You read it right. I drive for UBER. Well, I drove for UBER. I did it once, and even my wife didn’t want me doing it again. Scientifically Speaking trains businesses on using apps, and the UBER app is one I regularly recommend. I use it when I travel, and I wanted to know what it was like as a driver.
My UBER drivers have always been great. My UBER drivers have been personal, professional and friendly. They have alway been male. They are typically caucasian and retired. I never had any problems…until I decided to drive for UBER. Living in an Indianapolis suburb I knew my experiment would be a safe one. I chose a week night (Thursday) to avoid the weekend crazies I’ve heard about. This is what I learned when I decided to drive for UBER:
- We’re Not Friends – Everyone got in the front seat. Everyone. I always ride in the back seat with my UBER drivers. I can comfortably make calls, work on my laptop or phone. Why did they get in the front seat? Here’s what they told me:
- “It’s more friendly to be in front seat.”
- “I made out with my UBER driver once.” (WOW!)
- “I feel safer in the front seat. Like I can fight easier.”
I’ve asked drivers since that night where do most passengers sit. WOMEN ALWAYS GET IN THE BACK. Men get in the back half of the time. It was weird for me to have these people in the seat right next to me. My wife rides next to me. My friends ride next to me. When I drive for UBER, I want the passengers in the backseat. If I drive for UBER again, please get in the back.
- Everyone was drunk – Intoxication levels varied, but everyone was drunk. My passengers were young professionals living in the suburbs, and they were stumbling home to families. I drove in the middle of the week, and night time drivers get more drunks than day time drivers. UBER claims to reduce drunk driving, but recent reports show this might not be true. If you are going to drive for UBER at night, be ready for the occasional drunk.
- What Money? – My billable rate is $250 / hour ($1500 / day). I made $23 that night for 5 hours of work. If you drive for UBER, set up a route. Downtown to the airport. Suburbs to downtown. Bar scenes (if you like drunk riders). Set up a time driving, and treat it like a job. If you want real money, plan on driving 6 – 7 hours a day with a lunch break.
- No Down Time – I took my laptop, so I could work between drives. If you want money, be ready to accept all of the drives offered. As soon as I was done with one person, my iPhone told me about the next rider. If you drive for UBER, be ready to drive for UBER. This job was like retail. Complacency doesn’t make any money. Be ready to drive all the time.
- No Introverts – They kept talking! Everyone I picked up talked to me from the minute I picked them up to the time I dropped them off. They talked about their jobs, and they talked about their families. They complained about the bars, and they talked about making out with their UBER drivers (awkward!). I’m not looking for more friends, but UBER drivers need to extroverts.
My last rider leaned across me, and he cussed out the manager at the burger joint. He was drunk, too. UBER has more than 160,000 drivers, but I won’t be one of them. It was a good experiment, but my time is better spent growing Scientifically Speaking. UBER has changed the taxi industry forever, and many drivers have had great experiences. You can make money driving, but you have to treat it like a job. And don’t pick up any drunks.
Scientifically Speaking, of course…