‘I want my mom to retire’

This is the second instalment of my Uber driver experience. I met Mr Z when I had to take uber to pick Zion up after school. The air was horrible and I just finished my medical appointment at SGH.

‘Hi, good evening!’ I was greeted by a cheery voice and I felt obliged to speak to him. Mr Z is young and he looks like he’s a regular gym rat. His car describes him perfectly, clean, light cologne/ fragrance in the air to complement his cleanly shaved face.

As most uber conversations start, I begin with ‘do you do this full time?’ ‘no. I’m working at Cisco as an auxiliary officer. Under Land Transport Authority regulators.’ So apparently, he’s one of those people who go around “summoning” drivers. But recently, Cisco lost this account to another competitor. He was poached to head over to the competitor’s company but he decided otherwise. ‘It’s not worth it. They pay me $300 more but I’m required to work longer hours, no OT and lesser day offs. I’m also hoping that they will transfer me to the Prison department.’ When I asked why didn’t he applied for a position directly to the Singapore Prisons, he shared that he wasn’t qualified since he only had 3 O level passes instead of the minimum 5 O level passes. Disappointed but he didn’t let that bring him down.

Uber was a good option for him though. He could work on his day offs and cruise around town with not much restrictions. Unlike other Singaporeans, Mr Z prefers to live in JB with his mom. Since his parents have divorced, life is just him and his mom. They own a landed property in JB with relatively good security. ‘It’s quite safe la. There are guards around the neighbourhood.’

‘So why do you want to drive Uber?’ I asked.

‘I want my mom to retire. She’s been a para legal for over 30 years and its a stressful job. I hope that by driving Uber more often, I can make enough for my family.’

Mr Z continued to tell me about his latest hobby, fishing and how he accidentally got a hook stuck on his skull. Proudly, he showed off his latest conquest when he removed the hook quickly.

I reached my destination and wished him luck. For a filal guy like him, I do hope that life will get better.


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