I have been so neglectful of my blog!! Adding Uber to my schedule has really left me a bit out of sorts. I know its going to take time to adjust everything, get everything in a nice, neat schedule, then acclimate to that schedule, but I am missing writing so very much.
My social anxieties have calmed quite a bit, so I have started driving more and this seems to be working out well for me. This is not to say that I have not run into a few things that bother me, but I’m getting the hang of this, I think. Re-teaching myself how to take a nap in the afternoon so I can go out and drive in the early evening/night-time is presenting a little bit of a challenge for me, but this is a challenge I think I can handle.
I think my main complaint/issue with Uber is that they don’t have a contract with the military, and I live super close to Joint Base Lewis-McChord. This means, any time I get a ride request from someone on base, I have to stop at the visitor center to get a pass. It’s not really a huge deal to have to do this. Once you get a pass, you have access to get on base for the rest of that day, without needing to stop at the visitor center.
One of the problems with this are the fact that it takes about 10- 15 minutes to stop into the visitor center to obtain a pass and the personnel in the center have to contact the person requesting the ride to get their information, because you must have a sponsor to get a day pass. This leads to a couple of problems itself. One is, I have had ride requests canceled once I contact the person to let them know I will need to stop and get one. They either don’t have the time to wait or just don’t want to. The other problem is that, sometimes, the person making the ride request doesn’t answer their phone, which means the military personnel at the visitor center can’t verify that person’s information and I can’t get a pass. Time, gas, mileage wasted to no benefit. Potentially other rides missed out on. Ugh.
I’ve had to cancel a few of the base ride requests due to the lack of being able to contact the rider. Its frustrating. What’s worse is the fact that, after two cancellations initiated by me, Uber sends out a text message saying that if you are not ready to accept rides, then go offline. I’m completely ready to accept rides, to go through the time suck of having to get a pass for the day, but I have no control over what the requester on base does or does not do. I guess its time to visit the support center for Uber.
There is a ‘simple’ fix. I’ve talked with the military personnel at the visitor center about how one would make this a more fluid transaction for everyone involved and I was told that Uber needs to initiate a contract with the bases. This, then, enables any Uber driver that should want to the ability purchase a RapidGate pass, which lasts for a year at $100. I would so buy that. $100 is nothing compared to the potential fares that could result from having a RapidGate pass.
So far, Uber seems uninterested in pursuing a contract. At least, that is what it seemed like at the last event they had with group meetings for drivers/partners. When the topic was brought up, it was barely acknowledged and brushed off to the side quite quickly. I got the distinct feeling that Uber has no intention of even considering a contract with the military, which, in my opinion, is really not smart considering the closeness of the bases to Tacoma. Hell! Papa John’s drivers have RapidGate passes so their delivery drivers can bring pizza on base!
Yes, I’m frustrated by this whole thing. There are a few other things that are frustrating me about Uber, as well. Put all together, this leaves me a little uneasy about Uber’s business methods. For now, I’m ok and am not thinking about quitting Uber or anything like that, but it definitely leaves me feeling the need to be super vigilant about everything regarding Uber dealings. I’m working on figuring out how I go about getting enough of the local Uber driving force to help me petition Uber, or whatever it is we need to do, to get them to enter into a contract with the bases. It makes sense for them to do so because it would financially benefit them more than it does the drivers.
Ok. That’s my Uber rant for now. Other than that, Uber is going well. I’m still not quite making the amount I have set as a goal in order for the driving to pay for itself completely and provide a bit ‘extra’ for the household. I’m sure I will get there soon due to the fact that I have started to up the number of hours spent driving and have begun to get in sync with the right times and days to drive in order to achieve the maximum payout.
The Prius is just under 5000 miles, now, so I will be calling in to schedule its 5000 miles maintenance – sort of spa day for the car. It deserves it. A nice oil change, an inspection of the most important things with fluid top offs, and a tire rotation. I also need to do a thorough clean of the car. It’s not that its super messy or anything like that, it just needs a sprucing up. I have to admit I do love the Prius. It’s a really nice car to drive. I may even give it a name. 😉