I’m not generally a sociable person, and I like to keep to myself. This holds true whenever I take Uber, and it’s one of the things that I like about Uber – the drivers are very professional and don’t pester you to talk if you don’t feel like it.
However, there are a few times when an Uber driver piques my curiosity. And sometimes, they are really just friendly and have that positive vibe that I can’t help but respond to their conversation.
And you know what? Sometimes their stories are touching and inspiring. Everyone’s story is different.
What’s Your Uber Driver’s Story?
Last week, I rode with Jaime del Socorro who drove me from Manila to BGC. He was a smooth driver, quiet, competent, professional. He was shy, but he answered my questions and he said that it would be alright to share his story after I told him that I would be writing about Uber drivers.
I was so happy to have him as my driver. I hate jerky driving, and I have had bad experiences with drivers who gave me whiplash every time they stepped on the brakes. Whenever I am driven by one of those drivers, I end up wanting to throw up at the end of the ride due to motion sickness.
But not Jaime. His driving was as smooth as a chauffeur’s. So I was surprised to learn that he was a former jeepney driver up in Angeles, if I remember correctly. He lives in Manila with his family but used to travel north for work because that was where his franchise was.
But he gave that up upon his son’s urging, and tried driving with Uber. Now, as an Uber driver, he gets to stay in Manila, and he also has time to pick up his grandchild from school. I could tell that he was really very happy with his life now, being able to spend time with his apo and earning enough to spoil his grandchild. He seems like the doting grandparent type 😀
Jaime, thank you very much for the safe, pleasant and smooth trip and for taking me where I needed to go. You kept me from getting motion sickness, and that’s really worth a lot to me!
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT YOUR UBER DRIVER?
Uber drivers are people, too, and often, more alike us than we realize. A little act of kindness from riders can make their day, too 🙂
Recently, Uber released a touching new video that shows us the other side. Get to know three Uber drivers and learn their stories.
Marissa Fuster, battered wife
A victim of an abusive husband, she escaped with her three children so that the hurting would finally stop. Along with the loss of her husband however, was the loss of financial support. By driving on Uber, she is able to support herself and her family.
Her story has been one that she has told to many of her riders, especially the women. Through her advice, they learn not to tolerate any form of abuse, and to stand up for what is right. In turn, many riders tell her how inspired they are after hearing her story. One even texted her after her trip, saying that she reminded her of her own mother. A few would also tip her for great service. According to Marissa, these little things warm her heart, and encourage her to give the best service possible, every day.
Angela Gina Go, Kidney Transplant Patient
Being a kidney-transplant patient is not easy. For 5 years now, Angela has had to cope with a body that is trying to adapt to a new orgran. Medicines don’t come cheap, and in her case, sets her back PHP600 a day. Because of her special situation, Angela wanted to find a source of income that is flexible, and would allow her to rest when she needed to. When she learned about Uber, she thought it would be a perfect match.
Aside from the flexible hours, Angela loves driving with Uber because she gets to interact with different types of people. Being a girl, she often gets asked about why she chose to do what she does. For her, it’s a great jumping point to engaging in meaningful conversations with her riders. It is through these conversations that she comes to care for her riders, taking great measure to ensure that they get to their destination safe and on time.
Alvin Abella, Ex-OFW, Working Student
The grass is not always greener on the other side. After trying it out as an OFW, Alvin decided to pack his bags and head home to be with his family. However, given that he was not a college graduate, he thought it would be impossible to find someone who would hire him. Along came Uber, with flexible hours and enough income, which enabled him do work and continue his studies at the same time.
Because he usually drives at night after school, riders often see him still clad in his school uniform, and ask about his situation. He never fails to tell them that driving on Uber made it possible for him not only to go back home, but to finish school as well. Compliments from riders are what he appreciates most, especially since he often drives them home late at night.
These three drivers are just a few of the thousands of drivers partnered with Uber, you’re sure to have encountered some of them, too. The next time you ride an Uber, take a minute to appreciate them, and maybe share their stories to inspire others, too. It only takes one act of kindness to brighten someone’s day.
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