Drivers think about who you are working for… my answer “I am working for myself!”
Yes, Uber and Lyft are my income streams… and yes, I want to please my passengers… but I work for myself and I sure as heck don’t work for the TNC’s (transportation network company) driver software applications.
In my opinion the TNC driver applications are, in some ways, designed to motivate drivers to do things that support the TNC’s business models but might not be in the best interests of drivers.
In this blog post I’m referencing a The New York Times article about Uber [and Lyft] and it’s logical to think all TNCs are using same or similar methods to get drivers to do what supports the TNC’s business models.
The TNCs use similar methodologies to motivate passengers to do what the TNCs want passengers to do.
I do not fault the TNCs for doing what they think they need to do to succeed.
If I worked for Uber or Lyft as a Marketing Product Manager I would be focused on my company’s success as well.
In my early days of being a rideshare driver I would sometimes get a little annoyed if not angry about feeling "manipulated" by Uber and Lyft’s driver applications.
But I got over “It” (I got over myself.)
I got over being frustrated about things outside of my control and I chose to focus on my core goal... earning income.
Stephen Covey, the author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People talks about “Circles of Control” and I find Covey's metaphor extremely helpful as a rideshare driver.
Covey’s smallest Circle of Control encompasses the things in life over which we have absolute control.
Absolute control in the smallest circle makes sense to me because when I think about it… there is very little in my life over which I have absolute control… primarily I only have absolute control over my own actions.
Having control over only my own actions is an idea and life practice I gleaned from Dr. William Glasser's book Control Theory however there are lots of books covering control theory.
The second circle of Covey's Circles of Control encompasses the things in life over which we may have some influence but cannot completely control.
The third Circle of Control, the largest circle, encompasses the things in life over which we have zero control… zero ability to control or even influence final outcomes.
You may be thinking right now: “Ok Wylee… cool thoughts, but how does this effect my ‘gig’ as a rideshare driver?”
As a rideshare driver I am absolutely certain I only have 100% control only my actions… what I do.
I can possibly influence my passenger's behavior; but I have zero control over a traffic jam or the behavior of the TNC driver applications… or when I think about it…
I behave (my actions) as if I have zero control over the way the TNCs treat me as a driver… in my communications with the TNCs I am always professional, polite, and persistent but I usually feel I am being treated like just another driver… maybe even just a number, not a like an individual person… not at all.
Very Important: I’m not say I believe I am being treated “bad” by Uber and Lyft support resources, I’m saying the responses from support resources are “impersonal.”
In my 40 years of professional work I’m used to being treated as “Wylee.”
I’ve always approached my professional work as a professional and with the goal of being “likeable.”
It took some personal adjustment to come to terms with this aspect of being a professional rideshare driver.
MAIN TAKEAWAY - As a driver I always behave professionally, and I endeavor to never take anything personally.
In my way of thinking the TNCs (Uber and Lyft) are my customers, more so that my passengers, after all drivers get trip requests from the TNC driver applications and the TNCs handle 100% of the financial transactions.
When I'm interacting with the TNC support organizations I am always polite and professional, I don't tell my sad stories… instead I ask politely and clearly for what I want.
When appropriate I am persistent in my requests for support… and if the first TNC support response… or two… does not address my end goal… I keep my cool, stay polite, and I persistently pursue my end goal all the time behaving as a professional.
I try not to get frustrated when it feels like the TNC driver applications and the driver promotion programs appear to be attempting to control my behavior as a driver, for example when and where I choose to work.
I stay focused on the reason I am a rideshare driver… earning income.