May 12th, 2021


Hard to pass up a hundred bucks... (205)

I almost went with "204.99" for today's weight, since that's what the scale sent to my phone, but c'mon. It's 205. I gained 2.2 pounds yesterday! We'll blame Taco Tuesday.

As for the hundred bucks, I was driving home from dropping off some stuff at a friend's place in Fall Creek early this afternoon when my phone lit up with a notification from the Uber Driver app. $100 extra if I drive three times this week. I had reactivated both Uber and Lyft since I'd heard there was a shortage of drivers in the area, and lots of people have been complaining they couldn't reliably get a ride.

I had a 2pm meeting and wanted to make lunch first, so I didn't do it then, but after the meeting... why not?! One of the advantages of a salaried job where I sometimes have to get work done on evenings or weekends is that taking a break for something like this feels pretty reasonable.

Ended up doing three rides in quick succession. One chatty student heading back to campus from Community Corners, a pair of students heading to their apartment from Target, and a patient heading home from a doctor's appointment.

That last one told me she was really glad I turned driver mode back on after the second ride, even though I'd set it to stop driving when I picked them up. She'd been waiting an hour at the doctor's office outside of town, and they had closed in the meantime. Yikes. I knew there was a shortage of drivers, but that's a long wait.

That ride was long enough in time and distance that it earned north of $17, when the other two were $4 and change and $6 and change. My first ride had canceled when I was halfway there, so I also got a $3 and change cancellation fee. $32 and change, plus a $100 bonus. Not a bad hour-and-a-half, give or take.

I've generally enjoyed driving for Lyft more than Uber in the past, but I really like the way the Uber Driver app has evolved. Among other things, it shows a heat map overlaid on top of the map map when surge pricing is in effect, showing where demand is highest. If I head in those directions, and if I'm offered a ride, I'll earn extra. Last week's sole Lyft ride showed no such feature, but it might also not have been in effect at that time.

The strange thing is that none of the four rides gave me a tip, between last week's Lyft ride and today's three Uber rides. I certainly didn't get a tip for all rides in the past, but four in a row with no tip is weird. Hope it's not the new normal. I won't keep driving for long if I'm getting just four or six bucks a shot. Not a bad hourly rate if you count just the time with the passenger in the car, but when you factor in the time to get to them and the time to get home, suddenly it's not worth it.