Have you stopped driving because of COVID? Me too. It's funny how many of us (including myself) complain about the miserable pay and rotten treatment we receive from U/L and sometimes from pax, yet it takes a pandemic to get us to finally stop driving.

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I picked up a replacement job delivering pizza. I get minimum wage plus 30 cents per mile, and keep all the tips. As you can imagine, the tips are where it's at. When the wife asks "how was your night" the answer almost always depends on how well I did in tips. Reminds me of that old movie They Live and the scene where he looks at money with the special glasses and it reads THIS IS YOUR GOD. Pathetic, I know.

I am a pretty friendly kind of guy, willing to work hard, and will do what I can (within reason) to please most people. As a result, management likes me. The other day the Area Manager called me out of the blue and asked if I would pick up a shift at one of the stores about a half hour away from me. The distance of 18 miles away was very surprising - there has to be up to a dozen locations that are closer that they could pull replacements from. I took the shift.

6 hours later I am heading back home. I've got about 15 miles ahead of me, and I'm thinking how it would be nice to make some money on the way home. Maybe I should turn on Uber and use the DF. Temptation!!!

Immediately some thoughts popped into my mind:
  • If I get a ride and it takes me very close to home, I'll be lucky if I get paid $15. This is the best case scenario.
  • It is possible I could catch COVID or something else, which means that I would end up passing it on to my family and friends that I hang out with each weekend. Corona has mostly passed us by in my city, so I'm feeling kind of invincible, but in my mind I know that the risk/reward ratio isn't that great.
  • Chances are, if I did get a ping (and even that is in doubt), it would either be someone wanting to go through a drive-thru (only thing you can do around here, it seems), or someone wanting to go somewhere far from my house. Uber's DF is pretty crappy. Don't even get me started on the quality of Lyft's DF!
These expectations immediately soured me on the idea. So, I resisted temptation. I deadheaded home.

My brain started wandering, and I wondered why I even keep the stickers on my window. In my city, drivers are REQUIRED to have stickers, with their business license number written on them, on both front and back windows. I decided to keep them on for two reasons: 1) I might drive again in the future if I get desperate for money, and 2) the stickers show that I am an 'essential service provider', which gets police (and others) to ignore me.

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Once the stickers come down, I'm officially done. It would be a major pain in the butt to get new stickers, since the hubs are closed. But as I continue delivering pizza, it seems less and less likely that I will fall back to the U/L world. I think that I may be done driving for good, unless the money part improves substantially. Delivering pizza has paid me roughly $19-26/hour gross consistently, while putting 1/3 fewer miles on my vehicle during the same time frames. Yes, I am on a (constantly changing) work schedule, but typically I know my schedule 1-2 weeks in advance, so it's not that big of a deal.

Anyway, for those who shouted TLDR, here is the short version: I resisted temptation and did NOT turn on my apps when I had a long boring ride home.

How about you; anyone out there that has said "No driving until COVID goes away!" been tempted? What did you do?