A delivery driver filmed his heartbreaking reaction to getting a $1.19 tip on an hourlong food run

·3 min read
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Smithson Michael's TikTok video. deliveryguy100/TikTok
  • A delivery driver shared his reaction to a $1.19 tip on a food order that took an hour to deliver.

  • In the TikTok video, he said he wished people knew what it was like to work as a delivery driver.

  • He said that he was also paid $2 from the app but that it wasn't enough to cover the gas he'd used.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

A TikTok user shared a video of himself reacting to what he said was a $1.19 tip he received on a food order that took him an hour to deliver.

"I just wish people knew what it was like," Smithson Michael said in the video, posted on June 2. "I wish they understood what it was like to drive for these services" like Uber Eats, Postmates, and DoorDash, he added.

The video had 1.1 million views on TikTok as of Thursday.

He captioned his video with four hashtags: #helpme, #ubereatsdriver, #traction, and #positiveforce.

"I just spent an hour driving around for $1.19 tip," Michael said. "I mean, would it hurt y'all to tip us? Throw us $5?"

He said that on top of the tip, he was paid $2 from the app itself. But he said that wasn't enough to cover the gas he used to fulfill the order. "How am I supposed to survive like that?" he said.

Representatives from Uber Eats declined to comment when reached by Insider.

He told viewers that he was homeless and on the verge of losing his car since he was four months behind on payments. "There's no way I can pay for that," he said. "I haven't been able to sustain myself, to provide for myself."

Several people left sympathetic comments on the video and shared his story on Instagram. Some shared Michael's Venmo account name and asked others to "pay it forward."

Michael also shared posts with a message: "Hey all, I'm a homeless veteran. The pandemic has made life extremely difficult and stressful for many. I am raising money to buy an acoustic guitar."

He listed CashApp and Venmo account names in his bios on TikTok and Instagram.

"I always give 20%," one TikTok user commented on his video. "Sorry you had to go through this."

Another told Michael they'd sent money to him via CashApp.

Some commenters left messages of sympathy and said people shouldn't order delivery if they can't afford to tip. Others put the blame on the companies running the apps.

"I feel bad and all but blame the food services," one person wrote. "They charge mad fees and then at the end they still want us to tip 10 bucks I'm sorry but no."

"Some people don't have any food at home and can just barely afford what they ordered," another comment said.

The Uber Eats site lists several sources of income for drivers but does not clarify rates or percentages. The site says drivers get paid for every pickup and drop-off completed, in addition to a per-mile rate and, in some cities, a per-minute rate. "In addition," the site says, "Uber Eats customers can tip you if they'd like."

The site also says drivers know how much they will make from an order before they accept. DoorDash's website says the same.

Michael declined to comment when reached by Insider.

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