Since moving to India a few months ago, I’ve been taking a lot of Ubers. We didn’t want to buy a car, partly because we’re only here for a short period of time and didn’t want the hassle of buying and selling, but also because I don’t like to drive.
So twice a day (sometimes more), I schlep an Uber and go wherever it is I need to go.
There are a few things I’ve noticed about certain drivers and their characteristics. See if they remind you of any writers you know. (And yes, in six months of daily Uber-ing, not a single female driver encountered.)
- This guy wants to rant about politics, but he doesn’t give a shit about who you are, what you might believe, or that your opinions might be different. He just assumes you’re on the “same side” without once having considered that you might have a different viewpoint. If you make the mistake of disagreeing with this person the clapback is sharp and immediate, as though you’ve offended him.
- This dude is grumpy as all hell. You say good morning to him, he doesn’t respond. You give him an extra job (and therefore more money) and he accepts it as though he’s doing you a favor. He hates his work and this is clear to everyone he comes into contact with. It’s such a turnoff that you almost want to make a note to never drive with this person again.
- You know that guy, the one who says he’ll be there in ten minutes, but won’t arrive until 20 minutes and five phone calls later? The worst version of this person will make you wait 10 minutes and then cancel.
- The one I like the least—this guy drives recklessly, brakes at the last minute, sending you reeling, and of course, this being India, has no seatbelts in the back of the car. Totally untrustworthy and you feel lucky to have survived the journey. Of course, when you’re in an accident, as you most certainly will be, this guy gets out of his car, yells at the other driver, and refuses to take responsibility for his own recklessness.
Obviously, these are the drivers (and writers) you want to avoid and while they’re abundant, they’re not the norm. Most drivers (and writers) fall somewhere in the middle. There is, however, that one person who stands out and who everyone wants to work with.
This person is always cheery, greets you when you get in, asks if you like the music, makes small talk until you look out of the window, and then takes the hint and goes quiet. His car is clean and it’s usually done up nicely, but mostly, he’s just organized, prompt, and extremely courteous. He’s so good, in fact, that you ask for his number so that you can call him and hire him repeatedly in order to not have to deal with the others above.
Of the dozens of Uber drivers I’ve encountered, very few have been a true delight to travel with. And this ratio is the same in all industries, including writing and publishing. Most writers deliver, but it is the rare writer who delights and therefore, never finds themselves out of work. In fact, they’re constantly in demand because clients are dying to give them repeat work.
And if you’re that writer, the one who delights? Getting work is a piece of cake.
Those are the kind of writers we help nurture through our programs. More here: