Uber – what it means
From Dictionary dot com, we learn that “uber” can be used as either an adverb or an adjective. When used as an adverb it means, “having the specified property to an extreme or excessive degree,” and as an adjective, “designating a person or thing that exceeds the norms or limits of its kind or class.”
There is no mention at all of how the word is now being used as (I think) a verb. Here’s an example of how it is used in a sentence, “We thought about walking, but decided to Uber over instead.”
Uber on my mind
Typically, we use this space to provide information which will be useful for our clients or others who own commercial construction businesses. Occasionally, we throw in a piece which allows a peek behind the curtain concerning what goes on around here at Schulte and Schulte. As a matter of fact, that is exactly what we did last week when we shared what we were experiencing at the Scaling New Heights convention.
This week . . . well, let’s just say it is a bit different.
Yet, I believe I can give you a further peek into Schulte and Schulte culture as well as information which can certainly prove to be useful to you as a construction contracting business owner.
Next time you head out to a convention in a city “far, far away” you’ll be better prepared for your Uber experience. (Go ahead and groan if you like. It isn’t my fault Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick named their company Uber.)
An uber number nerd
This story starts with Tonya making the (number-right and peace of mind-right) business decision to choose Uber as a transportation solution while attending the Scaling New Heights convention. The options were:
- Driving to the destination – way too costly when “time” is thrown into the equation (and a consideration if parking may be difficult or if you’re unfamiliar with the city where you’ll be located)
- Renting a car at the destination (parking and familiarity still possible problems)
- Using Uber or Lyft
Notice “taxi” is not even a part of this number journey for both financial and ease-of-use considerations.
5 Uber tips
Number 1 – Know how you intend to make use of the Uber service. We knew we needed to be transported for three different reasons:
- To and from the airport
- Back and forth daily to the convention site from our Airbnb rental
- Excursions to other places we wanted to see while in our host city
Place your Uber “call for service” with time considerations in mind. Some of these destinations were time sensitive while others were not. (While we had only one time in which we were waiting longer than expected for the pick-up, it is worth noting it can happen.)
Number 2 – Greet your driver by name with a smile on your face. There are two reasons for doing this:
- You’ll know the driver pulling near you is actually your driver (not one of the many who are also picking up riders near your location.)
- It is always good to smile with the person who is providing you a service. Right?
Pay special attention to tip 3 – fun!
Number 3 – Have a good question in mind as a conversation starter. This takes away some of the awkwardness when you first enter the driver’s space. And, it is a fun way to pass the time on the way to your destination.
The question we asked each of our drivers was, “What is the longest distance you’ve taken an Uber passenger?”
In case you’re wondering, two of our drivers had taken passengers from Salt Lake City, Utah to Las Vegas, Nevada. Two more had driven from SLC to unnamed towns in Wyoming, and the one who won our unofficial contest had gone all the way to North Dakota and received a hefty tip in the bargain.
All the drivers, (even those with less than spectacular “long distance” travels) told us about their adventures.
Number 4 – Remember to tip your driver well. It is the nice thing to do. And, Mom always said, “Be Nice!”
Number 5 – Talk to your accounting specialist about automating the recording process of the costs of your Uber rides.
Experience is valuable
It helps if you can think of your Uber ride as part of your experience. It also helps if you are willing to let the experience be less than pristine and spectacular, yet (perhaps) worthy of laughter and tale-telling when you arrive home. Our rides included:
One car with the rear passenger door caved in from an obvious auto accident. 😵
A new, shiny, and beautiful Mercedes Benz. 😎
An older and modest sedan which hadn’t been washed in quite some time. 😏
One ride in which we were pretty sure the diet of the driver emanated from his every pore in great wafts of (I’ve gotta say it) an unpleasant odor. 😣
A pickup truck. 😐
One minivan which we watched go to great lengths making U-turns and traffic maneuvers to get to the spot where we stood waiting. 😮
Mostly non-descript, yet clean and comfortable get-er-done vehicles. 😃
One more Uber experience
What follows is not our experience. This is the experience of one of our colleagues who shared this story with us one night as we dined with a group of (not so boring) accounting advisors.
As he told us:
“Last night, some of us went to dinner together, then I followed the others to an after-hours bar where I drank way too much. Knowing I was in no shape to try to get back to my hotel, I used my Uber app for a ride. When I got in the car, the driver asked me if I had put the correct address in when I ordered. I checked my phone and told him that was the correct address. He asked if I was ready to go. I let him know I was. He put the car in gear and pulled up about 10 feet, then said, ‘This is it, sir, you are at your hotel.’”
Our colleague told us after he and the driver had a good laugh, he gave the driver a substantial tip then exited to his hotel.
Perhaps, when we once again find ourselves using the services of an Uber driver, our question will be, “What is the Shortest distance you’ve taken an Uber passenger?” 😂
Wrapping up the Uber report – 5 tips
- Have a system in place to record your Uber expenses.
- Give yourself a time buffer when you need to be at your destination at a set time.
- Use a “question” which will break the ice with your drivers.
- Bring your good sense of humor to your ride experience.
- Remember it will be much more cost effective to fly rather than Uber to a destination a few states away. 😜
I hope you’ve enjoyed this light-hearted look at our Ubering experience. If my recollection is correct, we were in and out of a total of 16 different vehicles. Because #SNH19 was located at The Salt Palace we were able to walk to several different restaurants and even a delightful, two-story grocery store. Yet, it is our Uber experiences which tended to be uber fun and worthy of retelling.
Schulte and Schulte provides Accounting, Contract Document Management, and Advisory Board Level counsel for small to medium commercial construction subcontractors.
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