Yeah, I need to rant. Because something struck me today.
Over the last few weeks, I have read a number of articles written by millennials who try to explain why they are the way they are. A lot of it is apparently due to all the school debt, high rents, etc. Basically, they are poor. Life is hard. And they can't make ends meet.
Well. Let's talk. Because if you wrote that from a $1000 phone or laptop while sipping on your second coffee house coffee for the day, I think I found your problem.
A few weeks ago I began delivering food for an app. I won't name it, there are several. I am trying to learn best practice and all, so I have joined some online groups to get tips and advice. I've never done delivery of food before.
First off, I realized immediately that people are using this as their main source of income. They began chastising me because I only do one and only a segment and can't possibly be making a living. Well, I'm not. That wasn't the goal. I'm trying to earn a few extra bucks. Some of us are trying to get into law school, and in a few short months, I'm going to need all the money I can get. I'm not doing this for a living. It's not really possible. It's only bringing me a part time income of about $150 a week. You can't live on that and I wasn't expecting to. Are you seriously trying to make this a career?! Yes, I get it that you work for multiple apps and do more than delivery, but even still... I can't imagine you are making more than $10 an hour. Factor in gas, car maintenance, etc. and you aren't even making that much.
Second... the customers. As you can guess, my deliveries are made predominantly to millennials. The same people telling us constantly about how hard life is and how expensive everything is.
Let me get a little more in depth with number 3. You have an app on your phone that allows for the delivery of every kind of cuisine you could possibly imagine, and you live in a city that is very well known for it's restaurants. And you are choosing to pay extra to have someone deliver McDonald's to your doorstep. McDonald's.
Worse yet. Let me tell you about two customers I delivered to. The first one happened my second night on the job. He ordered food from a local place, so I'll give him that much. I drove out and picked up the food. After you pick up the food, the app finally tells you where you are delivering to. He was less than a half mile from this place. No, he wasn't agoraphobic or handicapped - he met me on the street to get his delivery. The weather that evening couldn't have been more perfect. But he chose to have me deliver the food instead of walking to go get it himself. He paid extra - a lot extra - for me to do that. He could have easily walked there, maybe even enjoyed his meal in the place for a chance to be out and about for a little while. Instead, he did this.
Oh, but it gets worse! Let's move on to today!
I drove out to deliver to a young lady who was also not agoraphobic or handicapped. She ordered food for herself and a friend. I arrived at the restaurant only to realize there was an event in the area so parking was not available near the place. Parking lots were all $6 a piece to park, which would make the pay for delivery pointless. I somehow got lucky and found parking on the street, about a half mile from the restaurant. So I took the spot and walked down to get the food. Get it and walk back, and check the app.
She was a half city block away from the place. My parking spot was further away than her apartment was from that restaurant. Now, because of the time limit, I had to move the car, so I couldn't walk it to her apartment. There was zero parking in the area of her apartment, so I called her and asked her to meet me on the street to get her food because I couldn't park and the traffic on the road was serious. There were crossing guards, buses, cops. It was not an ideal situation, and double parking was not going to happen.
She refused. She wanted me to walk it to her apartment. I explained that was not going to happen due to the parking situation, so she asked if I could double park. I told her due to the heavy traffic that was also not possible, since the road was narrow and I would completely stop traffic. Plus, I'd get a ticket or get towed.
I'm driving in circles around her block while she argues with me because she "doesn't feel like" coming down to the street. Finally, I said, "Dear, you either come down and get this food or I am returning it to the restaurant and you can walk the half a block yourself to get it." She comes down. She refuses to open the passenger side of the car and instead starts hanging off the door of my car to get the food. She was a tiny thing and actually had to balance on my door to reach the passenger seat. As she's struggling, I kindly asked her to stop doing that and just open the door so she doesn't damage my car. She says no. I start rolling the window up. She opens the door.
Basic take away: both of these people chose to take the most expensive route possible. These two millennials opted to pay extra to have food delivered from places they could have easily walked to, and it was food that... let's just say it would have been cheaper and healthier for them to cook themselves. Neither of the two restaurants were inexpensive places, and avocado subs are generally more expensive than a turkey sub. You can buy bagged salad at the grocery store for 1/10th of what it cost you to buy one at a restaurant, and you'd get three or four meal sized salads out of it.
So folks, if you are "poor," you might want to spend some time looking at your life. Are you eating out all the time at expensive restaurants? Can you walk to the restaurant instead of paying several dollars more to have someone do it for you? Could you make that meal at home, or find a healthier alternative to make at home? Could you live with a more economical car? Do you really need to live in the middle of a big city? Could you make a living at a better job than you currently have? Can you deal with having to be at work daily at set times to make a better living at a better job?
Life can suck sometimes, but you can do things to make it suck less. I'm not even close to being wealthy. I'm living paycheck to paycheck, too. But I am trying to live more economically than you apparently are. I cook my own food. I don't get take out. I don't drink coffee house coffee. I don't drive a BMW. I am working toward bettering my career options by changing careers and going back to school to do so. My clothes come from Walmart. I do what I have to do to make ends meet. Yes, I am also a millennial. At the upper end of the millennial generation, but still technically a millennial. You can make your life a little easier. You just have to stop being lazy and stop trying to be cool. You are owed nothing. Stop acting like you are and your life will change. Believe me. At the end of the day, you are responsible for you. Not me, not your parents, not your government. You. Do what you need to do. Live a little simpler. We've all survived out of vending machines and off of ramen noodles at some point in our lives. Deal with it. You'll live. And you'll have money at the end of it.