My Very First Day Driving An Uber Car In London
Well, to say that my first day was a stressful experience would be an understatement!
That was only a few weeks back, but it seems like months of time has passed. I did sweat a lot, though. It was not a hot day.
I went totally unprepared as well – bought a cheap phone holder from ASDA because my old one has been iffy at best. Borrowed a good phone charge from my housemate and off I went. It was only half an hour since Uber activated me on the platform and accepted all my vehicle papers. I was so excited!
My first ever customer was a beautiful young lady called. I picked her from a building near Paddington, and I moved the car five times before I decide on where to stop and wait. See, I am not very experienced with driving on the left side of the road and sitting on the right. It just feels unnatural to me. The mirror is on the left. I feel cramped from the door on the right; it’s just awkward. Then I saw her coming down the road holding a phone in her hand and looking at the car’s registration plate. That was my cue!
When she arrived and told me where she is going, it sounded like a far away land somewhere in Asia. No idea. None. I asked her if she needs any help with the bags or anything, should I adjust the temperature or open a window. Her reaction kind of surprised me. She said “Wow, you are very nice, not like an Uber driver…Are you new?” I figured it is common courtesy to ask your passengers if you can help with the bags or if they are cold or hot, but go figure; I guess not everyone thinks the same way.
But the time all that took place I realised I have to pick her up in the app and start the trip. I did exactly that, and then my Google Maps crashed. Panic. Sweat. Apologising… She was very easy going and understanding, I guess I was an apparent nervous wreck behind the wheel.
So off we went, the trip went surprisingly well actually, we talked throughout the whole journey, which was almost 4 miles away. Not too bad as a first ever Uber trip! The next three trips were even better, I wasn’t so confused about where I was going and picking up people from, but the fourth one was a disaster. A lady pinged me, but I am pretty sure Uber miscalculated her location because I managed to get exactly next to the pin on the map. The weird thing was that when she called, she said they were in a pub across the river. I tried entering the bar name into the GPS, but with all the construction and detours happening around Tower Hill station I was just doing circles around the block and getting more and more confused. We exchanged a few phone calls, and my aggravation was already showing, I think, on the last call. After close to 8 minutes driving around and exchanging phone calls, I gave up. I cancelled the trip and went home…
I made £35 that evening, which considering my stressful time and novice behaviour was not bad money for a few hours.