For the past two weeks I’ve been working as an Uber driver.
I’d considered it for a while, because I wanted to test an idea I had for a TV series - “Taxi Cab Confessionals” set in an Uber. When this guy launched his podcast of similar concept, well… I felt like I’d missed out on my own next big idea.
To be honest, I finally started after my partner joined the fleet. He was often out driving on Saturday nights, and I’d end up slothing around at home alone eating sugary foods. Why not try Ubering instead and test out this show idea?
When I signed up, Uber offered an incentive: give twenty rides in a few days and it will pay you $200.
As someone (obsessively) goal oriented, I naturally obsessed with hitting that mark. It was like my Uber app became a money-making Pokemon game – very addictive!
Quickly I learned some riders are Evees, others Magikarps and they all result in a payout (somewhere between $4 and $60).
Here’s a quick overview of who I've driven:
Of course there are a lot of drunk people. A lot.
There was the couple awkwardly making out as I drove them, stopping to ask me to change the radio to fit the mood (I gave that rider a one star). There was the guy who suggested I go with him to the Oasis strip club (because it’s cheap – btw, no way!) And there was the girl sending out "vibes of prosperity and peace" to me while on her way to dance off a bad day at work (I liked her).
I overhear all sorts of things - and I love it! People talk, talk, talk about themselves (or say nothing at all), and they rarely ask anything about me. It’s eavesdropping at its finest.
So... I listen.
I’m not sure how long I’ll continue this social experience – or if I’ll rig up GoPros in my car for that series idea. But next time you ride in an Uber be nice – you never know who is listening in from the driver’s seat!
Jeremy Campbell is an ATLien, storyteller, traveler... & often all three at once.