, 91 tweets, 40 min read
'It is peak season. That is why they are hiring you. After Diwali no job.' - a temporary worker to another, while third leaves after reading the fine print. #templife
'Do you know how many people come to Yeswanthpur Railway station everyday, looking for jobs?


How many get jobs?


900 go back.

Today you are among 100 who got a job.

Work properly, otherwise you will join the 900.'

3.5 hours clocked on shift. More to go. City's traffic thickens. More to deliver. To collect. To exchange. #templife
Shift supervisor's quick nod ends the worker's shift. W doesn't want his 'weekly off'. Forced to take it. #templife
'Even he, Jeff Doses... What is his name, Boses, no Besoz..., he also made use of opportunity. Who gives opportunity? No one. We take.' #templife
;This pie -in-the-sky stuff'. At the end of the day, this Jim Waters poem- #templife
At work noticed the use of 'commonsense'. Like, 'commonsense idhu... '. Got back home to some reading on it. Satish Deshpande in his essay 'Squinting at Society' - #templife
Overheard - "He can't stand Amazon guys" woman grabbing tight on her German Shepherd's leash as she walks it, explaining to her neighbour. #templife
'I don't know how those food delivery guys do it. They are paid per kilometer basis. Daily 100 kilometer at least they are riding. Backside full burn.' - says delivery guy with an online retail co. #templife
'No PF. No petrol allowance. Just piece work. ' - delivery boy on payroll of vendor X tells delivery boy of vendor Y. While they both go out to work for Z. #templife
Started work at 0700. At 1330 back atstation. One thing for sure - delivery boy needs to be in top physical fitness/health to do ths kind of gig work. The space, process, work hours and riding around the city is a high order demand. More than a half marathon effort. #templife
Upside: a delivery boy gets to know his block like the back of his hand. High resolution knowledge. Can put many professionals to shame with their speed, spin and multitasking ability. #templife
From a rainy evening. Someone's food making its way through rush hour traffic. Panniers are surely better than the strap on boxes. #templife
Govt of India does not have data on job creation after 2015. APU's report on working India. #templife needs an enumeration
'Unemployment has risen in almost all States across India' - another obs frm APU's study on working India. #templife
Everytime a VC invests, I see more bikers on the road of the receiving co. Investment -> ops expansion -> more orders -> more delivery boys -> same wages . #templife
This is how optimization works, (excerpt from The Ken) - #templife
When did a salary of INR11,838 become better than the minimum wage in Karnataka? "In Bengaluru, these workers are paid around Rs 17,000 a month, 25% higher than the minimum wage of Rs 13,400 in Karnataka. " economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/star… Who is reporting this shit to ET? #templife
Take note of "Average of Net Pay". Rest is BS. #templife
There is little to laugh about in #templife, but this -
“Amazon is much above minimum wages for delivery staff in all states, and so in India, they actually do not need to do any correction,” Karanth said."
THIS IS BIG. Delivery Boys being called "talent" -
“In fact, recruiters feel Amazon is the most attractive brand to attract talent, from the wages perspective.” #templife
Besides these wage talks, this unfortunate incident - timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/fo… . Saw another Tomato guy take a bad fall in Blr. #templife
On a lighter note, this. (H/T - N on WhatsApp) #templife
There's a nice new label for temps lately - 'seasonal associates'. newindianexpress.com/business/2018/… (via M on WhatsApp) #templife
We ask 'vendor name' first, before each other's given name. #templife
A Delivery Boy can be a Superboy with 'Magic' score >8. #templife #platformwork #gigeconomy
Post-work reading. Stories from an American retailer. India follows. There's no admitting required in India though. Work conditions as they are have been normalised. (Excerpt from essay 'The Walmart Working Class' by Arun Gupta) #templife
Delivery Associate playing truant:

Supervisor (on whatsapp): Wat tym u will be reach here

(A few mins later)

Supervisor: If u not interested tel I will put new riders

'Customer se bohot pyar milta hai, bohot respect milti hai. ' - promo video with Delivery Partner speaking.
Salary cheque against thumb impression. Fr the blue collar signature isn't enough. #templife
A quick breakfast before delivery rides. #templife
Dilwali matters! Staffing agency says, they (the US ecom co in India) have stopped hiring Delivery Associates for three days. "They will need again, close to Diwali. So, check for job next week." tech.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/internet/… #templife
We hear what the big bosses are up to. It is all about users and competition. Delivery workers can GTH. #templife
The market never wanted Delivery Associates so badly as now. Job text msgs in the last few days. Once on a platform, forever on it. #templife
France, 2018. Organise workers with Urdu. (Via notesfrombelow.org) #templife
Charles Bukowski writes to publisher John Martin in 1986. The words sit remarkably well on #templife. 'People simply empty out' (published in Letters. Of Note)
On another continent, 'HQ2' promises to create 50000 jobs. 'Hunger Games' competition, as critics call it. #templife
Besides latest figure of 100k delivery riders @ Swiggy, miscellaneous news is - 'Whether a sustainable business model can be arrived at, once the discounting shrinks, is what analysts are debating on.' Ofc no debate on whether 100k riders have work benefits or not. #templife
Labour code on occupational Safety, health and working conditions, makes an inch of progress. #templife
Removed from the platform. Looked up FAQs. Turns out it is because one's 'absconding from 3 consecutive slots'. Law Prof speaks of 'right to be heard' under labour law. Does this algorithm understand? #templife
ET does a feature. Number crunching mostly. 'Average' isn't quite average though. #templife
They come calling. But this ain't always our calling. #templife
Reading. Because not working lately. #templife
And that recent video abt a delivery guy helping himself to food he was out to deliver... You've all been had! #templife
Online retail fact from the @TheEconomist The World in 2019 report (via Gulzar Natrajan's Urbanomics blog). Sharing because delivery guys spend substantial time collecting the returns. One morning was 5 pieces of clothing from a single house. #templife
'Earn like a boss' - From a training module on DE Training and Onboarding process. With that lede it goes on to explain how to be a good Pick up and Delivery Partner (PDP). Irony just died for the Nth time. #templife
Those delivery bags from S, delivery guys pay for it up front. INR 620/- for foldable bag and INR 500 for the box type. #templife
At the elevator. Things not meant for temps. #templife
On some days, I am treated more humanely by the app, than human beings themselves! At the big A training, the trainer spoke down to folks as though they are worth nothing. At S the app trained and assessed AND didn't judge! #templife
Onboarding Exec: Don't have a second name?
Temp: No
OE: OK. I have taken your father's name.
Temp: Why?
OE: The system won't accept without second name Sir.
17 get 'onboarded' this morning, somewhere in the city, through a web of agents and a pile of identity documents. #templife
You have to accept the task within 45 seconds. #templife training
'More than two cancellations will not be tolerated.' #templife training
Delivery Partner: (knocks) Sir, can I use the bathroom?
Trainer: we are having lunch right now!
1100hrs: Delivery Partner goes 'online' for work.
Gets a task within five mins.
1200 hrs: finished first task.
Earned INR 27/-
Distance traveled 3km approx.
Meanwhile on the WAY grp people sit waiting for tasks.
1245: DP gets Task 2.
Earned INR 27/-
1345: Completed, after calling in support fr hard-to-locate address.
Earnings INR 54/-
Almost lunch money.
Goes offline immediately to avoid getting a new task and risking cancellation.
1400: Find lunch fr 54/-
When a new task is assigned, a siren goes off on the app. And if DP uses earphones, startles the f*k out of him.

The trainer called it a 'ringtone'. Training material refers to it as a 'ringtone'.

2100: DP goes online. Gets a task within 5 mins.
Pick up item from merchant 1 km away. Deliver 4 km away.
2150: task done. INR 33/- earned.
2330: Task 4. Pick up smeth frm a store.
2340: Location not found on reaching.
Called customer. Says he 'ordered online. Don't know location.'
2345: Waits for support to call back and help with address.
0000: Task cancelled automatically.
INR 30/- credited for cancelled task.
0005: New task beams. Gets cancelled automatically.
DP goes offline.
A day in the life of a delivery rider. #templife
Delivery riders and their 'support' problems. #templife
Another day in life of a delivery partner:
DP meets with an accident. Shares on WA group. Seeks help & checks if company will compensate. Someone from support (no designation) replies asking DP to inform operator to complete the task! No words if DP is hurt or okay!
Customers have no clue abt amount of trouble+effort+stress+inconvenience+repression tht delivery riders go thru with extensive use of English & lack of English language skills (among delivery riders). Will customers try speaking ONLY Kannada/local lang fr a day? #templife (1/2)
Will customers try explaining their salary/workplace issues to their employers in a language which is not English & which is not their first or second language, for a day? (2/2)
Delivery Partner stranded with a task at midnight, calls up customer to check for the address again.

DP: Sir, I am at location. Please tell me a landmark. Can't find the store.

Customer: I don't know. I ordered online.
(adds) How much time will you take to come?

Labour in India no longer seems capable of waging a rights battle against the capitalist order. Wonder if the coming decades can ever produce a Datta Samant or George Fernandes or a Shankar Guha Niyogi. #templife
#templife will miss Alan Krueger. What a loss! qz.com/1575360/econom…
Meanwhile, in Kolkata, app delivery goes for 10 buck samosas too. Not sure how time and input costs of these deliveries work out though! #templife
This customer appreciation must become a part of #templife thread. To exemplify multi-dimensionality of gigeconomy. One man's need is another man's 20 bucks at midnight.
When #templife ain't temping, it is digging up data. Here's trend for services-share to GDP from 1951-52 to 2012-12 . Manufacturing held the working class together. They were the cradle of unions. It must now be services!
A ranking exercise by @TowardsFairWork is gaining attention here. Understandably so. & a useful exercise. The big A missing from the list. Snapshot-ing the ranking here from this news-piece qz.com/india/1580172/… #templife
The piece quotes @jamie_woodcock saying '“Particularly in Bengaluru, traffic is a high-risk factor.'. Enrich this quote with a thread celebrating 'extraordinary partners' of one of the ranked cos. #templife
When #templife reads lit.
A Yandex delivery runner in Arbat. #Moscow #templife
Promos. #templife
Yes, startups and cos which employ Delivery Riders can afford to have 'asset-light model' when they make owning a motorbike a pre-requisite for delivery jobs. And of course not compensate for that asset. #templife
AI times. Chat with partner support. There can be on my these two possibilities. #templife
Gandhi on wages, from his synthesis of Ruskin's Unto This Last - #templife
“Your performance is horrible and you get sick too often. No offence, but I don’t see you as a long-term Amazon employee." popula.com/2019/05/15/kra… #templife
"Now here I am, unemployed, with three months to find a job. I don’t know what to do. I feel incompetent and a failure, and this entire experience has broken me." #templife
Labour representatives meet this morning to discuss challenges of the working class and recent policies of GoI. #templife
'Term employment? Term is in the parliament, not in employment!' #templife
'The biggest attack against labour rights is an ideological attack.' There is a name to it - flexible labour market. #templife
'Every single labour standard is violayed by the new Labour Code.' #templife
Labour Code is a destruction of hard earned labour rights. #templife
Just so that folks know - 'Crew' members at a leading restaurant chain issues uniforms to its crew. The uniform is - trouser without pockets and shirt without pocket. That's what we are at! By design! #templife
Reading discussions. #templife
Expanding scope. Researching startups in gig space. This description of workers beats all that I've seen - #templife
Two quotes from this exemplify Indian thinking -
"They ('gig economy players') need to have freedom to flourish without a lot of regulations."
"The best social security for Indians is jobs."
And in this way they sold Indian workers out to the world. #templife
The responsibility is of course entirely the rider's. But did the algorithm push them to deliver on delivery time promises made by the company? How does one establish this. #templife
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