About three months ago we started driving for Uber. At first we were a bit fearful about it because throughout entire career (50+ years) we were software developers and manual labor was not part of the job description, so we researched it until we found everything we needed. One of our limitations was we did not own car that could be used, but then we found a way to lease a car from Uber, and overall it’s a great deal. (Limitation eliminated). We won’t go into details because we don’t know if this option is in all the cities across the US. You need to check in your area.
Once we decided to go ahead everything simply fell in place in just a few days. When it came time to go get the car, we did an Uber ride and the guy (Old friend) who picked me up had been doing Uber for 3 years so we chatted the entire way and he gave me some great tips. We used his driver id as a referral so when I hit me 100 ride we both got a great bonus. It was funny, because just when I completed my 100th passenger ride within a few minutes he called me. We weren’t keeping count so it was a surprise. The 1st words we heard were “I am dancing around my chair because you just completed 100 rides!” I laughed and said “Wow, already!” Sure enough my bonus had been deposited. I said, “We need to meet and celebrate at Starbuck’s in a few days.” (We did).
Once we picked the car and signed the paperwork we were on our way to an awesome experience. We call it a journey because this feels like a new part of our life, a life extension so to say. One of the parts of being a software developer the last 10 years was that we mainly worked from home over the web. It is convenient, but the part of doing software for me is the people contact not only solving issues by coding. (The phone is not the same a face to face).
So this was the main reason that got us past our fear, and when we completed the 1st pick-up and drop-off, the fear disappeared in a heart beat. We knew this is exactly what I will be doing for a long time to come.
Here we are in the San Francisco Bay area where Facebook HQ, Google HQ, Apple HQ, Uber HQ, and about a zillion other “.com” companies reside and of course Stanford University. Then there is the diversity of people from all over the world coming to visit and to live or go to school. Yes folks, this is an awesome journey. I can only quote Emma from New Zealand who was visiting her daughter on her way back home. She said “This is an exchange in cultures and a sharing of ideas between people of the world.” (She nailed it) It’s a matter of talking directly to another human, not via text, but with eye contact and feeling and sharing our energy. Of course many things we share are common, but the uniqueness is the icing on the cake.
We plan to document my Uber journey with observations I make along the way. For example Uber does not push for rider’s tips on a completed ride, but we once picked up a Stanford Student at Trader Joe’s and when we dropped her off she gave me a banana as a tip. Know what? We were hungry so we peeled it right there and started eating it as we thanked her.
So now when we start my day we get in the car and take a few deep breaths and think. “Who are we going to meet today and what new places will we be discovering?” It is always a surprise we must say.
We would suggest to you all out there in cyberland that if you enjoy people, have some rime on your hands, that instead of becoming a couch potato try out Uber or at least research it and see if it fits you. If you decide to do it please use my driver Id. as a reference (5ZZEQH3UUE) when you fill out the online application. We will both share a nice bonus when you complete your 100 trips.
We have read some “bad” things about Uber, but in my opinion it’s great. Not perfect, but they always updating the driver application, and their support has been very good. What they do need is some formal online training. There are some U-Tube video’s that are okay, but we would suggest maybe in the major cities a one day seminar covering how the “ap” works and answering questions. We am still finding new stuff.
We have nothing to ad at this time but maybe someday you will visit the Bay are and when you do an Uber ride we will pick you up. If any of you have a question please leaves a comment and we will get back to you.