Sunday, September 9, 2018

Eatery and Job Review: Cluster Truck


Currently, Cluster Truck is my main source of income. I am a contractor driver for them. Working for them makes it easy to monitor my income so I don't go over the limit for Medicaid.
I used to deliver for Uber Eats. While some people may be able to make a living wage doing this, I was never able to. In fact, I was losing money. However, if you would like to give Uber a try, either driving passengers or food, click here. You will also want to read my post about renting a vehicle to drive for Lyft or Uber here. Third, you will want to check out the Rideshare Guy blog, which is the definitive source for Lyft and Uber drivers.
If there were no Cluster Truck in my area, my choices would be between running food with Uber Eats and working for a standing restaurant with a delivery service, most likely a pizza place. 
Uber Eats offers the freedom to work your own hours and not have to punch a time clock. However, you might end up running all over the metro area, sometimes having to wait for the kitchen to finish cooking the food, sometimes having to deliver to places where it's difficult to find parking or you might have to climb multiple flights of stairs. 
The stairs may be fine and good if all your parts are working correctly. Mine aren't. I have endocrine and neuromuscular problems which have rendered climbing lots of stairs difficult for me. Gone are the days of hoofing it on the Stair Master, but that's a story for another time.
Working for a restaurant as a delivery driver guarantees you hours, and you will often make more per delivery than Uber Eats can offer. However, when you are not running deliveries, you are expected to assist in the restaurant, and, like most jobs, you will have to punch a time clock. I worked as a pizza delivery driver back in 1984. You don't end up taking many breaks. 
Hopefully the horrific overt sexism I dealt with is no longer quite so rampant: the manager referred to me as a "freak of nature" because I was good at my job and he believed women were incapable of pretty much everything. On one occasion, I ended up asking one of the cooks to go with me on a delivery because it was a house where a group of middle-aged men would have their "poker night," and they made lewd "requests" of me. When I told the manager, he just laughed and acted like I was being overly sensitive. So, hopefully, conditions have improved at least a little in the past 34 years.
Now, on to Cluster Truck. 
Cluster Truck is a unique place to work. The drivers are not specifically employees of Cluster Truck, we are independent contractors. We do not have to punch a time clock. A driver receives delivery orders via an app downloadable either from Apple or Google Play stores. The app keeps track of the driver's pay. Money is deposited daily-ish. There is a day delay. Any money made over the weekend is deposited on Tuesday.
Another aspect that makes Cluster Truck advantageous for drivers is the fact that we don't have to find a place to park, haul the food up multiple flights of stairs, stand there waiting for the customer to buzz us into a building, or any of that sort of thing. We pull up to the curb, and the customer is supposed to be waiting there for us. This makes working for Cluster Truck an ideal job for a person who has disabilities but can still work.
Unfortunately, Cluster Truck is only available in select areas. The cities where the service is currently available are Indianapolis (its birthplace), Cleveland, Columbus, Denver, Kansas City, and Minneapolis. If you live in the metropolitan area of one of these cities and need a job, head over to clustertruck.com/drivers for driving jobs and clustertruck.com/jobs for kitchen, i.t., and office work. At the time of this writing, they are currently seeking a senior engineer. 
One complaint I have about the website: there is no link there for job seekers. I just happen to know what it is, so I'm able to share it with you.
Now, about the food.
You go to the Apple App store or Google Play Store and download the Cluster Truck customer app to your smartphone. Then, if you are in one of our delivery areas, you check out all the tasty options, and you place your order.
This is damn good food! I'm not just saying this because I work for them. I am getting no compensation from Cluster Truck for writing this post. This is quick food made fresh, not "fast food." It is brought right to the curb. You take the food from your driver and then get your eat on. It's that easy.
Your driver will love you if you are there waiting, rather than making him or her sit at the curb with the hazard lights on for ten minutes. We will also love you if you tip, of course. There's nothing worse than a non-tipping cheapskate. I order as a customer almost every time I work. You have to zero out the tip and ignore the message which says "your driver works for tips. Please consider tipping your driver." Zeroing out is only okay if you're tipping cash. 
Really, Folks, if you aren't going to tip, don't order from a place where the employees depend on tips for a living. Whatever you may think of tipping (I'm critical of tipping culture myself), tipped jobs are how many people make their living. Stiffing the tipped employee is no way to change this. And now, I'll hop down off my soapbox.
If you're within one of Cluster Truck's delivery zones and are planning to order some tasty food delivered fast, put in this code when prompted (the app asks you if you have a code) and get 50% off your first order. 

CH1638

When you become a Cluster Truck customer, you will get your own code to share, which will earn you points towards free food. How good is that?
I recommend Cluster Truck, both as a contractor and a customer. Check them out. Deliver for them, and/or get some food delivered for yourself. It's easy!

~Cie~


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