Meet the faces and the people, gigging just like you!
If there is something we have learned over the past few months, it is that everyone has a story to tell. And if you pay attention, it is always a story well worth listening to.
When you work in an office, you may sometimes tell your story to a few colleagues around the coffee machine. When you are a gig worker, where is that coffee machine? Who are your colleagues? Probably not an easy question to answer, right? Sure, there are a lot of social groups on Facebook to exchange tips, earnings, and issues. But is that the same? We don't think so.
That's why we are launching a new series of articles to highlight some of our members and some of the people in the gig economy, hustling just like you.
We feel that giving a platform to our members to tell their story, to share their experiences (both positive and negative), to tell the world how they are leveraging the gigs to reach their goals, can be a great motivation for everyone out there. Behind all that technology and all the algorithms, there are people, hard-working people and that's really what we want to highlight.
So let's start! We recently met Damilola, one of the top-rated drivers in DC who is now driving full-time with Via. We thought he had some great tips around tolerance and treating the car as an office. Hope you guys will enjoy!
So tell us about yourself...
My name is Damilola. I live in Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC. I am a father of 4 children so I have my hands full! And I am currently driving full-time with Via.
When did you hear about the gig economy?
I heard about these new platforms a few years ago. I decided to join a couple of different rideshare platforms but I did not like it too much. There was not much driver support and I felt that the platforms did not take good care of us, the drivers. Platforms are very important but the drivers are really the ones providing the services. I don’t think the platforms I tried back then understood that. But then I found out about Via.
When did you start driving with Via?
I started driving with Via about a year ago in the DC area. Since then, Via has been expanding quite rapidly to other parts of DC and to nearby Arlington, VA so the coverage today is good. I know they are planning to expand even more in the future and that will be even better.
How much do you drive with Via?
I drive quite a lot. Because of my 4 kids, I usually like to stay at home in the morning to take care of them and usually drive between noon and 10:30pm or 11pm at night. These hours include quite a 30-minute break as well as shorter 5-10 minute breaks every two to three hours. So the days are long but I am happy with the job. I usually do about 140 to 150 rides a week so that is about 600 rides a month.
So what are some of the things you really like about Via?
There are 3 things that I really like about Via and that is why I am driving full-time with them.
The first one is they understand and care about their drivers. Whenever there is a problem, their support is responsive and always ready to help. I have not seen that with other platforms yet.
The second thing I like is that they are growing slowly but steady. They know what they are doing and everyone is happy. Drivers are busy enough, customers are happy because they get good rates. I am always busy when I drive and have very little downtime. Finally, Via does a good job at keeping us happy and driving on their platforms.
So what do they do exactly to keep you happy?
Quite a few things actually!
They organized a lot of events like Driver Appreciation Day for drivers to come, have free lunch, meet other drivers or rest watching TV at their office. We also know that their customer support has our back if there is any problem and that’s a relief.
You are one of the top-rated drivers in DC. What are the tips you would give to new drivers and independent workers in general?
I would say I follow two key principles.
First, I am very disciplined. I have my own weekly earnings goals and set my driving habits around them. I always drive around the same times so I have developed a good routine between my personal and my professional lives. If one day, I make less for any reasons, I try to compensate so that I can hit my goals most weeks.
The second one is being tolerant. As a driver, we need to understand people may have a bad day and there is a good chance that some of them take it out on you the driver. Understanding it is not personal is important. If you can accommodate a person having a bad day by still going the extra mile by turning on or off the music, being polite and providing a good service, it will be very easy to do it with the people having a good day! For that, I’d say it is important to read people rapidly and adapt your behavior to them.
Do you have a funny story to share?
Actually not really! Most of my rides have been uneventful and I received only one complaint in my 7,000+ rides with Via. The customer complained about a bad odor but I always keep a freshener in my car. Maybe the customer did not like the freshener smell!
Via is a global rideshare company currently operating in New York, Chicago and Washington, DC. If you are interested in signing up as a driver in any of these cities, please use this link: Drive with Via.
If, like Damilola, you want to tell your story and want to become (almost) famous, please contact us at [email protected]. We would love to hear from you!
The house of gigs team
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