I need to pee!

 Ever had that need when you are going somewhere?

The Praise

Trip distance: 8.90 km Earnings: 622 LKR It was another Saturday evening. The last customer I dropped off was a perfect example for a "useless" deal. The customer was waiting outside a popular cinema hall in Colombo and I received the hire nearly 1km away from him. As I got close to the location, I called the customer to check the exact location. This area is a network of one-way roads. If I mixed up the location with a mistake as simple as going to the other side of the road, I would have to drive around. The customer confirmed the location he was in and I continued to ask if they wanted to crossover to the other side of the road because they were travelling to that side. The answer was a curt "No". It was fascinating to see that they actually wanted to travel only 1.5km. Had they decided to cross the road over, it would have taken me a 500m less to pick them up. 1.5km to pick them up for a 1.5km travel. Great. My last hire for the day came from a famous hospital a

The Outstation Trip

Trip distance: 41.54 km Earnings: 2301 LKR The weekend was good. We were on our office outing, and after two nights ready to head back home. After bidding farewell to my teammates, I got in to my car. There was a good 50+km drive back home and I wondered, "Why not make something out of it?"

The missed bus trip

Trip distance: 13.35km Earnings:666 LKR It was a weekday and I had taken the day off as I had to attend to some personal matter in the early afternoon and had to run some errands in the morning. I decided to take a few rides in between. This was the second passenger for the day. I looked at the distance I had to drive to pick the person up. It showed slightly over 1km. "This better be good," I told my self. As I approached the pick up location, I realised that it is a pretty narrow alleyway that I can't stay parked for long. I called the passenger. "Good morning, I am your Uber driver." "Ah, good morning, you are here?" it was a female who answered. "Yes Madam" "Ah ok I will comedown in a few minutes, can you go forward and park? There may not be much space" "Sure Madam," I replied. At least this was a sensible customer. I waited for a few mins to pick up. It was already few minutes on the waiting charges w

Can I use your bluetooth?

Trip distance:8.80km  Earnings:405 LKR Customer location indicated that they were at a diner. The time was around 2.30 PM and this was a weekday. I automatically thought that this should be some kids after their school. As I suspected, three teenagers got in to the car. I checked their destination, it was about 30 mins. I reconfirmed the location as I usually do with the passengers and started driving off. I could hear their idle chit chat at the back. And then a few loud whispers. The catch of being in a small hybrid hatchback is that almost all whispers are loud.

Airport hire - Part 2: Uber no? New no?

Trip distance:33.65km  Earnings:1425 LKR As I dropped off my first airport customer, I looked at my Uber app. After paying for the toll and the fine I had to pay, I was at a net loss. I was determined to run this "as a business", so I decided that I should wait for a trip back from the airport instead of driving back without a hire. When an Uber driver approaches an airport area, he or she is given an option to join a "queue". If you opt-out of the queue, you have to drive out of the designated areas to get more trips. When I did my first airport drop off, I didn't know any of these details, there was an option to join a queue, so I joined it.

The Airport Hire - Part 1: Sir I am a Uber driver

Trip distance: 36.79km Earnings: 1724.25 LKR It was another Saturday. The first two hires for the day was just taking me around my residential area itself. I expected this to be a regular, or even possibly more boring, day. The fourth hire for the day directed me to pick someone from a new hotel that came up in Colombo. The name indicated someone from our neighbouring country. While I was on the way to pick him up, I got a call from him.

You know son, I work for the embassy

The week had been quite good so far. I had kind of figured out how the drive patterns work and what time of the day and what places in the city have reasonably profitable customers. When I got this booking from one of those areas somewhat quite early in to the night, I thought this was going to be just another routine hire like that. The gentleman I picked up was quite elderly. However having said that, I am sure that my father is at least two decades older than him, but this one gave off the vibe of being working for a very long time. Unlike many solo male riders, he chose to take the backseat. The trip was about 20km away. A good hire for some Uber drivers because it is a long hire. It was a better hire for me because it went somewhere close to my home. After a short inquiry of which route to take, we started chatting. "You know son, I work for the embassy", that's how the conversation started. I managed to contain my groan to one just inside my head. "Ah t

The junior

(The term "junior" is used by graduates and undergraduates to refer to someone in a academic batch below/behind them.) It was a bit of a rainy day. I had decided to turn on my Uber app as usually on days like this, the price of an Uber ride goes up. This is called surge pricing. Some customers have later asked me if Uber increases the prices during rainy times. But there is no such thing, it's a simple matter of demand and supply. Although there should be an algorithm that defines how far the rate per km goes up by, what happens on a rainy/busy day is that every one ends up getting taxis, creating a demand more than the usual. I got my first hire soon after I turned on the app. The customer was on the other side of the road and unfortunately for me, this meant I had to drive about a kilometer further down to turn around. I tried calling the customer and he did answer my call. Fortunately given the circumstance and unfortunately for me, this meant that I had to go arou

It's your lucky day!

It was quite a rainy morning. We were going through the monsoon season, so this wasn't much of a surprise. I decided to start my day early. My first customer happened to be someone who was travelling to the domestic airport nearby. This was bit of a surprise because while it was technically a civilian airport as well, hardly anyone travels from there. The mystery was solved as soon as the customer got in to the car. He was an aircraft engineer and was reporting to work. I hope his work place was dry enough because there was no way he could last through the day with those soggy clothes otherwise. My second hire came in way before the first trip ended. This happens as Uber looks at proximity to the end of the trip when alerting of new hires as opposed to the end time. I was still new to the whole process and accepted the hire without thinking twice. Even before I finished the ongoing hire, I got a call from the new customer, "What exactly is the route shown to you? You ha