And, we're back! Our regular dive into the 'Golden Thread' of UP.NET (from the fine folks in the D.C. forum) focuses on the discerning and perceptive Uber Driver. One who deals with adversity using a healthy mixture of calm observation, and passive-agressive wit. It is a style that takes a few years to learn, and even longer to master. Suffice it to say, we are not beyond stooping to the level of bad PAX, if they cannot fulfill the basic tenets of the social contract, or drunk with entitlement.
Please continue to follow along, and please do not take things wholly serious. The author's below certainly do not.
Our first letter is from one of the zen masters @Prius_McGilli on the shortest of shorties.
Congratulations on achieving the dubious distinction of “Shortest & Most Pathetic Ride I’ve Ever Given”.
You have managed to set the bar high (low?) enough that the possibility of being supplanted in this position of infamy at some point in the future seems rather unlikely. You said that you would have walked, but had never been to D.C. before and were afraid of getting lost. Not for nothing, Lilibeth, but I’m reasonably certain that Helen Keller could find her way from Union Station to the Phoenix Park Hotel.
One would think that, prior to sending through the order for such an obscenely ridiculous trip, the Uber application might do their customers a solid and make one of the following suggestions:
“Are you SURE, Lilibeth?”
“Have you glanced at a map, dipshit?”
Unfortunately for you, Lilibeth, Uber provides no such warnings. They will take any and all money that your dumb ass is prepared to give them. Fortunately, I feel the same way about them, and was able to parlay some deftly acquired, ill-gotten airport surge into the trip fare, resulting in you losing a little over ten dollars for being a moron, and Dara taking a proverbial bath and having to cough up his lunch money on a trip that would ordinarily pay him more than me.
Your cooperation (and stupidity) in this endeavor is greatly appreciated.
Our first second letter is from yours truly @Kurt Halfyard from Princess Abigail who cannot wait any longer on the side of the road in a well lit Shopping Centre in Canada's safest City, Mississuaga, Ontario.
We never got a chance to meet. Somehow I consider this a plus, not a minus. But I will not linger (too long) on what could have been...
When I received your request at 11:55pm on Friday night in a popular 'POWER CENTRE' Mall parking lot in Mississauga, I was standing in line in a McDonald's Restaurant (no Drive Thru for this krazy kat) and was waiting for the staff to get me a cup of coffee. You were a mere 75 metres (*250 feet) from my car, and I thought it would be polite to do the right thing, you know, in terms of transparency. I texted you, to tell you that I would be less than a minute to get my coffee, and at the same time, if you walked to the McD's my car was right there. We could be good to go in probably less than 90 seconds.
Studies have shown that average human walking speeds are about a metre per second, so the timing would have been nearly spot on. I am reasonably sure you like efficiency as much as I do.
You, alas, were having none of it, when you texted, "I am a single woman waiting on the side of the road at midnight! This is unacceptable. COME NOW."
Allow me to take a small aside here and note to you, the original Abigail, from The Bible (Book of Samuel, Old Testament), was reportedly a beautiful and intelligent woman. She was a political advisor of her husband, King David. She was a Queen. You are not. However, you certainly have the Imperial Attitude.
But , back to the situation at hand.
I could have responded to you, "Back in the 1990s many women waited on the side of the road at midnight, and they did it for a living." But, I decided to take the high road. Unfortunately, that particular road will NOT include you, nor will it have you getting home any faster. And you are $5 poorer for the shuffle experience. Significantly more important and waiting, on the side of the road at midnight, for the next driver. Please consider your life choices going forward.
Toodaloo from the High Road, the coffee is great,
Our third letter is the UR-LOVE-LETTER, from the originator of the form, @yankdog on the futility of calling while a driver is driving. Brevity is his strength.
Try learning how to be where you are supposed to be and on time rather than hitting redial 5 times. Both you and your calls have one thing in common. Neither will be picked up. Thanks for the cancellation fee. Let's play again? Maybe. But at this point in life I'm going in a different direction.
Our fourth letter is from an undisputed master of truth telling and ellipses, @koyotemohn
You had a relatively high rating, and bubbling personality, which I welcome on my rush hour quest to not get hosed...And, I must admit it was a sign of a nice ride...Perhaps a longhaul.
Then...I saw you put in a stop at Starbucks on 14th street....where I would have to wait as you crossed the street and ordered your latte and mosey back to me...at which point I would have to make my way to northern Virginia. You giggled all cute like it was a good idea.
I bet you never imagined my well showered articulate persona telling you, ‘no can do’
‘Yeah I can’t take you...’
'Why not?' Nervous giggling.
Straight faced deadpan response: 'Because it doesn’t fit into my financial narrative...been there, done that....no....someone else will be here shortly...'
(cancelled the ride)
'But but but. Can you still take me to Starbucks?
‘Ok sure...’ Then you tried some jibber with the inconvenience imposed on the customer.
So my clapback was basic: ‘Well what about the inconvenience imposed on me by Uber’s cut rates and how that affects my gas, my car maintenance, and how I feed my kid?...that kind of thing?’
You said, 'I thought the driver knew when they they got long trips or multiple stops.'
‘No, we don’t...and it’s nothing against you...you seem like a wonderful person...It’s just this ride has two stops and that doesn’t fit into my financial narrative from here on out. I wasn’t going to flip out or do anything expect not let you use me for two stops.'
It felt great watching you leave and hustle half as hard as I do...worried about being late. Good luck with your meeting and be sure not to spill your latte if you are late!
Finally, we have @warrior lady from Viginia, she of lightning reflexes.
Dear Roadkill on a Scooter,
That’s what you almost became tonight, bro, roadkill at GW University. I know it’s tough to follow the rules of the road when you have more important things on your mind: Beer, Drugs,Girls, and Party. I mean that’s what Mommy and Daddy pay good tuition for right?
Too bad they didn’t teach you common sense and self-awareness.
It was late at night when I stopped at the stop sign and saw you in the oncoming lane. When I proceeded through the stop sign, you decide to turn left in front of me all of a sudden. You were in my blind spot for a millisecond and you are lucky that I have quick reflexes and was able to slow down quickly and avoid hitting you. Many of the ants and terrible DC drivers would not have swerved in time.
I hope you realized how recklessly you were riding that scooter. And of course no helmet for you, either.
The only comforting thought is that we were right behind GW Hospital so help would come quickly.
If there was anything of you left from my big van, to scrape up.
I don’t have much faith in your future. Your parents are wasting their money, as far as I’m concerned.
Good luck.. you will need it in merely surviving your adult life.