Most of us, at one point or another, have been a rider in an Uber. Once you’ve started driving, and take a ride as a passenger, the dynamic is very different. A driver’s mindset when riding, mine at least, turns to a critique of the car quality, friendliness of the driver, checking for water and mints, and anything else I can compare with how I do things. As much as this driver is my colleague in a sense, they are also the competition because the more drivers there are, the less rides there are to go around.
I always tell the driver immediately that I too, drive Uber. It helps the driver to relax from the start of the ride, and they begin opening up as we share notes and war stories. Because drivers are essentially just contractors, unless you have a friend driving, there’s seldom an opportunity to share your experience with other drivers. I absolutely love it! I’ve even got a couple mates now who drive in other cities that I keep in close touch with. Some have even shown me a bit of Uber community that I didn’t know existed in the form of Whatsapp and Voxer groups who speak or text each other about how their shifts are going throughout the day.
You can learn some good lessons riding with other drivers. Regardless of whether or not you inform the driver you also drive, you can learn things on your trip. Putting yourself in a rider’s shoes can help you to mirror good things they’ve done, and maybe even recognise bad habits you’ve discovered. If a driver goes quite fast around a bend, and as a rider, you dislike it, then you’re likely to be more conscious of how you drive next time you go around a bend. If you take a number of trips and they all offer water and you don’t you may realise that it is an area you could improve in and change the way you do things.
I often have other drivers ask me about how they can improve their rating. We will certainly do a post on this soon, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to put yourself in someone else’s shoes to gain a little more understanding of what factors you would consider as a rider when you rate your driver. It’s an untested theory, but I expect you may even be able to claim the ride on tax if you’re doing it for this sole purpose.
All the drivers that I’ve had have been very engaging and keen to have a chat. If you’re wanting a place to connect with other drivers, join our facebook group and share some war stories. I’ll definitely read them! Hope to catch a ride with you someday!