Yes, I am an Uber driver. I have combined passenger fares and meal deliveries 118 times in the 4 months I have been doing this. I have made a few hundred dollars in that time that have at least temporarily allowed me to continue to buy food for my family as I try to pay off my bankruptcy debts.
And there is absolutely no way to explain why anybody in their right mind would ever want to do such a job, so I won’t try that. I will, instead, try to explain why someone like me who taught middle school long enough to get brain damage actually kinda enjoys it.
You see, a teacher does his job each day by standing in front of a motley mob of hormone-crazed immature higher primates and talking to them with the insane hope that they might actually listen, and even more insanely believe that they will learn something from it. And as a side benefit, you get to listen to them talking to each other and to you. You learn about who they are, come to appreciate them as unique individuals, and sometimes even love them (though never in a way that will get you thrown in prison; rather, only through Christian agape-type love).
Driving Uber is the same thing with all the responsibilities and consequences greatly reduced. You take somebody somewhere, talk to them if they want to talk, don’t talk to them if they are giving off “Shut-up!” radiation, or just deliver food to them, and then Uber gives you money… like magic.
I can effectively Uber drive because I spent seven years driving all the way to Garland, Texas from Carrollton in order to do my teaching job. Forty-five stop lights and a thirty-five-minute to three-hour commute. That’s a lot of city driving for practice. And of course it is driving experience in Texas where any idiot who can get behind the wheel is allowed to drive, and many of them have guns. I have learned how to do defensive driving pro-actively and aggressively.
I have put up with paying passengers who are backseat drivers and complain about every passing motorist and lane change. I have experienced an Uber navigator app that sends you to the wrong location routinely and sometimes advises you to make a u-turn in the middle of a major highway intersection. I have had to juggle two meal deliveries at once on opposite sides of the city. I have also driven drunks to liquor stores to buy more crazy sauce. (You wouldn’t believe what kind of wild stories you can hear from drunk guys.) And restaurant managers that I’ve worked for more than once are often relieved to see me rather some of the drivers they have to deal with.
So here’s my assessment of life as an Uber driver. I don’t make much money, but I can make enough. The hours are good because I can drive at any time of day or night and for as long as I feel like doing it. I don’t have to do it at all if I don’t want to. So it is practically a perfect job for retired and sickly crazy old me.