These are some things that make me just LOVE Uber. They're not to be taken lightly ~ I'm pouring my heart out here. Stay with me ADHD people.
1. How the heck would I ever know when my auto insurance was about to expire? Uber's emails and alerts are a complete life saver. I shudder to think of the scary nights I might have spent in the slammer. I know 'Orange is the new Black' but I'm all about freedom. Make it reign!
2. Hot babes. Total 10s in MY car, voluntarily without a gun to their heads. How on earth? AND when they proposition me! Wait! Read on for a second ~ maybe 'proposition' is the wrong word because I don't mean anything creepy or rude. I have professional boundaries and so should riders (that's a given). But when someone who should be in commercials for Calvin Klein underwear and Colgate says, "So, are you married?" or when a young gorgeous smelling firefighter asks, "Do you ever go for coffee or a drink with a rider?" What?...
Okay, fair enough they're clearly drunk or high - and it's dark and maybe they're desperate or rebounding etc. whatever... Still, wow. It's not even real sometimes. Phew. Where was I? Oh!
3. My beautiful car. I used to drive around in a car that resembled a dumpster behind Mc Donalds, throwing empty diet coke bottles over my shoulder, kids dropping fries from their car seats etc. Vacuum it? Who had time? Car wash? Nah, It's going to rain Friday.
NOW? My car is my pride and joy. It's pristine. It smells amazing (I get compliments ~ a teeny hint of peaches and cream - NEVER a mirror tree, ew) The windows? You can't even tell if they're up or down. Now if it rains, my baby had better be in the garage - filthy sky water. My car is a haven. It's a white Prius but whatever - get in it before you judge. Feel the vibe ~ calm, clean, relaxing, safe.
4. Music. Wow. My childhood consisted of the crackling radio or winding up cassette tapes with a pencil. Many of you won't get it and that's alright. Now, in my car on my Pandora (just $9.99 a month tax deductible commercial free) I can listen to ANYTHING anytime - music that resonates in the very depths of my soul. Dead miles are not as irksome when I can finally listen to that song I've been dying to hear (loud, maybe 5 times in a row, maybe sing along) knowing the riders might not be as passionate about it as I am.
Not only my new discoveries of the classics, jazz, metal, but I know what's popular now with the late night crowd and I dig it! Sometimes I drive into my garage and have to wait for a song to end, or an album, before I go inside. I have fallen completely in love with new genres of music. Uber did this to me and I will forever be grateful.
5. Cash out. Rich people skip this one. Cashing out is the loveliest way to get ahold of some cash fast. Sure there's prostitution, bumming off a friend, a cardboard sign, selling weed, refinancing your home - but those are just plain embarrassing. No offence to 25% of you. Okay not even JUST cash out, but making some dough on the side for that concert ticket, (Sir Elton John in January) or to pay that "street sweeping" parking fine. Maybe to feed you between looking for jobs. Maybe it's your full time job and you love it.
But seriously now, the amount of times my kids ask me for money with the preface, "Mom, are you ubering tonight?" Let's just say that waiting for a paycheck just isn't always convenient. I dream of a future where all jobs pay you right away.
6. Roulette. Driving for Uber is like playing Roulette. I don't know when I'm going to hit the mother lode. Every ride has the potential to be say 'red 8' and my fat pile of chips are on it. It's a game. I'll do one more spin then I'm going to cash in/out. To be fair, it used to be more like Las Vegas (when the surges were decent) now it's more like gambling on 'pensioner's night' in the bingo room of a trailer park... But it's still Roulette. Just because the payout isn't what is was, doesn't mean I might not get a random decent tip... maybe someone will be just that happy, drunk, kind, grateful or feel sorry for me enough.
7. Russian Roulette. I have faced the fact, every single time I drive I might end my shift wearing a toe tag. This is especially true since I am a night driver. "Don't meet strangers off the internet," said Daddy. "Don't ever get in a stranger's car," or "don't drive now, there are too many drunks on the roads." Any time I drive, someone mentally unstable could get in my car (even from Walmart, with a weapon, maybe say, a machete?) I don't know. So I spin the chamber, take the shot and go get that ride. Okay, fine, hopefully not a body bag (I don't mean to come off as a drama queen) BUT maybe a car saturated in vomit, a contagious disease, a collision, a deactivation. Will this be my last Uber drive ever? I don't know! Day job: Merl? Is there enough paper in the printer? Uber: Do I feel lucky tonight?
8. Uber hero. This is a real thing. I didn't even know about it until I started driving for Uber. Sometimes, you just end up, due to circumstances out of your control, being a hero. I don't wear a cape or anything, but I've driven people back home to get their IDs, recommended a certain strip club or amazing restaurant to out-of-towners, helped people find a hotel or their car at 3 a.m., calmed crying women down, held vomiting women's hair, given people an easy quick alternative to driving drunk etc.
I hear, "Oh thank God you're here!" quite frequently. I may not be in the same ball park as say, those 9/11 firefighters or our nation's service-people... But I am, beyond a shadow of a doubt, a hero. It's pretty cool. I hope you guys realize that you are too, every time you go out there. Keep it real.