The flow of time
Uber is an hours and minutes game. A time-related business. While you can improve your performance by narrowing down location with more requests or you can get lucky with connected trips starting close in time and space from your drop off point, you still have to put in the hours.
In the beginning I was patiently waiting for the next ping. Now I put the driving time second and focus on the intervals in between to read or make notes for stories or projects. I also write these flash stories for The Journal of an Uber Driver. It’s fun and forces me to be way more organized than when I’m “off duty”.
I just left a passenger in Markham and I hardly think that I’ll get another rider for here to Downtown at this hour. I could drive back or just stay here and read. The latter is my choice. A Tim’s coffee would be good company as well. Tim Horton is one of those Canadian experience you don’t understand until you try it. The coffee is not the best and most of the products they sell make my liver hurt just by looking at them. Going to Tim’s is for me a positive cultural experience first and a place to find nourishment second.
When I speak with other people (wannabe entrepreneurs mostly) I feel somewhat stupid at first. They have great ideas and they setup strategy and steps in such a knowledgeable manner. I can’t help but being aware of the small and lost me. Because I’m a getting things done kind of guy, my questions to them are practical and focused on learning how they did things. How they came up with this segmentation for potential clients, how and why they chose the marketing channels, and so on. And that’s the moment when the beautiful castle falls and crashes. Nicely dressed, the message it’s the same: we didn’t really start. “That’s OK but what are you doing in the meantime?” It adds up to not much. Few are like me. Working for others until my business starts making money. I’m fortunate to like being an Uber driver and also my day job when I have one. It keeps me sane.
My judgement on the people I meet at networking events might be biased because people that work a lot and think that having a full-time job and starting your own business in the same time are compatible don’t usually come to networking events. They’re too busy making money.
And there goes down the toilet my whole reasoning. How much money I’m losing going to these events? How much is my own project delayed by me spending time listening to other people’s ideas? Am I learning something new that could be useful in the future?
Short disclaimer: The Journal of an Uber Driver is a work of fiction.
Long disclaimer: The literary exercise to define a nowadays character for a novel led me to create these 30 blog posts. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. Any opinion expressed about Uber should not be interpreted as having a negative connotation. I admire the company as an incumbent of the platform economy and I am a registered Uber driver for research purposes.