Smiley Sharing: Uber Life, Sanity and You

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Smiley Ridesharing: Pretrip Mental Checks and 5 Star Service (PMCS)

As Michael and I gear up for another day of ridesharing, Michael has chosen to prepare for the day by listening to a portion of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The portion he listened to today focused on the habit of “beginning with the end in mind.” This part included an exercise where the listener had to imagine being present at their own funeral. Covey asked listeners to think about what they would like their friends, family, community, coworkers, and others to remember about them.

When you pass by a cemetery, do you ever find yourself thinking about the lives that were laid to rest within it, or do you try to avoid thoughts about death and what lays beyond it? Michael hopes that his loved ones will remember him as someone who loved them and others well, and he wants to leave behind a legacy of five-star service in all parts of his life. With those goals in mind, we’ve begun our day.

Smiley Sharing: Increasing Money, Augmenting Income

After attending church and having lunch with family, Michael went to visit Scott, a friend of his who has expertise in using blogs to augment one’s income. While the primary goals of Smiley Sharing are to be informative and positively entertaining, we are also hoping to earn some income from it as well. The good stuffing isn’t cheap. 😉

Michael learned quite a bit from Scott about how to make Smiley Sharing even better. Scott shared about targeting keywords and making our blogs more effective by using each blog post to answer questions that readers (drivers, passengers, and anyone interested in rideshare) may have. That made a lot of sense to Michael, since he is both a salesman and a service provider and is heavily invested in providing his customers with what they need.

Smiley St. Louis Ridesharing: Falling Short and Proactive Responses

After leaving Scott’s house, Michael logged on to work for Uber. Unfortunately, Michael discovered that he had received a three-star rating on his previous night. Rather than getting upset, Michael reflected on the ride and contemplated what might have caused the rider to give him such a low score. The ride in question happened towards the end of the night. Michael had worked nearly fourteen hours by that point, and he realized that his exhaustion had compromised his ability to provide five star service. Michael concluded that the rating was justified, but rather than getting upset about it, he chose to learn from the mistakes that led to the three-star rating and avoid them in the future. 

Smiley Driver: Balance and Mental Wellness, 5 Star Service to Self

In this case, Michael and Rebecca talked about the situation and what could be done differently, and they decided that Michael will no longer work more than 12 hours for Uber in a single day. While Michael was eagerly seeking to make enough money to pay off some bills that were coming due, he didn’t pay attention to his body, and as a result, his performance as an Uber driver suffered that day.

Every person is different, but all of you drivers out there need to to know yourselves and not push yourself too hard when you’re already exhausted. It takes energy to provide five-star service with every trip, and you’re better off resting and coming back online after you’re fully rested to provide five-star service. If you don’t, you run the risk of providing less-than-optimal performance and giving your riders a bad first impression. Making money is important, but so is balance in all things. Know yourself and make the best possible choices for yourself and your customers.

Smiley Ridesharing: A New Uber Day

Michael is fully rested today and is eager to see where today’s rideshare customers take him. Michael has set both a primary time goal and a secondary monetary goal. Making those goals was another strategy Michae chose to allow him to focus his efforts in what he is doing and help him to avoid repeating the mistake he made yesterday. 

Our first trip of the day was a group of people looking for great barbecue. Naturally, Michael recommended Vernon Barbecue and Catering, and the customers were enthusiastic…until they discovered that Vernon doesn’t serve alcohol. Michael was able to provide them with another good barbecue restaurant that does serve alcohol, and he made a note that he needs to include information about whether or not a restaurant serves alcohol in the reviews we do for Smiley Recommends. 

Smiley Driver: 5 Star tips

One of the suggestions made to Uber drivers is to avoid “deadheading”—that is, driving around without passengers in your vehicle. Instead, it is best to find a safe place to park and wait for a ping, saving yourself gas, time, and frustration. (Whether you listen to The Grateful Dead while you wait for a ping is entirely up to you!)

While avoiding deadheading is great, if you’re in a location for longer than 15 minutes without a ping, go ahead and move up at two or three blocks, then re-stage. I wouldn’t advise going any further that, but I know it’s easier said than done, especially when you’re eager to get your next ping. Anxiety and insecurities can slip in, making it easier to make a mistake. This is why it’s important to go through your pretrip mental checklist before you begin your shift. Starting work in the right mindset can help you quash anxiety between passengers before it can lead to costly mistakes.

Smiley Ridesharing: Positive Perceptions

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While waiting for a ping, Michael got to chat with an artist who was taking a break near where we were staged. Michael shared with the artist about Smiley Sharing, and the artist called Michael a publisher. Michael had never thought about it that way, but yes, he is a publisher! It’s funny how key words can reshape your perception of yourself. We all wear many labels, but sometimes we learn something new about ourselves when we interact with others.

Smiley Driver and Rider: Love and Safety!

Our last Uber trip scared us a bit, because when we pulled up, the passengers rushed towards us. It was an XL trip, so those were a lot of passengers to worry about. No one was hurt, but it’s important to stand back when a vehicle is pulling up. After Michael dropped off those passengers and got his next ping (which was another XL), he texted the passengers and requested that they refrain from running towards his vehicle. He reminded them that he will get out and open the doors for them, so there was no reason to rush. The passengers respected his request, and it made for a much smoother arrival.

Smiley Ridesharing: Learning and Growing

Learning from mistakes and taking responsibility for them is humbling, but Michael has found that for every instance where he has been humbled, he has also been encouraged. After losing 100th of a point due to yesterday’s three-star ride, Michael earned it back today…and a rider left a compliment stating that he had provided superior, excellent service! It just goes to show that when you take responsibility from your mistakes, learn from them, and apply what you learn, your performance improves.

Our last passenger asked Michael about his day, and he summarized it as a day which had a theme of humility. When the passenger asked why Michael felt that way, Michael shared with him the story of receiving the three-star review and what he had learned from receiving that rating. The passenger thanked Michael for sharing it.

Smiley Mental Health and Wellness: Ridesharing and Life

One of the main goals of this blog is to be real with ourselves and with our riders, be it about ridesharing or life itself. While we’re focused on the lighter side of ridesharing and life, we freely acknowledge that it isn’t always sunshine and sugarplums, nor is it always gray and bitter—it falls in between those two. 

How you feel about ridesharing or life depends very much on your reception or perception. The difference between proactive reception and reactive perception is whether the environment is the cause for your behavior, or you are the cause of your behavior. Either the environment will act on you, or you will act on your environment.

Smiley Mental Health and Wellness: Perception vs. Reception

While we’re on the subject of perception versus reception, it’s not easy to let go of the mistakes you’ve made after you learn from them. The reason for this is because the environment around you will resist you taking agency and control away from it, and it will remind you of the mistakes you’ve made, even though when you’ve corrected them and learned from them. Remind your environment that it is not the master—it is the servant. Your environment will fight with every last fiber not to submit to you, but if you persist in taking back control, you will succeed. 

Smiley Ridesharing: Staging for another Uber Day

While we didn’t hit our financial goal for tonight’s shift, Michael is sticking to the lesson he learned yesterday and shutting down for the night at the time he designated as his end time. He’s a bit anxious about going off the clock at his end time without having met his financial goal, but he know that it is the right choice, and he has the discipline to stick with it.

Discipline in the face of anxiety can be seen as an investment in yourself for future, whether that be your future earnings, future ratings, or future overall well-being. 

This is Smiley, wishing you good health, good fortune, and good balance in all things!

 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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