Smiley Ridesharing: The Lighter Side of Ridesharing, St. Louis and Life

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Smiley Ridesharing: Smiley Uber St. Louis Ride-A-Longs

White Lightning

Hi 🙂 here! We will count this as the first official blog story of smileysharing.com

First off, I’d like to welcome everybody who has joined us in reading the adventures of me and our driver Michael.

As our work shift started, Michael and I asked ourselves, “Will this be a terrible Tuesday or a terrific one?” A lot of times, the way a day turns out starts in our own heads. Michael’s day was starting out a mix of positive and negative. On the positive side, he got to spend some time with his son Joshuah; on the negative side, Michael used the Uber gas card to fuel up the van, so he started the evening owing money back to Uber.

(The Uber gas card is like a charge card in that allows you to put gas in your vehicle without having the cash in your account, but you will have to pay it back in your earnings. Michael’s experience has been that the charges pile up, and when it get over $100 then you have to drive until you paid it off before you get money positive and before the card gets turned back on.)

Smiley Ridesharing: Drivers, Riders, and the First Trip

We got our first ping shortly after turning on the light for Uber, so it was already shaping up to be a Terrific Tuesday. Our first passenger of the evening was E (all names will be anonymous). E was a lovely woman of color who just got out of work. Michael enjoys talking, and on the trip, he and the E discussed everything from what they are doing and where they want to go with their lives.

One of the points that was brought up was that E just celebrated her one year anniversary with her employer. She received that position through a personal referral. They noticed that it seems to be a pattern in life: whether it be fair or not, the people in your network can be the difference between success and failure. The people that you’re friends with that really determine what your future looks like. If your friends are friendly with successful people, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re going to be successful yourself; if your friends are friendly with people that aren’t successful, success will be more of a challenge. If you look around you and you don’t see a lot of success, you might want to think about changing the environment you’re in or the people that in your network.

Is it easy? No.

As I have always shared with Michael, this job may not be easy. It’s not easy giving five-star service, but it is worth it both in the present and in the long run.

 

Smiley Ridesharing: 5 Star Service

Our second passenger of the evening was a gentleman of color who is currently on spring break. I’ll call him J. He is an engineering student who felt that he did real good on his midterms. He is really excited about his school and the opportunities ahead of him.

In the middle of that conversation was the reiteration about how you treat people and the people that you’re with is how far you are going to be able to go in life. It’s not necessarily the outward appearance which determines whether or not a person is good.

J asked Michael what was some of his wildest Uber stories. Michael shared with him that of the nearly 700 passengers we have had, there have only been two negative experiences, but then Michael also shared with him one of our favorite positive experiences. We picked up a young barista of color who was working two jobs one at the Starbucks tipped Michael both a two dollar bill and a sandwich. The barista was so grateful he called Michael the best Uber driver that he’d ever had and shared it with his friends. Michael was touched, because after so many passengers who had the means to tip but didn’t tip, the one person who tipped was the one person who could least afford to do so.

Smiley Ridesharing: Identifying your Passengers

Both our riders so far were African-Americans, and I know that Michael is really struggling with how do identify them in the blog.

One might ask, “What do you mean by “struggling?”’

To answer that, I’m reminded of a counseling principle Michael shared with me call the platinum rule: “Treat people like they want to be treated.” I don’t know if we’ve had this conversation lately, so if you’re African-American, if you’re a black person, a person of color, or a person of darker skin, let me ask you this: How would you like to be described?

Michael and I just had to short trips back to back people getting home one gentleman who identified himself as LGBT and another gentleman just of color just getting off of work himself. The second gentleman had shared with me that he commutes to a gas station and then catches an Uber the rest the way because he didn’t want his wife to wonder why he was riding home with a stranger.

It’s often said that people are the people we are when we think nobody’s watching, and there is really no reason to lead anyone else into questioning our loyalty, fidelity, or integrity.

Getting back to the question of how people like to be addressed, Michael didn’t have the opportunity to speak to either of those riders about it– they were very short trips. This emoji of yellow is curious, though, and it will be definitely interesting to learn and to put in the practice describing people as they wish to be described.

Smiley Ridesharing: Staging for another Uber Day

With 10 minutes left to go in our Terrific Tuesday, Michael and I had a ping that took us all the way out to the middle of an intersection of two major highways. Michael wanting to give five star service and didn’t believe that he be picking someone up outside out of the middle of the highway, so he called the passenger got the proper address and realized that it was over 13 miles away from where we had been sent. To ensure that the rider got timely service, Michael asked so had to ask the passenger to cancel out and reenter their request so that they could get picked up by a closer driver. Sometimes allowing somebody else to get the trip serves everyone in a five star way

Smiley Rideshare Drivers: Tips for Mental Health and Wellness

(On a sidenote for those drivers out there and for anybody in general, Michaels really learned a lot about balance, which includes balancing your work time and your off time). Sure, Michael could chase pings until three or four o’clock in the morning ,and he could make good money, but he would be too exhausted to take care of his other duties, such as his schoolwork and his time with his son and other family members. In the beginning, Michael used to set a monetary target before he came off the clock, but he found that he was burning himself out. Michael has since discovered it works out best if you set a target of time and so whether that be in chunks of four hours, eight hours, or twelve hours at the max. Time really is the only thing that we equally have.

Thank you for coming with Michael and I on our first SmileySharing.com blog. This evening, we learned about connections and being friends and friendly with those who could hold the keys to our future. We also discussed treating people as they would like us to treat them, and the importance of balance in work, life, family, and money.

All in all a very enlightening evening. This is Smiley, wishing you a great day and happy sharing!


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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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