Detroit shopper Angela’s Shipt journey started with a 40-pound bag of cat food. “After that,” she says, “I was hooked.” Over 500 shops later, she’s become an integral part of both her local and national shopper communities. Angela shares how Shipt gave her an entirely new perspective on life in this month’s #MyShiptStory.
From “I have absolutely no idea” to “What can I do tomorrow?”
I was in a job that was very emotionally tiring, and it was sucking the life out of me. All these other good things that I had didn’t matter, because I was so sunk in my own depression. I would come home from work, lay on the couch, and just not do anything. I spent an inordinate amount of time on Facebook, so when I saw an ad that Shipt was coming to Detroit, I decided to see what it was about.
My first shop was on a Sunday, Shipt’s busiest day. She was a first-time customer and I was a first-time shopper, so it worked out perfectly. She’d ordered a 40-pound bag of cat food, and when I got to her house, she had the biggest smile on her face. It was all worth it, she said, just so she didn’t have to carry that huge bag anymore.
“Now what happens?” she asked.
I said, “I have absolutely no idea.”
She said, “Okay, great! I guess we’ll learn together,” and thanked me for a wonderful first experience.
After that, I was hooked. That first day, I did seven orders back to back. These seven people were all so excited about me bringing their groceries. It was instant gratification. At the end of the day, I asked myself, “Okay, so tomorrow, what can I do?”
I started picking up orders before and after work and on weekends, running 15, 16 hour days. On Super Bowl Sunday, I did 16 orders. When I saw my final pay for that week, this light bulb went off: I made more money delivering groceries than I did at my full-time job, and I wanted to do more. More importantly, I was feeling so fulfilled just making people happy.
This is a viable option for me, I realized. I don’t have to go 9 to 5 every day and feel terrible about walking into an office. I could walk into Meijer, where everything is shiny and people are happy, and the people I’m delivering to are happy. And their families are happy. It was a very black and white experience to go from one job to the next and realize that the second was that much better.
Support from all sides
What surprised me the most about Shipt was how supportive the people in the background were — not just the customers, but everyone I interacted with. I made mistakes my first couple shops, and was really hesitant to tell anybody about it. I told HQ at one point, “I don’t know if I’m cut out for this.” They said, “Yes, you are. Everybody makes mistakes. Just keep shopping. You’ll get past this.”
That kind of support from higher-up staff was invaluable. At my other job, a mistake was an end-all. All of a sudden, I had this great support system — not only from headquarters, but also from shoppers. I’ve spent a lot of time over the last couple years pushing people away, but I’ve had the opportunity with Shipt to actually invite people into my life to see who I am, as opposed to who I was before. The community is everything.
I make it a point now to go out of my way to make sure that everybody is comfortable with their role at Shipt. I’m the admin of the Shipt Shoppers of Detroit Facebook group, which means that I screen posts, approve new members, offer advice, and just make sure that everybody’s cohesive. I spend time trying to get everybody to realize we’re not just shoppers — we’re also people. Everybody’s together in this and helping one another.
When people are asking, “Should I keep doing this?” or if they’re overwhelmingly happy that they’re able to pay off a vacation or send their kid to volleyball camp, I want to support those things. I want to cheer them on and say, “No, don’t quit. Keep going, because it’s life-changing.”
Living the #shiptlife
I’m a part of a group of shoppers from around the country that travels to new launches. We also provide in-store support for new shoppers, from questions about how the app works to finding products to navigating the checkout process. I can’t express how much I love it. I get to travel and see new places, and it’s made me a better shopper. I remember what it was like to walk into a store for the first time not knowing what to expect. Now I can see that from the other side, and can better help people, whether it be through the shopper Facebook group or in person.
When I was depressed, I started getting plants in my apartment to give it a little bit of life. I killed a lot of plants, but the ones that I could keep alive would surprise me. They would look so ugly, but out of nowhere, they would bloom and blossom. They were kind of like me. The fact that I can bring these plants back from their wilted state and watch them grow and thrive reminds me a little bit of myself — that even when times get tough and I get down, I can bring myself back. Now I have a favorite Peace Lily that comes with me when I travel with Shipt to remind me of how far I’ve come.
I’ve learned that I’m very resilient and able to conquer problems in a real life situation. Instead of panicking over something going wrong, I’m able to troubleshoot and say, “This is a bigger thing going on right now. So let’s look at it, see what we can do to figure it out, and work together.”
I’ve learned to ask for help more readily. If I don’t know the answer to a question, I can ask someone instead of trying to do it myself and not let anybody know that I’m struggling. I don’t have a problem saying, “I need help, and I know you can help me. So please help me.”
I’ve learned that are people around me, and that if I’m smiling, people are smiling. And if I’m helping, people are helping. Shipt gave me the opportunity to get out of my apartment and make a difference. Thankful doesn’t cover it. When I reached 500 shops, I posted on Facebook, “This literally saved my life.”
Interested in becoming a shopper? Learn more about how you can live the #shiptlife.