On Saturday, 7 August, Esther Erin shared a heartbreaking experience her father faced as a delivery rider a few months ago
Esther wrote the post titled 'A True Story About Grab Drivers' through the perspective of her father.
She said her father woke up for work at 5am feeling terribly sore because of an incident that happened the day before.
"Nobody knew he had been driving for 12 hours straight, every single day for the past year. His usual routine includes his simple breakfast at 5.30am, followed by lunch at 8pm," she penned.
"The pain in his back and the hunger in his stomach were nothing compared to the worries in his mind: 'Will I make enough deliveries today to cover the bills?'"
According to Esther, around 6pm, her father decided to take one last delivery for the day even though it was almost time for dinner
When her father went in to the Korean restaurant to greet the restaurant owner and inform him of the order, the owner looked him up and down displeasingly and told him that riders had to wait outside.
After waiting for over 30 minutes, the customer then messaged her father saying, "Why the f*ck is my food taking so long to arrive?"
"The Grab driver started to panic and went into the restaurant to follow up with the order, just to be greeted with a glare. The restaurant owner raised his voice, "NOT READY! Grab drivers outside!" Esther said.
Her father explained the situation to the customer and apologised for the delay but he was threatened to be given a low rating.
Esther said her father waited another 20 minutes for the food to be done, and then he rushed as fast as he could to deliver it to the customer.
When Esther's father tried to apologise, he was cut off by the customer who said, "You jangan kurang ajar (You don't be disrespectful)!"
Her father was stunned at the remark and did not know what to do except to hand over the food to the customer.
"The customer took the packaging which includes a piping hot bowl of soup and threw it back at the Grab driver (her father)," Esther wrote.
"So f*cking long better don't deliver next time," Esther quoted the customer.
Esther explained that her father was tired, confused, and upset even though it was not the first time he received harsh remarks, curses, and impolite customers
"Instead, he reminds himself to be grateful only because he still has a job during this pandemic," she said.
"He was two hours late for our dinner. His clothes were damp. His skin had burnt spots. His eyes were puffy."
Esther wrote that her father carries all these frustrations and emotional scars in his heart and it is heartbreaking to know that he is a victim of emotional and physical abuse.
"Could you stand to see your father get bullied and all you could do is pat them on the back and tell them 'everything is going to be okay?'" she asked.
"This is what Grab drivers have to go through daily. They wait for hours, risk their lives on the road to deliver food — only to be treated with disrespect, emotional abuse, an endless string of insults while being at the mercy of an app that users can rate depending on their mood and standards."
Esther said she was triggered to share this story after seeing a Grab driver rushing a delivery order under heavy rain
"I would like to remind everyone to appreciate and respect our delivery riders more," she said.
She also clarified via a series of Instagram Stories that Grab had reached out to her regarding this issue.
Esther told SAYS that the main objective of her post is to spread awareness and remind Malaysians to be kinder to one another.
"I hope that we can have more empathy and kindness with the people around us," she said.
She hopes that people would not spread hate about the individuals involved as well as Grab because she did not share this story to bring more hate but to remind others to be kind.
A PR representative from Grab told SAYS that they have reached out to Esther and her father advising them to file a formal complaint on the Grab app and make a police report.
The representative emphasised that riders and drivers can also report incidents and rate their customers. They highlighted that all issues should be reported on the app for Grab to investigate and take further action.
The Korean restaurant, Sopoong, has also released a statement after conducting an internal investigation about the part concerning their restaurant.
"However, there was no such incident ascertained based on our internal investigation," they said.
They have also since contacted Esther and Grab, and were unable to find out more about the incident. They hope the matter can be resolved and would like to thank all customers, partners, delivery riders, and all other relevant parties who have been supporting the restaurant.
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