Lifestyle

Divorced And A Mother Of One, This 49-Year-Old S'porean Found Drive In Life As A Grab Driver

Modern-day technology would not have come this far if not for a woman called, Ada Lovelace.

Without her discovery and hard work, our computers and smartphones would not be… so ‘smart’.

Young Anne Frank may have lived a short life, but her diary entries have played a crucial role in piecing together an important part of modern history that’s still relevant today.

In our present time, we also have outstanding women like Malala Yousafzai, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient and activist, and Dr. Jane Goodall, acclaimed primatologist, and more.

This International Women’s Day, as we pay homage to these significant female figures who have contributed so much to our respective societies, it’s important that we also celebrate the heroines close to us and our hearts.

These heroines are not famous and oftentimes, their work almost always go unnoticed – among many others, they are our nurses, our teachers, our hawkers, our call centre staff.

We managed to snag a quick interview with an ‘every day super-heroine’, 49-year-old May Seah, who is one of Grab’s many female driver-partners.

1. What led you to join Grab as a driver-partner?

I joined Grab because of the flexibility I get while driving.

As a single mum, I am able to spend quality time with my son and my family while earning a decent income.

2. How would you describe your experience at Grab so far?

I’m really enjoying my time as a Grab driver so far. As much as I am able to make an income, I also have the opportunity to learn on the job as well.

For example, driving Grab has allowed me to explore so many places in Singapore that I wouldn’t have known about!

Also, I enjoy conversing with my passengers. When I get foreigners as my passengers, I am also able to learn about their culture and country, thanks to my job as a Grab driver.

3. What do you find most fulfilling about your job, or what are some memorable events that happened while you were on the job?

What I find to be the most fulfilling about my job is the ability to cheer someone up!

Once, I had a passenger who was crying in my car as she felt upset and lonely on her birthday.

To cheer her up, I actually sang the birthday songs in Chinese and English, and she even gave me a hug after that!

I always believe that all passengers should leave my car with a smile, and that keeps me going even when I meet difficult passengers.

4. What is a busy day like for you and how do you cope with a busy day?

A busy day usually sees me taking on back-to-back bookings, and I normally drive 400-450km on such days.

I don’t cope with a busy day, I actually really enjoy it!

Fetching more passengers means I have the opportunity to meet new people while driving around Singapore. I always try to engage my passengers in conversations, so that the ride is less mundane.

My passengers often tell me that their 30-minute journey feels like a 5-minute journey, and that makes me happy knowing that they enjoyed the ride!

5. Driving can be physically demanding. What or who is/are your motivation to keep going?

My riders actually keep me going. I too, have bad days as well.

My divorce was a bad one and I fell into a kind of depression.

When I talk to my riders and they confide in me, I am also able to empathise with whatever problems that they are facing.

We talk about their problems and I advise and comfort them where I can. Some can get so emotional that they cry.

It feels good when they tell me that they feel better after talking to me. Some of them also make me feel stronger and better about myself whenever I’m down.

6. What is a personal goal you’d like to achieve at Grab and at home/in your life?

A personal goal that I would like to achieve at Grab is to reach the Diamond tier.

As for [the goal in] my life, I am just contented with being a good mum and spending quality time with my family.

Quality time with my family is extremely important to me and I am glad that my job does not force me to compromise on that.

7. What do you have to say to other drivers who are hesitant to become a private-hire driver?

I would say that Grab is an extremely safe platform for all women drivers, since all bookings are made through the app.

Also, I believe that Grab is a great platform for us women to be financially independent.

Don’t be afraid and try driving! You won’t regret it.

Featured Image Credit: May Seah

 

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