When one door closes, a GrabCar door opens
Former customer service executive Siti Nurraihannah, better known as Anna, has found a new career with Grab, one that she prefers for the flexibility and control it gives.
“It is definitely rare to encounter a female driver, but I hope more women will join as a Grab driver. I feel that the flexibility and control you have over your time and earnings makes it attractive and suitable for women…”
I started driving a GrabCar in March after a friend suggested it. I had been let go together with dozens of others in a retrenchment exercise at my old company, where I worked as a customer service executive. I love the “people and communications” aspect of driving a GrabCar – a factor that is similar to my old job – so I thought why not?
Now, a few months down the road, I think it’s one of the best decisions ever! Not only do I have a new career that pays decently (I earn about $600 a week, after taking into consideration rental fees and petrol costs), but it’s one with a lot of flexibility and potential. The benefit of being able to plan my own time is very crucial for me as my dad, whom I’m living with and taking care of, is ill and sometimes, may require me to bring him to the doctor urgently.
The most common questions I get from my passengers are – no surprise – related to me being a woman driver. They would ask me things like, “Is it safe for you” or “Why do you want to do this?” It is definitely rare to encounter a female driver, but I hope more women will join as a Grab driver. I feel that the flexibility and control you have over your time and earnings makes it attractive and suitable for women who have families, for example.
As a woman driver, I’ve not encountered any strange or unsafe experiences. One of the ways to be safe is to check in regularly with a friend or fellow drivers. I’m lucky because I’ve gained a new group of friends – or brothers, as I call them – since I joined Grab as a driver.
We are all Grab drivers and we communicate on an app called Zello. On the app, we would give tips to each other, especially about traffic conditions. For example, if I encounter a traffic jam on the TPE during the evening peak hour, I would tell the group to avoid the specific area and to take another route. Those who are working would also meet up almost daily, during the afternoon for our break or for supper. We also motivate each other – for instance, if I don’t log on, someone might message me asking me why I’m not driving or if I’m okay.
I was “recruited” into the group by a good friend whom I met when his wife took a ride from me. We got chatting and she shared with me that her husband is also a driver with Grab. I met up with him later, and I’ve been good friends with him and his family since.
Actually, I’ve found that being a woman behind the wheel helps open up communication channels with my passengers. Many of my passengers like to chat, and some even share quite personal issues with me and ask me for advice. I don’t mind being a listening ear, as long as it helps them. I believe my friendliness is a factor in my good rating of 4.8.
Personally, I’m happy in this job and I look forward to going out to drive every day.
– Ms. Anna, Customer Service
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