The experienced courier driver is calm, not easily flustered or frustrated. After all, you soon get used to having to deal patiently with other people’s mistakes if you spend a lot of time on the road. However, these long-suffering drivers can occasionally be provoked into an exasperated sigh or an exaggerated eyeroll. Just for fun, I have collected some of the most annoying things that you can say to your courier. See if you agree with my list!
“Don’t worry about that label – I don’t think there is really anything hazardous in there.”
The last thing a courier driver wants to be doing during a routine pickup is risking life and limb. Couriers learn to take hazardous labels very seriously, and they are not paid enough to make it worth getting up close and personal with dangerous substances.
“We’ll be ready in 15 minutes.”
This is one of the most common (and most frustrating) little phrases that a courier driver may hear. Though routes are timed to perfection, unfortunately you can never rely on a client to be ready in time. Hopefully, the courier service charges per minute for waiting time – the client will soon hurry up!
“Oh, we were expecting you tomorrow.”
See above. It’s rare that a delivery service will make a mistake as big as this, but regardless of whether it’s the client’s mistake or the company’s error, it’s a wasted journey for the poor courier driver.
“The box is over there – it’s about 150 lbs. That’s okay, right?”
Let me start by saying that this kind of situation should never occur. All specifications of a package should be provided when the collection is first arranged. However, many drivers will testify that occasionally slip-ups happen, and they are left to heave an overweight load into their vehicle.
If you have said this phrase before, consider offering your struggling box-lifter a helping hand before they ‘accidentally’ drop the goods on your toes!
“Do you not provide on-site packing?”
To cause maximum frustration, clients say this whilst abandoning their victims in a room where the ‘package’ actually consists of hundreds of bits and pieces waiting to be shoved into a large box. Unless you want to be eating packing peanuts for lunch, check what facilities your delivery service offers before the poor guy turns up to collect their load.
“Why did you come here? The box is at the other plant!”
This is a great opener, especially as most clients are as annoyed to see the courier driver turning up at the wrong site as the driver is to be there. Despite the best booking systems in the world, this sometimes happens, and it’s enough to irritate even the calmest individual.
“Oh, he/she has just gone to lunch.”
If a client has to postpone lunch to wait for a collection, then the collector certainly has to wait lunch, too! We all work hard to keep schedules running smoothly – even if it means eating lunch at 2pm. Clients who can’t wait ten extra minutes until their scheduled pickup simply need to have an extra big breakfast.
All joking aside, reliable client-courier relationships make drivers’ job so much more pleasant. I encourage both customers and drivers to invest in meaningful communication to hopefully avoid saying or hearing any of these phrases again!
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier driver work in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,000 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.