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Man, inhuman?

Man has broken all the schemes in the animal world, organisms of all kinds show a behavior based on their strict genetic code that regulates them and Nature takes care to mediate before any alteration on the balance occurs, ensuring the Biological Diversity that has allowed life on Earth shortly after its formation (some 3,000-3,500 million years ago) and the development of advanced life dating back around 500 million years.

The man began to write its own evolutive storyline about 7 million years ago, won the title of Homo sapiens merely some 100,000 back and reached adulthood after the last ice age, 10,000 years ago.

Since then they have been able to bring to extinction countless species of plants and animals by wholesale hunting, poaching or destroying the habitats and biodiversity. Man sets a price on everything, not only to products and services but to land, environment, animals, plants and even human life. Wars are a way to use his animal inherited component to go beyond reason and reach his ultimate goals. Man kills but not to eat, man kills to obtain power, kills for money, kills for sex, he even kills for pleasure. The other fellow humans are only worth to the extent that they are useful, cities are important because they focus their chances on economic revenues, now cities are almost miniature polluted countries. Man closes his eyes and turns his head to the limited capacity of the planet’s resources, breeds wildly in numbers and not even cares about the impoverished world he will leave to his descendants. On the one hand we see billionaires showing off their fortunes, mainly obtained over the innocence or human stupidity and shallowness, at the same time over a billion people are starving or eating very poorly but a billion pets are fed as parasites “buying their love”….

Humanity is a concept based on a the human capacity to show a whole set of feelings that animals can’t because they do not have them but this man is getting more and more hypocritical by the day, more heartless, more cruel, more inhuman.

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Laziness winning over Natural Curiosity

One of the things that helped me a lot when I started to get into Nature and Birds almost 50 years ago was my natural thirst for responses, WHY was the magic word, the same that made me get into Chemistry, the same that later made me get into photography and filming to show and educate about how the natural world works,  the same that made uncommon men stand from the crowd, developing philosophies about life and many centuries  later producing the development of modern sciences, the very same word young kids ask every moment to discover the world around them, why things happen?, how happen?, why?, why?, why?

The development of technology has made it so easy to find responses thru the web that it amazes me the laziness and ignorance of people at all levels of age and education. Social Media is the culprit, it exposes both, simple answers in any topic that could be responded with simple clicks on line are missing on questions and posts…. shamelessly, easier to ask, easier to ignore…

Facebook began the trend and now there are dozens of others showing the crude reality, the anti-values of media and advertising gain ground over family and school values and education, the worst, you can not teach new tricks to an old dog, I feel I am becoming some sort of dinosaur, out of time, lost in space….

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Is Democracy working?

This subject has ben analyzed by many experts, many times, during a long period of time, here my own version. Most industrialized first world countries show democracy as the way to standout from the crowd, together with freedom, entrepreneurs, educated citizens, a non invasive state, law enforcement and more, most of these countries may have had a certain form of democracy from several centuries back. Many countries are industrialized but the population is typically 3rd wordily, others have been ruled by dictators practically since they were born or have had glimpses of democracy from time to time and many still have very ancients forms of government dating centuries ago or millennia. Is Democracy working? Giving a look at the daily press headlines in this convulsed world the conclusion is obvious. In many latin american countries, populism has given raise to a new inhabitant that decides with his vote the faith of the Country, below a common profile. Many of these characteristics now even apply to first world countries like the USA…..

Age: middle thirties

Education: left early primary school

Profession: none, sells anything, legal or illegal

Civil State: single, partnership, married, divorced, occasional, or all of them at a given time

Goal in life: don’t work much, get as much money as possible (during the week)

On weekends: bear, partying, lottery, sex with any available

Children: several, does not know exactly how many, he does not care, no sense of parent ship

Future: the same but better, perhaps a payment from government could help..

“I was born here, I deserve to have a share on the country’s resources and money”

Socrates quote: “We have forgotten this distinction between an intellectual democracy and a democracy by birthright. We have given the vote to all without connecting it to that of wisdom”

Socrates was not elitist in the normal sense. He didn’t believe that a narrow few should only ever vote. He did, however, insist that only those who had thought about issues rationally and deeply should be let near a vote.

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About working with Uber Eats (Company)

One good aspect of partnering with them is that you can get to choose the hours and days you want to deliver, with no strings attached and they pay accurately every week. Tuesday nights for me. 

Now the bad and the ugly sides: the UberEats delivery partner app crashes continuously, and sometimes it can get you into trouble. If it happens when making a double delivery, it causes unwanted delays to the customer, who has no fault at all and ends up blaming you and giving you a bad feedback. Also, the delivery map is not updated, I’ve send Uber dozens of emails and communications explaining the mistakes in areas where, for example, an U-turn is not permitted or crossing the road isn’t either, locations where there is no road or access at all. Wrong addresses are a common issue, the app does not recognise the mistake and send you to a different site.

Sometimes, the app changes the proposed route for a delivery while you are on the way, the only solution I have found is to stop the car and find the address in google maps in a different device, otherwise you’ll lose the customer’s details.

When you accept a delivery, you are given a proposed route to reach the customer location, it is very frustrating that after you’ve followed their instructions to reach the destination you get paid less than they offered.. the route varies from several meters up to 2 km. As a ballpark figure, I would say it may translate into many tens of AU$. Again, I have make the complaint lots of times, and the response from the company is always the same: ‘it is automatic taken from a database and we pay the shortest route’, and my response to them is always the same too: ‘right, why we are not shown the shortest route then??’

The only customer support for the delivery partners (us) is done via the app, there’s no other way, so any complaint that is made during deliveries has little to none chance to get received. After a huge amount of attempts reaching them I gave up, and kept doing my deliveries with no chance to get listened, maybe that’s what they want us to do. Stop complaining..

This is as far a possible the dream job, it is one to be done for a short period of time, as a second job or used as a stepping stone while waiting for something else, better, in my case waiting for my so well deserved pension deadline time.

I’ve been doing it for the last two years and what you are about to read is what I have learned by experience.

Let’s start with the shops, only a handful are really restaurants, although all have some sort of kitchen and cooking, they are shops that serve street fast food, some are really raw, primitive,  others a bit more refined. Customers buy online and most likely never visited personally the shops, if they had done it, they would never order from them. The generality is that employees do not: use uniforms, hair protection, face protection, gloves, you can not spot what is in the kitchen but you can not argue that they would be different. People at the counter do not use gloves, if they do,  they touch the food or food container, the register, money, etc., have seen them with the thumb in the bowl  putting the lid, people watching that and grabbing the food anyway, including a cop. Some Asian shops keep a number of trays full of food on hot display for hours on end, decomposing must occur inevitably, Chemistry does not lie. Deep frying shops can be smelled from a distance, you can guess when they changed the oil, it is easily degraded/oxidised/rancid but it is ok for most consumers.

People servicing are another factor, you get from nice, clean looking, smiling, servicing employees to some I would turn back immediately after looking at them, bad-looking, improperly dressed, not having skills to attend public, they are very common. Peaks of ordering food are the way to evaluate a shop, very few  are prepared to handle it, they simply get clogged and the waiting time becomes unacceptable, had to reject many orders, people accept it and they continue doing it, the messenger receives the thumbs down.

Cleanliness is a big issue, dust everywhere, stains on floor, walls, tables, delivering area. The food goes equally to what I easily classify as “dovecotes” to luxury houses in the best suburbs. Now lets talk about customers, in general more than 50% are nice people who appreciate the delivery, others barely talk, not properly dressed (come out in underwear), surly, long face, I understand that the standard of most drivers is very low due to education and physical presence but very few customers recognise the difference. Wrong addresses, incomplete, bad description, change of address at the last moment, places where it impossible to park, to enter, giving the street number but not the appartments or house number are common problems, other seem to expect the delivery at their table not making the minimum effort to help with a complicated delivery, students at Unis are another topic.

In this era of pandemic when we are obliged to take a photo of the package delivery at the  door, barely 1-2% have a table, stool, chair to leave it and it has to be left on the ground, many do not obey the rule to stay inside and take the package when the app says “delivered” and come out to get it by hand, as before the pandemic, complicating the picture taking, that has to be done on their hands, many smile, others get upset for the picture. If the shop fails to give an order complete or there is a mistake or they take a long time to prepare the food (recently one hour), the penalty goes to the messenger, not the shop.

Uber….

The good thing is that one can work the hours an days we wish, no strings attached and they pay religiously every Tuesday night. 

Now the bad and the ugly: the app hangs continuously, sometimes it is a nightmare, especially when it happens between a double delivery, causing unwanted delays to the customer, who normally blames the messenger and rates thumbs down. The delivery map is not updated, I’ve send dozens of communications  giving Uber the mistakes in areas where u-turn is forbidden, crossing the road is too, places where there is no road to go, wrong addresses are common, it does not recognises the real thing and send you  to a different site. It changes route while you go to a place to deliver, one simply have to stop, put the destination in google maps in another phone to get to the customer. You are given a route, you follow it and in the end they pays less, the scrubbing can be a few hundred meters to 2 km per order. My count is many tens of dollars per day in Australia.  Claimed dozens of times, the response from support is always the same (taken from a data base), we pay the shortest route, yes, OK, but why then we are not given that route but another one? The support is only via app, all other chances are gone so any claim is after a delivery, meaning you have no support, do what you can. I gave up, try to solve as I can, by experience and swallow whole with the continuous scrubbing.

Not precisely the dream job, it is one to be done for some time to sort a bad period.

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About working with Uber Eats (Customers)

Now let’s talk about customers. In general, more than half of them are nice people who appreciates the delivery and give you a big smile. The rest, well, they barely talk to you, they receive the delivery with few clothes on or not properly dressed, have long faces and bad attitude, seem unfriendly and very few of them recognise the difference with you or any other guy who delivers in bad manners or appearance. It is extremely common they fill in the delivery details wrong and don’t care about it, I have needed to deal with: wrong or incomplete addresses and street numbers, poor descriptions, last minute changes of locations, delivery places with no parking spaces at all or very hard to reach. Some customers seem to want the delivery bag on top of their dining tables showing minimum efforts to help, if any, even knowing there’s difficult access to their place. Uni students are specialist at this matter.

During this COVID-19 times with the self-distancing rules, we are requested to take a picture of the bag delivered at the customer’s destination. Around 1 to 2% of the them have a table or chair to leave the bag on and it must be left on the ground. Many people do not obey the rule to stay inside until the delivery is done. Before the pandemic times the photo needed to be taken with them holding the delivery bag, for that, some accepted to smile friendly, but many others got upset about this.

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About working with Uber Eats (Shops)

After doing it for two years In Brisbane, Australia, I want to share some of the experiences I dealt with. Let’s start with the food shops… only a handful of them are actual restaurants, although all have some sort of cooking facilities and kitchen, they’re just shops that sell street food. Some of them are very basic and raw, other a bit more refined. It is hard to find a crystal clean shop with no dust over registers or corners, stains on floors, walls or tables. The delivering food leaves the place anyway and the customers would never see where it comes from, from a humble house to luxury house complexes. The customers buy the meals online and most likely have never visited the store in person, in the case they’ve done it I’d say they would never buy their food from there.

As a rule of thumb, the employees of these called ‘restaurants’ do not wear proper uniforms, hair, mouth protection or gloves, you cannot have a view from what’s in the kitchen or how it looks like, not even mention it to them. Most employees at the counter handle money with the same hands they use to pack the food or touch everything around, you cannot see any hygiene regarding the handling of open containers of food, cash, cutlery, sauces etc. I’ve seen them touching bare food with their thumbs or fingers while packaging lids, etc, right before handling the closed container over to the customers (cops included), who doesn’t seem to care about it. Some Asian food shops keep several trays full of food ready to eat on hot displays for hour, food deteriorates by nature and start decomposing. As a former chemistry professional, I cannot help to bring this to my attention. Deep frying food can be smelled from long distances, you can guess by the odour how old is the cooking oil and that they have been using the same one over and over again, it is easily degraded/oxidised/rancid but it seem to be ok for most consumers.

Employees that attend public and delivering partners like myself play a big role as well. There are all sorts of characters, you are lucky when you get serviced by a nice, smiling, clean-looking employee. On the other hand, most of the times you need to deal with people at front desks who are nor properly dressed, doesn’t have the social skills to treat public with good manners and a smile and you just want to turn away and leave immediately. A good way to test a food shop is at the busy times, pick hours when most of them get crowded with online orders and few are prepared to handle it. That makes us -the delivering guys- wait more and waste our time, sometimes unacceptable ridiculous extended minutes up to an hour!! On occasions, I needed to reject orders that I already accepted, and then received bad feedback (thumbs down) for someone else’s bad time management. If the food shop fails to mark an order as complete, if they make mistake or if it takes longer to prepare the food, the penalty goes to the messenger (us), not the shop.