(Note: This series is co-created with Uber, they’re a sponsor of the site.)
My mom had never taken an Uber before, so when we took our first ride together, she was both in awe and of course tried to make best friends with our drivers.
At age 63, my mom has slowly started to use technology to make her life easier. She recently visited Warby Parker in South End for some glasses and booked an Airbnb on her way to visit my family in Charlotte. So hip.
It was now time to introduce her to Uber.
Tip #1: Remind your mom that this isn’t Uber’s first ride and that drivers are friendly
“Wow! I just pressed this button and now it says 3 minutes away,” said my mom. “We need to go Ted! Wait, is a stranger coming to pick us up? Ted, should I be worried? I think he’s driving a Tahoe and his name is Willie. What’s Willie like?”
Even though your mom has taken cabs with strangers, the idea of pressing a button and having somebody pick her up will make her both anxious and excited. You’ll need to let her know that Uber is just a tiny bit popular and that all drivers must pass background screenings, you can see driver profiles in the app, and you can share your trip with a friend/relative during the ride.
Tip #2: Don’t fight it, go ahead and let your mom think she’s Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes
My mom loves to chat and she peppered our two drivers — Willie and Paul — with questions. So. Many. Questions. Mom quickly learned that Willie grew up in Buffalo, has six children and works Uber on the weekends to make some extra cash. Willie’s in love with Charlotte and wishes he moved here 20 years ago. Paul on the other hand works as a hotel operator during the week and recently moved here from Southern California, but has already fallen in love with Charlotte.
Even though you can gently remind your mom that she doesn’t need to become new best friends with the driver, just let her go. “Paul just shook my hand,” my mom remarked as we left the Uber. “Now that’s classy, Ted.”
Tip #3: Be prepared, the automatic payment will blow your mom’s mind
There was chaotic event traffic as mom and I exited Willie’s Uber at Reid’s in SouthPark and my mom was whisper-yelling at me, “Ted, do you want me to pay or are you paying? I don’t think I have cash…” I calmly got out of the Uber as mom rushed over to my side of the Tahoe and said, “Did we do that right? We didn’t pay him? How does he get paid? I don’t understand.”
Even though you explain how the payment system works, it’ll still be hard for your mom to wrap her head around the fact that she needs to do nothing! “That’s pretty cool,” she said.
Now my mom can wear her Warby Parkers and Uber to her Airbnb. I love it!
(Note: This series is co-created with Uber, they’re a sponsor of the site. If you set up a parent’s app for them, be sure to use promo code CLTAgenda17 so they get $20 off their first ride. Additionally, we may do a quick spotlight on parents riding Uber in Charlotte. If you have interesting or funny stories, shoot me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org.)