Welcome to a new blog series called “Conversations In My Camry.”
I’ve been driving off and on with Uber since July 2016. Since I love to travel and enjoy meeting new people, it made sense to combine the two and make some money.
My goal is to drive a minimum of 20 hours a week with hopes to earn enough income to cover my basic bills (rent, utilities, car pmt, car ins, health ins and cell phone bill).
In order for this to happen, I need to be willing to drive before and after the local sporting events, and later at night – as the ‘designated driver’ home. One sure way to make $250 is when someone throws up in your car. No, I’m going to pray that doesn’t happen to my car.
Thinking about driving as a service to help others, makes it easier to get out on the road.
Even though I started in July, I haven’t maintained a consistent schedule. The problem happens to be that I love flexibility, that I never seem to have enough time to go out and make some money.
I chose to be available at home to watch my grandson while his sisters had dance class. I chose to sleep in and miss taking people to work. I chose not to drive at night, because bad things always happen at night.
So when I found some time to drive, it was usually in the middle of the day when everyone was already at work and not ready to come home. I was too busy working this job around my schedule, yet it wasn’t paying off.
Work smarter, not harder.
The Fears – Morning Hours vs Evening Hours
I prefer watching a sunset to previewing a sunrise. I enjoy sleeping in. When I plan a trip, I choose to leave anytime after 9am. Even if it means driving all day long and not getting in til after dark. There were times when a job would require me to be a morning person, and so I would do that for a season. But when it’s left up to me, I’m always going to choose daytime or evening over morning hours.
For example, my son-in-law was taking an early flight out of Charlotte and offered to pay me as his Uber driver. I drove him to the airport free of charge. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to take his money from him; I just didn’t want to continue driving that morning. There were other things on my to do list, and sadly, earning money wasn’t one of them. I wasn’t in the “right-frame-of-mind” at that time.
Today, I mark it up as a missed opportunity to make money.
I suppose as a writer, I’m constantly putting stories in my head. I’m over using my imagination when it comes to deciding to drive at night. I could have written a book of my excuses of why I couldn’t work in PA during the winter time: icy and slippery roads, too cold, too snowy, forgot my boots, no mittens, and more. But living in North Carolina, winter time has a different definition. Here there might be a day when it’s chilly and maybe icy, but there are plenty more good days than rotten ones.
Those stories in my head played the “what-if” game. What if it’s raining hard and I can’t see the road? What if the lights go out? What if I see a robbery in action? What if..? Allowing the “what if’s” to control me was keeping me from doing something I might enjoy, along with making some extra money.
Although I chose not to drive on New Years’ Eve or for the Superbowl, I did eventually find out that driving at night wasn’t as scary as I was making it out to be. It’s amazing how the streetlights guide you through the neighborhoods. Of course, there are some disadvantages, as it’s harder to see the house numbers at night. But each driver has the capability of calling or messaging the rider to find out exactly where they are waiting.
One day I challenged myself to do a morning drive.
Although I had planned to be out by 6:30am, I didn’t leave til 8am. I found one rider to take to work. It was almost an hour ride, including being stopped for a train that was driving slowly down the tracks and then coming to a complete stop. By the time I turned the car around and we were waiting at the intersection to turn left, the flow of cars from the other side of the track had caught up to us. It was the riders choice on whether to wait or turn around and find another way. We eventually made it to her workplace, without any other problems.
As the Fears Subside, The Adventures Are Taking Place
So this is the start of another new adventure. The more people I meet, the more I want to share them with you – my readers. We live in a small world, we have connections with so many others, right at our fingertips. So don’t be surprised when a ‘Conversation In My Camry’ rings a bell with you. And then, you’ll have a story to share wtih someone else. Be sure to order your very own “Conversations in My Camry” coffee mug, so you can have your favorite drink as you read some entertaining words.
Would you like to be an Uber Driver? Sign up here Use this link suec3037ue
When you’re driving friends around town, what types of conversations holds everyones interest? Share them in the comments below.