Tell us something about yourself?
Good afternoon, my name is Ogundare Olasubomi Coker. I happen to be an Uber driver and I have my own personal car which is Honda City C30
How long have you been working at Uber?
I have been doing this a little over a month. I heard about it from friends of mine from the US and UK concerning Uber, how it works, the way it works, the way it makes people feel comfortable. Moreover, I was doing this just to while away time and make some dough by the side because before now I happened to be an ex banker and I no longer work with the banking industry so I have some of my colleagues that transferred from the banking industry to work at Uber. They were shocked about how easy it was to drive your own car and make money which they found very encouraging. Being a part-time Uber driver, I have experienced a lot and met wonderful people and it is another world entirely from where I was coming from. It is impressive for an everyday activity to meet different kinds of people. It is very important for all drivers and riders to have this CSR which is a Customer Service Relationship which is dealing with riders and as drivers we have different attitudes. The manner of approach and the way we talk to them is very important.
Can you give me in your own words what happened with the rider?
I picked the rider up from Oshofe area, Ikeja going to a restaurant in Victoria Island called Yellow Chilli. Initially, I didn’t see her having any issue when we stopped at two banks. But while we were approaching the highway, she was struggling to open the door or to wind the glass down. At this point I asked her “Is everything okay”? I opened the door for her and she threw up. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any water in the car and by now we were on the highway so all I had were sweets. I gave her some mints which I thought will help to calm her down. On arrival to her final destination, I expected her to get down but I noticed that she couldn’t move her fingers, everything was stiff. The next thing she said was please can you take me to the nearest hospital. Luckily for us where we were parked, between Yellow chilli the final destination and another building, there was a hospital called First City Hospital so I took her there and I called the attention of other nurses to assist us as she couldn’t walk. At the end of the day, she couldn’t say anything, all I heard her say was that “BP patient” which I passed on to the doctor so they will know where to start and I was shocked and didn’t know what to do. I took her phone and looked for the last person that she spoke to, I called the person who happened to be her relative and told them who I am and where we were and what happened. Thankfully, they were on the way with another Uber driver already because they noticed the way that she was behaving. With her own money, I registered her as a new patient for N10,000. When she started gaining herself, I asked how she was feeling and I needed to know whether she was okay so that I will know whether or not to leave her. I informed her that her relative is on the way.
Did she show any form of gratitude?
She wanted to pay me but then I told her not to and I told her that it will be settled later.
What did you learn from the incident?
It shouldn’t be about having a rider sitting at the back and they are taken to their final destination. It taught me to be more observant. By the time I realized, she couldn’t say a word. I just had to sight with the inner mirror then see what was happening at the back which made me pull of of the highway and give her the attention that she needed.
Why did you say in your initial report that health is the most important thing
Yes, her health was very important at that particular point in time because my primary assignment there is to pick my rider from her initial destination at which before picked up, I wish she is healthy and drop her off at her final destination safely but since something else comes up in between, I have to deal with it.
What advice can you give other drivers that find themselves in such a situation?
I will advise the drivers that once they find themselves in such a situation that they should be calm and ask or look around the nearest hospital. They should look into the riders phone and call the last person he or she spoke to or call one or two of their relatives. Then, an email should be sent to Uber to inform them about the present situation.
Do you have any update on the state of the rider?
Yes, I forgot to chip in something, some days after myself and my wife went to Ebute because there was a particular outfit that she wanted. A lady working there, stopped me and greeted me. In my mind, I was trying to recall who she was and where I knew her from. She said “Thanks for the other day. She happens to be the riders younger sister. She was the one that I was talking to on the phone. She asked if I came to see her and I said “No, I don’t know anything. My wife came to get something”. She then said “It’s a small world that my wife happens to be one of their best customers”. It really is a small world and my wife even knows the rider.
Wow, this is a really inspiring story...
Yes it really is
On the positive side, what do you like about working with Uber?
As I said earlier, meeting people both male and female, networking and being friendly generally. As you said it is an inspiring story but truly Uber as a company inspires me as it connects rider to driver.
What has been your best experience with a rider?
Recently, I met someone talking about company venture and luckily for me his immediate sister works for a pension company which he says can help me get my pension on time.
How is that the best? Is it really that difficult to get your pension?
It really is difficult to get your pension so that’s a big advantage.
Thanks for being the Face of Uber. Keep Lagos Moving