I just got mugged by my Fresh Direct Delivery Guy

It’s true. And I’m not talking metaphorically about the delivery fee. My Fresh Direct delivery guy mugged me.

I normally order Fresh Direct once a week as you do when you are either too lazy to go to the store or just too busy with work and life in general. I’ve had problems in the past like my eggs being crushed, my entire frozen order of ice cream sandwiches and fudgesicles being completely luiquidized by the time they get to my door, but it seemed worth it just to pay $2.39 for a 16oz tub of cottage cheese as compared to $3.99 around the corner.

That was until tonight. Tipping is optional. I usually tip, just because it’s nice. I wasn’t about to tip until all the boxes were delivered and I had signed the form acknowledging delivery. The delivery guy who was a cross between Mark Wahlberg and Kevin Federline told me tipping was optional. I told him I knew. He then said “Where’s my tip?”

Aghast. I immediately decided not to tip him. Wrong answer. The guy put his foot in my door and would not let me close it, demanding his tip. I tried to close it, my heart beating faster realizing I’m a single female who lives in a studio with all my neighbors out already for the night. I think by the third time, he realized it too, pushed his way into my apartment and demanded I give him money. I gave him all the cash I had which amounted to only about $10. He left and said, “I meant tipping isn’t optional.”

I immediately closed my door, shaking violently (still currently at this moment), locking all three locks and then got on the phone to Fresh Direct. When I called they just took my name and phone number, not getting a description of the guy or letting me finish to the part where he came in, they stopped me where I said his foot was in the door preventing it from closing. They told me they would file a complaint. I accepted that and stupidly hung up.

I should call the police, but it’s only $10 and I feel like a fool. But I realized today, you only hear about the delivery men who get hurt doing their job, the flip side is never reported. He now knows where I live, that I live alone, and that I can’t fight him off. It was a stupid, stupid mistake on my part, I should have just given him the money. But tonight I realized even though I rely on delivery of my food, my dinner, and when I’m lazy, my laundry so often, I fall complacent and feel safe. I need to take more precautions, because the reality is, I give these people access to my front door, what stops them from stopping just there?

Links to the updates because people aren’t reading the rest of the tale:
Update 1
Update 2
Update 3
The Final Chapter

62 Comments so far

  1. Alan (unregistered) on October 20th, 2005 @ 11:08 pm


    I went to the updates to follow up the response that I made waaaay ^up there^ somewhere, but now that I’ve come back to the original, I see most of the current comments happens here.

    I think I should actually apologize for opening the gate to the kind of posters that followed me with much abuse and the cursing. That was never the spirit of my post. For you, as the victim of a mugging, I have complete empathy.

    Your blogged account was my first real exposure to this delivery culture, even though I lived in New York for a little while. I lived in Harlem, so the instances of delivery were extremely few and far between. It just wasn’t done among people of low/no-income. And I lived a block away from a supersized PathMark. People came out of those doors loaded down like they were stocking their own stores somewhere else! I never passed any PathMark workers trying to deliver boxes to anyone else–not like I’ve seen FreshDirect and others in midtown and elsewhere with those big boats of groceries. I’m now coming to understand the need for some people to get the groceries delivered, but MY reality was watching mothers and children carrying their bags up stairs. No other alternative really occurred to me.

    That is where my head was when I posted. (Well, that plus the fact that I’ve been economically stung as of late and a lot of my perceptions are being filtered through economic suspicion–in other words, I’m sensitive these days on matters of classism).

    I had no intention to blame you or devalue what you personally went through, and in rereading my original response, I don’t think it dictates that way. However, the general tone may have done that anyway. For that, I do apologize to you.

    After reading your responses to others, I can tell that you are a gracious and brave lady. Whatever preconcieved notions I had of you are now gone.

    As for the others who dogpiled me? Meh. Not so gracious.

    God’s Peace, Tessa.

  2. Tom (unregistered) on October 21st, 2005 @ 2:13 am

    I use to work for Fresh direct about 2-3 years ago. I ended quitting 2 months after I started working in the deli section. The working conditions are horrible. As for the fresh direct driver’s they don’t do a criminal background check at all which I found a little strange. My 2 major reasons were that having food sanitation experience, The employees in the seafood/meat dept. don’t wash their hands after using the restroom & enter the restroom with their white coats on which I found nasty. Second, I found out one month later most of them are criminals that just got out of jail. The only clean people that I saw were the ones that work in the deli and produce departments.

  3. Hugh (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2005 @ 9:55 am

    This punk is lucky he works in NYC and not down here in the Free States. Someone pulling a stunt like that here is likely to find himself face-to-face with an armed homeowner, and that is possibly the last thing he’d ever see on this earth.

  4. JT (unregistered) on October 22nd, 2005 @ 11:15 am

    You are very lucky that this is all that happened to you. Now here is what you should do, because, after all he knows where you live and now knows that you will not fight back.

    Buy a gun!!! Learn how to use it!!! and be prepared to defend yourself, to the death if needed. I am not suggesting that you “shoot first and ask questions later”, but if in fact you are in fear for your life, you have EVERY RIGHT to stop the threat to your person.

    Unfortunatly sometimes it is a “him or me” situation, and when it’s over you will still be able to post on your blog.

  5. mary (unregistered) on October 23rd, 2005 @ 8:27 pm

    I have had my share of Fresh Direct HORROR stories but nothing tops the delivery guy mugging youk at your door. To make a long story short after they screwed up my order many many times and delivered rotted shrimp and told me in order for me to receive a refund for the shrimp I had to stay home the following day with the “bad” shrimp to be picked up by them any time between 9 and 6 p.m. I decided that I would rather throw out the bad shrimp and lose $20 rather than staying home all day holding on to smelly shrimp. Enough was enough and I stopped ordering from them. This was a year ago and I have been happily shopping at Fairway since.

  6. Kate (unregistered) on October 25th, 2005 @ 10:34 am

    JT, unfortunately, thanks to archaic Sullivan laws in NYC, residents here can’t get gun permits. The city only issues a tiny number and they’re pretty much reserved for the rich and famous. Bobby Deniro wants a handgun? He’s got a legal one in two days. A woman being stalked by someone she’s got a restraining order against? Not a chance in hell of getting a legal gun.

    I’m with you. I think ALL women should have guns to protect themselves and their homes. But in NYC, if we shoot in defense, we’re more likely to end up in prison for it than we are to have the life we thought we were saving. It’s really one of the major drawbacks of this city.

  7. Hugh (unregistered) on October 25th, 2005 @ 9:25 pm


    That’s really sad that the city of New York thinks so little of the lives of its residents. I’m glad I got the heck out of there years ago and moved down to one of the Free States.

    Ironically, the criminals in NYC seem to have no problem getting a gun, just the poor law abiding schlubs.

  8. Jade (unregistered) on October 26th, 2005 @ 10:43 pm

    Ok. The delivery guy forced his way into her apartment and demanded her cash and she didn’t call the police, instead she calls FD to “complain”? Right. Fresh Direct knows exactly who made the delivery; and if this had happened, and they were informed about it, THEY would have called the cops. This “story” has 0 credibility in my book. I’ve been using Fresh Direct for 3 years I have had nothing but positive experiences. But that is besides the point.

  9. Hugh (unregistered) on October 27th, 2005 @ 8:38 am

    Jade, It’s not at all uncommon for victims of crimes like this to not call the police. Reasons range from fear of sounding stupid to believing that the police won’t do anything about it. You are correct that she should have reported it to the police but that an “after the fact” action. What she should do is find out how she can legally defend herself in her apartment (mace, taser, big stick, etc.) and learn to use those weapons the next time something like this happens. Unfortunately for the victim here guns are almost impossible for law abiding New Yorkers to obtain.

    Funny, but the criminals don’t seem to have any problem getting them, nor do the rich and well connected. Hmmm….

  10. JLD (unregistered) on October 28th, 2005 @ 11:17 pm

    !!!!!!!!! I just want to pass this info on for the record !!!!!!!!!!!
    After inquiring directly to FreshDirect regarding the incident (as the idea of this man not getting let go, if it’s true, is alarming). FD quickly responded back to assure that after completing an internal investigation the delivery man involved was terminated as of October 19.

  11. Hugh (unregistered) on October 29th, 2005 @ 12:30 pm

    He was terminated? That’s all???! He forced his way into a person’s apartment, threatened her, and stole her money and all he got was fired!?

    He’s a lucky individual that NYC is so polite and considerate of criminals.

  12. Alos (unregistered) on November 11th, 2005 @ 11:10 am

    Please do me a favor and report this to the police. Also Fresh Direct as a responsibilty to you, their customer that keeps them in business to act on your behalf. Do something, please be proactive. Else it will happen again and again.

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