A day in the life of a Hammali
3 things I learned from delivering 15 packages in 3 hours
Hi! My name is Hashmi and I’m the Information Architect at HAMMALY. As the fancy title implies, I work with information about our users, product and brand on a daily basis.
At HAMMALY HQ, we firmly believe in always improving our product — same-day-delivery with cash-on-delivery. Hence, my co-worker Ahmed Al Kindy and I decided to do a complete delivery run on one of our busiest days to put ourselves in the shoes of our Hammalis.
Below, I recap the top three things I learned from this experience.
1. Doha has a very diverse residential landscape
Like pretty much everybody else in Doha, I always had a general idea about what the different neighborhoods looked like. But before the delivery run, I could’ve never imagined how different these neighborhoods actually were.
I learned that Google Maps can only take one so far in this city under perpetual construction. A Hammali has to let the city talk to him while he’s on a task. He needs to be prepared for dead ends, pop-up intersections, parking lots with no entrances, and why that one roundabout is called crazy roundabout.
2. Handling cash-on-delivery is a product on its own
Throughout the delivery run, I found myself keeping track of
a) how much does the customer owe the vendor, b) how much did the customer tip me (if any), c) how much did I pay from my own wallet to settle the change, and d) how much do I owe the vendor at the close of business day.
A Hammali has to keep track of all these things, on top of taking care of the packages, and navigating the diverse residential landscape of Doha. I learned that it requires time and effort, and is by no means easy.
One of the questions we always get from our clients is why do we charge a fee for cash-on-delivery support? We charge the nominal fee as compensation for the time and effort our Hammalis put in to keep track of the aforementioned four steps.
3. The drones haven’t taken over yet.
The Uber model of on-demand services has definitely had a major impact on how much we are willing to wait for things before getting angry.
Be it ordering a cab, food, clothes, or the new season of Sherlock, we now expect shorter and shorter waiting times (ok, maybe not for the last thing). And companies all over the world, like us, want to provide users with even shorter waiting times.
However, unlike other companies, our motivation to shorten waiting times is to enhance the quality of the human interaction at the end of the delivery task. In our product, when the customer receives the tracking code, we make sure to highlight the name of the Hammali, and vice versa (the Hammali gets the customer’s information and is encouraged to greet the customer with their name).
I learned that it is a lot harder to get frustrated when one knows that there are fellow humans with names on either sides of the screen, either doing their best to control their hunger pangs, or doing their best to deliver the food.
Bonus: Shoutout to the Singaporean Community in Doha!
They are some of the nicest people I’ve come across ever. There have been countless times where I’ve been less-than-pleasant towards delivery guys when my order is late. Being late with their orders but still being met with kindness really highlighted the importance of having a forgiving attitude toward your fellow humans.
Help HAMMALY help you.
Do you sell on Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp or Etsy? Partner with us, and we’ll do a week-long trial for you with free deliveries. Also, if you know someone else who’s interested, drop us a note!
Stay tuned: Next week, you’ll hear from us about why we’re so excited to design a better city experience.
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