Please don’t be a dirty, smelly, rapist, pervert, serial killer and pick people up in your filthy Uber car…and you’ve already got a 4.9 star rating. The other 0.1 is just saying “hi, “goodnight” and treating your passengers with respect.
If you have ever been an Uber rider, you have an idea of how each Uber driver is unique in their own way. Some are chatty, while some are quiet. Some are very friendly, while some can be even rude. Some smell funny, while some overuse cologne. And the same goes for Uber riders. We are all unique individuals with identifiable traits, behaviors and all sorts of mannerisms. It is our differences that make us all interesting. And we must be tolerant and understanding of each other. There must be a mutual respect between the Uber drivers and their riders. That being said, there are certain things that Uber drivers should and should not do while being on the job.
When you accept an Uber trip request, start driving ASAP
When an Uber rider opens up their Uber app to request a ride, they are given an estimated ETA of the Uber driver to their current location. The rider can see the Uber driver’s current location on a map with a small image of a car that moves as the driver drives towards the pickup location. Imagine how frustrating it would be if you were the Uber rider and you had just requested an Uber to pick you up, but the little car on the map was not moving for 5 minutes. Some riders just request the trip and put their phone away. But some of the riders are in a hurry and may need to be picked up ASAP. Those are the ones that will either cancel the trip after a few minutes of seeing a stagnant Uber car on the map, or will end up having to call you and ask you where you are and why you aren’t moving. So lets save each other the frustration and just be punctual and efficient so both the Uber riders and drivers have a pleasant and smooth experience.
Keep your car clean
No one wants to sit in a dirty, filthy car with used snot tissues on the floor, old fries from a week ago stuck half-way in the seams of the car seat, cigarette ash sprinkled all over the interior, stains on the car seat from God only knows what, dried up mud or dog poop on the floor mats, dirty articles of clothing, etc., etc. (you get the idea). After all, you are supposed to provide a safe and comfortable ride to your Uber rider/passenger in a clean car that doesn’t gross them out especially since they are paying for this service. So please try to get a car wash every week (especially if you drive full-time for Uber), vacuum the car’s interior, wipe off your car seats regularly with a damp washcloth or towel, use a duster to wipe of any dust on the dashboard and center console, and keep an air freshener to keep your car smelling fresh for anyone who enters your vehicle.
Take care of your personal hygiene
- That means brush your teeth (and tongue) everyday – trust me, there are people that don’t…imagine THAT!
- Take a shower every now and then
- Use deodorant/antiperspirant under your arm pits after taking a shower so you don’t smell of bad B.O. after driving in the hot weather for a few hours
- Wear clean clothes and not the ones you wear when you are painting your aunt’s basement
- Do not wear a handful of your favorite cologne splashed all over your face and clothes (not everyone likes to suffocate with the smell of Brut Classic violating their nostrils when all they want to smell is NOTHING)
- Cut your nails – no one wants to see the little pinky nail grown out so you can use it to pick your nose and ears
- Oh and please don’t pick your nose, or ears, or butt with your rider/passenger sitting 2 feet away
Be friendly and respectful to your passenger
We all as human beings expect to be respected for who we are and treated equally no matter our age, gender, race, culture, ethnic background, mother tongue, skin color, eye color, hair color, body weight, political views, religious views or spiritual views. Therefore, always be friendly and respectful to your Uber riders/passengers and provide the best level of customer service that you expect to receive when you are paying for a service.
Be alert and attentive
Make sure you get enough sleep every night so you are fresh and fully awake before you go online on the Uber driver app. The last thing you want to do is fall asleep on the wheel and put your life, your passenger’s life and the lives of others at stake. Pay close attention to all the traffic signs and follow the rules of the road. You will need to be able to multitask as an Uber driver because you will be driving, looking at your Google maps or Waze app, keeping your eyes on the road and conversing with your Uber rider/passenger. With time, you will be able to do all those things while being safe and not missing a single turn. Be safe.
Drive smoothly and safely
Ok so you are a hardcore gamer when you are not driving for Uber. But please don’t take real life for a video game. You are not Vin Diesel in one of the gazillion Fast and The Furious movies chasing after or racing a bad guy in your pimped up ride. You should accelerate and brake smoothly, with both your hands on the steering wheel at all times if possible. Drive your car as if you had your 70 year old mother in the backseat holding your 5 month old baby in her arms. That way you will be the safest driver on the road. Remember, you not only have to care for your own life, but also the precious life of your cargo.
Greet the riders as they sit in your car
As soon as the rider opens your door and sits in your car, say hi or hello to them. Address them with their name and ask them how they are. That’s all you have to do. It takes 3 seconds. But it makes all the difference in the world. And when you arrive at the rider’s destination, bid them farewell by saying: have a nice day/afternoon/evening/night. Even if you don’t talk for the rest of the ride, just greeting them and bidding farewell to them will be enough for your rider to give you a 5 star – as long as you didn’t drive like a maniac and got them to their destination on time and in one piece.
Confirm the name of the rider and their destination
Many a times the wrong person will sit in your car for whom the Uber ride was not intended. The riders will see your Uber decal and assume you are there for them and they will often just open the passenger door and sit inside. Therefore, make sure that as soon as they open the door, you should ask if they are [insert User rider’s name here]. Upon confirmation of their name, slide the Start Trip slider on the Uber driver app and then confirm their destination. As soon as they confirm, you can begin to drive. A lot of the times, other people request Uber rides for their friends, family and significant others.
So the best way for you to phrase your identity confirmation question is, for example: “hello, is this ride for John Smith?” The rider will then reply with either a yes or explain that John actually called the ride for them. Just please don’t pick up Joe instead of John without confirming and end up taking Joe to John’s contemptuous mother-in-law’s house. No one deserves such a cruel punishment!
Carry a pepper spray or Taser
I must admit that in my 10 months of driving for Uber and having completed over 1500 rides, I have only had 3 bad apples as my riders. That is a pretty good percentage of good people in this world. One was a passed out drunk dumped in the backseat of my car by his friends to be taken to his home who wouldn’t wake up upon arriving at his destination. One was a drunk woman dumped in the backseat by her friends at a bar to be taken back to her house. Last, but not least, there was this one rude girl who was just a disrespectful person. Like I said, that is a pretty good ratio of good versus evil.
Now I’m not going to lie and say that you will not get any weirdos as passengers, because you will. But for those rare instances, you should protect yourself by carrying either a pepper spray or even a taser, if you can afford one. Pepper sprays, however, are small and inexpensive. I must also admit that I do not carry either of those devices. But that’s because maybe I like to believe that my self-defense is my kindness, which can diffuse the majority of undesirable situations. If all else fails, just get out of your car, find a safe place to protect yourself and call 911.
Anyway, enough of all this serious talk. Lets talk about the fun stuff.
Do not park half a mile away from your pickup location
This point is pretty self-explanatory. The general rule of thumb is to just follow your Google Maps or Waze directions since the Uber driver app is pretty well-integrated with those navigation apps. They will usually get you exactly to where the rider is, represented by the drop-pin on the Uber driver app. Unfortunately however, navigational technology isn’t really up to par with the 21st century and there will be times when the rider might not be exactly where the drop-pin is showing in the Uber driver app. So what I like to do is drive and park at the exact street address indicated in the Uber driver app, even if Google or Waze thinks I’ll be closest to the drop-pin if I go in the back alley. So be mindful of that because Google and Waze does try to get you to the back of houses and buildings more too often.
Do not call or text the rider unnecessarily
If you have waited for 5 minutes and the rider hasn’t shown up, or you are confused about the exact location of the rider, go ahead and text or call the rider. The riders don’t mind at all. But don’t unnecessarily call or text multiple times before even reaching their pickup location. As for Uber Pool rides, you can safely call them after 2 minutes are over, before cancelling the trip for a no-show.
Do not make or answer personal calls during a trip
It is not only rude to answer your phone calls while driving the rider to their destination, but is also unsafe since it will distract you from paying attention to the road ahead of you or the navigational directions being shown on your phone.
Do not fart
This goes without saying people! For God’s sake, all Uber drivers and Uber riders…please do not release your flatulence into the atmosphere of the enclosed cabin of the vehicle. It is extremely disgusting and rude and disrespectful and wrong on so many levels. Yes that also goes for Uber riders because it has happened to me as an Uber driver. How can you, as a decent human being, sit in someone else’s car and fart away? I mean I can understand if you have a medical condition and warn me beforehand so I can lower my windows down and turn off the AC…or wear a gas mask.
Do not drink alcohol or smoke weed
Again people of the Planet Earth…it is NOT OK to bring in your intoxicants into the Uber car and start chugging away at your whisky straight from the bottle, or pull out your weed pipe and start toking from it, or light a cigarette. This goes for both the Uber drivers as well as the riders.
Do not talk to your rider when you have noticed they are non-responsive or quiet
This is a big reason why Uber drivers get rated anything other than a 5 star rating. When you have greeted the passenger, they have sat in your car and you have started driving them to their destination, if you ask them how their day was and they reply only with “good,” “fine,” or an “ok” with no leading question asking you the same thing, that should give you an idea that the person doesn’t really want to talk. So just keep quiet and speak only if they speak to you. Sometimes the riders won’t even reply to a “hi” or a “hello.” Those people deserve a zero star if there was that option.
Do not ask personal questions
Do not ask the riders who their God is. Do not ask them who they voted for in the elections. Do not ask them any personal questions like that, unless they ask you first and you are comfortable enough to reply and take part in such conversations. Otherwise, a good general rule of thumb is just stay out of such personal questions.
Do not flirt with the rider/passenger
Yes it is very exciting when you start driving for Uber and a really beautiful and sexy girl sits in your car. But just because you are giving her a ride doesn’t give you the right to flirt with her. She is not standing next to you in a bar. Your Uber car is a professional work environment. You must respect the people who you are giving rides to and vice versa. Then again, if she is flirting with you (you lucky bastard), you can smile and respond in a positive manner making sure you don’t offend her. After all, we are all social animals.
Do not try to touch the Uber rider in any circumstance unless they want to shake your hand
This is also a BIG no no! There is nothing more inappropriate then touching your Uber rider in any way unless they want to shake your hand. The Uber rider has every right to sue you for sexual harassment or physical assault if you touch them in any way other than a handshake.
Do not have your breakfast, lunch or dinner during the trip
You should not eat anything while driving your car, let alone while driving your passenger. It is highly unsafe to do that. You can, however, drink your water, coffee, tea, juice or soda/pop.
Do not shout insults or display road rage if someone cuts you off
We all get agitated and angry when someone cuts us off on the road but we should all exercise restraint and patience and not start honking incessantly or rolling down our window to shout insults or curses at the offending driver…especially not when there is a customer/rider/passenger in your car.
Do not drive like a race car driver or a 98 year old great grandma
You are not playing your favorite street car racing video game on your Xbox or PlayStation. Nor are you a 98 year old great grandmother with cataract in both her eyes driving back from church on a Sunday afternoon. So lets obey the traffic laws, be mindful of the speed limit and drive with the flow of the traffic, making sure you are no more than 5-7 miles over the speed limit on local streets and 7-10 miles over the speed limit on highways (according to my experience in LA). But use your own discretion depending on the driving habits in your city and according to the flow of the traffic. You know you are driving slower than normal when you notice people either start driving too close to your back bumper or start honking or start pulling up next to you and giving you dirty looks. On the other hand, you might be driving too fast if you are zipping past and leaving all cars on the road far, far behind.
Do not accept the rider’s request to do something illegal
No matter how badly you want to be Jason Statham from Transporter or Johnny Depp from Donnie Brasco, do not make drug runs for your Uber rider or help them put in a really heavy body bag in your trunk. Do not allow them to drink alcohol or smoke weed or do any other kinds of drugs in your car either.
Do not accept a rider’s insulting, condescending or disrespectful behavior towards you
Just because you are driving an Uber rider to their destination and they are paying you for it, does not mean that gives them the right to treat you with disrespect and condescension. You are providing them a premium service in your personal car (not a taxi) and there should be mutual respect between the driver and the rider. No one is beneath anyone here or anywhere else. So if someone disrespects you, you have every right to cancel the ride, park the car in a safe place, and ask the rider to exit your vehicle. After you cancel the ride, the Uber rider is technically trespassing in private property and you can call 911 on them, if they refuse to get out or become aggressive or physical.
Do not hit a rider back if they attack you
Hopefully all your rides go smoothly and safely, but in the extremely rare occasion, if a rider gets physical with you and hits you or even tries to hit you, just step out of the car and immediately call 911. Also inform the rider that you have called the cops on them for physically assaulting you. But do not, under any circumstance, hit them back unless you have to fight them off in self-defense.
Do not have your dog, girlfriend or baby in the car while online
Oh yeah…it is definitely not ok to pick your Uber riders with your girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife, mistress, dog, cat or pet snake sitting in your car. Your Uber car, while online on your Uber driver app, should only have you in your driver seat and your passengers/riders in the passenger seats.
Are you already an Uber rider or Uber driver? Do you have any interesting stories to share as an Uber driver or Uber rider / passenger? Share with us in the comments section below.
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