[Article has been updated on 25 September 2020, 10:06am]
Lili Muslihah, 26 stands out in a food delivery space dominated by men. She is one of the few female food delivery riders on the road in Singapore.
Female motorbike enthusiast turned foodpanda delivery rider, Lili was in her full-time job before the Covid-19 pandemic.
When Covid-19 hit, food delivery orders saw a sudden surge with the dine-in ban and people staying at home. The demand for delivery personnel also increased exponentially.
With a passion for riding motorcycles, there was no better time for Lili to give back to the community by helping out with the influx in orders.
Woman On Wheels
Lili was originally from the arts and culture industry, working as a Theatre Production Manager and a Music and Dance Instructor.
With events and gigs cancelled, she suffered a drastic drop in income especially during the circuit breaker period and available jobs were few and far between.
“Most of my rider friends shared that foodpanda seems to be the most popular online delivery platform that Singaporeans were using at that time, so I joined foodpanda,” said Lili.
I have been a lover and collector of Vespa miniatures since young and have always loved riding. I enjoy riding around with my friends during my free time.– Lili Muslihah
Some of the common challenges delivery riders face include managing the expectations of customers and the restaurant staff, especially in situations that are not under their control.
The weather is also a huge factor in this line of work as it presents additional challenges.
“Some struggles that I usually face include bad weather conditions where I have to ride on slippery roads, and poor traffic conditions,” said Lili.
Lili says that she priorities safety and well-being, booking shifts on days when she is fully confident about the weather.
“I have experienced too many near-misses on the roads,” said Lili.
But on the bright side, she “felt that [her] riding skills improved a lot from working as a delivery rider”.
Receiving Kind Acts Keeps Her Going
Lili shared that there was one time she was making a cash-on-delivery order.
However, she did not have sufficient change to hand to the customer at that time and requested for him to transfer the cost of the order via PayNow instead.
The uncle unfortunately did not know how to use PayNow, neither did he has it set up on his phone. Lili then offered to show him how to install and use the mobile banking app.
“After reaching home that day, I realised that he had transferred me a S$20 tip and left a message thanking me for working hard during the circuit breaker period.”
Tough Times Don’t Last, Tough People Do
Lili looks forward to the economy’s recovery and going back to a stable job in the arts industry. “I really miss working in the arts,” she said.
However, she feels that she will continue to do foodpanda deliveries on weekday evenings or weekends to help out in the community.
What has been keeping her going is this particular saying, “Tough times don’t last, tough people do.”
“Keep having faith that these difficult times will pass, and most importantly, always remember to help others who are less fortunate.”
Featured Image Credit: Lili Muslihah