Month: January 2018

The Pastor and his wife

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I was tired after driving all weekend. I had one more fare to do before collecting a nice bonus from Uber. That’s my game on the weekends – make the bonus and ease up my finances for the day.

It was Sunday afternoon and I had been at it since 10:00 that morning. Just one more fare and I’d be done for the day and week.

It was 3:00 and I was praying to the Uber God’s to send me…just…one…more and then BAM! There it was. I drove over and couldn’t find him. The app is pretty amazing but this time, it said “Pick up Tomaga” as I got closer.

Pick him/her up where, exactly? Right here in the middle of the busy street? Normally it will say on the left or the right, but not this time. So I drove into one parking lot, looking for someone who was looking for me.

No luck.

So I crossed the busy street and did the same thing.

Still no luck, so back to the first parking lot. I pull over and call him. He’s across the street IN FRONT OF TARGET! How could the app not know this?

Whatever….

I pull over and it’s a couple. With suitcases, so we’re probably going to an airport and I cross my fingers and hope it’s San Jose.

Nope. Wrong again.

It’s San Francisco.

An hour away.

I smile and tell them it’s no problem. I load up their suitcases and off we go. I ask them where they are flying to. They tell me back home to Norway.

“Oh, were you out here for fun or business?”

“Both,” he says. “We were at a convention all week.”

“Oh? What kind of convention that would also be business and fun?” I ask as I merge onto the freeway.

He hesitates and smiles. “Ummm….it was a Christian convention….”

“Tell me more,” I say. I want to hear it.

We end up talking the entire time about their work in Norway and all around the world. It was fascinating and the more we talked, the less tired I feel. He tells me he is a pastor and teaches. I ask if they have any literature I could see and they leave me a brochure.

I talk to them about how I wanted to get back into my human rights work and was feeling a bit overwhelmed about it.

He leans over from the back seat and pats me on the shoulder. “You’re an evangelist. You speak and listen from your heart. You are one of the few people with a voice.”

I feel myself nod and smile. Suddenly I have an enormous amount of energy and gratitude. I don’t always understand why things are the way they are, but I know enough that sometimes you just have to walk a path and let the universe help you.

I dropped them off amongst many hugs and cars zipping by. For that moment that I said good-bye to them, I felt as if I had had a quick brush with long time friends that I hoped I would see again.

The organization they work with is called “Transform Our World.” I don’t know much about them but here’s their website: Transform Our World

If you’d like to explore having this much fun with Uber, I’ll help you. There are so many people you’ll meet that you never would have had a chance to. I know I’m helping people and even after a long day, I come home happy and satisfied that I helped a bunch of people. Use my promo code it you sign up and would like some help: SUSANL12997UE.

Or use someone else’s – it’s all good.

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Uber Doober

I sometimes get asked questions about what it’s like to be an Uber driver. Just casual conversations and I’ve shared a few funny stories on Facebook.  They were well received as they were charming or funny and I just wanted to share a tidbit at the time.

One was about an elderly couple from India that I picked-up. We chatted for the few miles towards their destination. They were loaded down with gifts and flowers for their grandchildren and were an absolute delight.

The problem was, they had put in the wrong address so when I pulled up to let them out, shock and despair ensued. I got it all sorted out by having them call the daughter and getting the right address. The funny part was when the man kept trying to give me credit cards to pay for the ride. Adorable! I assured him it was all taken care of and then made him promise me 3 times to NEVER, EVER TO THAT AGAIN!

Fun stories are to be had as a ride-share driver. This is not something you can take very seriously and if you don’t like people, never do ride-share.

I pulled up to a location today – you just follow the app- and the guy wasn’t there. I was smack in the middle of a parking lot of a large apartment complex, so it didn’t quite make sense that he would have requested the ride from this spot. I waited and after 3 minutes, the app asks if I want to cancel for a “no-show.” I can and get paid a few bucks, so instead I called him. He wanted me to drive somewhere else, WHICH MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE!

I ask him where he is and he starts to give me a long winded description. I realize not only do I have NO idea where he is, I don’t know where I am. I circle around, looking for him and I’m about the cancel the fare when I see a man walking along the sidewalk, on his phone.

I stop and roll down my window.

“Hey!” I shout.

He stops and looks over at me.

“You looking for Uber?” I ask, just a bit annoyed.

“Yes. Are you Susan?”

“Ya think?” I say. He gets into the car and I verify his name before I start the trip.

I don’t pull away just yet. I put the car in park and turn around and look at him.

“Hey, Charlie, did you know that Uber drivers aren’t mind readers? Did you know that the app has us go to the EXACT spot you requested the ride and if you aren’t standing there, WE DON’T KNOW WHERE YOU ARE?”

I smile, he smiles and hangs his head. “Yes, ma’am,” he says as we pull away.

You never know who’s getting into your car and believe it or not, we don’t know what your destination is. All we know is someone is requesting a ride and we either accept it or reject it. Once the ride has started – after their butts are firmly planted in the car with their seat belts on after they have confirmed their name – do we then start the trip. That’s when we know we’re they are headed.

It’s hard work at times, but I like the fact that I can hit the road anytime I want and meet people. Each and every fare has been fine. No horror stories – but then again, I don’t drive at night, so no “drunk runs” – and in a very odd way, it tends to restore my faith in mankind.

I’ve met struggling immigrants with Master degrees that can no longer find work due to the recent political climate. I’ve met people who don’t speak English yet communicated perfectly with their smiles and hand shakes. I’ve given rides to sick and elderly people whom I was either picking-up from a health care facility or dropping them off. I gave a ride to a couple to a hospital so they could visit with their terminally ill daughter. Yesterday I picked-up a blind woman who didn’t speak English and was using her walker. Her son had ordered the ride and called as I was approaching the dialysis clinic. Even though she was gravely ill, blind and unable to walk, she was the sweetest human being and so grateful for the ride.

I was grateful for the opportunity to not only meet her, I was happy to be able to spend a small portion of my afternoon making sure she got home safely.

I made a friend with a man who is hysterically funny and got me to give him the name of this blog. He pulled it up on his phone, started reading it out loud and laughed and cried at all the right places. We text and keep trying to meet up for bingo, which is where I first dropped him off on a Tuesday afternoon. I still want to join him, but since then, I’ve picked up more jobs and no longer have Tuesday afternoon’s available.

I’ve learned that rich people don’t tip and those with little, do tip well. I had one fare that took over 2.5 hours to arrive at his destination in bumper-to-bumper traffic through San Francisco and over the Golden Gate bridge. That’s one long and difficult drive anytime, but even more so in commuter traffic. His house was a mansion on the San Francisco Bay and the entire time he was in my car, he was on his phone and laptop. Nice enough man, but not even $1.00 tip. Yet the young woman that I picked-up and drove for 30 minutes to a not-so-great neighborhood, tipped me $3.00. And she was unemployed.

What does it mean?

Nothing, really. Just that you never know about people and they can surprise you at any moment. That everyone is struggling and that being decent and kind is a choice and has nothing to do with anything other than yourself and who you really are.

I slept 10 hours last night and got up this morning and drove again. I have 3 jobs during the week and ride-share all weekend. I’m tired but happy. I got to meet some really nice and funny people this weekend. People that I never would have met otherwise.

If you are ever interested in driving for Uber, use this promo code and I’ll gladly help you as much as I can. It’s: SUSANL1299ue. Passive income is a beautiful thang.