The driver, the pho seller. A day of two female partners of a ride-hailing platform is busy from 6 o’clock until late at night when the phones are constantly “exploding” orders.
Survive on the rides across the capital
The pho shop was bustling with customers coming in and out, several other technology-driven drivers waiting in line. Ms. Mai Thi Quy (Hanoi) has never forgotten to remind the shipper to put in a balloon bag containing a bowl of pho, a slice of lemon, and a few slices of chili. After delivering two sets of pho, she shyly “asked” customer: “By the way, how can you help me?”.
Ms. Quy’s day begins with such orders. For more than a year, a woman born in 1976 has been used to being busy in the morning, noon and evening peak hours of the motorbike taxi industry. Early morning, lunch, and dinner orders are expensive. The rest of the hours were busy with passenger car rides.
After 9am, just dropped the customer down at the beginning of Chua Boc street, Ms. Quy received a call from her husband, also made a technology motorbike taxi: “Many applications today? How come this side always has no application”. She smiled encouragingly: “Damn but a little ‘explosion’ fire, running out of time.” Turning to the row of iced tea, she pulled back her long hair, wiped her sweaty face, then drank a quick glass of water to get strength. Having not seen a new “single explosion”, she took advantage of the calculation of bonus points. “From the morning until now, I have 10 applications, each application 3 – 5 points is nearly 20 points. If today is expensive, accumulating 80 points you will have 200,000 bonus money from Gojek”.
Now, dear customer, Ms. Quy enlist a conversation with the owner of the iced tea shop, reading a few lines of news in the newspaper. Soon until noon was the peak time for food delivery, she rushed to accept the application to get bonus points.
Since moving to a technology motorbike taxi, Quy Thuong’s first meal of the day is at 2:00 p.m. Without an appointment, she returned to the dormitory on Hoang Mai street and met her husband at home. “My family has already installed a pot of rice, reheat the bowl of stewed meat from the previous night to heat it up. I cook another pot of tomato cabbage soup. The couple hastens the bowl of rice and take a break from 16:00. delivery of snacks, when rush hour to rush passengers or deliver dinner “, she recalls.
Back and forth trips dragged Ms. Quy from place to place in the city until 23:00. Preparing to go home, she saw the phone saying that a customer had booked a car from Ha Dong to Hoai Duc. Looking at the distance more than ten kilometers, she hesitated and pressed accept. “Now, people can’t pick up the car is also a crime, just try to add more, also have more than seventy thousand”, she muttered. When coming home, husband scolded all the time: “Just recently, there was a case of a technology motorbike taxi that was killed, robbed of a car but not afraid yet?” Shedding clothes covered with dust, she just laughed: “Look at the gentle, honest customer.”
Traveling all day on the road, drivers like Quy not only face back pain, joint aches, but also suffer from showers and severe monsoons in the North. On the winter days of 13, 15 degrees, she still keeps the habit of getting up early, opening the phone to wait for orders and then desperately overcame the cold to make a living. To keep her body warm, in addition to her uniform jacket, she also has a sweater and a life jacket, but drizzle still seeps through each layer.
Leaving the countryside of Xuan Truong and Nam Dinh to work in Hanoi for twenty years, Ms. Quy has done all kinds of jobs from selling popular rice, transporting hired goods at the wholesale market of Long Bien, to the “company” as a worker. Driver partner for Gojek. Every job is hard, but she feels the best when she makes a motorbike taxi because her time is comfortable. Every day I am tired, receiving a few applications, I get 500,000 VND. Every day “plow” well, receive more than 30 applications, with bonus points up to millions.
The risk is only when customers cancel the order, not receive the goods. Once she was “bombed” by five cups of milk tea, costing 180,000 VND, she brought it to the whole family except meals. There was a time when two sets of rolls were bombed, so that day the couple was exchanged dishes. “Being bombed is good luck, enjoying delicious food, but every day, I never dare to spend that much money to eat”, Ms. Quy still kept an optimistic look, grinning.
There were days of orders, Ms. Quy turned to Hoang Hoa Tham, rewarding herself with an orchid basket to hang the window for the house to rent less temporary. One day, when she wanted the whole family to change dishes, she went to the supermarket to buy fresh food and add fruit. Last year, the couple spent all their savings to build a two-story tube house in the countryside, with enough room for the whole family to live for three days of Tet. Occasionally, her husband would sigh in regret: “Build a house to lock the door and ask for help from relatives”. She must encourage: “Come on trying for a few more years, the couple build more yard, wall, and later on to live in”.
Ms. Quy does not find it hard to be a technology driver, only in her heart when the neighbor shows off her hair styling and nice clothes to work. She was around in a green uniform, with a beautiful ao dai, only to wear it when attending church.
Joy from the order
At the same time Quy was traveling on the streets of Hanoi, in Ho Chi Minh City, Ms. Duong Thi Ngoc Phuong got up to open the door of Bun Bo Hue 022, Nguyen Thien Thuat Apartment, District 3. At exactly 5 o’clock, she and her mother started north. a pot of cooking broth with the ingredients prepared the day before, picking up raw vegetables and arranging tables and chairs, chopsticks, lemon plate, chili … to welcome the first diners. Then quickly turn on the device and wait for “single explosion” on Gojek.
Over the past two months since joining the Gojek ecosystem, she has grown accustomed to online orders. Just a moment after the phone rang, the driver came to pick up the goods. While poaching, arranging beef, raw vegetables, she was just updated by the driver on the streets of Saigon. At the bridge over there, there was just a dump truck, today the durian stall was out of season … Sometimes when the driver waited in long lines, she always worked hard to ask questions, so she asked her mother to bring tea bowls. Rock out and invite them to drink to ease their thirst
Ms. Phuong grew up with a bowl of noodles with a rich broth and green onions. Her mother moved from the central region to Saigon to make a living, and raised her children by receiving gifts from her homeland. Her career is always not good. Last year, the shop had to move from the big road to a small alley, thanks to four small tables at the house of an acquaintance, so the number of visitors decreased significantly. Soon the translation of Covid-19 arrived, even more and more popular. “The income is reduced by half. The whole family of six depends on the salary of the husband’s security guard. The night is low and cannot be translated,” she said.
Then, when she heard the gossip, she thought about selling online. For a long time, just hanging around with a desk phone, she did not know how to create booths and post them on applications. Luckily with the help of Gojek in HTV9’s program ‘Leaving No One Left Behind’, she was given a smart phone, instructions on how to take pictures of noodles, how to sell online. Since then, the number of customers has gradually stabilized, with more dong going to the field to raise two young children.
In the new days of selling “technology-style”, Phuong was confused about how to accept the application and where she was out of stock. Sometimes when the phone rang, she desperately tried to do it immediately but waited for ten minutes to not see the driver’s arrival. After that, she got used to welcoming “customers” dressed in blue who never stayed at the restaurant for meals. To get a delicious bowl of beef vermicelli, not only the broth is rich but the other ingredients must also be flavored and cooked to the point. The shop mainly sells beef tendons and corns, this is the original beef noodle cooking style. Take-away guests must pack in a sturdy box, with enough spices outside for them to taste. Vegetables and prices must not be ‘braised’ in the bag because they easily smell. After two months, Phuong is now well versed in packing vermicelli dishes to take away, still keeping her standard.
The owner of Hue beef vermicelli shop is even happier when many people order online, come to the place to try it. “This shop sells on the app very well. Hue people who cook the best are running to Saigon,” commented one guest happily.
From 11am, online orders “exploded” on the phone, Ms. Phuong was busy with packages going all the way around Saigon, still not forgetting to fill the bowl of noodles for acquaintances in the alley. After noon, she closed the shop to finish the meal, she went back to preliminary processing, beef stew, preparing ingredients for tomorrow. “Life is going from day to day like that. In the past, rain or shine would worry about no customers, so make less products. From the day of selling on Gojek, there is no fear of erratic weather because customers order evenly. I only love the driver. I have a hard time traveling, so I hope he will have a good rain and wind for the whole year. “
Outside 23:00, finishing arranging ingredients for the noodle shop the next day, Phuong closed the door to rest in a small apartment. In Hanoi, Quy also turned off the application and returned home to have dinner with her husband. They closed the busy day with great hope for busy orders thanks to the help of the technology platform.