So, every job comes with its frustrations. Uber is no exception. I’m sure my frustrations are those experienced by other drivers. Most of them can be solved with little hassle, but some plague me nearly every time I drive.
- GPS. I use Google Maps. Drivers are able to connect whichever GPS application to the Uber system. Whatever works best for the individual. I looked at Wayz but too many reviews mentioned that the system crashed a lot.
Google Maps works well, most of the time. There are issues, though. Sometimes it directs me to the alley behind the house. It is not an instant update to avoid accidents or road closures. And forget about apartment/condo/townhouse complexes. Usually, I end up calling the passenger to ask what building I need to find. And the larger complexes are REALLY frustrating, especially at night.
- Road construction. It has been joked that the interstate system has two seasons. Winter and Road Construction. Well, Des Moines and its suburbs are rife with street construction and building construction which affect the streets, which make traveling down the block a problem. Currently, Grand Avenue bridge is closed for repair. Walnut has two blocks closed. 5th, 7th,8th, and Grand are affected by construction. Indianola Avenue is down to one lane in both directions because of a walking bridge being removed. There are new bridges over the interstate being built. Northwest Beaver has one small section closed (at least it was a couple weekends ago which meant I had to wind through residential streets.
- Des Moines streets. Let’s move past the fact that many of them change names as you move along, but once I’m in a residential neighborhood, sometimes I find it difficult leaving to return to a main artery. Sometimes, there is only one way out. There is a neighborhood between MLK and 28th south of the freeway that’s a problem.
South of Grand between MLK and 1st Street in West Des Moines, the streets were laid out by a blind drunk. Narrow, some of them brick, minimal lighting
Ashworth in West Des Moines where it winds around over the interstate is tricky sometimes. No shoulder.
County Line Road. I had a precarious incident on the ice, avoiding two cars already in the ditch.
4. Out of the way trips. I don’t mind long trips. Longer trips mean more money. The problem I have is when it’s getting late and I’m thinking about calling it a night, I end up picking up someone from downtown and going all the way to north Ankeny or Grimes. The system has been changed a bit in my favor, in that I can start heading home and request trips where the destination is going my way. Saves a lot of backtracking.
The other frustration related to this is that sometimes I have to drive for ten minutes or more to pick up a passenger who only wants to go about two miles down the road. That’s a lot of driving time for a short trip. Uber did have a weekend where they helped out the driver for the long/short drives but it wasn’t much.
5. Passengers who don’t know how to operate their Uber application. I’ve had a few who put their destination as their pickup point. “Yes, I’m out here in Norwalk at the house, which is where I was told to go. Oh, you’re downtown.”
Or those who don’t put in a destination because they either don’t know the address or they want multiple stops. Multiple stops are fine, I just have to know where the last one is.
6. The Uber application glitches. Incorrect addresses are shown. On the rider side, when I accept a call, it still shows me ten or more minutes away when I’m almost at the pickup point. Slow transitions from page to page or processing beginning and ending of trips.
7. Bathroom breaks. Sometimes, when nature calls, I can’t answer. Sometimes, nature is insistent. I know it would take just a couple minutes to stop at the nearest convenience store, run in and do my business, but sometimes, there aren’t any nearby.
Now, can I admit something? And not have you roll your eyes? There have been many times when I’ve stopped behind buildings or businesses, or parks or dark parking lots to…well, you get the idea. Oh, come on, just #1. I’m not that uncouth.
Anyway, just a few frustrations on the job. I’ll bet you’ve had similar.
Okay, maybe not the last one, but you know what I mean. Let me know a few of your frustrations with your job.