Ask Away Blog: That Time I Became an Uber Driver

That Time I Became an Uber Driver

Thursday, October 25, 2018

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Yeaaaaa, bet I surprised ya didn't I?   I bet you didn't know I have been driving for Uber and Lyft for about 6 months now, didja?! Well, it's true.  Blogging was getting slow at the beginning of Summer and I also lost my blogging mojo (which I've since gotten back) so I was desperate for more money to help me with some vet bills with the dogs and just general life expenses. 


So I signed up as an Uber driver and got to work.  I had no idea what I was doing at first and I was nervous as all hell but like most things in life, I started learning right away, with the help of fellow drivers in various Facebook groups.  


The extra cash is nice but it's all relative because you still have to use your own vehicle and put mileage on it.  That's a hard pill for me to swallow since my car is 12 years old and has 120,000 miles.  I want her to last forever because I'm weird and super attached to her.  So hopefully blogging income increases from here on and out and I don't have to do the rideshare as often. 

So what was it like? Well....

I'm afraid of vomit...seriously...so even though I have "sick bags" in my car, I never drive past 10 or 11 pm just so I can avoid the drunkies.  I thought I would never have to deal with drunkies.  But on my second week as a driver, I got a ping at about 4 pm.  It was at a bar downtown.  I figured maybe an early happy hour or something, until I pulled up and saw a man helping his drunken middle-aged friend stumble to the car.  The guy told me he was a cook at a restaurant nearby and kept rambling on and on about how hard he works.  I also noticed he entered his home destination as right across the street from the bar.  That wasn't right.  So I kept driving in a big loop around the same few blocks trying to deal with rush hour traffic all while getting this HIGHLY INTOXICATED bro to communicate to me where the hell is place is. 
My Chariot


Suddenly he tells me he wants to go to Walmart to get some new pants because his have a hole in them.  I tell him I can't do that because his friend insisted he go straight home.  Finally after 5 minutes of doing loops he tells me lives right next to the restaurant he works at, which we've passed 10 times already.  So I go to drop him off and he just won't get out of the car.  First he rubs my shoulders and tells me how grateful he is that I got him home safe.  Then he's out of the car and I'm about to speed off and he opens my door and tells me I should come into his work and request a meal from him.  So to get him away quicker I oblige but then he insists on asking me more questions like...
"Okay, what meal would you like?"
Um, spaghetti?
"Okay carbonara??  Or al dente?"
Um I don't care.
"No No NO! You have to pick one!"
Okay carbonara, I have to go, bye!


Finally he's gone. And no I never got a tip for him.  And no I'm never going to his restaurant because I worry he'll recognize me and I just don't even want that reminder!


Another interesting experience was during my third week as a driver.  I got a ping to a bar and as I pulled up I saw several people outside so I wasn't sure where the rider was until I hear my name being screamed drunkenly by a couple stumbling towards me.  At first I thought maybe they knew me because of how excited they were, then I realized they were just wastey face and saw my name as their driver.  So they tell me they're drunk and are heading back to the girl's place.  They're super loud and doing flirty banter which borders on a legit fight so I'm getting super uncomfortable.  As I'm driving my seats being pushed and kicked because they keep wrestling and making out.  At one point I heard him say "If you keep touching me there I'm going to put a whole in this roof." Which at first I thought that was a violent threat with his fist until I realized he meant he'd get such a boner that it'd pop a whole in my roof. Yea dude, keep dreamin!

In my 2nd month as a driver I was taking a woman home from her corporate office job.  She was super nice and we had a great chat the entire time.  And as I went to drop her off she invited me to a sex toy party.  Sigh... no, not today, sorry ma'am. 

You may think those were horrendous experiences and make me hate doing it but those are really the only bad stories I have.  After my first week I already had a better outlook on the world.  I realized people actually are good and kind.  I meet a lot of different people each time I drive and it's cool to cross paths with them.  Sometimes I see them again somewhere but I never say anything because I highly doubt they remember my face especially since they sit behind me.  And how awkward is it for someone to be like "HEYYYY HIIIIIYA!!! I was your driver remember?!?!? "

But I love meeting people even though I'm an introvert, so it all works out.  And the money is nice, especially with tips.  Special piece of advice - ALWAYS tip your driver.  We depend on it.  Your basic fare pretty much only reimburses us partially for mileage and time and Uber/Lyft get about 20% of that anyways.  

And always leave feedback. It helps us grow on the driver app.

   

So am I going to keep driving? Well, I'll probably do it once or twice a month through the Holidays to get some cash for gifts but other than that I am not sure what I'm going to do in the new year.  My car will eventually be too old to be used as a rideshare vehicle and to hell with the idea of buying a brand new car and driving strangers around in it.   So we will have to see.

Have you ever driven for Uber or Lyft or had another interesting side gig?



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3 comments:

  1. You are so brave to be a uber driver. I totally couldn't do it. Hopefully blogging picks up for you.

    http://www.amysfashionblog.com/blog-home

    ReplyDelete
  2. Not sure I'd do it, but sounds interesting! I've only asked for an Uber once and that was to get a ride home after being at the bar (yep!) Our driver was really cool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been told I'm a cool driver too. It's fun because you meet a lot of awesome people! and some a-holes too lol

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