Permanent Snackery

Over the holidays, I saw that people were doing a thing where they left out snacks for the folks delivering their various gifts and packages, on the principle that a) ’twas the season and b) delivery people were working long hours and deserved some appreciation. I thought this was a nice idea, and joined in on the “snacks for holiday delivery folks” bandwagon.

After the holidays passed, most people’s delivery frequency goes down, but as it turns out mine doesn’t — because I am getting books and other things sent to me on a constant basis, delivery people show up on my doorstep daily. So I decided that I’m going to make the “snacks for delivery folks” thing a permanent feature; the photo above is today’s refresh of the snack basket. We’ll also have it for people who show up to do work at the house and so on; basically, if you’re doing us a service, please feel free to have some Funyuns or cheese crackers or mini Moon Pies, and maybe a bottle of water, too.

It’s not a big thing, but I think it’s a thing worth doing. Any opportunity to show appreciation for the things people do for you is worth taking. This doesn’t cost me much — I figure it sets me back maybe $20 a month — and I know the delivery folks like it. Thus the world becomes a marginally nicer place. Not a bad return on the investment.

42 Comments on “Permanent Snackery”

  1. We leave out individually wrapped chocolates for the delivery guys including the mailman , when we remember to pick them up. Pretty much always during the holidays, more spotty at other times.

  2. Very nice but it would be even better if you included some healthy snacks like fruit and vegetables.

  3. Everything I have read says that what delivery people actually need… is restrooms. Because you know, stuck in a delivery truck all day.

  4. Back when I was in the military I used to hand the gate guard who was checking my car’s decal to see if it was OK to let me on the base a bottle of cold water when it was hot out. Don’t know how often they actually took a drink, but they always seemed to appreciate the gesture.

  5. That’s cool.
    I would add “leave enough for everyone”. And healthy snacks would also be a nice addition.

  6. As someone in the construction industry i wish more people were this considerate. You would be surprised how many people won’t allow you to use their bathrooms, even if you are remodeling the inside of the house.

  7. When I worked for Uber, they were spending gobs of investor money on a huge snack wall. Anybody doing any work in the building, including external workers like contractors, was welcome to snack as desired. There were tons of healthy and organic snacks. Contractors always went straight for the candy.

  8. Given what you’ve shown us of your house/property you don’t have walk-by traffic so this is a really nice thing to do with low frustration for you. I bet it improves service as well (but I know that’s not your main reason for doing it). In my neighborhood I’d be feeding about 100 teenagers and there’d never be anything left for service workers.

  9. Julz et al–I did something similar over the holidays, and to judge from the rate of depletion, folks were really very good about just taking one snack and/or drink at a time. The number of people who are inclined to take unfair advantage is actually pretty low. Admittedly, YMMV; I wouldn’t expect the same in a neighborhood with lots of random passers-by.

  10. During the holidays, I leave a treat like a small box of chocolates in the mailbox for our mail carrier. We have a street box, so she doesn’t come up to the house. A basket for the FedEx and UPS folks might be appreciated, though… (ponders) Trades people always are offered water, soft drinks and the use of the restrooms. That’s called “common courtesy” at our house.

    Thanks for the idea, John.

  11. We do this every holiday season and it is very appreciated by delivery folks. Water bottles and candy bars seem to go the fastest.

  12. Around here, the tradition is to give your various service people (mail carriers, trash pickup people, etc.) small treats during the holidays, like a case of soda or package of cookies. When it’s hot, we’ve taken to running a bottle of cold water out to our mail carrier if we can catch her. It’s a nice gesture, and seemingly appreciated.

  13. How do you stop non-human animals scarfing the snacks? Or are they behind an unlocked door?

  14. Thanks for the suggestion. Fits nicely into The Rule:

    “Are you, even in small ways, making the world a better place?” Gotta keep reminding myself.

  15. Not so much for delivery people (if you ever see them) but certainly for anyone that stops in to check on something you need fixed or otherwise ‘positively tampered’ with, it’s very traditional here in Europe to offer AT LEAST a coffee, which of course must be served with a small glass of water and perhaps a biscuit if you have them!

  16. I can’t set out a snack table because my dogs would eat everything, so I bought one of those over-the-door shoe organizers with pockets. It hangs between my storm and screen door and protects the snacks from weather and dogs. Still working on how to deal with water bottles when it’s freezing cold, but it’s a start.

  17. How do you keep he food dry, safe from animals and not frozen, yet accessible to delivery folks? I’d totally do it it we could figure out a location. ( Well, once we are back in the states, and have deliveries)

  18. I can not help but notice the diet coke, not the FAR SUPERIOR COKE ZERO!! Was this a simple oversight? I started on Coke Zero because of you and never pass up a chance to try to convert others. Or is this evil future ruler Scalzi the Terrible deciding the Minions are not worthy of it?

  19. I have a problem with little black sugar ants. They do not hibernate during a Florida winter. Since they don’t hurt anything I don’t try very hard to get rid of them. They would be all over any snacks left out.

    With my luck it would only feed the porch pirates anyway.

  20. Great move.

    Up here on the mountain
    In our village. We have a bread lady who collects from the local supermarket the stuff that’s near the sell by date.
    Every morning her table in front of her house is full of
    Since most of the population up here is welfare cheese eating poor
    Her efforts help a multitude of people.
    A little bit of kindness goes a long way in this world.
    Thanx to you and your ladies for making the world a better place.

  21. What a great idea! My sister works for the post office in Keizer, Oregon. The past few seasons have been hell for her. I’m sure she’d appreciate this thoughtfulness.

  22. My first thought was: who wants a warm coke or water? But then I remembered you don’t live in Florida like I do, so maybe your room temperature is actually cool this time of year. :)


    Dad: Thanks for dropping the parcel off. Here, have a cold one.

    Deliveryman: Gee thanks. You’re a swell. [Drives off]


    Cold Caller at Dinnertime: Hello, my name is Josh and I represent “Snack Solutions” (TM). We’re the industry’s leading, low-cost, on-demand, inclusive, snacks-as-a-service provider. For a low monthly subscription, we’ll replenish and manage your “Tradesperson’s Snack Station (TM)” at your permanent residence. All our snacking products carry attorney-approved legalese absolving you of all liability connected with: Choking, Lactose intolerance, Gluten allergy, Nut allergy, Gluttony, Dieters discrimination, Snack shaming and 137 other common causes of snack-related litigation. For an additional fee, we’ll deploy snack-surveillance cameras with a real-time 2-way voice link to deter those double-dippers. We’ll shout at kids approaching your lawn too for a monthly fee and follow-through by representing you in kids “right-to-play” and noise/nuisance lawsuits.


  24. David Moody:

    Diet Coke over Coke Zero because the local store does not sell 12oz bottles of CZ, and I think delivery drivers appreciate being able to reseal their drink container.