To topple Uber we all need to be the littlest domino.
– Say: “Yes, get in.” to every potential passenger. Its your job to convey people around town. Obviously don’t be an idiot and make yourself late to turn in, put yourself in danger of assault or projectile vomit, but get the money into the cab and on the way, don’t waste a second in getting that ass in the seat and the meter on.
– Don’t decline a payment type or destination. It just makes you look like Uber wants you to look. Uber bad.
– Smile and wave, be polite to pedestrians and other users of the road. Other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists all love to hate us, so lets flip that script and show them how nice we are.
– Be nice to the “phonies” while placing your cab between them and their SHIT. Be a better product. One that is right in front of them ready to go. One that’s a step better than driverless cars. One they don’t have to wait for, give directions to, or share with strangers going to other places. One THEY KNOW IS ACTUALLY INSURED.
– Know where all the cab stands are in the city and take them back. They exist for a reason, use them.
– When the inevitable question happens: “Does Uber affect your business?” Don’t go into a tirade about how unfair/illegal/stupid it is; tell them that “Uber does’t affect my business, because I am a good cabbie, they are just in my way.”
– Drive fast and efficiently, without tossing the passenger around the back seat.
– Make sure that back seat is clean and the cab smells good (Black Ice, Ozuim, Bounce…etc ) with the windows always cracked for fresh air. You don’t want the customer to smell your sweaty ass, the previous customer’s or your fart, the cigarette smell or dogshit someone tracked in. Smell is the first indicator to humans if something is rotten, so keep it fresh. A dollar a day for a new air freshener every shift becomes at least 10-20 back in your pocket.
– Be an ambassador to the city, you are a local that knows the city better than even some natives, show the customers.
– If you feel comfortable joke with the passenger about the traffic, bad drivers or dumb pedestrians. Keep it lighthearted and fun, not too negative. They should laugh or smile not wonder if you belong in an insane asylum.
– MOST IMPORTANTLY: Fight for the city. We are a superior product and the customers are figuring that out. Don’t complain about a 2 hour wait at SFO when there are people in the city that would take a cab if there was one available nearby and not at the airport or doing empty laps around UnSq. If we give up on the city, (which it seems that about half the fleet has) we are handing it and the airport over to Uber. If we fight for the city we will win back the airport and Uber will fall under its own weight. Most times of day there are anywhere from 100-300 potential rides an hour coming out the southern and western neighborhoods in the city and they are all 20-35$ rides. If you can do 20-35$ crosstown rides with a few 15$ rides sprinkled in by aiming your empty cab for the ‘hoods instead of DT, and riding a few extra blocks to get that old lady/grocery store/clinic/security guard/welfare mom/etc your good karma and $$$ opportunity will grow like crazy.
This job is largely about being in the right place at the right time. A meander around Park Merced familiarizing yourself with the streets (or solidifying old knowledge) after dropping off, could lead to a random flag/order going to the moon/sfo/downtown. You never know where the money will take you… linger a while if you can, see and be seen by potential passengers for the win.
Remember to be the littlest domino to topple the largest.