I almost threw forty packages into the port! My first day working Amazon Flex was a disaster and luckily I made it through the block without a total breakdown. My wife and I agreed the day before to sign up for an early bird block to see if it could bring in more cash than DoorDash. All signs pointed to it being more dependable, unfortunately what I was working with on my end was anything but.
The schedule was 3:45 – 7:45 am. I like early morning shifts and had got used to them at my previous employer. Nobody is up that early which allows for more work to get done and less interruptions. I awoke at 2 am in order to leave a little early because I was unfamiliar with the location or area. No matter how hard I try, life always seems to have a few surprises for me. My vehicle sounded like the tires were going to fall off!
I pulled into the college just blocks from home and inspected all four. I found nothing. Absolutely nothing. Good news right? Well it was obviously something because the noise kept up the whole way to the distribution center. It was my first day though and I didn’t want to cancel, but what if I broke down with everyone’s stuff?
As I parked out of the way at the center it was clear that everyone had the same idea as far as getting done early. I had watched the training videos but was still never properly shown what to do. Luckily another driver filled me in on how the process worked. First things first, I had to look underneath my transportation. There was a metal piece attached to a cable dragging the ground, long enough to go under my tires which was a huge concern. In the interest of my lack of tools, knowledge and time I lapped it over a pipe underneath so that it would not scrape the pavement. Problem solved, now on to earn a few bucks.
I walked up, scanned my driver’s license, went to get my cart from its location and proceeded to wheel it out to load up. The center is extremely busy but also does a good job of being organized. It is designed for noobs like me to be able to walk up and start working with no formal training. After my fifteen minutes of exposure, I was training another new guy next to my van on what to do, just as I was told just minutes prior.
Learning the app is key to being successful with delivering. I knew I needed to organize them by drop off order but was unsure how as I am not as tech savvy as my wife. So I had to do it the hard way and shuffle through all forty-eight packages at each stop to find my customer. Next go around I will take the extra ten minutes to filter them on the Flex app.
Your phone will be in your hand the majority of your shift so it is very important to have it fully charged. The USB port is broken on my SJ7 and cannot charge with a cable or pad. I literally have to take my battery out everyday and charge it manually in a universal battery charger plugged into the wall. I rotate between two batteries and I barely delivered all my packages before having no juice left. The ribbon is sometimes not tight enough and randomly resets the device which is one of the reasons I felt like giving up and tossing everyone’s orders in the water. That and I backed into a mailbox, which was totally fine because it was made out of wood that ocean piers are built out of. My back door however got its first delivery battle scar. All these issues ended up making my final thirteen deliveries late.
The schedule told customers to expect delivery between 4 – 8 am. I was then asked if I wanted to call the customers to see if they wanted to cancel their orders. Let me be very clear to Amazon on this. Amazon told the customer it would be delivered by 8 am. That boy Charlie did not tell the customer at 8 am! That boy Charlie is working hard against all odds out here and he is right outside your house with your package. If you’re trying to give it back to him now after all this then he is going to be playing hot potato with it at your front door.
Even though my first day didn’t go that great, I am hopeful future deliveries will go smoother. My family is really enjoying the flexibility Amazon Flex offers and the gas to final payout was actually better than Doordash. At least you know what you’re going to make by the end of the shift. The money is less than my previous job but so is the workload and stress. That has to count for something.