An Uber Eats driver who claims to have made less than $4 for an hour’s work has caught the attention of thousands after sharing a video in which he begged viewers to tip delivery people.
Smithson Michael, who says he is a homeless veteran, tearfully addressed TikTok users on his account @deliveryguy100 while filming himself in his car last week.
Michael said he wished more people knew what it was like to work for delivery services such as Uber Eats, Postmates and DoorDash, as while users might enjoy getting food without having to leave the house, those doing the door-to-door work are often underappreciated.
The delivery driver explained he received a tip of $1.19 after driving around for an hour, while his payment from the delivery app totalled just $2.
He commented: ‘Would it hurt y’all to tip us? Throw us five dollars? I got $1.19 tip and $2 from the app – what’s that? That’s not even enough to cover gas. How am I supposed to survive like that?’
Michael reminded viewers that he is homeless, and appeared to imply that his situation was about to get more difficult as he gestured to his car and said he was ‘four months behind’, presumably referring to car payments.
Saying there was ‘no way [he could] pay for that,’ he explained: ‘Everything fell apart on me. I haven’t been able to sustain myself, provide for myself, and these are essential services.’
Michael wiped away tears as he expressed his wish again that people ‘knew what it was like’ to drive for delivery apps, with his video having received more than a million views since it was first posted.
Many people expressed sympathy for the driver, with some responding to the video to say they had sent Michael money to help him out, though others have placed blame on the corporations responsible for not paying the drivers enough.
One comment read: ‘I always tip well but let’s be real… corporations are to blame.’
Another person responded: ‘It wouldn’t hurt, and I always tip. But also these companies are exploiting you guys and they need to be regulated.’