SamStories 1. First ride. Questions scattered throughout.


Active Member
SUPER VERY EXTRA LONG! (That's what she said).

So my name's Sam. I figure a first name is safe enough. Combined with the fact that I never intended on making a second post after asking for a referral code, it helps to explain the weird username.

So I finally got activated yesterday. Uber seems to say I got activated on Monday despite not receiving my Chicago emblem email until Wednesday; nor being able to log in and upload my pictures or inspection form until Tuesday. Is there a time limit to getting the 20 rides for the sign-on bonus? It didn't say anything, but I'm going to assume a week, and assume they think it started on Monday.

Got out of work pretty late (6pm or so) Wednesday. Went to Portillos in Downers(?) to try and chase away some butterflies and breathe. Finished eating and decided it was time to get'er'done. Threw on the app and drove a mile to Yorktown where I camped. Figured it would be slow, but wanted to start on Wed, with regular people going places instead of angry drunk people going home.

Got a ping in about 15 min. 7 min away. First thing I noticed is the nav was really really slow and choppy. I have an S4. Kudos to Google Maps for trying to route me through a parking lot, but the map was facing the wrong way, the arrow was facing another wrong way. Is nav always slow when Uber is handling it? I've run navigation and music before and never had this kind of lag. Is it extra computation because I was in a parking lot?

Turns out the guy was standing outside of Portillos, lol. Asked him where he was going, while swiping "start trip". He said Orland (I thought "wow, far"), and he did enter a destination, so off we went.

Semi-chatty fella, 20-something, attractive if I were a girl or gay. Talked about work and heavy metal music. I tried to wing it from the little I used to listen to. Should have offered him control of the radio to take off my Classic Rock, as I fully intended to do, but I was nervous and forgot.

35 min later, arrived in Orland. My first time driving the "new" extension of 355. Didn't know it went that far. $27 to me.

Thought about camping the main drag in Orland. Didn't think there'd be much activity there since every preppy owned a car. There weren't any other drivers there. Should I have camped there, or where there no other drivers for a reason?

It was 7:40. Decided to just leave the app on and head toward home. If I didn't get a ping by the time I got close (knew I wouldn't; it was mostly forest preserves on the way up Mannheim), I'd shut down with some of my butterflies gone.

Checked the rider app around 10pm. Except for downtown, there was nowhere I could drop a pin that said less than 10-15 min. Thought about going out since there were few drivers. Again, were there few drivers for a reason, or should I have headed out?

Few surges, but most of the city was yellow. Today (Thursday), I plan on doing one or two more trips in the suburbs while heading toward home (as best I can), but detouring a little to the yellow. Plan on staying out until about 10 for bar drop off, but avoiding the drunk pick-ups. Probably won't go into the heart of downtown unless I'm pulled there. I want to get like 5-7 rides closer to my 20, while staying with as many "easy" trips as possible.

I know $27 for a half hour was more like $27 for an hour because of the deadheading, and more like $17 after saving for taxes, maintenance fund, and gas. I've setup a spreadsheet to more accurately track these things, but it wasn't ready yesterday, and I didn't care since I just wanted to get rid of butterflies. I also know it was probably a pretty rare trip.

Did you make it to the end? Wow! Are you answering some of my questions too? Thanks!
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Active Member
No reason to be nervous, it will be comfortable before you get to trip #20. Head to River North, Wicker Park, or Lincoln Park, you'll get your twenty trips before the end of the weekend.