This has been a mercurial week, to say the least. Tuesday was a borderline disaster since my phone was struggling to maintain a connection with the Uber server. I wasted two hours driving from the university area to Cornelius and back to Uptown without a single ride. But Thursday made up for it in literally three trips. Right after finishing a shift at day treatment, I took a rider from Monroe to Chesterfield, SC, a 40 minute trip through Trump country with the last mile taking me on a dirt road. Once I made my way back to Monroe, my next trip was from there to just north of I-85. Those two combined with a short 4-mile trip to Plaza Midwood and I surpassed my earnings for Tuesday in half the time. Friday kept me hopping including a trip from the airport to Mooresville. Beyond that, it was the usual assortment of people looking to party. I went out with friends Saturday night so I didn’t do much driving but my last ride that night is worthy of note because the person who requested the ride put the pick-up and destination in backwards. Luckily it wasn’t a significant distance and everyone made it home safe. Hopefully, next week proves better.
I think this weekly posting schedule is working out pretty well for me. I’ll probably stick to it unless I have a truly spectacular weekday or something. Tuesday afternoon was remarkably successful given that I spent half of it at day treatment. I took a gentleman from Monroe to Waxhaw and three trips later, I was halfway up Brookshire Boulevard. Except for the hour that I wasted wrestling with my phone’s failure to connect with the Uber server, Thursday wasn’t particularly exceptional. Friday was lousy in terms of fares. I barely made $10 for every hour I was on the road. I also got a wrong number when I tried to get in contact with one of my riders who didn’t show, a truly bizarre happenstance. Saturday definitely compensated for it though. It was about 10 pm when I got to Uptown so I was getting surge pricing on at least half of my trips. Most of my riders were the typical clientele of drunken 20-somethings looking to keep the party going or simply going home. One of my last rides of the night though turned out to be a pair of local comedians and it was interesting to hear them talk about their friends and them working alongside household names like Chris Rock and Bruce Bruce.
What a wild and crazy weekend it’s been. All of my driving this week has been in the past three days so I’ve elected to condense it down to a mega-post. Let’s begin.
Thursday: I bonded with my first rider of the afternoon over our struggles with the one-way streets of Uptown. I also spotted a car in the lane next to me in the University area filled with so much garbage it was legitimately obstructing the rear-view. I don’t understand how that is acceptable for some people. I also crowned a new champion for longest ride in terms of duration which hopefully will not be toppled. I took a gentleman from Uptown to near the Arboretum in South Charlotte to the CVS in Piper Glen and finally to the airport for a total time of 94 minutes thanks to rush hour traffic.
Friday: In immediate contrast, one of my shortest: 1 minute, 39 seconds. After Friday, I’ve now decided to put more severe restrictions on allowing smoking in my car. My earlier policy allowed for it provided you had the window open. This works for most people during the day in the summertime. However, when it’s 40 degrees in the middle of the night and we’re flying down the highway, smokers want to be able to light up and be warm at the same time and become unable to follow my rule. Thus, from henceforth, groups don’t get to smoke anymore but single riders might because the dynamic between me and them is more direct. It was an incredibly busy night though with a total of 30 trips.
Saturday: The St. Patrick’s Day pub crawl was a boon to Uber drivers and I was no exception. At least, not completely. Between my 00’s era pop punk and 70’s rock Pandora stations, I’ve been getting a lot of compliments about my music selection including several last night. I also got props for knowing the difference between Tommy Two-Tone’s “Jenny” and Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl.” I picked up a young woman whose boyfriend made a point to get a good look at my face before I drove off in case I tried to get fresh. A valid move I suppose even if it created an uneasy tension between the rider and myself. But back to my original point about being an “exception,” Saturday night kept me very busy with the majority of my trips being accepted before I had finished the last one but most of them happened far away from the action in Uptown with one of my pick-ups being all the way in Waxhaw. At the end of the night though, just as it started to snow, I witnessed a taxi get rear-ended. My heart goes out to you fella; that sucks royally. I’ll probably take it a little slower this coming week. My car could use the break.
This weekend was a unique one to say the least. One of my riders on Friday gave me a gift/souvenir of our time together: a DTC tumbler (see photo below). I’ve tried to find the logo online to identify it but have come back empty-handed. Beyond that, my most noteworthy passengers that night were a family of three with a crying child. Saturday was when the oddballs came out since I was driving later in the night. My first ride of the night took me from Matthews to Fort Mill. The ride immediately after that was a pick-up from the Anne Springs Close Greenway Dairy Barn which is apparently a popular event venue in the area. It still threw me for a loop when I had to drive down a dirt road to get to the building. At about 2 am, I picked up a fella who not only asked me to play Justin Bieber but also to tell some jokes as we started our trip. I also got my nightly dosage of pinheads in one trip in the form of two guys and a girl who were enormously loopy and all struggling with the idea of why it’s pointless to turn the heat up if they also have the windows open to smoke. Overall, this weekend was very profitable and I look forward to doing it all again next weekend.
I’ve been at the top of my game this week with two $70+ weekdays. On Tuesday, I drove from the airport to Gastonia only to make an exact return trip with the rider. At 12 miles away, I’m the closest guy? My travels around rush hour not only took me into South Carolina but all the way to a 5-block radius of the place where I used to work in Rock Hill. It truly is a small world after all. Today was accidentally more lucrative than expected. After getting a shave and a haircut in the morning, I went online while driving home and ended up taking a pair of hungover co-workers to retrieve their cars after what sounded like a blurry night before. The journey took me all the way to the university area so I decided to just grab a cheap fast-food lunch rather than drive all the way home and continued with my afternoon travels. I had one of my longest trips on record taking a young man from a preparatory school in Mooresville ( I was pursuing a surge, don’t judge me) all the way to the northwest portion of 485, a total of 22 miles. I tried the tip jar thing this week. Not a goddamn thing, not even from businessmen going to the airport. Ah well, it’s not exactly a loss if it was bonus money in the first place.