In today’s hectic work, most mothers are forced to juggle between working and raising a child.
Fortunately, the on-demand economy offers those who prefer a flexible schedule to fit their work to their lifestyles, thus manage their duties as an employee and a mother however they want.
On the surface, Naruemol “Pang” Winchakunkul may seem like a regular foodpanda rider. But at a closer look, this 33-year-old plays another important role. She is the mother of a 16-year-old boy, Nong Lip. Pang says raising a teenager alone is not an easy task, but her son’s future encourages her to work hard and live life to the fullest every single day.
Now going into her fourth year as a foodpanda rider, Pang says that the job allows her to earn enough money to raise her son and to cover some personal loans. This is all possible thanks to foodpanda’s flexible working hours that fit with her roles as a mother. Delivering food by motorbike is not a simple task – the work itself is stressful and requires many responsibilities and obstacles. This includes checking the order, the condition of the food package and so on. When it rains and the roads are slippery, she tends to drive slower than usual which results in negative reviews from customers. Some of them have even splashed water on her face.
“As a rider, I want to deliver food to the hands of the customer in the best condition possible, so that they would be happy with our service,” Pang says.
Not having completed high school, she has always had to rely on jobs with limited skills to earn her money. With a helping hand from her sister, she chose to work 6 days a week and uses the rest of the week to spend her time with her son who is now studying in Hotel Management in a technical school in Bangkok. Pang said she wants to give total support to her son’s education, which is her priority.
“I didn’t have good education when I was young and I know how difficult life is without it. That is why I want to support my son fully in whichever career path he is pursuing,” Pang explains.
Thatsaniya “Ya” Saemasae, a Thai-Malay who is currently residing in Bangkok started working with foodpanda two months ago. Ya is pleased with how the company allows her to be flexible with the schedule. As an active individual, she chooses to work every day from 8.30am to 12.30pm and 3.30pm to 8.45pm. She sends an allowance on a monthly basis to her 11-year-old son, Sawan, who now lives in Yala with her mother, and manages to have some savings left for herself.
“As a delivery person, you give more than just food to the customers. A couple of weeks ago I delivered one order to the Malaysian Embassy in Bangkok and I spoke to them in Malay. They were very surprised that foodpanda hires such a diverse group of employees. Aside from food, we act as an ambassador that creates a positive image for the company,” Ya says.
Ya plans to move her son to Bangkok to be closer to her. She knows that big cities have a higher cost of living, and plans to get some part-time jobs in the future to support herself further. “I am looking for jobs that allow me to apply online. It’s more convenient and enables me to adjust the job around my lifestyle and routine.”
In such a competitive world, many people are now struggling to earn a living to support their children. But as on-demand economies revolutionise society, it allows single parents to adjust their schedule however they want. Just like Pang and Ya, their duties go beyond food delivery and into bringing happiness to the customers via food. Not only that, but they create a bright future for someone waiting at home.
To thank all mums, Foodpanda is continuing to celebrate Mother’s day until Sunday (August 19), foodpanda customers can order “Mom & Me Combo set” from Pizza Hut with 50-per-cent off the price and no delivery fee! Just order from foodpanda application or website Foodpanda.co.th and you receive two medium-sized pizzas, Cheesy Pops and Garlic Bread for only Bt359.