Let’s talk about an incident in my country that riled many people. Serbia doesn’t have Uber Eats, those sounding name companies that deliver food like in the States, but some services do something similar. Instead of Uber, we have CarGo, a taxi on-demand service. Instead of UPS, FedEx, and those courier services, we have BEX, AKS, and more. Instead of Walmart, we have METRO, LIDL, and DELTA. Instead of UberEats, we have WOLT and GLOVO. All those courier services work on the same principle and require two things for delivery, your address and your personal phone number. People that deliver food and packages meet you face to face and hand you a thing you ordered. Well, where’s the problem?
One of the guys who worked for Wolt delivered food to a girl’s address; later on the day, he sent her a message, thus prolonging the chat that should be strictly business. He asked her, “How was the food?” This seemingly innocent message sparked an outrage. People look at this as unprofessional behavior, a creep alert because, after that one message, who knows what else could follow. The girl informed Wolt about the message, and a delivery guy lost his job. Talking heads and people of status began a conversation that gravitated toward condemning such behavior and abuse of personal information. For all we know, the guy could be a stalker, a psycho, a maniac looking to exploit and harm the girl. Everybody seems to miss the context, and here are my thoughts. People wear plain clothes at home, and if you live on the fifth floor, your apartment is similar to a sauna during a heat wave, so I am guessing she wore something revealing skin and probably was athletic, kind, and smiling per usual. People here smile when they answer the door, so I assume this was the case. He, a lonesome delivery guy, saw her attractive and well, got the courage to send her a message. You can’t ask directly if she had a boyfriend or anything like that, so… how do you break the ice? Well, you just brought her food, so… you might as well ask how did it taste?
On the other hand, she probably thought, “If you want to know how the food was, you have been to the restaurant to pick an order, so take your sorry ass there and taste the food, and stop harassing me about it.” It’s the guy’s fault. I agree with that fact. This was a school example of unprofessionalism. He should never send that message. And now, he is unemployed. But, let’s take this to another route. What if the guy was absolutely satisfied with his job and his own efficiency and wanted to maintain a great company connection with the customer?
A company that cares about its service will keep communication channels open and dialogue with the customer to improve its service and create loyalty with a brand. So, what if the guy was generally curious about the food, how it tasted or was she satisfied with the service? Nobody asked that question on TV or in the media. Naturally, when some shit happens, the internet gets tons of memes about it, and everyone is laughing. It’s a coping mechanism. So, we suspect a delivery guy is the worst person who walked the Earth, but that doesn’t have to be true. He might be curious instead of a sexual freak looking for prey. We all thought about the worst-case scenario, and yet, nothing happened, well, nothing seriously disturbing happened. It’s not like he asked, “What are you wearing?” or “I’d like to take you out on a date sometime.” If he sent anything like that, then alright, yes, he is a stalker, a guy with a problem who needs treatment, but “How was the food?” can’t be the sign of psychotic behavior. And then, I saw one long thread on the internet, taking this same scenario and placing it in another carrier choice, a customs agent looking at your passport, a taxi driver taking you home at night, s shopkeeper where you purchase things via Elite Member Card, and more. It can happen again and to anyone, but it doesn’t because people have this sense of work behavior. It was the guy’s fault, and now he doesn’t work there anymore.
Now… you can spin this differently and get a devastating result. A girl could’ve screamed and called the cops on him for sexual harassment. He could’ve gone in worst shit than he was served with, and by the time he cleared his name, the headlines would’ve painted him a monster long ago. Anytime a girl, a woman can call the cops on you for whatever reason, walking on the sidewalk at night, sitting on a bench in front of a building, standing in the park next to the children’s playground, you name it. If it looks suspicious, it probably is, but then again, you are training people to see the worst things, compute disasters at perfectly safe places, and add discomfort, paranoia, and panic where there’s no need for those things. I’ve seen what happened in the States during the rise of activists, and I doubted the same will reach Europe, but this could be a sign that the bigger wave is coming. A guy sends an SMS asking about food, gets called a creep, stalker, and fired from his job. Seriously? This couldn’t be resolved internally? It had to be public? What’s next if we ruin people’s lives with a single SMS message?