Title: Uber Diva
Author: Charles St. Anthony
Part-memoir, part-guide, Uber Diva is an entertaining look at what it takes to be an Uber driver. Told from the perspective of the self-proclaimed Uber Diva, who is sidelined from the ridesharing business after a drunk driver totals her car and sends her to the hospital, it is helpful in weighing the risks and benefits of becoming a rideshare driver.
Charles St. Anthony writes with a sense of humor that elevates Uber Diva from a typical manual, interspersing important information about ridesharing with funny anecdotes of the mostly drunk, occasionally half-dressed, and sometimes rude riders that St. Anthony has encountered as a rideshare driver.
The information he includes is still interesting, nonetheless, highlighting how rideshare businesses work: what the differences are between Uber and Lyft, what materials a driver should have before getting into the business, how much one can expect to make if driving becomes the primary source of income, and what to do if the rider is at risk of throwing up all over one’s backseat.
St. Anthony’s blunt honesty makes him easily relatable and, thus, believable. Reading Uber Diva is like having an actual conversation with a close friend because St. Anthony is so casual and open with his sarcastic commentary. He refers to himself as “a smart ass” who believes that “snark is part of (his) genetic code” and approaches what happens behind the scenes of ridesharing with a humor that will make the reader smile. At other times, especially during the “Petty Olympics,” as one chapter is called, when St. Anthony recounts the rude, insulting customers he’s had to deal with, his side-comments could be too jarring for some readers.
Although St. Anthony incorporates his own opinions in side comments, he delivers relevant information in a succinct and organized manner. Throughout Uber Diva, there is a genuine interest in helping prospective and new drivers learn how to become five star drivers. By sharing his personal experiences, St. Anthony lists useful advice on how to increase one’s rating: from providing snack-sized candy bars and small bottles of water during rides to avoiding certain controversial topics that are sure to make the ride a tense one if the rider and driver have differing views.
His explanation of the technological difficulties drivers face in pinpointing the pick-up and drop-off location aims to help riders be more sympathetic when their driver picks them up late or slightly away from their actual position. By providing examples of bad customers that St. Anthony has encountered, he also looks to help riders improve their own ratings.
Uber Diva is a useful guide for one considering becoming a rideshare driver, but it would also interest readers who have ever wondered what it’s like to be one. The stories of the interesting riders that St. Anthony has encountered during his time is probably one of the highlights of the book; it’s where St. Anthony’s voice is most distinct and his sense of humor revealed. We just wish there were more stories about characters like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle he picked up late one night. For a humorous look at the ridesharing business, the Uber Diva has plenty to share in Uber Diva.
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