Driving on unknown roads, in non-familiar places, and in new-to-me towns, makes my job as a Rides-share Driver quite unique. Having the love of traveling while meeting people are two of the perks in this business.
I’ve been driving for LYFT/UBER for just over a year and I’m still finding my way around town. I never thought I would rely more on a small electronic device over my Road Atlas, but it’s true. In this business, you need the app to help get you from point A to point B, and anywhere in between.
Go With the Flow When the ‘App’ Freezes
There have been a few times when the app stopped working in the middle of a job. One time in particular, I had picked up a young man and his father at the airport. When I arrived in Zone D (arrival section for LYFT/UBER riders), the app froze. It wouldn’t let me confirm on picking him up. Thankfully, my passengers agreed to give me directions instead of spending uninterrupted time chatting in the backseat. At one point, I thought it was working but it kept directing me back to the airport to pick him up, even though he was already in my car. It was very frustrating.
The young man, upon worrying that I wasn’t going to be paid for this trip, said to me, “I know you’re not a stripper, but I’m going to pay you with ones.” I laughed as it was the first time someone has said that to me. And now I think about it – how does he know I’m not a stripper? Has he met all of them? LOL. Thankfully, by the time we reached his home, the app was back on-line and his payment was received, so he could keep his ones.
Something more recent was the time I was pinged to go pick up a rider but then the app froze to the point that I didn’t even know the address of where I was supposed to go. The GPS led me to a street (for it was still working), but I didn’t have a house number. Eventually, the rider canceled the trip. I had to turn my phone completely off and then on again for it to start working again.
Be Careful When Going Through a Red Light
There isn’t a good time to go through a red light. I was making sure you were paying attention. You can, however, stop and then turn right as long as there isn’t a sign saying you can’t.
Recently as I was leaving the airport with a passenger, I glanced at my GPS to see if I should go right towards Billy Graham Pkwy or left towards I-85. The road was heading left. By the time I reached the intersection for Rt 74, I realized the app was telling me to turn left there. But I was in the straight lane.
Being first in line, I decided that maybe if I went fast enough, I could scoot ahead of the car beside me while turning left. When the light turned green, I tried but to no avail, there was only one way to go, and that was straight. Someone on the other side was honking their horn at me. I was like, “What’s your problem?!” and then realized, I had gone through a red light. “Oops.”
Sometimes it’s Better to Take Your Cue From the Passengers
I love it when the passengers want to engage in a conversation though there have been some instances when talking was not on the agenda. One gentleman got in my car and my first question to him was, “How was your flight?” and he responds, “I don’t want to talk about it.” What do you say after that? I relayed a story about a friend of mine who had lost luggage and had airlines detour him across the country and the passenger said he understood that. Then he said, “If you don’t mind, I’m going to sit back here and sulk all the way home. I’d appreciate it if you didn’t talk to me.”
And so I didn’t. It was a forty minute ride. I pulled into the neighborhood and was about to stop at a house and he looks up and says, “This isn’t my neighborhood.” Oh boy, he was really having a bad day. I felt terrible but what was I to do. He found the correct address was another fifteen minutes away. When he finally left the car, he said, “Thanks for letting me sulk.” He left me a tip. 🙂
Another passenger (same one from driving through the red light) was really quiet in the backseat after spending time on the phone with wife. They were talking in another language. I hate it when they do that, I can’t eavesdrop and then add to the conversation. LOL. When we were about four miles from his house, I asked if he needed to stop and get anything from the convenience store. I was thinking, maybe a bottle of wine or a nice rose for his wife.
There was no response. I couldn’t turn my head around but imagined why he might be so quiet. Did he die? Then a few minutes later, I heard him snore. My driving had put him to sleep. That was a good thing, otherwise, I wasn’t sure what to do with his body, had he died. He woke up when we went over the speed bumps in his neighborhood.
Finding Things I Have in Common is Fun
I’ve discovered how small the world really is. For instance, one of my riders recently visited my hometown in Pennsylvania. We’re talking about Meadville, population less than 13K people. Another passenger knows the Golf Pro at the country club there. While others have been to Conneaut Lake Park or Titusville, home of the oil wells.
Participating in the conversation can easily lead you to find something in common with your passengers. I was sharing with two young women about taking an Amtrack from LA to Portland. One of the them says, “She’s from LA and I’m from Portland.”
I love hearing people stories and having the opportunity to share my own. Being a LYFT or UBER driver can be both fun and exciting. It’s surely an adventure and one I’m glad I’m taking. There are plenty more stories to share, so keep your eyes open.
If you’d love to join me on the road with LYFT, click here. Use the code SUE46562
If you’d love to join me on the road with UBER, click here. Use the code SUEC3037UE
Some choose to drive using both apps at the same time. I prefer to use one at a time. But there have been days when I started out with one app, and then switched to the other. Plus, some venues like the PGA Golf Championship was strictly for UBER drivers.
Another ride-share post will be on its way soon.