So, What's It Really Like to Be an Uber Driver? An Insider's Look

in life •  2 months ago 

Since January 2cd, shortly following my relocation from MN > GA, I have struggled with unemployment despite a nearly seven year career in physical therapy. I have lived in this area before and relocated due to duress in Minnesota and having immediate family in this location. In my nearly 4yr sabbatical from this area, things changed a lot. Two programs in my field opened and as predicted by former colleagues & peers, these programs oversaturated the physical therapy market in my town. I had a highly compensated contract in another town back in May but unfortunately a seizure on the FIRST day caused an amicable and unavoidable termination of this contract.

I won't digress from my original point regarding being an UBER driver, AKA "uber partner." Just have current auto insurance, a car less than 15 years old, current registration, current and unencumbered driver's license, car in good workable condition, pass a background test, and you're in.

I won't lie there were MANY times this year I nearly gave up on life in general. Through the generosity and undying encouragement of my Mother and a few close friends, I have made it through.

How?? I became an UBER driver or partner. I spent weeks weeks and a lot of precious time worrying about doing this as I thought it would be just my luck to get car jacked or worse.

I let fear hold me back from much needed income. I want to encourage you all, that regardless of what income route you chose, don't let fear and others' opinions of your situation hold you back.

No one knows your situation, life circumstances, or any of your "biz" better than you. Therefore, do what you have to do within a correct moral code to make money and sustain yourself.

I've been an uber partner for 3 months now. Not living in the lap of luxury & things are different. Sacrifices have been made. I still apply constantly to my career job in physical therapy and maintain continuing ed requirements. My, at times, traumatizing past has given me the capacity to take a lot of sh*t for lack of better words & this also helps with ubering.

Ubering is a public service. You have to be on your "A" game constantly. Otherwise you might incur bad ratings or worse yet, endanger your own life or others'.

Ubering requires a good amount of self discipline. It's easy to take days off because you can. If you aren't good at being self disciplined, ubering isn't for you. If you can't endure undue public criticism, it also isn't for you.

I had a 5 star rating up until about 10 days ago (5 stars is the highest you can get.) The reason my rating went down was due to a petty indifference I had with a "frequent flyer" rider. She was very rude, cursed at me, and slammed my car doors.

Drivers can rate riders too. I gave her 2 stars for that behavior. I did nothing wrong. I was driving safely and giving her the same treatment I would want. She then turned around and told uber I was an "erratic" driver, had doors that didn't work, ran lights, and more. Considering the model is from 2015, my car certainly has working doors.

I had to send Uber pictures of all my doors.
They look pretty bad, right? Ha! Warning: uber proves how very petty people can be. Uber customer "service" will almost never side with their drivers, which is petulant. I make them money. Without drivers, uber ceases to be financially successful. I was immediately reinstated following sending pictures of all four WORKING doors.

People are people. They're forgetful. I had a woman leave her cell phone in my car. I noticed almost immediately so was able to quickly return it. They also leave more damaging items like drugs or, herbal appearing substances. That happened to me today and my party of four were seemingly highly disturbed. I later realized they were bagged herbal supplements of Hawthorne which helps with blood pressure and it was mine that I was giving to my boyfriend and somehow the unlabeled bag got left in the car.

I told my passengers if they felt uncomfortable I would be more than happy to drop them off early and let them resume the ride with another driver or they could even throw them out the window. I simply told them I had just cleaned out my car (true) and the "drugs" weren't there then and I was truly sorry they felt uncomfortable.

My sincerity won them over and they tossed the tiny bag of Hawthorne out the window. They gave me a nice tip and 5 star rating. I truly didn't realize until afterwards they were my completely LEGAL herbal supplement.

If you OR your rider is ever uncomfortable, you'll still get paid if you need to end the fare early. The rider is paying you so always be respectful of their wishes.

As with most jobs, good communication is paramount for success. Always ask your riders if they have a preferred route, find out if they are in any way uncomfortable & fix it if possible, know that you can't please everyone, & always be the bigger person even when you're being treated unfairly which WILL happen.

Uber doesn't have the best navigation system. Sometimes you may need to quickly switch to Google maps and this requires finesse and possibly pulling over briefly to make sure you are being safe and observing hands free laws.

Don't expect to "get rich quick." Uber is paying my bills right now but it's no six figure salary. Partners aren't allowed onto military installations, you can NEVER deny an individual's service animal, uber doesn't tax your earnings so be prepared to file your own taxes if you earn over $3,000/ year driving, you cannot drive a minor, & silence isn't necessarily a bad thing. However some degree of small talk and friendly vibes goes a long way.

You can be paid weekly or cashout up to 5x/day for 50 cents each transaction.

Let me hear from you. Have you ever received uber or similar services? Are you an uber/Lyft or engaged in a similar app based service to make money?

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I have used Uber just once and I quite liked it. I live in a place where we don't have Uber services and this is the reason why I don't use them more often.

Being a driver is a dangerous job in my opinion and you are very brave to go through the risk. I however hope that you will be lucky with another role very soon :)

I wish you good luck at your current job and many nice and polite customers :) I am sure that your rating will go up quickly.

Thank you for sharing and congratulations on your curie vote!

Thanks for your comment & congratulations @delishtreats. Anyway, UBER is just as dangerous as any other job if you really think about it. Your never know what is going to happen when you step out your front door.

As I've responded to others in this post i have legal, concealed self defense items easily accessible by me.

Another thing is, i would be homeless right now without uber. I live in a town with over 300,000 residents so i can uber relatively safely in the day time. I don't do late night or anything past 9pm for that matter.

In Venezuela the Ubers are not known because we have not yet reached that moment, however if I have heard from my friends in the United States that the Ubers that have touched them are calm or very talkative people, I think that everyone is a world and their Work they employ in their own way. I liked the way you express yourself, I understood your point and you deserve more respect!

Thank you! Some people are simply "higher" than thou and don't care

What a cool read, @chelsea88!
One thing I was hoping to see (but in a way I'm glad you didn't mention it) is how you are treated by taxis. Here in Mexico City, Uber drivers will usually ask you to sit in the front passenger seat - and sometimes even greet you with a seemingly out of place hug - just to avoid the impression that they are providing a service. I just read the horrific incident related by @chekohler. Yes, taxis are probably the biggest losers of ride-share apps, and they do whatever they can to counter it. Sometimes via legislature (like in Cancun and the entire Rivera Maya Uber is outlawed, only so taxi companies can continue offering piss-poor service for exorbitant fees), but sometimes they take things into their own hands... But such drastic measures would still surprise me in the States.

Nice to hear from you @stortebeker. That's interesting the different cultural norms. I do like being able to set my own hours and yes i read that horrible story by @chekohler. One can never be too safe or take preventative measures. Some people seem uncomfortable sitting up front but i always let folks sit where they want.

The uber model is a pretty unique change in the way we see transportation and I know it has a bad rep but that’s because the company is disrupting so many industries like car manufacturers, public transport services, car sales and markets like car loans, repairs and car insurance!

That’s a lot of livelyhoods, status quo industries and people to piss off so it’s in the interest of these industries to have a micro focus on anything uber does! Not saying they’re an angel fo a company but they’re literally build the market that we will eventually use as the norm, the on demand services free market!

Once we adapt it with the help of blockchain an DOAs where it’s more about the peer to peer services and not a central company’s stock price we could really see insane changes but it will come with time

But back to my point, before technology dealing with people servicing customers was easier you had a spat you move on! People have misunderstandings all the time but now with tech we can draw out these arguments, involve third parties and broadcast it online to rally your point of view so things can get out of control pretty quickly

I’ve never really had a bad uber driver in South Africa, Egypt or Thailand which I’m greatful for.

I did however have a traumatic experience with a friend of mine, he was a Bolt driver an uber competitor and he was murdered by 2 of his passengers on only his 2nd day of driving! It was horrific!

He was unfortunately at the wrong place at the wrong time with frustrated taxi cab drivers decided to attack him! It’s why I say these services are changing the markets and demand and people don’t want to accept change!

Yes, I've often considered what it must be like for the taxi drivers these days with the advent of uber, Lyft, etc.. doesn't make it right to attack others! I am so sorry to hear about your friend that's absolutely horrific. I have mace and another legal weapon easily accessible but out of sight in the event i ever have a hostile passenger. Uber does have safety features and "alarm" buttons that can instantly alert authorities to my area, but even so by then the worse could've already occurred. However with mass shootings becoming a sad "norm" and simply stepping out your front door leaves a lot up to chance, anything is possible and it's no different in this industry, sadly.

I would never allow myself to be in such a compromising position as an UBER driver.

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Really? How so? It was either that or live in a tent for me me. Safety wise i have easily accessible mace and another weapon that is not visible but legal. Im not naive and only uber during stereotypically safe hours.

I'm glad you're aware of the dangers. I guess if you live in a place where ridesharing is done heavily in daylight hours you could make some good money.
But as you probably know the night hours are where the majority of asshole drunks come crawling out of their holes.
I wouldn't know what i would do if some asshole vomited his guts into the leather seats of my Lexus.

Posted using Partiko Android

You take a photo FIRST. UBER already knows your car and it's value. For what you have, the rider would then pay And for that type of mess it's usually $150.00

And yes in this town there's are a lot of "daylight" rides :)
I never ride past 9 or 10PM. Here it is still daylight at 9PM.

Hi chelsea88,

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Thanks @curie!!

Interesting to read your take on being an Uber Driver, I often wondered what it would be like, I am not sure i would have the patience for it, lets face it some people are self-opinionated A$$ H... well you know where i was going, like the woman that gave you a low rating

I like being able to set my own hours as i have some health issues that act up when they want and i don't have to worry about calling out. Although i do not wish to permanently be in this field its so helpful for my finances right now. And yep, i have to bite my tongue a lot, some people just say the stupidest stuff....

Thats good that you can fit it around your health issues, and its good for now till something better comes along

Well, looking to Get back into physical therapy what i spent six years in school for but the market is over saturated. Aiming for a license in a neighboring state

Well I wish you good luck and all the best with finding something

Muchos Gracious :)

Most welcome Have a great day

We take Uber and Lyft all the time when we are on vacation or simply don't want to mess with finding parking at a sporting or live music event. In busy cities, it's the easiest way to avoid messy traffic congestion and I can't recall ever having to leave a negative review for a driver. Congratulations on your cross country move and I hope things continue to work out favorably for you! @chelsea88

Thank you @ninahaskin. Funnily enough I've never ridden as a passenger before but would use it myself on a vacation.

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