Let me start by saying that I only drive part-time. Let me continue by saying that part-time is possibly overstating how much I drive. I drive on my lunch breaks sometimes. See? I don’t think that counts as part-time. I have a normal day job, I just thought it might be interesting to have a side-gig to make a few bucks here and there. I figured that I could get a paper route or maybe open a lemonade stand. The post office was hesitant to shell out dough to a grown man that barely knows how to ride a bike and the lemonade stand involved too much overhead, so I settled on Uber.
Sign up was almost strangely simple, as it was all done through the app. I used it to take pics of my license, registration, and insurance and then fill out some info so they could run a background check. I passed, while being what some might argue to be a certifiable maniac, so that should frighten you. Once the background check was over, I was ready to be called by strangers so they could enter my car and entrust me with their home address. If only I knew what I was getting into, from taking foreigners who don’t speak much English around town to an emergency trip to the vet.
I admittedly haven’t tried too hard to make a bunch of money doing it. That requires late evenings in most circumstances, something I’m not willing to sacrifice after a normal day’s work when I’m ready to just be with my wife. I did dedicate a few evenings to it in the early going and I can see how it wouldn’t be hard to make some decent . Mostly at night it consisted of taking people to bars of course. Lonely fellas going to sad-sack bars and some young ladies going all the way downtown getting a very late start on their night. I haven’t stayed out late enough to take many people home from these places. Despite an established vomit in your backseat policy, I haven’t been ready to risk it.
On a typical day, I scarf down my lunch while I work and then head out, turn on my Uber Driver app, and find a shady place to park and read. That really only gives me about a 40 minute window to accept rides, so again, that really shows my dedication. Many days, I just get to quietly sit and read. Some weeks are surprisingly filled with afternoon Uber-users.
On only my second ride ever, I excitedly accepted the trip and headed for the pickup point. I got a text from the requester stating that the ride was for her son. I thought that was a little odd, but I said that sounds good and headed on. I quickly realized that the path was leading me to a high school. How old was this kid? Can I drive minors? Am I going to be dropping this kid off and his mean ol’ step-Dad’s house who isn’t expecting a grown man to show up with his son!? I pulled into the school’s round-about with all the other Moms and waited for my boy to show up. I felt like quite the creep. Eventually he awkwardly approached me and I took him home. I deduced that he was a senior, so I like to think that he was 18. Still a pretty strange early Uber experience.
In my few rides, I’ve still managed to have some very interesting clientele, so keep an eye on this page. I will be writing about some of the more interesting ones soon enough. Don’t forget to tip your drivers!