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My typical Uber week day

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Mista T, Nov 27, 2018.

By Mista T on Nov 27, 2018 at 2:53 PM
  1. I start my day at home typically, which is about 20 minutes from the city center. I turn on both Uber and Lyft and wait for a ping. Sometimes I get a ping right away, sometimes I don’t get an acceptable ping for up to an hour. My personal pickup “limit” is about 1.5 miles to pick someone up. I have given so many rides that are only 1-2 miles in duration that I refuse to travel farther (for free) to pick someone up than I will to drop them off. If Lyft and Uber want me to travel 2+ miles to pick someone up, they can pay me for that pickup time and distance. Or, they can tell me in advance where the customer is going, and I can decide if I want to drive further to pick up a customer (that is taking a longer ride).

    PING! Pick up 1 mile up the road, pax (passenger) rating of 4.90. The rating is good, the distance is close enough, so off I go. I arrive and a young man gets in. We exchange names and I thank him for being ready to go. My pax is headed to an interview. He is dressed reasonably well, but wearing a short sleeve shirt and his tattoos are showing. I wonder what kind of interview he is going to. We start chatting about his upcoming interview, and I can tell he is nervous and his mind is focused on the event to come. He doesn’t say it, but I know that any conversation is a mental disruption, so I keep the convo to a minimum and let him maintain his thought process. At the end of the ride I wish him good luck. My heart is filled with nothing but good thoughts towards this guy, hoping that his day ends on a high note.

    Takes about 3 minutes and I get another ping. Lyft hides information from the drivers, so I can’t really tell how far away the pickup is. Looks like it is about 2-3 miles away, maybe? So hard to tell as you are looking at a little screen while driving. I shake my head at Lyft and their games, and wait for the next ping. Takes about a minute, an Uber ping. Rating of 4.97, distance .4 miles away. I accept and drive there.

    A woman comes out, talking on her cell phone. She confidently walks up and gets in my car. She pauses a second on the phone and says hello to me. I confirm the name, and we are off. She chats on the phone the whole time. At the end of the ride she says good-bye to me. Simple, easy peasy.

    I do 4 or 5 more rides like that in a row, people either staring at their phones or listening to headphones or just staring out the window. Maybe the occasional comment about the weather. Lots of short rides during the weekdays, people preoccupied with their own daily business. After 2 hours have passed I look at my daily summary and I am only at $27. Pathetic. Guess I will go put $20 of that in my gas tank.

    PING! Lyft pickup, no time or distance shown. Map is zoomed out, I guesstimate that it would take me 2-3 miles to drive there, which is too far. PING! Lyft pickup, no time or distance shown. Map zoomed out, looks like a 10 minute drive into the middle of nowhere. PING! Lyft pickup. No info, but looks somewhat close. I accept. The map switches over the Google Maps, and the true pickup is 2.4 miles away, 9 minutes with real time traffic. Forget it. I cancel the ride. Lyft hates cancellations, but if they would have simply given me the information in the first place, I could have made an informed decision and wouldn’t have needed to cancel.

    PING! Uber pickup, rating 4.62, 6 minutes, 1.2 miles away. Low rating, but I accept. As I get close, it shows me the building to pick the person up at is Starbucks, which is on the corner of an exceptionally busy intersection. There is no place to park. Traffic is flowing around me as I crawl to the stoplight, looking around for anyone trying to make eye contact. As a Lyft/Uber driver, you recognize when someone is looking for you. No one seems to be looking for me this time, darn it.

    I pull into a bus zone, making sure that a bus is not imminently approaching. I turn on my hazards and look around again, hoping to see someone waving at me. No such luck. Pedestrians are staring at me, shaking their heads. Cars are whizzing by. Bikers are annoyed at having to go around me. Any time now, where is my customer?

    A truck moves out of a loading zone ahead of me. I mentally justify using the truck loading zone as a waiting area instead of the bus stop, so I pull ahead 20 yards. Look around, still no one.

    The two minute mark has passed, and I am waiting, scanning pedestrians, hoping a cop doesn’t come by and write me a ticket… I say to myself “screw this” and turn on my Lyft app. If I get a Lyft ping, I’m outta here! If Pool pax can make it in two minutes, then so can everyone else (I don’t do Pool, I’m just saying, two minutes is plenty of time…)

    Another 2 minutes go by and Lyft finally pings in, the pickup looks to be about 8 blocks away. I turn off my hazard lights and drive away. I haven’t cancelled the Uber ride yet. Two blocks later the Uber pax sends me a message “Where are you?” This just enrages me. I want to shout “You insensitive prick! I drove 6 minutes to get you and waited another 4 minutes, how much GD time do you need!! No wonder your rating is so shitty!!!” I ignored their message instead, and eventually they cancelled. Hopefully they will be more respectful towards their next driver.

    Arrive at the Lyft pickup; a man comes to the car. I quickly clear my head of the leftover venom towards the missing Uber passenger and put on a big smile for my new pax. As soon as he enters the car the horrible odor of Camel cigarettes washes through my nasal passages. I crack the windows and force a smile. He is a really friendly guy, I wonder if he knows how bad the cigarette smell is to a non-smoker. Is this what it’s like to live in LA, with all the smog?

    I dropped him off and rolled down all my windows. Popped some gum into my mouth to try and clear out the smell internally. If I had a bottle of Scope I would have poured it in my A/C vents.

    Drove around the corner and parked with windows open, waiting for the next ride request. Sat there reading the internet on my phone for close to 12 minutes before a request came in. That much time between requests really kills the hourly income, but not much I can do about it.

    Waiting for my next pax, named Josh. A young woman comes to the car and says “Hi, for Josh?” Yup, that’s it. She sits right behind me and as we drive she is asking me the same questions that everyone asks their driver. I can’t see her, so holding the conversation is like talking to someone on speaker phone. I tell her a story of someone passing out in my car, she leaves with a smile and gives me a tip for the entertainment.

    The next pax is a group of 3 business women going to a meeting, in from out of town for the day. They chat amongst themselves, then eventually start asking me questions. When we are 2 blocks away from their drop off they ask what is my craziest story. Sorry ladies, this is your destination, no time for a good story, if I pick you up again ask me and I will gladly share.

    I pick up a couple young men and they are BSing back and forth, dropping F bombs, having a good time. I relax a little and join in the fun. “What did Cinderella say when she got to the ball? (pause for effect) (choking sound) GAWK!!” The joke is a big hit. Turns out they are in town for a friends wedding, and ask me about the best strip bars. End the ride with big smiles and the only cash tip I got the entire day. Maybe I should crack inappropriate jokes more often, might get better tips!

    Picked up a very young couple that had clearly been drinking all afternoon. Friendly conversation, chatted about local tax issues and changes to traffic patterns. Super short ride. Halfway there they asked if I would stop at Taco Bell. I told them no, I don’t do drive thrus, drivers don’t get paid enough for that. Boom, went from Hero to Zero in 2 seconds flat. In the stony silence, I remind myself that this is a job I do for money, and if Lyft/Uber are going to pay me less than minimum wage for drive thru time then I’m not going to waste 5-15 minutes at drive thrus.

    I'm sure many of you will criticize me for this; many other drivers would have taken them where they wanted, and hoped to get a tip out of it. I have driven long enough that I know the odds of a tip were pretty slim, no point in wasting even more time on a minimum ride. Officially, I encourage everyone else to take the customer where they want to go. Unofficially, cash pays the bills, not stars nor badges nor diarrhea from mystery meat burritos.

    Picked up a guy who looked like he could be homeless. took him on a long ride so he can see his lawyer. Apparently he got into a fight, got arrested, and is fighting the charges. Told me the whole story. I could tell he had done a lot of drugs in his lifetime. Had the mental acuity of a 13 year old, and the same self-centered focus that is common in that age range.

    Another half dozen “normal” rides, and I call it quits for the day. Get home and check my car for any items that were accidentally left behind. Aw dang, someone left a cell phone. Great (I think sarcastically). I drive a bit to a grocery store, where I power off the cell phone. This way it will show Jewel as the last known point for GPS tracking. I don’t need anyone tracking it to my house and banging on my door at 6am. I want to report it as a lost item, but I don’t know who left it, and I don’t even know which company to report it to! Guess I will find out tomorrow, someone will report a missing phone.

    Let’s see, 8 hours for my shift, and I “made” about $145 including tips, but I have to pay for my own gas. Plus there are the hidden and delayed expenses, like brakes and tires and oil changes and depreciation of my vehicle. Ugh. Money in the pocket is okay, but really I’m only making about minimum wage. Weekend evenings are so much more lucrative for me. So glad I didn’t waste time going thru Taco Bell!
     
Pitying fools
You better drive that car, fool! Make that money, sucka! I PITY THA FOOL that don't leave a tip!!

Comments

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Mista T, Nov 27, 2018.

  • Tags:
    1. bobby747
      bobby747
      nice story. we went for being able to make a buck with surge . to poverty very fast..phils flat surge sucks
      Over/Uber likes this.
    2. Hussyboy81
      Hussyboy81
      8 hours, 145$ and gas money come out of that? That is really peanuts. Hopefully you can average it out by driving on the weekends!
      Mista T likes this.
    3. Ping.Me.More
      Ping.Me.More
      Re: "Uber ping. Rating of 4.97, distance .4 miles away. I accept and drive there."

      You are fortunate to get that much ping info.
      Current version of Chicago area Uber app doesn't show any pax ratings.
      Makes me believe that regional uber-management fiefdoms may have
      some control over some of the app stuff (?)
      kbrown, thepeach and Mista T like this.
    4. Mista T
      Mista T
      That's pretty messed up. What's the point of allowing drivers to rate pax if we can't see the ratings?

      And I thought Lyft was bad, rounding to the nearest 10th and giving auto-5s.
      IR12 likes this.
    5. Over/Uber
      Over/Uber
      Yeah, ouch.

      Here’s what I’ve gleaned: Know when to go home. If the money is trending short for the day, point toward home 2-3 hours earlier than originally planned. Keeps the per hour $$ a little above minimum range.
      Solid 5 and Mista T like this.
    6. Uber Crack
      Uber Crack
      Informative as always Mr.T. So different from weekend nights. Goodness.
    7. Mista T
      Mista T
      I know, I know. Not as energetic as my other articles. But meant to be informative and slightly entertaining.

      The next one will be more exciting.
      Solid 5, IR12 and Uber Crack like this.
    8. Uber Crack
      Uber Crack
      I found it very informative and an excellent representation of what a day can look like from an experienced duel ride share app driver. On point and very relevant. I hope this gets a lot of views. :)
      negeorgia, Tmkugu, Solid 5 and 3 others like this.
    9. IR12
      IR12
      Some pax have no respect for driver's time.

      If pax sets pickup @ super busy, inconvenient loc, can't be bothered to be ready...I cxl just on GP.

      Same thing in OAK. Corner of Fruitvale & Int'l. Who thinks that's a safe place to pick up during rushour? Uber.
      Solid 5 and Mista T like this.
    10. Disgusted Driver
      Disgusted Driver
      I think we all have days and pax like that and yes it's easy to go from hero to zero but the fact is that after the first week of amusement, we all do this for the money (well almost all of us). Thanks for sharing!

      By the way, responding to comment above Ping.Me.MorePing.Me.More , Chicago doesn't show pax ratings because of local law. As much as I hate Uber, it's not a sinister plot on their part.
      negeorgia and Mista T like this.
    11. FlyingFortress
      FlyingFortress
      Thanks for a great post. REMARKABLY, like most of my days/trips. This, too, shall pass.
    12. Ping.Me.More
      Ping.Me.More
      By the way, responding to comment above Ping.Me.MorePing.Me.More , Chicago doesn't show pax ratings because of local law. As much as I hate Uber, it's not a sinister plot on their part.[/QUOTE]

      I was not aware of that; however, that would mean Lyft is breaking the law, because Lyft shows me
      PAX ratings.
      negeorgia likes this.
    13. Authority
      Authority

      Curious - why do you do it? You must have done something before Uber right?
    14. LyftNewbie10
      LyftNewbie10
      Indeed. What a shameless a__hole. If I had the authority, I would deactivate (permanently) a rider like that.

      It reminds me of the woman who made a pickup request at a bus stop (!) a few weeks ago. I crawled through the bus lane looking for her amongst the sizeable crowd, fearful that I could be ticketed, and circled the block. She was no where in sight, and obviously made no effort to find me. She called and was furious (where are you?!!), while I had a couple in my back seat. The couple could hear her chew me out through my car stereo/audio system as she threatened to report me.

      That's fine, I said. And Lyft will tell you the same thing about making pickup requests on busy streets where there are bus stops.
      Mista T likes this.
    15. LyftNewbie10
      LyftNewbie10
      Good on you for sticking to your guns, so to speak. I hate those requests but I still do them. :(

      As you probably know, the waiting time we collect for things like drive-thrus is minutia; I'd rather be driving.
      Mista T likes this.
    16. whiskeyboat
      whiskeyboat
      well written good read
      I didn't go out today and was wondering what I missed, now I know.

      For drive-through requests I always give a BS line that I have another trip booked so I can't do the stop.
      If it's not surging (which it hardly ever is anymore) I'll offer to stop at a convenience store that way they
      are the one saying no instead of me.
      Mista T likes this.
    17. Richi
      Richi
      Anybody asks me to stop for a bite to eat like mcds or BK - I say will say that it costs you a burger for the driver.
    18. Astaroth81
      Astaroth81
      I can't see why so many people why to drive when you make practically nothing. 145-20(gas)/8=15-expenses and taxes you're left with a lot less than minimum wage at the end of the day, and a wrecked car.

      The way I look at Uber is like a loan. You get fronted a decent amount of money that might look good right now, but you'll have to pay it back later. Especially if you have a fuel card, those allow a negative balance of $100, giving you that much more to borrow.


      Right now I'm actually going on 3 weeks free fuel due to a PayPal cash card glitch that they will probably patch soon but even still my earnings for the week is $623 for 31 hours, that's including $22 tip and $12 toll.

      Pathetic to say the least. These new fares in SF are killing me. Not to mention the new surge pricing is screwed up.

      I used to make $600 every Sunday, long gone are the good old days.
      Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
    19. Kumaz
      Kumaz
      Intriguing.

      Couldn't read to the end cos it's rush hour here in Lagos and I gotta get all geared up for the day.

      By the way, I'm new here. Uber/Taxify driver from Lagos, Nigeria.

      Please, not all of us are fraudsters. A lot of young people like myself do legitimate business.

      Thank you.

      Bro, you make $623 a week??
      That's a whole lot from where I come from, man.

      If you make $416 here, you must have worked so so hard

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