An interview with Daniel, a van courier

Written by Benedict Harrison

Published on

We spoke to Daniel, a van courier, to find out more about his work, what he likes about his job and his experience of working during the time of COVID-19.

Many people, including those who are vulnerable or self-isolating, rely on the brave work carried out by van couriers to get through these challenging times. By delivering medical supplies and other essential items to people across the country, van couriers are playing an essential role in keeping the nation moving.

To say thank you, and to highlight the bravery that van couriers display each time they go to work, we’ve been speaking to some of our customers, to hear their stories. We interviewed Daniel, a van courier and Zego customer, to ask him about his work, what he enjoys about his job and how he feels in light of the situation regarding COVID-19.

Our interview with Daniel

Can you just tell me your name and explain what you do?

My name is Daniel and I work as an Amazon delivery driver.

Can you tell me where you're from and why you moved to England and London?

I am from Frankfurt in Germany, and I moved to England to work here with a Christian charity.

And what made you or made you move to London?

The decision to come to England or London was basically based on the fact that I really have a close connection to England. Due to my family background, I have strong connections to England. My parents got to know each other here in the 50s and we have been as children and family many times to England. And I have loved England ever since. And I really enjoy living here.

How long have you been working as a delivery driver?

As a delivery driver, I've been working as an Amazon delivery driver for three weeks now.

What were you doing before you worked as a delivery driver?

I was working with a Christian charity here in London. We work with different churches together here in London. We work with homeless shelters together. We go to people in the streets and try to walk, talk to them about our beliefs and to bring the basic message of the Bible closer to them. And we try to help them in any way possible when they are in need.

How come you had to change your job at the charity?

Because every time I had to change my job due to the fact that first I needed money, but also it was very much on my heart to serve the people, help the community for those who were in need and have to stay at home.

How many days do you work?

I work around five days in the week. So I get up red around 7:00 in the morning, I prefer just something to eat, then get dressed. Make myself ready to go look for all the appliances that I need for the work, the vest, the facemask, the cell phone, the charger for the cell phone, everything. Then I basically go to the depot where I pick up all the parcels and then I go on the route that is already defined by the company. I usually finish around five or six p.m.

What do you do to entertain yourself between jobs?

Between the shift between work days and the evening, usually either make something to eat for myself, something I like, or I listen to music. I sometimes go and watch a movie on the Internet. Things like this. Nothing special.

How many deliveries do you do a day at the moment?

At the moment, I do around one hundred deliveries a day. Because I don't have lunch. I just work through.

How have things changed since lockdown began?

Things have changed quite dramatically. I am living now on my own in a church. I had to leave the house where I lived due to the danger of infection. So I live currently in a church by myself.

What do you think about your job as a delivery driver?

I think it's a good job. I like it. The people are happy to receive parcels that they ordered. They're very polite and friendly. And I tried to do the same thing to them.

What's the hardest part of the job?

Definitely the quantity of deliveries that we have to maintain every day. Sometimes the addresses are very hidden. I have to walk around and search. Then we want to make sure that the people get their deliveries right on time as soon as possible, as fast as possible. So it's in that sense, it's very demanding work, a very demanding job.

How do people react to you when you deliver things?

They greet you or they say hi or good morning. And when I tell them there's a delivery for them, they brighten up a bit more. You can see that. And they take the parcel. I tell them it's your parcel. Take it. Have a good day.

Have you had any positive interactions with customers?

Yeah, there was a one story or one moment of delivery where I went to a family home and they basically took the parcel and then they had a bowl of sweeties standing in front of the door. They told me I can just take some, and actually almost forced me to do so. It made me feel really good, because I saw that the people appreciate me not as a random being, but just as a human - a human being. It really felt very good, to be honest. I had the impression that they saw through the face mask and saw not just a random being, but a human being in front of their door that is doing its work. That's cool, that's cool. That's nice. That's why I still remember it.

Does the situation worry you?

The situation does not worry me too much. I think I have a very positive outlook. We have now to learn from it, definitely. And I think we can do better for the time to come.

The situation of the virus has affected me mentally a little bit maybe. I would say I am more aware, more sensitive to issues with myself. I start thinking about myself more. What have I done in the past? What could I do better now in the future to come in a certain way? I see it as a positive because it's a chance to learn something for myself and for the future for other people. I would say it's a really reflective period.

Are you proud of what you do?

Absolutely. I mean, there are people who cannot leave the houses. And definitely for them, it's even a bigger help that I come to the door and bring them what they need. I'm proud to do what I'm doing.

At Zego, we will continue to do everything we can to support van couriers like Daniel through these challenging times. To find out more, you can visit our courier van insurance page.