Smiley Sharing: We Are St. Louis!

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Good morning, greater St. Louis area! Michael and I darn near had to swim from Southern Command to be able to get out and start our planned 12-hour shift with Uber. 

We’ve been talking about weather now for the past couple of posts (Read: Weather and Politics), and Missouri has not let us down. The weather has changed, and Missouri is currently getting a lot of rain. For those who are wondering if rain is a positive or negative for rideshare drivers, we consider it a positive for business. Uber offers a safe and affordable alternative to driving yourself in the rain.

Smiley Driver: 5 Star Service

As a driver who aspires to provide five-star service with every ride, Michael is prepared for whatever weather may come. When it’s raining, Michael has an umbrella on hand, and he enjoys being able to open the door and provide his riders with shelter from the elements. It may seem like a little thing, but it’s often the extra touches and unexpected acts of thoughtfulness and consideration that give riders a good impression.

(Sidenote: Respect and dignity go a long way. Whether you’re picking up a CEO or a custodian, your rider deserves five-star service.)

Smiley St. Louis Ridesharing: Let the Uber Day Begin

Michael and I had had a nice symmetry to begin our day: we picked up our first rider of the day at the same location where we dropped off our last rider the night before. The sun is rising, and we’re looking forward to seeing where the day takes us. 

One of a the benefits of being a rideshare mascot that rides with a driver is the opportunity to help take the hardworking men and women who work behind the scenes to their jobs. They may not stand out, but they make our lives more comfortable, and I’m grateful for their hard work! 

Sometimes the passengers are talkative; other times, they’re pretty quiet. While it may be a challenge to establish a rapport with a quiet rider, it’s important to respect their comfort and not cajole them into talking. Each of us have a different personality, and sometimes offering five-star service involves giving customers a quiet, comfortable ride. Our last quiet rider tipped us $5, so whether you engage in lively conversation or provide quiet, comfortable ride, you’re still providing great service!

Beyond that, you never know who you’re going to meet. The next person you meet could change your life in ways you could never anticipate. They could do anything from offering you your next job or connecting you with a great plumber. 

Smiley Driver: 5 Star Service

There’s been a large fight between the rideshare drivers and the taxi drivers in the St. Louis metro since court order permitted ridesharing companies to operate here. Today really underscored exactly why there’s a need for rideshare for affordable transportation. Every single passenger we’ve had so far have been working-class people who don’t have a lot of disposable income. Rideshare companies like Uber offer rates that fit nicely into the budgets of those who need safe, affordable transportation on a daily basis.

The rideshare bill in Missouri that legalizes ridesharing statewide is being held up by one senator. You can read about the bill right here; Creating Jobs with a New Transportation Option for Missourians. We need to call our state senators and representatives and continue to encourage them to pass that bill. It will make it easier for everyone in Missouri to use rideshare services, and it will offer rideshare drivers protection under the law.

Smiley Ridesharing: St. Louis Reviews, Destinations and Community

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Michael stopped for lunch at Vernon Barbecue and Catering on the recommendation of a passenger who works there. Vernon is a jewel of the Delmar Loop area. Smiley Sharing is all about finding great places to share with our readers, so look for the review in the Smiley Recommends section soon!

Our first passenger after lunch was a young professional who was looking for great shopping. We’ve got fantastic malls in the St. Louis Metro, including the Galleria and West County, and we have outlet malls in the Chesterfield area. If you like brand name fashion but are on a budget, the outlet malls are definitely worth a visit! 

Michael mentioned to our next passengers that we do reviews on Smiley Sharing and had recently visited Vernon Barbecue and Catering. When the passengers revealed that they were vegetarians, Michael shared with them that Vernon also offered barbecue tofu options, and the passengers were pleased to learn they had a barbecue option in the St. Louis metro. Micheal is becoming a counselor, and he sees ridesharing as an extension of our community, so it made him happy that he was able to share what he learned about Vernon with his passengers. 

Smiley Driver and Rider: Love and Safety!

While were waiting for our next ping in Chesterfield, Michael noticed that Long Road and Airport Boulevard very dangerous intersection, especially when the roads are wet. We at Smiley Sharing remind you to always drive with caution, and we encourage you to wear your seatbelt.

Our next rider took us from Chesterfield back to Bridgeton. It was a long driver, and Michael and the passenger were able to have a long conversation. One of the things that Michael really loves about ridesharing is that conversations can connect him to so many diverse people. This rider was on his way to a wedding reception, and he chose to take an Uber there and back rather than jeopardizing himself and others by driving while intoxicated.

The last passenger Michael took was another hardworking individual headed home, and this day has been the day of the St. Louis community. We’ve traveled to virtually ever part of the St. Louis metro today, and all of the riders have been courteous and generous. The last passenger tipped $20, and it meant a lot to Michael, because he’s working hard to earn enough to make his next car payment, and Michael was very grateful. 

Smiley Mental health and Wellness: Respect and Dignity

In our first ever blog on Smiley Sharing, Michael was wrestling with how to address people. While listening to the Blue Collar Comedy radio station on Pandora between pings, Michael heard a story from Gabriel Iglesias. Iglesias was recounting a story about visiting the Middle East and being called “American” by the prince. Mr. Iglesias stated that it felt wonderful to him to be identified as American rather than Latino-American.

The overarching theme that has threaded together this day has been community. We are St. Louis, and we love our city. Even if we weren’t born here, this is home. We arrived, we fell in love, and we are working to make it better every day. There is no need for hyphens, monikers, or compass directions; we are all St. Louis

 Take Me With You!

I hope you know that with me you’re never riding alone and that I may bring a smile to your face. 🙂

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