Learn from Ronald’s Uber Wisdom
Here are some things I learned from driving Uber part-time:
1. I do not know Waikiki very well
Since the start, I have always driven in Waikiki. Even though I grew up in Hawaii, I barely know where this and that hotel is. I know Kalakaua and Kuhio, but you need to also know Ala Moana, Saratoga, Lewers, Kalia… and there are a whole bunch of one ways too!
2. People who work in the service industry are GENEROUS TIPPERS!
I think this is pretty obvious: if you work on tips, you understand the hustle and how important tips are to your pay, so you do your best to tip others. I once gave a bartender a short ride from Liliha to District Nightclub and he gave me a stash of 9 $1 bills! I once returned a wallet to a guy who left it in my car and he gave me a stash of 23 $1 bills!
Tip: if you think your rider is in the service and hospitality industry, be extra nice to them because they might give you a tip!
3. I enjoy talking with strangers
I generally enjoy making conversations with strangers. Sometimes they want to just have chit chat, but other times, people might talk about their problems in their love lives, and some might want to talk about deeper things, such as purpose and the meaning of life. In fact, I remember one Australian traveler actually asked me to turn down my music because he was so interested in what I had to say about my purpose in life! I can easily talk with anyone and they can feel comfortable talking to me… you know why? Because I’m a random Uber driver and they will probably never see me again and that makes it easier to talk about anything.
4. Some people might be surprised that you want to chat with them
In many states and countries, service men just do their job. Here in Hawaii though, people are more friendly and open to chatting with strangers. When you go to smaller towns like Haleiwa or Kailua or outer islands, this is even more true! If people seem surprised, don’t worry — they are just not used to it. In fact, if you give a great conversation, it makes them enjoy Hawaii even more, because their drivers back home will just not be as friendly… and that’s really a big part of why tourists like Hawaii!
FYI, I’ve only had one pair of foreign young women that asked me to not chat with them in the hundreds of rides I’ve given.
5. Drunk people are either dead quiet, angry or hiliarious
Most of my rides have been in the midnight hours, so I have lots of experience with drunks. Drunks are usually falling asleep, upset at their friends, or ready to have a funny conversation. Being an Uber driver is sometimes funny because they make me a “flex-friend” and include me in the conversations 😁
5a. I always have barf bags
In my hundreds of rides, I’ve had 2 people barf and one close call. If you pick up drunks, be sure to tell them “Hey, I want to let you know I have blue barf bags under the seat of the car if you need them.” Those 2 people that barfed? They rolled down the window and barfed on the side of my car.
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