Tag: rank


Pride goeth before a fall, as either Shakespeare or Jesus said.
Yesterday’s morning session was excellent. I had job after job after job. I strapped on my Ubercar for the afternoon peak, ran it through the car wash (finally!) and had two quick jobs. The first, from a couple of blocks away, was over the lake to Barton, a lovely gent taking his first Uber ride.
The second, only a few blocks away from my drop-off, was out to the airport. She totally screwed up the pick-up and drop-off points, but somehow I found her and got her to the right spot.
At this point, I love the ability of passengers and drivers to communicate with each other. Problems are quickly sorted out, and a great many “no-shows” are avoided.
Uber was offering guaranteed hourly rates in Civic, so instead of hanging around the Parliamentary Triangle, where at that time of day there is plentiful parking and work, I aimed for the city centre.
Problem here is that there are few free parking spots, and I could either burn petrol by cruising around, or find a free park a bit further out.
Rather than add to congestion and pollution levels, I opted for the latter. For a while I slunk around Braddon, taking whatever green minutes were left on parking meters. Four minutes here, six there…
After a while I moved a few streets out and sat on a vacant two hour spot near a church.
The problem here is that Uber automatically allocates jobs to the closest car. By sitting away from the action, I was missing out. I came to that conclusion myself, about the same time that Uber sent me a text suggesting I move closer.
I prowled around and found a spot in Civic and sat on that. Good spot, and I would have had a job quickly if I’d been there two hours earlier. But I waited idle for another hour or so, glancing at my phone every few seconds for an alert.
I turned off the engine to save petrol, and when finally I got a job, I turned the key in delight to get back on the road. Maybe it would take me to the airport, where my wife was scheduled to arrive in an hour.
I turned the key and nothing happened beyond a few clicks and moans. Flat battery.
Turned out to be an expensive lesson. By the time I was mobile again, my wife had landed and caught a cab home. The service guy was busy with the battery when she texted me. Seems we have the original 2009 battery in the Golf. “Great battery,” the guy said, “and I wish they sold them in Australia. But they only last so long.”
So. If I want to pick up jobs in Civic at peak hours, I either have to pay for parking or cruise around the streets. And if I park, I have to keep the engine running.
As a cabbie, I always had a taxi rank to park on. And radio jobs were allocated on an area-based queue, so even if I was parked several blocks away, so long as I was in the area I’d eventually be allocated a job, even if another cab were closer.
I’ll have to rethink my strategy here.