What Happens When Engineers Are Told to Make Deliveries?

At least one six-figure employee had some salty language about DoorDash program
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2021 4:13 PM CST
DoorDash is Making Engineers, CEO Make Deliveries
File image of the DoorDash app icon.   (AP Photo, File)

Asking an engineer making a six-figure salary to do a basic job is not the craziest idea—plenty of companies expect senior and management-level employees to work entry-level positions. It’s not an old-fashioned idea, or one alien to tech, either. Zappos has its engineers and execs work customer service phone calls as part of their onboarding so they can really get a feel for the company’s customer service vibe. But some DoorDash engineers got pretty salty when told the Silicon Valley food delivery service was going to restore a pre-pandemic policy and make them do deliveries once a month. Everyone from the CEO on down the line will make a delivery or work a customer service call, and their performance will be tracked in their employee evaluations, MarketWatch reports. DoorDash said through a spokesperson that it wants engineers and execs to "learn first-hand how the technology products we build empower local economies, which in turn helps us build a better product," per SFGate.

That’s not necessarily landing well. On Blind, a website where people can log in anonymously to talk about their employers only after having their corporate email address verified, one DoorDash engineer making $400,000 used some R-rated language to express dissatisfaction. "I didn't sign up for this, there was nothing in the offer letter/job description about this," the post read. An anonymous Microsoft engineer replied, "Making a delivery might literally kill you if you get carjacked and shot. I kinda want to see this happen," because apparently carjacking should only happen to people who don’t write code for a living.

Some DoorDash employees responded more positively, seeing it as an opportunity to build empathy with their coworkers and better understand the tech problems they’d be called upon to solve. Per the company, it’s "a valued program we've had since the company's beginnings," and the post on Blind doesn’t reflect the overall reception among employees. Money engineers earn on delivery runs will be donated to nonprofit organizations. (More DoorDash stories.)

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