New Age Stress: UberOla
Research on Stress@Work during my MBA gave me insights into this phenomena. I was amazed to learn that Stress is as old as human beings. The Hunter Gatherer was stressed when he used to leave for his day’s hunt. His stress was – “Will I get my dinner today or will I be the dinner for my Prey?”
On the other hand, there is a good Stress – called EuStress. It propels us to perform better and stretch ourselves to achieve more. Such stress is very much required to be more productive and also to be creative in solving problems. No wonder our bosses are misusing this and stretching us a bit too far than what is comfy for us.
Modern Life Style and tools that are there to help us in life have added even more Stresses in in the list. The New Age Stress List now would read like this:-
- Lack of Wifi
- Phone not switching on
- Some important call you need to make and the other guys phone is out of reach
- Contacts getting wiped off
- Laptop misbehaving
- Wrong Facebook posts – more so when you upload a really bad looking Selfie
- Posting adult content in your family WhatsApp group
- Photo bombing by unknown people
- Pizza not arriving in 30 minutes
- Really bad topping on Pizza after waiting for long
- Unable to book train through IRCTC
- Next seat guy talking loudly on phone
- Kids playing games on their Tab without muting sound
- Waiting for the any page to download despite good signal
- Your phone Battery about to die
- Not finding the Charger when Battery is about to die
- Forgetting the Pin of your Debit Card while at the ATM
- Mistyping your Internet Banking password and getting your account locked
- Booking the movie on a wrong date
- You may add more woes that you faced here……
Last few days I have added Uber/Ola to the Stress List, and here is why. Having to catch a flight early in the morning, I diligently booked an Ola Cab the previous day, and got the SMS “Your Ola will arrive 15 minutes before time”. At the scheduled time, I kept waiting…No Cab and worse No Call. Not even an intimation. I was sure to miss the flight. I desperately searched for a cab from the many apps I had and was lucky to find one who came at the nick of the time. I caught my flight with 1/1000th of a second left for the gates to close. Milkha Singh would have been proud of me!!
Another day, no intimation, but I could see a number of cars roaming around. On calling the Customer Care, she promptly told me that my booking was for 5:45 PM and not AM. I was damned for silly oversight. Not my fault you see, these apps have crazy interfaces, AM becomes PM without you even noticing it.
This morning a repeat performance with a difference. I was told by the SMS that there are no cabs in the vicinity. My ever helpful wife was woken up from her deep slumber and she drove me to the airport. I am seriously considering to add “knowing driving” as a must in the list of Qualitative Requirements while searching for spouses for my kids.
Couple of days back my friend’s wife was let down very badly despite her booking a day prior. She had to reach for an important event in which her child was taking part. Last minute “No Cab” Stress must have added a few wrinkles to her face. And the cruel twist was that Cabs were available in Uber for a whopping 8X Surge Pricing. Can you imagine having to pay 2400 bucks for a trip that would only cost 300. A flight ticket for the same distance would have been much cheaper. I will now definitely vote for any Govt that can Ban the Surge Pricing trick of these scamsters.
Ideas for Cab Operators/ Aggregators. Is it such a complex issue for Ola to detail a vehicle to be in place on time esp. when they have taken advance bookings? Can’t they offer an assured cab for a nominal higher price – the differential to move a cab to the desired place. Can’t they get their cabs to move to areas where demand is high? By now they must be having enough Big Data to analyse how the demand surges in particular areas at particular times. Yet they let down unsuspecting folks in the last minute and kill them with this New Stress. Let’s get together and fight these conmen.
What can we possibly do? To ensure these guys don’t fleece us we should
- Never book during high surcharge. Let them go without business.
- Sign the petition against Surge Pricing https://www.change.org/p/uber-india-stop-using-surge-pricing-to-loot-your-customers
- Keep your neighbourhood friendly taxi man’s number handy.
- Only book reliable Taxi Service or a known Taxi Driver for time critical journeys to Airports and Railway Station. Never book an Ola for it.
- Ensure your neighbours are kept in good humour and encourage friendly relationships, so that they are present to lend a helping hand should you get stuck.
- And the last but most important – Get your partner to learn driving Today. There is never a better day to start, than Today.
Living a Stress Free Life is an impossibility in today’s world. Hence here is my wish for you
May you lead a Less Stressful Life.