A corporation is a Corporation is a Corporation. Not really but close. They all act the same but not quite. Well Uber is not a long term solution for me , as it is not for many people.
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Someone threatened to kill me on one of my Contracts tonight… I need something better!!! Wealthy Affiliate!!!
Everything that I say in this Blog Piece are simply my thoughts. But what I want people to know is there are many people who think like me.
Fork in the Road for Uber?
So it ‘s 3:20 in the morning and I just finished a very interesting night driving for Uber. Oh was it a very interesting night. I have a tale of 3 very different Customers to share with you tonight. But as I was thinking about my place in the Ride sharing Giants Uber and Lyft and the controversies of the coming Uber IPO on May 9th. The question of whether Ride Sharing is a good deal for drivers has become an even bigger conversation piece from customers.
With Uber giving very underwhelming bonuses to long term drivers as their top brass rightfully receive Billions and Billions of Dollars. Uber is going to come to a Fork in the Road. Where they are going to have to make a decision. Ok we made our money and established our company. Time to figure out how to get to the next level of Business Success.
In my eyes when you put a Millions of Dollars up to Start a company Up. You want to establish it, prosper it, and get your money back and then some. Ok IPO time. You built an Awesome Brand, it has Name Id, People love it, People think they need it, and people will not do without it.
You tapped into people ‘s addiction for their phone and cool apps. Now Uber is a must have. Now your going to have to make a decision.
Is your long term strategy not to be profitable? Or are we going to wisely raise our prices? Are we going to pay our drivers more for all they put up with? Or do we have such a great gig that we will always have willing drivers ready to make a quick buck. Are you using up too much of your Name Equity? Or are you like the Big Banks. People don ‘t like us but they have to deal with us no matter what. We are too big to fail.
Hmmm I don ‘t know. But I am going to share with you a tale of 3 Customers I talked to back to back tonight unsolicited. It was an amazing picture of what I have been saying about what Uber needs to do in regard to it ‘s business plan after the IPO.
Now for a little Background on my discussions this year about Uber. If you want to get straight to the meat. Go down to A tale of 3 Customers!
My Thoughts about Uber
I have been driving for Uber for about two years now. I have a very high rating from my customers but for me it is not high enough. I want to make sure that I serve others. As a Christian, a son, and a Father I represent more than just me.
Service is who I am. But also I am a very honest and fair person I would like to think. In being fair I have written about the Ride sharing strike by Uber and Lyft drivers in California in Spring of 2019. I push back on Ride Sharing drivers complaining about Pay.
Why? It is the nature of Business. In a nutshell if we do not like our Employer or the Business that contracts us then go find another taker. This is America. Let Uber and Lyft be Uber and Lyft. Mostly I deal with Uber but anytime I say Uber really the words are interchangeable in my opinion.
In one Piece on this website I pushed back on Uber and Lyft. On another Piece right after that I gave Uber and Lyft some medicine. You need to raise your prices and you need to pay drivers more. I laid out how you do that without crushing your average customer who really needs the service to get back and forth to work etc.
But if your using a Ride sharing Service. Let ‘s face it you are using a luxury benefit.
I have some bad news for Uber. If there are not some serious structural changes to their Business plan their Customers and Drivers are going to be looking for other options. Will there be a Knight in shining armor to save them? To take them away? Who am I to say. But I know what I see when I am out there on the Road for Uber.
I know what I am hearing from customers. Oh what it night it was.
A Tale of 3 Customers
So first let me tell you my demeanor with all of my customers. I try to be as nice as I can be with my greeting. I ask my customers how are you doing when they get into my car. After name checking of course! Always have done that for both of our sake.
But from there I try not to bother my riders too much. If they want to chat I will. Other than that I will give them some small talk here and there. But I do not like getting into deep conversations with my customers. I don ‘t feel that is my place.
But my customers many times love to talk. They ask questions. So they pull me in . 🙂 . Many times I enjoy the conversation. Don’t get me wrong. But that is just my style. So by no means did these conversations that I am sharing with you come by me prodding these 3 people. They started the conversation and I finished it. 🙂
First Customer: Uber Sucks doesn’t it?
Ok here is the fun part. The first customer, he got into my car and was ready to continue his fun on this Saturday night. He was a young kid no more than 26 years old I would say. So was our conversation developed I was shocked that he made such a profound statement and he really made me think.
So much I will be doing a separate Article about how he helped me to think about the work designations of Uber Drivers.
Well he asked me how I got paid on surge rides. So I shared some information with him. He kept on asking questions. I did not jump out and say hey Uber is a cruel task master. lol. No I never said that, I simply answered his question with no narrative.
But he kept pressing. As many of my customers do. I am a reluctant talker. Unless it ‘s a pretty lady. 😉 . Ha ha-ha! Only half-way joking about that. But I digress.
So he brings up that he thinks that Uber and Lyft are the same company. I am thinking to myself you’re reading my mind. He says that he thinks they should pay their drivers more. What he does not say is that they should charge their customers more. #TipofTheHat
He was reading my mind as he asked me what did I like better Lyft or Uber. I told him I started with Uber and then tried Lyft. At first, I thought Lyft was great and was better than Uber. At least better in terms of what I needed to use it for. Making more money quicker.
But after a few months I saw that both companies were really the same. Different names but the same game. Corporate Giants making money off the little man who is working hard. But that is what we call Opportunity in America. In my article ‘ I am a Capitalist , I am not bitter with Uber ‘ I share that I have no problem with that.
But if found it very interesting that this young man came out from Left Field with this deep conversation. But in a few minutes in his 10 minute ride we were about to get even deeper on Saturday night. Really dude I thought you were going to talk to me about Game of Thrones or Star Wars. It ‘s May 4th man.
But this guy wants to get deep about how the Ride Sharing companies are greedy pigs that suck. I tell you my tone and my words held him back. I am very measured when I talk to my customers. I try to be as fair as possible. Uber has giving me a great opportunity. I take their money gladly. So I want to be honest.
I let him know that I had no big problem with Uber. But I understand those who do. He says ok I see. He was trying to get me to that point. The side that he was on. In so many words Uber sucks.
The Major Note my Customer Hit
Then he hit the big note. The note that you did not think that he had in him. Wow you can blow. Did not see that coming Michael Bolton.
Customer 1 : Do you think that it is fair that you are seen as a Contractor.
Me: I don ‘t really mind it.
Customer 1 Rewords the Question: Do you see yourself as a Contractor or an Employee?
Me: Hmmm I never really thought of it like that. I would say that I see myself as a Contractor. I can make my own hours and I can get as many hours as I want to within reason.
Which I thought was a great answer. But man did he have a great question. One that I would really be thinking about after I dropped him off.
” I believe Uber should charge Customers after 12 am on Thursday , Friday, and Saturday More ” Cedric
I wrote that a night or two ago. Customer 2 proved that right real fast.
Customer 2: ” I might have to Kill You “
So right down the street from Customer number 1 was Customer number 2. Wow was this a little scary. But it shows you what Uber Drivers put up with. The short of it is Customer Number 2 threatened to kill me several times. No doubt my calm demeanor and forgiveness during the ride helped to calm him down. But yet throughout the whole ride he gave me threats that ended with one last one as I dropped him off.
Someone ordered an Uber for him so his name was not on the Uber. Even if it was I do not want to deal with it. I work in this city and I just hope I never see the guy again. People drink and they get high then get into your car. They get mad because someone did something to them at a club. A girl would not give them a dance. Or the bartender said no more drinks.
Then they want to take it out on their Uber driver. Or maybe they are just a bad person all the time. But that is what we deal with for Uber. These are the customers that Uber does not want charge more.
This guy told me he was from a Mafia family and that I should stay alive as he got out of the car. When he got into the car he gave me a hard time. I disarmed the situation. No pun intended. Really no pun intended!!!
I kept telling him that this was not your Uber. Then I texted the owner of the Uber to make sure that Customer 2 was the right guy I was giving the ride 2. Calm down guy I said. Let me give him a text. He conformed that Customer 2 was the guy. We proceeded to drive on and this guy was running his gums the whole way.
After apologizing to me for disrespecting me, he gets to a point where he starts telling me about some crimes that he did in the past. Then he says I probably shouldn t be telling you this. Before I can get out I don ‘t think you should either. I don ‘t want to hear it. He keeps on talking.
5 minutes later he says I am going to have to kill you now. I turn to him and say. Hey man what is up with that. I am looking for the laugh or the punchline. No he is stone faced. Is he serious? I surely started to believe so.
He goes on I should not of told you that. I am thinking man I could care less about what you have done. I am just trying to make this $5 a ride that I make on the average with Uber. I am not a cop or Priest.
For the next 5 to 8 minutes we are in this area. Ending with his last threat. He says, ” Keep staying Alive ” Ok dude I have to go to my next ride….
Wow… Are you serious? Even right now I am feeling a little chilled. I am not a punk. But dude seemed serious. I was looking to see if he had a weapon on him. The good thing was he was in the front seat and not the back. So at least I could’ve stopped the car if need be and defended myself hopefully.
Customer 3: Cabs were the Worst
After that terrible experience with Customer 2 who threatened to kill me. Man did I need Customer 3. Many times my customers cheer me up with their attitude. This time he did. The alcohol was talking in him a little. But I don ‘t mind that. As long as it does not get too crazy.
He brought up how he loves Uber and he uses Lyft as well. But mostly he uses Uber because it is more convenient for him. Then he says that Ride sharing is much better than cabs. Remember when you used to have to call a cab. It would take 2 hours to get you. I said yes I remember. These young kids don ‘t remember cabs. They always had Uber.
He did not know what I just went through. He did not know that I just wrote about how Uber ‘s customer love their service. Many of their customers are not going to take the bus or they can ‘t take the bus. But for a couple of dollars more than the Bus they can catch an Uber.
Getting a quick, safe ride, that is all about them. Most Ride sharing Customers will never take a cab again. You can charge them $3 or $4 a ride and they will pay it. Because at 1:30 am who you going to call?
People like me will come and get you. But how long will we be here to do so?
If you read my previous articles about Ride sharing you will know that this is Temporary for me. I am building my business online with Wealthy Affiliate, Wix, WP Engine, and Weebly.
Wealthy Affiliate my main hub for Building an online presence with all the learning and tools that I need.
But man how interesting tonight was. Back to back to back.
I made decent money tonight. I enjoy what I do. It is not easy. Most nights it is not easy. Some are harder than others. But it is honest work.
Episodes like tonight tell me to not work so late. They also prove me right. Uber needs to pay it ‘s drivers more at night.
This is a Fork in the Road. They have to make a decision. Uber is not responsible for bone headed customers. But people are holding them responsible and watching them closely.
This is going to be interesting!
What do you think?
Be safe and talk to you Soon!
While I get ready to write about being a Contractor or Employee of Uber. What is better?