Just Uber it

I reviewed the expense report and thought it was both odd and cool at the same time that I was reviewing Uber expenses in the U.S. and The Netherlands. I learned that Uber drivers are not as plentiful in Amsterdam. I was still stuck in the fact that there were Uber drivers in Amsterdam.

I had a choice tonight. Take the train and arrive home at 11 p.m. or Uber it and arrive home by 9:30 p.m. When my day started at 8:00 a.m. it seems like a no brainer: Just Uber it Craven.

But I hesitated. I faced this conundrum a few weeks ago when I missed my train – doors closed in front of my face – and I was left to wait another hour which meant a two hour delay before arriving home. It sucked. I was out for a work event and I just wanted to get home. Later I was told “You should have just Uber’d it”.

A disruptive technology changed personal transportation in a very short timeframe. Uber is to “call a cab” or “take a taxi” as “Kleenex” is to “tissue”. But I haven’t changed as quickly. I look at the expense. Should I really do that? Am I really worth it. And my colleague asked me recently, how much is my time worth?

Tonight it’s worth $40. Just to put that in perspective, a cab ride 20 years ago to the South Side of Chicago was $75. That was about 13 miles. Today my Uber 24 miles west of the city is $40. That is the impact of the disruption.

I’m sitting in the backseat of a black Infiniti and heading to the Glen Ellyn train station. The driver just got off at the wrong exit from the toll road and will add five minutes to the ride. I feel a bit elitist to have the ability to get a ride outside of the city. And yet, the only reason I would consider it – not because I value my time – but because the cost of the Uber makes it acceptable.

I wonder how many things do we compromise in life like this? The cost floor shifts, attitudes change, and our values meld with it.

It’s weird being a passenger on a route to a place where I normally drive solo. But there’s also something reassuring in knowing that whether I’m in Chicago or Amsterdam or Glen Ellyn, I can tap my phone and know that someone is ready and waiting to get me to where I want to go. For a price.

Note: I wrote this post on my way home sitting in the back seat of my Uber driver’s black Infiniti.

12 Thoughts

  1. Important question, that: “How much is your time worth?” How much indeed?

    If one can afford it (because, let’s face it, not all can) then one really needs to take the time to make a decision.

    Not quite the same thing but another money justification. A while ago my sister was telling me: “Omygosh! A cauliflower is $4! I put it back… down another aisle, I picked up a $4 bag of chips. Realised what I was doing, put the chips back and returned to get myself a beautiful cauliflower. How much am I worth?” Was the question she asked herself. I can ok buying crap but not good food? Talk about back-asswards… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally agree. As far as time goes we don’t value our own time. And I only did it because I could expense it. I don’t think I would do it if I was on my own.
      As far as food choices, and value Bridget’s Pediatricians are always amazed at the number of green veggies that she eats. A long time ago I decided if you want to eat junk, you have to eat fruit and veggies. I still buy both!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So true. Why do we not value our own time? And… being able to expense it, is a bonus and you should not even hesitate to use it!
        Oh, darlin’… so do I! But there better be a good balance!


  2. Believe it or not, I’ve yet to take an Uber . . I mean cab ride. My blog pardnah Linds B uses it on occasion because its value is priceless given that she imbibes in those instances.
    Technology is a disruptive force indeed, in much the same way the ocean is. We don’t usually feel its effects straight away, but man . . they are enormous.

    Great to see you back KC!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s amazing to watch a brand workforce materialize. It had been 4 years since I used Uber, and I had to reload the app on my phone last week. Wednesday my driver was a man who didn’t want to talk and was angry with the world, which is why I wrote. And last night, my driver was a 60 year old woman and we talked about race, white flight and more. Just like witnessing the impact of disruptive technology, it is also amazing your open eyes, mind, and heart to perfect strangers and just dive in.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes indeed! There are so many tentacles to it, as your stories indicate. I am a huge observer, so mayhaps I am missing out on this whole Uber thing by not taking a ride now and again. If only to percolate the writing juices . . .

        Liked by 1 person

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