Seattle resident Riley Elliot opened up about his financial woes of being a delivery driver for companies like DoorDash and UberEats through TikTok.
It's no secret that those working in the hospitality industry are severely underpaid and thus, they are forced to depend on the generosity and kindness of their customers in the form of tips. Reiterating the significance of tipping well, one TikTok user posted a tearful video this week which immediately went viral. Riley Elliot, a resident of Seattle, opened up about his financial woes of being a delivery driver for companies like DoorDash and UberEats through his TikTok account @livefreestudios. According to the Independent, Elliot explains how he wishes that people ordering food delivery would understand "what it's like to be a delivery driver."
This just broke my heart. It sucks to work hard and feel walked all over. 😢 I’m a delivery driver in texas I couldn’t work for 7 days due to weather -I’m hoping to get back on track today. And hoping to feel appreciated.i sent Riley what little i had ❤️— cwruan (@cwruan) February 22, 2021
Elliot could be seen sitting in his car as he continues to tearfully share instances of the struggles he has been facing. He tells his followers how he "just spent the last 45 minutes on a delivery and had to pay $3 for parking" as there was no free parking in the area and the customer had refused to come out and get their food. "They tipped me $1.50 and Uber paid me $2.50," he revealed, before adding that he is currently on the verge of homelessness as he has to "prove three times the rent for income in two weeks" and is something he has been unable to do despite working multiple jobs.
Something needs to be done about this. pic.twitter.com/PvxbgiQl2s— Christian St. Croix (@SaintsCrossing) February 17, 2021
"It doesn’t matter that I’m working multiple jobs, it doesn’t matter that I rarely sleep and can barely afford to feed myself," he says in the tear-jerking video. Elliot goes on to reveal that he is on the verge of homelessness and that this would be the third time since May. He then goes on to reveal the reason saying it is "all because people don’t tip their delivery drivers." In the caption of the video, Elliot mentions that he is "out here risking my life in a pandemic and no one cares." The clip has since been viewed more than 2 million times on TikTok before being shared on Twitter. Soon, people began resonating with Elliot's message and some even left comments relating to the topic.
His name is Riley Elliott.— Christian St. Croix (@SaintsCrossing) February 17, 2021
Cash App: $livefreeadventure
Riley, forgive me for not tagging in the initial post. I shared in the heat of the moment.
"If you can afford to order out, you can afford to tip. You’re ordering for a service so you should tip. It’s not hard. Someone is picking the food up for you, so you can stay at home. They deserve a tip for that. Simple," wrote one person on Twitter, according to Independent. There many who whole-heartedly agreed with Elliot's complaints about customers not tipping well but there were some who called out giant food companies for not paying their employees a living wage that doesn't place them on the verge of being homeless. "This is heartbreaking. Uber’s business model is reliant on essentially free labor. This should be a crime. While I do believe people should tip, I think billion-dollar companies need to pay workers a living wage so they don’t need to survive off of tips," shared another.
Kind people rallied behind Elliot and generously donated money to help with his unstable monetary situation. In a follow-up video on the video-sharing app, Elliot revealed that the donations had made it possible for him and his fiancee to move into a residence. "Because of all of you and your generosity, we are going to be able to get into a house," he shared, adding that the money had helped him clear all his pending bills. He also distributed some of the money he received from the donation to some of his friends who were in need of it. Later, Elliot accepted that it was not completely the customer's fault but that of the corporations. It is "not entirely the fault of people who don’t tip," he said.
Thank you all who have contributed to this fund! It is going to change so many lives! We are working hard to provide a system of distribution. Bear with us!! #spreadthekindness https://t.co/1xwiDcTaNM— Riley Elliot (@livefreestudios) February 23, 2021
"It is absolutely the fault of these companies like DoorDash and Uber who don’t pay their drivers very much, who charge extreme delivery fees and only pay their drivers $2," he continued. That being said, he noted that it is "expected that most of a service worker’s income is based on tips" and that it is just the kind of society we are living in. He went on to voice that something needs to be done about it to bring about a permanent change. Elliot has decided to pay it forward by creating a GoFundMe page to help support others like him.