Today is a Thursday and having gone to bed later than normal last night, my morning was also starting behind. The Uber quest this week was getting 20 runs between 6-10am Tuesday through Friday. Despite all my efforts being on the road, driving around aimlessly through neighborhoods trying to get rides, there was quite a bit of idle time making my rides thus far 7 of 20 with only two days to go. This morning would have to get busy to even come close to getting a chance to complete the quest, which would reward a $100 bonus.
Unfortunately, the morning was slow. I drove around through my neighborhood, nothing, Cherry Creek, nothing, Capital Hill, nothing, Congress Park, nothing, and as I was making my second circle around town, finally got a pickup at the Hilton Garden Inn on Colorado Blvd. The lady put her stuff in the back seat then hopped in the front. She was from Boston and in town for work. She couldn’t believe how sedentary the folks she was meeting with her, and felt confined and trapped in the conference room. She asked about coffee shops and I recommended the Pete’s which I guess was her dad’s favorite so she was excited to finally try it. I snapped a photo of her with the Pete’s sign so she could text it to her dad and dropped her off 7 min later for a boosted $7.50.
After that, there was nothing. I drove by the hotels in Cherry Creek, sat for a bit, nothing. Drove through the surrounding neighborhoods, it wasn’t for another 30 minutes of circling the city before I got my next ping from the Holiday Inn on Colorado Blvd. A young girl off to ballet with her nanny. They’d flown in from Georgia as the school in Cherry Creek is apparently quite high rated. The young girl was quiet, sat very proper, was tall and slender for her age, and had large puffy casings around her feet. Clearly this was more than a hobby. The nanny talked down to me, which is strange as all the other service workers I’d had in my car were actually the most polite. Who knows. I dropped them off 7 min later for a boosted $7.51.
Took another 30 minutes of circling to get the next ping, a man from Pennsylvania who was staying at one of the apartment complexes in Cherry Creek. He lived in Denver part time as his wife and kid were back home in PA. He talked to me like I was the help and the conversation was a bit awkward, but he kept engaging, so I went with it. That is until I mentioned the GPS wanted me to circle the block to drop him off and I asked if he’d rather do that or walk the ½ block. Instead of answering, he became rather rude about it. Perhaps it’s a cultural misunderstanding, it’s no secret East Coasters often take our Denver hospitality as a direct attack on their ego – are you hungry, if I was hungry I would say so, how can I help, I can help myself, do you prefer getting out on the left, I know how to get out of a car… the examples are endless. Either way, he’s got a lot to learn if he wants to live here. I dropped him 20 min later for a boosted $11.83, happy to get him out of my car.
So far the morning was not going well. Not only was it slow, more than half my passengers had felt it okay to treat me poorly. Though I powered on, it takes a lot more than that to knock me down. Luckily I got a ping shortly after from a lady off to Pennsylvania to meet up with her boyfriend. She was in her early twenties and spent the entire time talking about how rich her family was, all the famous people she’d met, how large her parent’s home in Jackson Hole is, how she’d gone to the best prep school on the East Coast, etc. She was super chatty, so didn’t require much from me to keep going. At least she was polite and talked to me like a human. I dropped her off at the airport 26 min later for an un-boosted $21.28, no tip.
Fortunately, I got a re-match and finally my first awesome rider of the day! A man in from Minnesota who worked for Amazon. He was in charge of checking on the different distribution facilities for their Fresh Direct service. We talked about the purchase of Whole Foods, my thoughts on how Amazon could maximize that, his thoughts on current strategy, the market in Denver, the market in New York City, how they differ, etc. It was an awesome dynamic conversation and he talked to me like a fellow strategist, I loved it. I dropped him off at the Amazon distribution facility in North Denver 34 min later for an un-boosted $21.27, no tip.
PS – He mentioned, they are hiring big time for their Amazon Flex services which have a guaranteed hourly rate (versus the fluidity of Uber/Lyft).
At this point it was past 10am so both the boost was over (ended at 9am) and the quest (ended at 10am), so I switched to only give me rides heading home. No takers. Feeling underwhelmed with how the morning went and being the quest didn’t include the afternoon, I decided to take the rest of the day off and catch up on life as since I started driving for Uber my life has been a chaotic mess with very little personal time, rising at the crack of dawn to work, getting only a couple hours in the afternoon which are completely filled with blogging, then off to drive again, to race to the gym, then off to evening commitments. Rinse and repeat. As any introvert can tell you, that’s a recipe for disaster. Recharge time was necessary.
Today I worked 3.25 hours, did 5 trips, made $69.39 and spent $20 on gas. That’s around $50 in net earnings or around $15 / hour. This doesn’t factor in income taxes, insurance, parking, or the car itself.
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