My Nine Months as an Uber Customer Service Rep
J Thoendell stashed this in Tech
What I remember most are the funny stories from disgruntled riders. There was the woman whose driver showed up so drunk that she pushed him into the passenger seat and drove herself to Kennedy Airport. Or the sleepy guy who ordered a ride home only to wake up in line at a McDonald’s drive-thru.
But there were also things like the short one-way trips taken during surge pricing—which could reach up to 9.5X the normal fare—that wiped out more than one rider’s monthly rent.
In 2014, I spent nine months as an Uber Customer Service Representative (CSR). I found the posting on Craigslist while looking for telecommuting jobs. At the time I didn’t think it would be the job I would later leave off of my resume. I interviewed with a woman over Skype whom I never met again. The offer was $15 an hour. I signed the standard non-disclosures.
Uber is not the employer of record of its CSRs: that’s ZeroChaos, essentially a pass-through HR agency that touts itself as a clearinghouse for “contingent worker solutions.” At the start of our two-week orientation we were introduced to “Hector,” who walked us through the mechanisms Uber uses for client satisfaction and tracking: programs with names like Hipchat, Zoom, Zendesk.
"Walking us through a PowerPoint deck from Legal, Hector made sure we understood to never refer to Uber drivers as “employees,” which wasn’t hard, since we weren’t technically Uber employees either. Nor were we ever to refer to Uber as a transportation company; it is an app instead, and the app is never to be referred to as a “taxi meter.”"
The essence of propaganda is controlling peoples' language.