The hardest part of this proof of concept, is how difficult my life and commitments are to bend and conform to my new Uber driver lifestyle. Today is Saturday, which means morning yoga, it’s my one hour per week that I get to go into a meditative state and let my body re-energize. As an introvert, this is the highlight of my week! However, I was disappointed that after my crazy extraverted week, my normal teacher was out of town and we had a super chatty extroverted replacement who literally talked non-stop the entire class. So much for recharging…
Life versus Uber…
As soon as I finished class I had to race back home to pack up a picnic lunch and head over to the park to meet a good friend and her two young boys. I hadn’t seem them in months. She’s also an Introverted Thinker so it feels so natural being around her and it was exactly what I needed. Her kids are pretty quiet and chill, such sweet boys, so it’s so easy being with them. Time somehow just flew by and I realized it was already 2pm. I had to be somewhere that evening, so it was time to squeeze in as much driving as I could.
Let the Uber runs begin!
I quickly biked home, hopped in my car without taking a break, turned Uber online and got my first hit. A young couple a few blocks from my house were heading downtown. I dropped them off 6 min later for an un-boosted $3.75. Immediate ping. A group of four, that thought they’d be six, picked an UberXL (yay more money!) and were headed to a record store in Capital Hill. I dropped them off 8 min later for an un-boosted $6.34.
Bam, another ping. A guy who just moved from Maui to Denver, two days after his moving truck arrived, his roof leaked and he had to be displaced. I could totally relate, it’s almost exactly what happened to me when I moved to New York City, except instead of roof issues, it was hurricane Sandy. We piled a bunch of his last few household items, suitcases and boxes in the back and headed over to his hotel by 6th & Speer, central Denver. I dropped him off 6 min later for an un-boosted $3.75.
Bam, the pings were flying in! A family of four that chose an UberXL but didn’t want to use the 3rd row of seats, climbed in. They were visiting from out of town. The man was inquisitive about my story, and we talked a bit about getting businesses off the ground. He was a very rationale business minded guy and were on totally on the same wave length. I love those conversations where you’re each looking at the picture in the same way and we were brainstorming different ideas, it was awesome, energizing. I dropped them off near where I used to own a home, in the lovely Crestmoor neighborhood 15 min later for an un-boosted $11.89. He was sweet and gave me a $5 tip.
It wasn’t until I got closer to the more urban parts of Denver that I got my next ping, a couple that booked UberXL from the City Park neighborhood. The guy mentioned the small prius cars that are used so frequently in UberX are too small and crunched for him, they always pay the up-charge for the larger vehicle, UberXL. Works for me. They were headed to Hillstone in Cherry Creek and I dropped them off 10 min later for an un-boosted $6.78.
Bam, immediate ping from a waitress at the Hillstone who was on her way home to take care of her dog over her “lunch” break. Her dog recently had surgery and she wanted to check on him to make sure he was okay. She was a sweet lady and we chatted mostly about some of the bad Uber experiences she’s had. Having been a rider in Denver myself, I can’t really defend my fellow drivers. In New York, the drivers were awesome. In Denver, it’s like any yahoo can drive and I’ve had far more incompetent ones than competent ones. She experienced ones that were unethical and shady. Uber has awesome customer support so I recommended if she has that experience again, just report it to Uber. I dropped her off 10 min later back in the City Park neighborhood for an un-boosted $3.75.
My next hit came in just a few blocks away, a guy who was celebrating his 40th birthday. He was headed to one of the dispensary’s in an industrial area over by that dive bar, the Mecca Tavern, that I dropped the smelly guy off at a few days back. This guy was heading to an EDM show that night, but not normal EDM, it was called Base (or something like that). It was all new to me, so he showed me some videos when we were at stop lights of regular EDM, base EDM, the big EDM festival in Las Vegas, etc. It was rather fascinating. I dropped him off 10 min later for an un-boosted $3.93 and wished him a happy birthday!
Not wanting to pick up anyone in that area, I quickly scurried back across the bridge into downtown and got a ping for an Uber Pool at Denver Health hospital. The woman couldn’t speak English and I was way too exhausted to even attempt my broken Spanish, luckily her husband arrived and spoke English. I’d decided to start taking Uber Pool rides after the Uber 201 class where they confirmed I get paid the same even though the riders pay less. I dropped them off back in the same neighborhood as the dispensary about 7 min later for an un-boosted $3.75. Despite how important each dollar is to them, they kindly tipped me $5.
Needing to be somewhere by 6pm and it was already 4:30pm I started heading back home thinking I’d take just one last run. I got a ping from the Cherry Creek Mall. It was a teenager and his girlfriend who had been shopping in the mall and were heading back home. Backfire – they lived 10 miles away. About 20 min in, we dropped off his girlfriend then carried on to his house. He asked some questions about Uber driving, but mostly kept to himself. I dropped him off 35 min later even further east for $10.39 and he gave me a $1 tip. You could tell money counted for him, so the gesture was sweet.
At this point I was 12 miles from home and super late to get to my evening commitments which were pressuring me to be faster. I’ve found the variability of the rides and where it takes you is really tough for some people to understand / emphasize with. Today I worked 3 hours, did 9 trips, made $54.33 + $11 tips – $20 gas = $45 / 3 = $15 / hour (not including insurance, car, parking, etc.).
More to come,
PS – if you’re interested in joining Uber, you can use my link to get a sign-on bonus: https://partners.uber.com/i/sarac13944ui