Interview With Berenice the Rideshare Expert

(Berenice Flores, Owner and Designer of the Skipping Rock)

Hi, my name is Berenice, and I’m a rideshare driver here in the Twin Cities. My full-time job is, I am a local artist. I make jewelry and mixed-media art. And I love rideshare.

Well, I needed something that would be flexible with the type of job that I have, meaning, be able to do fares when I wanted to do them, or any exhibits and rideshare really gave me that opportunity. So I really wanted to make every hour count.

It’s been great. I mean, I really enjoy it. Every day is different, and I love that it’s never boring. I never know who’s going to get into my car, in a good way. I interact with people that, maybe in my daily life, I wouldn’t run into. It’s giving me the kind of flexibility that I need as an artist. I need to be able to keep up on my social media accounts, go to fairs and exhibits, and make the kind of money that I need to make to survive in a part-time job world.

Well, I would certainly be confident in yourself, in the sense of, if something makes you feel uncomfortable, make sure to speak up. For example, when I’m in the driver’s seat, there is a sign behind my head on the driver’s headrest, and it says, “If you are the only passenger, please sit on this side,” with an arrow. [It] occurred to me one time when I had a gentleman that was sitting behind me. And he was great. I mean, there was no problem, but I was aware of the fact that I couldn’t see him, and I was uncomfortable with that. So what I did is, I took the initiative, and I put that sign up. So that’s just an example, but it’s definitely important to be aware of your surroundings. Make sure that when someone gets in your car, they know it’s your space and that they should respect it.

So I work primarily during the daytime. I would consider myself the rush-hour girl. I do 7:00 to 10:00, and 4:00 to 7:00, and then sometimes I do events on the weekends. I do have a friend, Kay, we’ll just call her Kay for the moment, and she works nighttime, and she works bar close. She enjoys it a lot. She says that it’s a lot of fun. She really feeds off of the energy of the passengers. And I would say that, even though I don’t do late night, it’s definitely possible. And, again, she has a kind of presence and positivity and confidence about her that make people aware that, when they get into her car, it’s her car and she’s running the show. She also has a dashcam, as I do, and I think that’s really important. Sometimes, I think that… I mean, especially at night. My little dashcam has a blinking light, and if somebody is seeing that they’re being recorded, I think maybe they’re probably on their best behavior right away, off the bat. And I feel that I have seen a little bit of a difference in my passengers, but not in a negative way. I feel that they’re just probably well-behaved, or better-behaved, I should say.

Oh, you can do it. It’s so much fun. Every day is different. Just make sure to have a positive outlook. I would be aware of your surroundings. Have a confident demeanor when somebody gets in your car so that they know that you’re in charge. And then, of course, have fun. It is such a fun job, and I would recommend it to any female.

Well, I’m an artist, so I’m a little creative, and I generally like people. So right away, I wanted to give someone, maybe, a token from their ride with me. And I got the idea because Lyft, for example, has a really positive outlook on being a rideshare driver, and maybe putting a little finishing touch on maybe the way you run your own business because, you know, we are independent contractors.

So what I do is, I provide all my passengers with an inspirational quote at the end of their ride. I have a little box, and it says, “Inspirational, motivational quotes,” and I handwrite all of these notes. And it’s not political or religious. It’s like Mark Twain and Albert Einstein, and they love it. Now, I mean, I would recommend everyone to be original. I am the Quote Lady, and my friend, Kay, she actually makes little origami cranes, and she hands them out to her riders, and they love it. They’re all different colors. Mine are different colors, as well, and they enjoy it. So I would recommend to anyone to think outside the box.


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