Welcome to the beginning of a (hopefully) ongoing front page article series. Love Letters, focuses on the discriminating Uber Driver, one who copes with some of the more painful idiosyncrasies of the gig economy with wit, style, and the passive-aggressive teaching of lessons. We are not beyond stooping to the level of bad PAX, if they cannot fulfill the basic tenets of the social contract, or are stewing in entitlement.
It is amazing what you can find if you dig through the various regional nooks and crannys of the forum. The fine drivers over in the Washington DC subforum have had a thread doling out Love Letters to passengers who learned some of the finer points in ride-sharing etiquette. That is to say, the driver has an obligation, and the passenger has an obligation. If the latter fails miserably, the former can dole out punishment, and make the all around bad behaviour famous in the pages of UPdotNet.
Follow along, and please do not take things wholly serious. The author's below certainly do not.
Our first letter is on the dangers of smoking in L.A. from @PMartino (aka Taillight Tommy)
I saw you see me as I approached the Standard where you and your squad stood talking and smoking. You were looking at your phone so I'm guessing you were watching my 'map-ant' get nearer, and then you actually saw my car! But you swivelled your head back to the conversation and seemed to try and make it appear that you did not know your Uber had arrived.
A big thank you for keeping me waiting for five minutes! That's the magic number, you know, and I enjoyed your cancellation fee more than I would have enjoyed driving you I'm sure.
You've come a long way baby. But you won't get far, in my car.
Our second letter is from @Tars Tarkas in Virginia
It's dark and raining heavily in morning rush hour on congested Route 50. You call twice, which I ignore. I call you back at a stop light.
"Hello. You called?"
"Yes. Could you hurry? I'm running late."
"Could you come faster? I'm running late.
". . . Sure."
Ahmed, it sounded like you wanted to cancel the pickup, so I did it for you. Now you're running even more late, but it was your call.
Our third letter is during a frigid Washington New Year's Day from a couple years ago, but features some flamboyant diction from @koyotemohn , and is well worth highlighting here.
I picked you up behind from Friday’s out at upper Marlboro. Planet icebox was 15 degrees. I wished you a happy new year and in thoughtful fashion...you took my kindness for weakness...which makes you a scumbag to us, right?
So I told you your destination and the eta and when you learned it would take 25 minutes of our lives to get there you aggressively protested. I showed you the eta on Uber and on waze as my backbone began standing up for the rest of my soul.
I told you it’s 15 degrees outside....
You then said some vapid bewshizzle like “The customer is always right...I know because I work in customer service!”
So you think you can crack a whip on old koyote ....don’t you.... You fancy the idea of having your driver being a temp servant for some chump change....don’t you?
Little did you know that I’m a deplorable son of a gun. I’m not getting on my knees for the likes of you and my backbone just don’t bend over backwards for bewshit behavior. As that roadmanian rage bubbled up from the spine to my steering wheel...My ride was clean with a balmy 70 degrees Fahrenheit... And all that tropical heat obviously gave you a case of kiss my arse the way I like it.
(I knew the night would be incomplete without a clutch decision.)
Let me help alleviate that with a U-turn back into the mall parking lot...About 3 city blocks from Friday’s.
"This ride is ending early based on your bad attitude. Exit the vehicle now."
"You will never make money acting like this, I’m going to report you to Uber!"
"Be my guest and get out of the vehicle right right now, please...your money means nothing to me."
"@@@@ you u punk ass @@@@@." (slams door)
"Enjoy planet icebox!"
Apart from the sweet satisfaction of leaving you where Jesus left you...Your ride still counted on my quest. I still got paid. And then the Uber switchboard had a lag, while I was picking up Charlene 5 minutes later, and you called screaming...futilely.
But, you can kick rocks with those frost bitten toes, I thought.
My folder of fornications got furloughed a few months ago.
Happy new year from a deplorable.
Finally, we have @SOLA-RAH, also from the D.C. area, who is well into a case of the COVID Pandemic blues.
You are the worst of the worst. A 4.69 rating but in the middle of an $18 streak is the only reason we ever crossed paths. 5 riders?!? All unmasked?!?!? All carrying a solo cup? All of you admitting to being only 18? OMG, what’d I do to deserve this one?
No, you’re not gonna “Venmo me $30 to do you a solid” on a 10-mile ride around the Beltway with drunk idiots.
One of your bros dumped a Seagrams wine cooler in my backseat to protest being refused a ride?
Thanks for the $80.
My backseat smelled like a sorority party for a week, and it was almost worth it...almost.
May we never meet again,