My Uber experience is something I had completely forgotten until I got a letter from the appraisal review board of my county. They say I owe tax on my car because it is a business vehicle. And, if I want to protest the amount of tax they levied, I should fill out the form and mail it back.
I ask my friends if they are taxed on their cars and everyone says no. I am mystified. Sure I’ve used my car in my work as a freelance writer, but why is this just happening now? When I get the appraisal board’s response to show up for a hearing, I decide to read every word of the small, monotonous type filling the back and front of an entire page. There must be some mistake. It’s all about real estate.
Finally, I find a phone number to call for more information. It is four o’clock in the afternoon, and I’d probably be on hold until five, when the call would disconnect me, but I decided to try anyway. I put the phone on speaker, expecting a long wait with terrible music. You know how it is dealing with bureaucracy. Much to my surprise, I was offered the opportunity to leave my number for a callback.
Remembering Why I had Forgotten All About My Uber Experience
Even more surprising, they call back in ten minutes. I tell the woman why I am calling, and she transfers me to someone else. I speak to the next person. She rattles off bureaucratic bullshit about all property should be “rendered” and then she asks if I have a permit. Suddenly it becomes apparent in one word: Uber. I need a license from the city to use my car as a taxi. Bingo!
It had been so long since I stopped being an Uber driver, I had forgotten all about it. After all, now I am the artcar shirt guy. Now I was going to have to cancel that permit and take proof of that to the hearing. It sounded like a bureaucratic nightmare, but at least now I understood the “why now” part. The appraisal board reacts to permits. The lady directed me to call the city’s permit office, so I looked up the number online and called. Shades of that day I had gone down there and waited two hours to get in front of an agent. It is a gorgeous fall day, and it just kills me to be indoors with all these other people waiting for my number to be called.
Manuel answered the phone. “Uber? That permit is canceled because we don’t deal with them anymore.” Actually, I knew my permit was invalid because it was temporary — three months — and I hadn’t renewed it because by then I was over Uber. Manuel said contact Uber. They’ll have records showing when you drove.” That’s easy. I drove one time.
Never Got An Uber PayCheck but Still Paying for that Uber Experience
But getting ANYTHING from Uber was going to be anything but easy. They’re impossible to contact, but they blow up your phone during events so you’ll get out there and make them some money. Like New Year’s Eve, which of course continued on into the first few hours of New Year’s day, shuttling people home from parties. It was kind of fun. The novelty of it as a way to celebrate New Year’s with my girlfriend out of town. Going to places I’d never been. Being taken advantage of by this group who kept wanting to pick up more of its friends. Must have been six or seven of them. My poor shock absorbers were moaning.
After that night, I was never able to fit Uber into my schedule comfortably. I learned something about myself. Being flexible about it wasn’t going to work. Apparently, I need to be more structured about it. Pick one or two maybe three days a week. Pick certain times of the day. Never happened. I let the permit lapse. Why spend more money and time jumping through hoops when I had already paid $150 last time around? I only made a hundred bucks that night, and I didn’t think that was enough.
Uber Happy to Put the Entire Uber Experience Behind Me
The more I heard about drivers rebelling against Uber pay and practices, the more I got an attitude about them. Pretty soon I felt okay about being a quitter, and I forgot about working for them. And now this. Here they are, intruding into my life again.
For the second day in a row, I’m on one of their websites drilling down to “get data.” They want me to sign in. They don’t like my password, so I click on “forgot the password,” enter my email address and hit send. They say check your inbox for a “change password” email. I’ve done that twice now and still no email from them. Even in my junk folder. Wish me luck.