I took only my second Uber ride recently—I’m not adverse to adapting to new things—and it turns out I got in the car of a famous woman.
You may have already heard of her Grandma Uber, aka Kathy Raydings? Kathy, 57, has a strong social media following and offers great customer service.
The car was spotless—props to her—and she had cold water and snacks, including freshly made slice! I felt like I was a VIP! It was the polar opposite experience of the last cab I caught with a driver who tragically had toxic body odour and had obviously been smoking.
Keep the ladies safe
I always find people like Kathy Raydings aspirational. Here is a woman who is doing something for the benefit of others – namely making sure young women get home safely. How many people do you know like that?
My mum is like that. She’s been working in Aged Care for years, long before it was an even a formal industry. I can’t walk down the street in my home town without being waylaid by strangers telling me my mother should be canonised.
So back to Grandma Uber. After an accident at her work left her unable to continue her former job, she needed to make a buck and seized the opportunity presented by Uber. Along the way Kathy heard the same horrific story over and over of young women who have been attacked or assaulted simply trying to get home after a night out.
“I couldn’t believe how many young women have had that happen to them. It’s just terrifying. And what an abuse of power – those drivers, the perpetrators, whom the public assume are trustworthy because of the job they do,” Kathy says.
“A lot of these girls never report what happened to them either. I’ve sat and cried with some of those girls.”
Uber pink … what do you think?
Kathy tells me they are trialling Uber Pink in Melbourne—women drivers for women passengers—and she has already got six Grandmas signed up with plenty more interested.
Kathy’s dream is to have a fleet called Grandma’s Super Squad with the cars decked out with decals and signage so young women will instantly recognise them.
I suggest to Kathy she should start wearing a cape as clearly this has become her own personal crusade.
“I’m only one Grandmother who has been busting my arse for eight months, but it’s given me a whole new lease on life,” she says.
“I love this job. I can’t wait to get a whole army of Grandma Uber’s on the streets of Brisbane.”
This is music to the ears of parents and carers everywhere! I’ve already signed my goddaughter up.
Kathy’s youthful demeanour and great customer service puts you immediately at ease and she’s been savvy enough to harness social media to spread the word and appeal to her target market.
Always glam, she’s ready for the oft requested selfie with her passengers. A self-confessed workaholic she enjoys the long shifts and meeting the young women of Brisbane.
“I learn so much from all these gorgeous young women and hopefully they can learn from me too.”
Safe travels to you , Kathy and all who ride with you!
With a successful 20+ year career in media and communications, Alex’s media portfolio includes contracts as a radio and television presenter (612 ABC, 4BC, Channel 9 and Network Ten) and as a feature writer for bmag and Brisbane Times.
Alex’s voice and face may be familiar to you from her voiceover and television commercial work. She has been featured in national radio and TV advertising campaigns, corporate videos and has been a regular MC for major events.