Why keep doing it? – The Journal of an Uber Driver 17/25

The Journal of an Uber Driver
June 5, 2017

Why keep doing it?


It is 1 am. I stop at Tim’s for my roll up the rim coffee. All five people I drove tonight had one of those cups in their hand. It’s something unreal going on with this desire of wining something you didn’t work for. Lottery tickets, cups of coffee that can win you a car, casinos, or just the simple “free” promotional stuff.

I’m not lucky this way. I have to work hard for every little scrap of what I have. I buy the cup of coffee and look at me from the outside as I would study an insect trying to carry a too big of a leaf. I roll the rim of the cup. Nothing. The energy consumed by my brain to go through that second of hope and to deal with the disappointment after feels like I just lifted something very heavy. I’m exhausted. The same happened when I was buying lottery tickets.

Why do I keep doing it? How did we come up with this form of unethical distribution of wealth from which only the owner of the lottery or the company doing the promotion really wins? Why we consciously accept this form of brainwashing?

I don’t fracking know!

That’s why I go back to the “why” I know how to answer to.

I got a new job. Doing what I’m good at. What I love doing. With people that like me. Something I can understand and accept. I put in 8 hours of “doing” with visible results and I get paid well for it. Why is that I’m still allocating at least 10 hours a week to driving for Uber? It’s not like I get too much money from it. I could just walk away and use these hours for something else.

If I would do this, I would be on the outside. I wouldn’t have that insider insight into what the platform economy is. The experience of doing this, of feeling it, of interacting with new people every day is priceless for now.

Adoption of the new things. This is the mystery I’m trying to unveil every time I attach the Uber sticker on my car’s window. Why people have adopted the Uber way seamlessly? Why is it that certain technologies win the mind and hearts of people while other are forgotten even before going mainstream?

It’s not about being in the right place and the right time anymore. Some products or services become ubiquitous in a blink of an eye. It’s a new type of survival instinct that allows a few entrepreneurs to build a product with an instant adoption rate.

Driving for one, letting my mind feel the storm of change might give an answer to some of my “why and how”.

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 25 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.