Let me create the WHY for you. I've always believed in having what some call a "side hustle." In my opinion, it's resume and/or skill building! The added bonus is money, money, MONEY.
Yes, I work a full-time job. Actually, in a field that getting overtime is very common. So, I am sure someone is sipping their tea... PONDERING why become a rideshare driver? Well, At my full-time, I am required to punch the clock already for 8 hrs per day. For my own mental space, I refuse to overdue it! As a driver, I set my own hours!
So, I brought the idea up to my husband. If you know my personality... you would chuckle when I reminisce on how the story went. It was something like... Baby, I would like to sign up to be a rideshare driver! During that season in MY professional life, I was not willing to commit to overtime. Therefore, I was like... either I can climb some poles or signup! LOL, clearly I was joking. Before anyone get any ideas. We laughed but he was not feeling it... either option of a gig for that matter.
Two weeks later, I circled back! It was important for me to get his approval (yeah.. I said it) on the matter because that is apart of teamwork. And let's be honest, I am a woman talking about driving strangers around in my car. Agreement was, I signup.. give it two weeks of driving and we go from there. I thought, BET!!
After getting approved by the companies to drive, that first week I drove daily after work for 2 hours and made BANK. HOT DOG!!
Soon after, my husband learned that I was onto something. Before you knew it... I was not only a driver but referred others to signup... which after they met the requirements was money in the bank for me! Oh, one of my referrals was the Mista.
Over those three years, I met such knowledgeable people! Of course, there were a few interesting characters. But I wasn't judging.
Just a few memorable moments as a driver:
- During the Clinton campaign, I was out driving. Picked up two lively ladies! Over a chat, on the way to their location one said YES we are going to see the First Lady.! I was uninformed at that moment that; Mrs. Hilary Clinton AND Mrs. Michelle Obama were in town. They explained further about and its free entry. You guessed it! I dropped the ladies off, told them I will see them in there. I parked my car and just minutes later, I was in the building!!
- Another rider was enroute to the Carolina Panthers game. Strange enough, my husband was attending that game. Through conversation, I mentioned that to my rider. Next thing you know, the rider had a extra ticket... left it on my dashboard and said go join your husband. Oh, what a nice gesture. However, I am not into Football but he still insisted on leaving the ticket.
- Early in my rideshare driving career, I took a gamble.! Disclaimer: I read vibes well for the most part. I picked up this driver from a very prominent area. He was in town on business but wanted to treat himself to some grooming. He asked, could he pay me to serve as his personal driver for the night? If reading between the lines, he was suggesting, off the app. His reason, I am unsure. I can assume, he did not want his movements tracked. Or perhaps he was traveling via his work credit card. Nonetheless, I agreed. Of course, after getting my husband onboard on my whereabouts. Lets just say, I took him two places that night. Then circled back the following morning to drop him off at the airport. The pay was so decent, I did not drive for two days!
- Then the amount of riders that would confide in me was touching. One rider, we actually were going through a similar scenario in our personal life... JUST different roles. Of course, I did not mention that to him, I just drove as he utilized his therapy session.
- And the amount of authorRN readers I gained during this gig! My children's book, Wednesday Just Got Better, the day Leland dialed 9-1-1 made it to Asia on a missionary trip.
- Ha, that morning... after the last Presidential election... each one of passengers, all races seemed to be very much in shock on the outcome. They voiced it! However, I agreed with many but remained silent on my personal views. What can I say, I try not to talk politics at work! I might appear too "passionate" on my thoughts.
These are just a few highlights to share.
I never truly faced any major hiccups other than one female rider was upset because I refused to go against the rideshare/airport policy to pick her up outside the designated area. Or about the time I was driving a DRUNK couple on the late LATE night. Then they began to have a verbal dispute, the guy got out of the car... he was so over her! LOL.
Many of the times I was driving, my husband was too! But it was easy money. During our driving tender, on New Years Eve... we would turn our apps off close into the new year. Then venture off to our meeting spot and bring the new year in together. After about 15 mins, we'd app back on and get that surge money!!
As a rideshare driver (oh and I was a passenger as well,) those earnings paid many bills. And trips!! OMG, one time... we traveled to the mountains for a getaway. The entire journey and activities were funded by our earnings from that week!
If it was working for your bag and networking efforts, why stop?
Well, that last year, my ability to rideshare drive was limited due to adjustments I was faced with. I lessened my drive time from about 5 days a week for 2 years straight. To about once a week, to keep my credentials.
My final drive was Jan. 19, 2020... that morning. Which was my birthday! I only drove for about 3 hours, which that was all it took to meet my financial goal for the day.
I had been saying, there was a shift on the rise. At that moment, I did not know exactly what that shift would entail.
Well, let's just say.... adulting #5001 took over in February. Then the world reset in March 2020, for lack of other words. Between the virus recklessness and the rioting, I can honestly say... I understood the vibe of a shift on the rise.
Do I miss driving? Hands down, YES!! The earnings, no doubt. But the opportunity to service to those whom use rideshare as their only means of transportation. To those who've drunk the bar out but has the common sense to call for a ride vs getting behind the wheel. And the sights in the City I never knew exist til becoming a driver is simply unforgettable.
Would I update my credentials to drive again? That part, I'm uncertain. After every shift, I would sanitize my car. With COVID 19 on the loose, I refuse to put myself or others at risk in the event I did not take a moment to sanitize the vehicle after every ride.
On the flip side, I left in good standings so all I would have to do is first re-install the apps, submit my updated documents and I should be good to go. I mean, we should never say NEVER, right?