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Nowhere to drive? Uber tells its drivers to relax and learn during downtime

uber lawsuit underpay drivers 3 million driver stepping out
Take a walk, listen to music, or read a book. Apparently, the work life of Uber drivers is not as busy as one might think. A recent post on Uber’s Newsroom blog for drivers — and anyone else who cares to check it out — suggests alternate activities during breaks between trips.

In the post “3 Delightful Things To Try Between Trips,” drivers are told the following: “Part of the reality of being an Uber partner are the waits for your next trip request.” Drivers are encouraged to “use them as an opportunity to a well-deserved break during these quieter times to keep yourself refreshed and ready to roll.”

First, drivers are encouraged to get out of the car, stretch their legs and “leisurely stroll around a new neighborhood you haven’t visited before.” That idea does not quite fit with driver posts about trying to eke out a reasonable hourly revenue stream so they can cover expenses and bring home earnings. The post does make the point that drivers who learn about new areas will have “great talking points for your riders traveling through.”

Drivers are also prompted to listen to music with a streaming subscription on their mobile phone. “Park in the shade, kick back, and enjoy listening to your favorite music as you wait for your next ride.”

Or read a book. Uber introduces its drivers to libraries. “Aside from browsing book collections, many libraries also offer free computers and Wi-Fi at no charge, audiobooks, magazines, DVDs, and CDs. Many libraries also offer a lineup of entertainment that includes special events, workshops, and activites that’ll boost the downtime of your next break.”

The end of the post is followed by a button to “Sign Up to Drive.” If the post is indicative of what a life as an Uber is actually like, with all that strolling, listening to music, and book browsing, who wouldn’t want to take the time to chill and enjoy the leisurely, relaxed life of an Uber driver?

The question that remains, however, is how does all this strolling, vibing, and browsing effect your bottom line when you are trying to make money during the time you allocated for your independent contracting endeavor?

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