There are times when you drive for Uber that need to wait for your riders. Most of the time you are just waiting for them to get in your car. For instance, one of my earlier rides was picking up a dad who was taking his son to the movies. It was the first time he had used Uber and wasn’t really sure how the app worked. And too be honest, I wasn’t really sure myself, at least from a rider perspective. So, the father comes and tells me he is going to take his son to see the new “insert popular action move here” and just asked if I could wait a minute for his son to come out. Not knowing any better, I said sure, no problem. Well his son was a teenage boy and he apparently was still “primping” in case he ran into anybody at the movies. So after about 5 mins, the son came out and we were on our way.
Now, most examples of waiting for the rider is before the trip, but there are times, when you are in the middle of a trip and the rider ask if “we” can make a quick stop. First few times this happened to me, it really was just a “quick” stop. One guy just wanted to stop and get a coffee on his way to work and even asked me if I wanted anything. I thought, how nice is this guy. Next guy, just wanted to pick up a paper and got a drink. So the 3rd time someone asked me if we could make a quick stop, I didn’t think anything of it. Turns out, I couldn’t be more wrong.
So, I am out running errands and I turn the app on, like I usually do. Well, only a few minutes into it, I get pinged and head off to pick up my ride. I get to the pick up location and it turns out it is a women who looks pretty young but it is hard for me to tell if she is a college student or just someone right out of college. She gets in the car and I go and hit the navigation and off we go. Only about 2 mins in, she ask if we can make a quick stop. At this point, I am thinking sure, why not.
Turns out, she wanted to make a stop at the hardware store because she wanted to get some wallpaper. I pull up to the entrance and she said, I will try and make the as quick as possible, only a few minutes. So, she gets out of the car and I sit there an wait. About 5 mins go by and I am thinking to myself, OK this a little longer then I expected, but that’s OK. It shouldn’t be too much longer – WRONG. Another 10 mins go by, and at that point I look in the back seat and realize that she left her phone, and backpack in the back of my car. She was much more trusting then I probably would be, leaving all of her stuff in the car. Some more time goes by and at this point, I have pretty much caught up on my email, facebook and instagram and cant believe she is still in there.
Finally after about 30 minutes, she comes out. I will give her credit, first thing she does is apologize and ask if it cost me anything for sitting around. I let her know that with Uber, you get paid more per the mile than you do for the time and that if I hadn’t had to wait that I could have been picking up more rides. She offers to give me a little extra for the wait, which at first I tried to decline, but after a little back and forth, I finally cave and just take the money.
Turns out our destination was local college – Kutztown and she was a student there. The whole ride, including the wait was about 30-40mins. Before she gets out she ask, how much the ride would cost her. I tried to let her know that with Uber I don’t even see what I get until several minutes after the ride is over. I even showed her the app that says it is “still processing your last fare”. The idea is, that Uber doesn’t want the rider and the driver to compare the cost of the ride so the final cost does not appear for a while. She keeps checking her phone and the final cost is not showing on her end either. I apologize and let her know that I really need to head back because at this point it is going to take me 30mins to get home.
First, let me say that if I realized she was a college student before I dropped her off, I might not have taken the extra money. But in the long run, you need to realize that if you think “Uber Can Wait” it might end up costing you more in the long run.
Photography by Suzanne Drake Photography