerns from lawmakers and regulators about the power of the big tech companies.

The case also illustrates greater bipartisan scrutiny over Big Tech’s treatment of contract workers, who are a growing portion of Amazon, Google and Facebook’s workforces.

“Amazon is one of the largest and most feared corporate empires on the planet, and it is critical that global regulators carefully scrutinize whether the company is amassing and abusing its market power through unlawful practices,” Rohit Chopra, a Democrat and a commissioner, said in a tweet about the settlement.

Amazon said in a statement that its pay for contract workers was among the “best in the industry.”

“While we disagree that the historical way we reported pay to drivers was unclear, we added additional clarity in 2019 and are pleased to put this matter behind us,” it said.





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Furious delivery driver takes back customer’s food order after finding £6 tip


A frustrated delivery driver was filmed walking off with her customer’s food after having a heated argument over an $8 (£5.90) tip.

Viral door security camera video shared by Driver Man on YouTube shows the DoorDash driver asking to speak to the customer face-to-face when she delivers the meal to an address in Smithtown, Long Island in New York, the US.

She speaks to the camera: “I don’t think you realise the distance that it’s coming from because then you would never actually have given what you gave. I think you can come and see face to face.

“I drove 40 minutes and it was extremely far and I got it too early.

The customer is heard replying: “No I’m not. I don’t understand.”

Delivery driver
The delivery driver asked the customer to adjust the tip to ‘make it right’ as she stated that she drove 40 minutes to deliver the meal

She continues: “Do you realise how far it is, the restaurant you ordered from is in Commack and you are in Smithtown?”

“That’s a 15, 20-minute drive,” the man answers.

But the driver shakes her head and says: “It’s not. You need to try to drive it, I just drove it, it’s 40 minutes. It’s 12 and a half miles.

“I think you need to adjust your tip to make it right. You gave an $8 tip.”

She left the address with the food when the customer refused to pay more for the tip
She left the address with the food when the customer refused to pay more for the tip

He quickly pushes back and justifies it by saying: “What the hell are you looking for? I gave an $8 tip!”

The conservation ended as the woman said to take the food back to the restaurant and stormed off the driveway.

His clip stirred a discussion online and some viewers pointed out the average time travel between the two towns is no more than 15 minutes.

One said: “Wasn’t expecting to hear the name of the town I live in mentioned in this. Commack is literally the next town over from Smithtown and is in no way, shape, or form a 40-minute drive even in the worst of traffic.

“Maybe if you’re travelling by rickshaw, but certainly not by car. It’s 15 minutes TOPS.”

A DoorDash spokesperson said: “We take the safety of our community extremely seriously, and such inappropriate behaviour is never tolerated on the DoorDash platform.

“Any behaviour that violates this zero-tolerance policy is grounds for deactivation, and the Dasher involved has been removed from our platform.

“We have been in touch with the customer to offer support, and sincerely regret that this incident fell short of the experience we strive to provide every day.”





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