Meet One of Boston’s Highest-Rated Uber Drivers
Jennifer Fishman had just left her job as a Boston real estate agent to move to San Diego when she realized she had some downtime until she had to move west. So, this October, she signed up to be an Uber driver, and unknowingly entered a contest for new drivers. Two months later, the 25-year-old found out she’d achieved the “Highest-Rated Driver” ranking, and was awarded $5,000 for the accomplishment. With some moving fees covered, she set out for California this month, but not before telling us what it was like to be one of Boston’s best Uber drivers.
Why did you decide to drive for Uber?
I kind of just did it for some extra money and to pass the time. I wanted to stay in Boston for the holidays with my family before I left for the West Coast, and it ended up turning out to be this great opportunity. Since I was a real estate agent in the city, I already knew the roads pretty well, and I was used to driving people around. I looked into [Uber], and within a couple weeks I was on the road.
How’d you become the highest-rated driver?
They had a contest going on called Driven to Win—I didn’t even know it was going on, actually. I got an e-mail one night and I thought it was a joke saying that I was rated the highest in Boston.
If you didn’t know the contest was happening, what had you been doing to get such high ratings?
I don’t know what my secret was, I guess. I just really had fun with it. That’s kind of how I look at real estate as well, and any job I have. If you’re going to do it, give it your all. You’re not going to get anywhere settling for mediocrity and going with the flow. I made people feel comfortable. I’m good with gauging whether or not people want to talk, whether they want a silent ride or they want to unload their day on me. It’s probably just being open and friendly and making people feel comfortable with me. I feel like most people don’t want a serious Uber driver or someone who’s going to make them feel uncomfortable. It’s your car too, have fun!
What is your actual rating?
I think 4.98 was my final rating.
Do you do anything special in your car?
No, that’s what everyone asks me! They’re like “Oh, do you give out candy? Do you give out water?” But no, it’s just me.
Do you put on music?
Yeah, I would base it off of who was getting into my car. If it was someone younger, I would put on some sort of pop radio station. If it was someone my parents’ age, I would put on something a little more appropriate. I also have my car hooked up so people can play their music if they wanted to. It’s a feature that Uber offers.
Have you had any notable passengers?
When I found out I was moving and started doing this, I ended up getting so many people who were on business traveling from Southern California, so that was awesome to connect with people from all over the world, and people from that area giving me tips. People would get out of my car and want to exchange numbers and we’d hug—it was really cool. You just thought you were bringing someone to Logan Airport and you end up getting their whole life story and find out they’re living down the street from your new place in Southern California.
It was just really cool that every passenger is so different. You have everything from students who are just trying to get to class, people who are visiting the country to go to Boston Medical—they’re from all over the world for different reasons. It kind of humbles you, too. You see the good, the bad, and the ugly driving for Uber, and I really liked that. It opened my eyes to how lucky I am to be able to live in Boston and now relocate to San Diego.
What’s something a lot of people don’t know about driving for Uber?
I would say it’s more fun for me than it was a job. It’s a great way to meet people and establish connections. I ended up meeting people out [in California] through Uber. I think it’s just a great little side gig to have. For me, it was more of a hobby and less of a job. It’s honestly a great company to work for.
Any tips for other Uber drivers out there?
I would just say have fun with it. Don’t take it too seriously. When you’re in an Uber, you just want to feel safe and comfortable, so never compromise that [for customers]. With those tips, you should be getting five star ratings most of the time.
This interview has been edited and condensed.