South Carolina has been full of game changers, lately. One of those in the state this past year was the presence and acceptance of Uber on the driving scene. As we near the end of 2015, I thought it would be fun to revisit a piece when it was a bit more controversial highlighting the hilarity and hi-jinx, as well as the actual experiences, of getting behind the wheel for money. The following anonymous interview was originally published for Life Out Loud on Charleston Grit March 31, 2015.
Uber rolled into Charleston amid controversy, and cab and transportation companies cried foul. Upcoming legislation is intended to address industry concerns while also helping to level the playing field in the Holy City. Image credit: Canva by freestocks.org from Pexels
Love it or hate it, Uber seems here to stay. The ruling back in January by the South Carolina Public Service Commission solidified its presence, at least through the summer, when legislation is expected to flesh out regulatory and insurance concerns.
Interested in driving for them? Think you have what it takes? Here’s an insider’s look into of one of the most innovative and technologically based transportation services to ever hit the streets of Charleston, literally.
I recently asked a friend who’s been driving for them several months now to answer some questions about his experience. The ability to set his own hours lured him to partner with the “ride-hailing service” (The Associated Press banned the term “ride-sharing,” considering it a dubious play on words), and what he says may surprise you. I certainly learned a thing or two.
But what I really wanted to know was what it was like to have random strangers in his back seat.
During a brief stint as a realtor, part of what I disliked about the gig was driving people around in my car. It felt like an invasion of personal space, and I routinely asked folks to meet me at properties to avoid unnecessary discomfort. Needless to say, I didn’t last long, although closing six transactions in my first (and only) year on the job was considered good for a newbie.
I digress…back to the dirt. Requesting anonymity, my friend describes in his own words what you can reasonably expect carting passengers around the Holy City for a fee. From how Uber treats their drivers (and riders) to moments rivaling Taxicab Confessions, anyone considering a stint behind the wheel should check out this interview first.
How long have you driven for Uber?
I started in October 2014 and have been driving ever since.
At Christmas, tea is compulsory. Relatives are optional. -- Robert Godden
Did he mean Egg Nog? Cheers!
If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we aren't really living. -- Gail Sheehy
Third week of December 2015
Parties and pageants in preparation for Christmas. Quality time with people that mean the most is how I spent my week. Foremost on my mind from it all is change. How we must embrace it to live. Indeed, as the quote implies, to avoid it is tantamount to death. I choose life. The last seven days taught me a window can reveal different things to different people. Knowing this is power. Embracing it is survival. Change is good or bad depending on what we see. What does your view reveal?
Reflections Friday appears each week as an exercise in gratifude and recognition.
Don't get it right, just get it written -- James Thurber
The second week of December, 2015
In a nutshell:
This week I'm reminded of connections. Spring cleaning inspired by warm temps. Improvements around the house reinforcing the notion that our environment reflects personality. Thursday I met friends for drinks and fed my soul with laughter. We are the company we keep. The highlight came Wednesday hearing Robert Swan speak. Impossible to come away unaffected, a man on a mission to save Antarctica for the penguins. Everything on the planet is connected and either harmed or helped by actions. If you had to pick a theme for your week what would it be?
Reflections Friday appears each week as an exercise in gratitude and recognition.