Smiley Sharing Uber St. Louis Ride-a-longs

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

Hi! This is Smiley. Michael and I began our shift a little later than usual. We meant to catch the am airport runs, but Michael being exhausted from his earlier shift and had trouble getting to sleep, so he got his rest instead. Before he chose to do that, though, he checked his data for earlier Wednesday runs to see whether he could rest or needed to push himself. Fortunately, he could rest guilt-free, giving him the energy to get back to all the irons he has in the fire.

Smiley Ridesharing: Personal Rest Stops & Coffee

Michael was also spiritually refreshed by having coffee with Father Martin, his pastor. In addition to being his pastor, Father Martin is also Michael’s mentor and friend, and he has lots of great stories. During the coffee meeting, Father Martin shared with Michael about his university days, long before he became an Orthodox priest. When he was younger, Father Martin became the international intercollegiate Chug-A-Lug winner down at the longest bar in the world in Tijuana, Mexico, beating a University of Arizona student in a tight match.

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One of the things Michael loves most about Father Martin is his honesty. While winning the drinking contest isn’t a point of pride for him now, Father Martin doesn’t hide his past from his parishioners. This goes to show that, everyone has examples of questionable moments from their past, but they can still be moments that can encouraged growth. While Michael will never be a drinking champion, he wants to model his life and character after Father Martin patterns. Fr. Martin is real, open, and honest with himself and everyone he encounters.


Smiley Ridesharing: Rider and Driver Round-Ups

Many of you have probably noticed that we give both rider and driver tips within the daily ride along blogs. We feel that these tips are important to share to give everyone a five-star experience regardless of whether they are riders or drivers. Our weekly Round-Up section will take the best tips of the week and condense them into a single post. There will be a Rider-Round Up and a Driver Round-Up, and the tips will link back to their original posts.

Read: Rider Round-Up Digest

Read: Driver Round-Up Digest

Smiley Ridesharing: Helping Others to Help Yourself

While staging, Michael sometimes meets interesting people who are not riders. Today, we met a homeless man named Piano. He and Michael had a good conversation, and Michael told him about his experiences as a homeless man years ago. Michael believes what the Bible says about God blessing those who help others, so Michael does his best to help others, just as Michael once helped when he was homeless and struggling.

Smiley Ridesharing:  St Louis Community and Life

Our next passenger was a judge. The judge share how they received an invitation to take part in Shakespeare in the Streets, an offshoot of the Shakespeare in the Park even that takes place in Forest Park. Shakespeare in the Streets takes stories in the community and performs a Shakespeare play based on the stories they hear. The judge encouraged Michael to check out the website and learn more about it. 

Read More Here: Shakespeare In The Streets STL

After learning about Shakespeare in the Streets and dropping off the judge, we picked up a group of law students who were spending their spring break in St. Louis volunteering their time at Arch City Defenders. Arch City Defenders is a public defense firm that represents people who cannot afford representation themselves. They got into a conversation with Michael about the Uber rating system, and Michael shared with them about Smiley Sharing and our goal to serve as an educational resource for riders and drivers.

Read More About:  ArchCity Defenders 

Smiley Ridesharing: Driver and Passenger Ratings

Speaking of ratings, do you know a rating  less than four stars is critical? What this basically means is that, the person making the rating is telling Uber to fire that driver. Therefore,  every driver should educate their riders about the rating system, and every rider should keep in mind that the drivers get to rate them, too. Michael tells his passengers that all of his riders are five-star riders unless they damage his vehicle or are a danger to themselves or others. He also encourages them to rate him five stars if he has provided five-star service to them. He also reminds them that working for Uber is helping him pay his way through grad school. Educating your riders about the rating system with a short “elevator speech” will help them understand the importance of the rating system and help them get matched up with great drivers in the future.

Read More:  That Four-Star Rating You Left Could Cost Your Uber Driver Their Job

Smiley Ridesharing: University Passengers, not all are Brats

Our next passenger was a Washington University student, and Michael had a long conversation with him. Michael and his rider shared stories, and it ended up being a very positive experience for both. The rider told Michael that his story (read more: Smiley About: Michael S. Mason) gave him hope for the future, which is one of the best compliments Michael has received.

Helping riders and drivers have hope for the future is one of the goals of Smiley Sharing. We want to share stories of the people of the community—people struggling, people succeeding, people winning, people losing, people trying again—because the stories we share might give you hope and inspire you to get back up and try again when circumstances are knocking you down.

Smiley Ridesharing: Drivers are Humans Too

After we dropped off the rider, we picked up a mother and daughter who had just visited the Magic House (which we will be reviewing soon in the Smiley Recommends section). The ride got off to a rough start because Michael became distracted with providing the other elements of five-star service, he accidentally ran over the curb. No one was hurt and the vehicle not damaged, but it embarrassed Michael  and he apologized, because he rarely runs over curbs. Fortunately, the curb check did not harm the mother and daughter. Both of them were more concerned about the vehicle than they were about themselves. He was grateful for their understanding and patience!

Smiley Ridesharing: One Last Trip

Our last XL trip took us back to the Delmar Loop, and Michael stopped by Vernon’s (Read review: Vernon’s Barbecue and Catering) for a meal break. This time, he tried the Reuben, since it’s one of his favorite sandwiches. The smoked corned beef was triple-layered and HUGE! It was big enough for two people, but it was so delicious, Michael wasn’t sure anyone would be willing to share it with someone else! Smiley Sharing has rated Vernon’s five smileys and will continue to recommend it to anyone looking for great barbecue. (Sidenote: Vernon’s doesn’t serve alcohol, but Michael can recommend good barbecue places that do, if hard drinks are essential to your meal.)

Until next time, this is Smiley wishing you a great day!

 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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