Sandy Matthews makes deliveries for Edible Arrangements, the corporate recognized for its minimize fruit bouquets, mylar balloons and chocolate-dipped strawberries. Because the coronavirus outbreak, she has gone from working half time to full time. “I used to drop off 5 or 6 preparations a day, largely for birthdays or graduations; now it’s 20-plus,” she stated. “Quite a bit are being despatched by fearful, out-of-state mother and father who’re afraid their grownup youngsters aren’t getting nutritional vitamins or received’t have meals,” she continued. “Others are for mourners who’ve misplaced folks to the virus.” Ms. Matthews, 54, who was a waitress for greater than twenty years, lives by herself in a one-bedroom condo in College Heights, within the Bronx.
SOME SUGAR WITH THE NEWS I bounce up at Eight a.m. My physique has its personal alarm. I brew Starbucks, and add two spoons of uncooked sugar and two spoons of Espresso-Mate. I watch Cuomo’s hour replace after which I want to show to one thing else like “Cheaters.” It’s very exhausting to look at the information. It makes me anxious and hurts my coronary heart.
FAST COMMUTE Round 12:30 I stroll to my automotive and drive to the shop, which is on 99th and Third Avenue, in Manhattan. The drive solely takes 15 minutes now as an alternative of 45 as a result of there’s no visitors.
ARRANGE THE ARRANGEMENTS As soon as I’m on the retailer I’m going inside and get the preparations. Generally somebody is there to assist me load them within the automotive, or I’ll do it myself. West Aspect drop offs go on one aspect; East Aspect on the opposite. The Bronx go in final as a result of I do Manhattan first, except there’s a timing problem.
SO MUCH FOR SURPRISES By 1:30-ish I’m at my first cease. Manhattan is less complicated as a result of most buildings have doormen who come out and take the packages from me. Then I’m on to the subsequent. The others I name forward now. They arrive down and meet me. Virtually everyone seems to be carrying a masks. Earlier than the pandemic I didn’t actually name anybody, as a result of these are alleged to be surprises, but it surely’s been tougher now.
SMILES AND TIPS Individuals are alleged to be house, however lots of people aren’t. Now that they know I’m coming, they’ve cash of their hand and tip me, which they by no means did earlier than. And everyone seems to be over-the-top pleased that I’m popping out and dealing. They thank me and inform me to remain secure and be effectively, which makes me really feel appreciated and cared for. I make about $20 in ideas, which helps with gasoline and lunch.
THE WORKOUT The individuals who dwell in walk-ups are the toughest. 4 flights will not be straightforward. The association is heavy, and I’m just a little heavy, but it surely’s good train. I don’t contact something and use a serviette to buzz them, open the door, and ring their bell. I’ve obtained a bandanna and a masks over my mouth.
THE HANDOFF I’ve realized to put the package deal on the ground first, quite than hand the basket over as a result of folks wish to open it and browse the cardboard and discover out who despatched it to them. I simply need them to signal the sheet and let me go. Now I ask them to signal first. Most don’t wish to contact my pen, which I get. That’s OK. It means I don’t should sanitize it once I get again within the automotive.
FAST FOOD As soon as I end with Manhattan stops I’m going for lunch at 3:30 or Four and eat within the automotive for the subsequent 15 minutes as a result of you possibly can’t sit inside anymore. I often do McDonald’s, burger and fries. Generally it’s Chipotle. I attempt to not concentrate on being out throughout this scary time, however I’m additionally pleased to be working.
PERKS OF THE JOB I’ve been attempting to determine the right way to rebuild my profession, which has been troublesome. I like making deliveries as a result of I’m my very own boss. It offers me freedom and an opportunity to work together with folks, which I did extra of earlier than the virus. I’m a folks individual. The preparations are beautiful, and I like carrying them as a result of individuals are all the time you. And in a small manner I really feel I’m bringing happiness to folks throughout a troublesome time.
LOBBY HERO At 4:15 I head to the Bronx, which could be troublesome as a result of I don’t know the Bronx effectively. I’m crisscrossing and stepping into circles. The drop-offs are exhausting right here as a result of most buildings are within the tasks or high-rises with out doormen. I’m all the time hopeful these folks will meet me within the foyer as a result of I don’t like to enter the buildings.
DRIVE AND PRAY I end round 6 or 7 and head house and search for parking. That may take 45-minutes to 2 hours. Since everyone seems to be house, nobody is transferring their vehicles. I drive and pray as I’m going in a four- or five-block circle. Although I’m within the automotive rather a lot I don’t thoughts as a result of I really like listening to music; jazz, rap, R&B, basic rock.
HOME DISINFECTION By 7:30-Eight I’m again upstairs. Usually I’d head to the kitchen for water or begin dinner, however now I take the whole lot off which fits right into a plastic bag or a transportable hamper and get within the bathe. I wish to be secure and never unfold something round the home.
JUDGE JUDY FOR THE WIN Round 9:30 I eat dinner. I’m boring and eat the identical factor time and again; salmon and sautéed spinach and a baked potato, or hen and salad. The TV is within the bed room, so I’ll have dinner in there and watch “Decide Judy,” who I like as a result of she will get proper to the purpose, and “Household Feud.” Round 11:30 I’ll go to sleep with the TV on and get up round 2 or Three a.m. and switch it off. Then I’m going again to sleep.