Millennial Grab Rider Explains Why He Quit His Job As A Full-Time Oil Technician To Work As A Delivery Man

Millennials choose to quit their job as a technician to be a delivery courier

Flashes of green on the roads have become a familiar sight as delivery people rush to send food to customers across Singapore.

In recent years, they have proven to be our unsung heroes as they cater to all our cravings, especially during the several closures that have seen restaurant dining suspended.

During this period, 36-year-old Arif Bin Isa went viral for his ‘airplane messages‘ which kept its customers informed of their GrabFood orders.

Beyond his famous voice, the delivery driver – who previously worked as an oil refinery technician – is more than meets the eye.

Delivery man for 5 years, Arif has a multitude of stories to tell. From capricious weather to hungry customers, he always does his best to find the joys of his daily work.

Being a delivery man gives him a contentment he’s never found before

Although we often associate food delivery people with their tireless hustle and dedication to keeping us well fed, they have other interests as well.

For Arif, astronomy captivates his mind the most, while his hands stay busy playing with machines to find out how they work and why they work the way they do.

His eyes light up when he talks about his childhood dream of becoming an astronaut. Space is still something he reads avidly about today, although ambition may seem out of reach.

However, given his other interests, one would think that working as an oil refinery technician would have been well within his reach.

But years ago, Arif quit his full-time job at a major oil company, where he had worked for 11 long years.

So why leave? He smiles as he answers the question,

You come to a point where life is more important than money.

Arif shares that he was tired of the monotony of working fixed hours, on his way home, to repeat the cycle all over again

He began to wonder what he really wanted out of life.

A friend recommended that he try being a food delivery boy. After all, it was a job that would give Arif plenty of versatility to explore what he wanted and meet new people every day.

And that’s how his journey as a rider began in 2017.

5 years after making this gesture, Arif’s decision has only been reaffirmed.

Although he may not earn as much as before, he is content and has earned much more in many other aspects of life.

Sure, sometimes he chooses to work long hours in his current job, but Arif says it’s all about perspective. After all, many typical office workers also work overtime.

For him, it’s no different from runners who choose to put in more hours to reap higher earnings.

Flexibility allows him to control his time, his income and his life

Arif loves being a food delivery boy for the freedom it gives him – he has complete control over his time, his income and, ultimately, his life.

The freedom to start work at any time and to work as many or as few hours a day gives her the flexibility to work around her schedule.

It also allows him to delegate time to his passions and hobbies, such as learning about the latest technology and working on internal combustion engines.

In a roundabout way, these passions make him a better deliveryman because they allow him to know the ins and outs of the scooter he drives on a daily basis.

His knowledge of thermodynamics came in handy when he had to troubleshoot and make adjustments and improvements to his vehicle as needed.

While the freedom of time is a huge plus, it’s not the main reason Arif enjoys being a pilot.

He thinks the best part is meeting lots of new people every day, from customers to merchants, and seeing their true characters on display.

While some may not see this as a good thing, the ever-positive Arif says angry customers are his favorite.

“The world won’t be interesting without them (angry customers), trust me. You learn the most from them, and making them smile is a really, really big achievement,” he shares.

Arif also admits that smiles these days are very contagious. “You look at their face and smile. Eventually, they will smile too,” he jokes.

With a playful smile, Arif adds: “In your heart, you will say YES! You are infected, much better than Covid-19.

Taught him to communicate well with a sense of humor

In December 2021, Arif went viral for his soothing voice in his GrabFood Airplane Posts to customers.

Looking at him today, many might assume that Arif is an easy-going, fun-loving, and sociable person.

But things weren’t always like this. Arif shares that he was an introvert who didn’t like talking to others.

As a delivery courier, he’s learned that the parts people often see – picking up and delivering food, are easy. The most important and difficult part is actually learning to communicate with others and with good humor.

His years of work have taught Arif to develop his communication skills and his ability to adapt to situations.

Since customers always come first, Arif constantly challenges himself by finding new ways to connect with them.

That’s how he came up with the idea for the airplane messages, even taking the initiative to add different background music to match different moods.

And customers love it. Nearly a quarter of them will make the effort to respond to Arif with their own voicemail messages accompanied by background music.

“It’s a two-way street,” he remarks, as it relaxes his mood while he works and simultaneously brings joy to customers, which he appreciates.

Seeing how Arif seems to master his tasks, you might think he’s already a pro at what he does.

But the driver is always looking for ways to upgrade, which he can easily do via GrabAcademya training portal for riders to develop personally and professionally.

The courses available helped him better master the finer details of his job, such as handling food and communicating with shopkeepers and customers.

Along with on-the-job skills, there are also self-improvement courses in areas such as finance and security for those hoping to enter another industry.

For Grab partners supporting their families, the company even offers scholarships and scholarships for them and their loved ones.

Hand passengers have guarantees in the event of illness or accident

Juggling between their activities and a job that can be physically exhausting, especially after being exposed to the elements for hours, cyclists can get sick more often.

Driving on the streets also becomes much more dangerous during thunderstorms.

Having been in the industry for several years, Arif understands that accidents are inevitable sometimes, mainly because he spends long hours on the road.

An accident in 2018 left him with a fractured tibial plateau. Despite his injuries, Arif felt immensely grateful to be alive, to be able to walk and eventually get back to work.

Since delivery people are susceptible to accidents, Take out comprehensive insurance the cover gives Arif peace of mind.

According to him, runners are entitled to benefits such as long sick leave and a personal accident insurance plan if they become ill or injured.

Arif describes the packages as competitive and helpful. So if they get sick for a long time, they don’t have to worry about losing their income.

Although Arif didn’t have to complain to Grab, other runners shared that the process is smooth and simple.

Grab takes initiative to hear partners

Smooth is also a word Arif uses to describe his pilot experience so far. Riding in the cool night air gave him time to reflect on his life and his future, and helped him find contentment in the simple things.

He refers to his delivery rounds as “me, myself and my bike” times, which sums up his quiet, solitary night rides nicely.

While Arif still holds out hope for his astronaut ambitions, he has found joy in the present, comfortably earning a living as a pilot.

A good connection with Grab, such as the Telegram channel that informs runners about activities or incentives, greatly facilitates its experience. If he needs help, he can also create in-app reports for help.

Beyond situational issues, Grab regularly solicits feedback from riders through surveys, gathering feedback and suggestions from them. Arif jokes that sometimes it’s “too much”.

He had also attended engagement sessions hosted by Grab like Grab A Drink and GrabTalk, intended for riders to voice their opinions in person.

Arif feels that being with Grab over the years has shown him how they improve systems and work packages after hearing feedback from riders.

If you want to know more about working in concert with Grab, you can refer to their website here.

To hear more stories like Arif’s about the benefits drivers and passengers are getting with Grab, you can follow the company on Facebook Where instagram.

Finding contentment to be in the gig economy

Whether you’re looking to work as a full-time delivery or driver partner or as a side hustle, the gig economy presents endless opportunities.

The ups and downs that come with being a gig worker are often overlooked. But through it all, many like Arif are making a difference with their work, while finding growth and meaning in it.

It may not be an easy task. But for those who are ready to take on a different challenge every day, it gives them a strong sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.

This post has been brought to you in collaboration with To input.

Image featured by MS News. Photograph by Chan Hui Wen.

Earnest L. Veasey