SANTA MONICA, Calif. – COVID-19 has thrust us all into unfamiliar territory but Akeem Woods is used to finding his way around. For the past two years, Woods has driven for Postmates between his gigs delivering jokes as a standup comedian.
This week, he got word of a change in the app – the launch of new Dropoff Options, including Non-Contact Delivery.
“So it means you just leave it at the door, ring the doorbell and go on," Woods said.
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In a blog post announcing the change, Postmates wrote: “We know there are always people who, for health and other reasons, might prefer a non-contact delivery experience and we believe this will provide customers with that option.”
Other companies have similar offerings. UberEats allows customers to include a note where they can specify having the delivery left outside. DoorDash does too and in a statement, a spokesperson for the company said they’re also “testing enhanced drop-off options for contactless delivery to be rolled out shortly.”
Woods isn’t worried about coming face to face with his customers.
“I like human interaction," he said. "That’s why I do comedy. I like interacting with people.”
Besides, he says, most deliveries involve no physical contact at all.
“It’s not like I’m meeting these people at the front door and we’re like making out," he joked. "I see them. I give them the food. Most of the time we don’t event really touch. It’s not like they shake my hand, like ‘Thanks for the delivery’ or we high five.”
He has worked a few shifts since the change went into effect, and says he only had one customer opt for her food to be left at the door. Woods suspects this option is about to get more popular now that COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic.
As for himself, Woods is taking the coronavirus in stride. It is not the deliveries he is worried about or even his upcoming flights to perform in Ontario and Seattle. It’s the gigs themselves that are his biggest concern.
“I hope it doesn’t affect comedy," he said. "Like I hope people don’t stop going to shows.”
For now, he plans to keep calm and hopefully keep busy until his new job starts this spring.
“Oh yeah, I’m starting the Census you guys," he said. "I’m doing the Census, Postmates, I’m telling jokes to strangers. Like I’m all around strangers all the time. We’ll hope for the best.”
And fueled by that positive attitude, he’s ready to face – or maybe not face – his next customer.