Uber driver stories, part V

Uber Driver stories: Part Five



No win situation

Chatting on the phone with a fellow driver when I received a ping to a grocery store a mile away. Should have let it go, but pings were few and far between so I took it. We joked on the phone about how many bags would be hitting my trunk, and who would do the loading and unloading.

I arrived, and grandma opens the back door. Her little yip dog jumps in, right up on the seat. Obviously not a service dog, they behave much better than that. It was a somewhat rainy day and I was immediately offended that someone would let their dog put their wet paws on my seat. You wouldn’t put your wet shoes on someone’s seat, would you?

The dog is followed by a little girl about kindergarten age. Grandma says to the kid “You stay right there and watch BooBoo while I load the stuff into the back.” She closes the door and proceeds to load 4 bags in my trunk while I sit there, rehearsing in my head the 2 questions I am allowed to ask (about service animals) and how to go about it diplomatically.

She finishes and gets in. I’m ready to quiz her on the dog, but I’m going to be friendly about it. I start with “Hi, how’s your day?”

She responds by telling me about an argument she just had with some A-hole in the store who told her she couldn’t bring her dog in. Apparently she told him it was a service dog, but he didn’t believe her because the dog wasn’t wearing a vest. She tried to educate him that vests are not required, but he wasn’t having any of it, and they ended up name calling and shouting at each other in the store, in front of the little girl.

Oh great, now it’s a service dog. Doesn’t matter if it’s an ESA or not, she calls it a service animal and just argued with someone over that issue. Somewhere in her rant she had mentioned that she had to go through some kind of training to get the dog, so maybe it really is a service animal. Who knows, it doesn’t matter now. I decided that the two questions might not be the best idea.

I look at the little girl, who is not yet buckled up, and ask how old her little princess is. “Four. That’s my granddaughter.” Hmmmm. “Looks like she needs a car seat.” Grandma says “It’s no big deal, we aren’t going very far. Plus I’m a good tipper.”

1580926441177.png


This, folks, is what we call a no-win situation. By rights, I could deny her the ride due to no car seat. I could also question whether that four legged creature is a true service dog or not. However, I’m one of those people who has learned the easy way that you don’t poke the bear, and the bear in this case is the ADA Service Animal law.

The way I figure it, this woman has just had a big argument with someone about her “service animal”, and if I deny her a ride for ANY reason, the headlines tomorrow will read “UBER DRIVER DENIES DISABLED WOMAN WITH GROCERIES AND A FOUR YEAR OLD BECAUSE OF SERVICE ANIMAL”. Heck, she could start power vomiting and pull out a stun gun and a can of spray paint, and I would still end up being the bad guy. Then I would be fighting to keep this job, pulling video from the dash camera, complaining to everyone about Uber and how unfair they are, telling my friends that there is more to the story than the news media showed, sending endless emails to an AI brick wall, and so on.

I decided it was better to take them, even without the car seat, than to fight the other battle. Uber and Lyft give warnings over all sorts of stuff, but service animal issues turn into instant deactivation, and they just don’t care about your video evidence. So, I will take ‘em, for better or worse, and dish out a one star later.

Grandma buckles the kid up. I’m second guessing myself now … what if I get pulled over? What if I get in an accident? That kid has no car seat, I would be royally screwed (and so would the kid) if someone hit me hard. Should I tell them I’ve change my mind? It’s rush hour, higher chance of an accident, no matter how safe of a driver I am. But I don’t want to lose this stupid job just yet… Stress, inner turmoil... why would she put me in this position? She is not a 19 year old twit, this grandma knows better! This really sucks!

I hesitantly start the ride. The destination? One block away. Who is this woman?!? I’m thinking, you seriously can’t walk one block? I just watched you load 4 bags of groceries all by yourself into my trunk!


Note 1: in my city, grocery stores do NOT physically stop people from taking shopping carts off the property. Stores do not have wheel locks on carts out here. Homeless take them all the time.


Note 2: The destination was on the other side of the store.


The woman could have loaded the kid, the dog (on a leash) and groceries in the cart she was already using and pushed it through the store (about 1 block in length) or through the parking lot, and across an intersection (controlled by a stoplight). Did they really just order a ride to go through the parking lot and across the street?

Their car was getting detailed at the car wash and they walked to the grocery store while they waited. They bought too many groceries to carry, that was her excuse. 18 seconds later I dropped them off. I gave her a one star and smiled at the thought of repeatedly slapping her upside the head. This “good tipper” left me $2 in the app.



Strange pickup location

1:30am on a Saturday night. Pickup is on the side of a highway, middle of frickin’ nowhere. Nothing around, no buildings, no people, nothing. I figured it was a really bad pin drop, so I will sit there for 5 minutes and collect my free money while I listen to some tunes. Sitting on the side of a highway is dangerous and kind of illegal, but there’s no traffic, and it’s only five minutes…

1580926411304.png


A minute later 2 guys in bright yellow reflector vests appear OUT OF NOWHERE from the bushes. They are railroad workers and had been working on a freight train on the other side of the trees! They were very thankful that I actually came to pick them up.


Protestors

Few years back, during presidential election time, anti-Trump protestors were causing problems in my city. Try and imagine SWAT in riot gear; someone shot during a march; millions of dollars in vandalism; the works.

The wife sends me a text: “Protest downtown today avoid downtown love you be safe.”

Sure, I will try to avoid downtown, but since these jackass companies don’t tell us the destination before we pick up the customer it might be a challenge.

I did well avoiding the mess for a few hours. But then I picked up this younger woman, and her destination was City Hall, right where the protests were taking place.

I asked her if she was joining the protests. Her response? “On no, I’m not stupid! People are going to get hurt and arrested down there! Tear gas sucks, and rubber bullets hurt! My boyfriend is a photographer and he’s going to be taking pictures. I’m just going down to make sure he’s safe.”

I see……


Made his weekend

Saturday evening between 10 and 11pm, in the busiest part of town. Get a ping to a pizza place 2 blocks away. I pull up and this guy gets in. He recognizes me, and says “OMG, I can’t believe this! It’s YOU! This is amazing! This is fantastic! It’s actually YOU!!”

Now let’s jump in the TARDIS and go back about 5 months in time to a Friday afternoon at rush hour. I picked up two businessmen from one of the major tech companies and took them to their hotel, where they needed to pack and go to the airport. I wasn’t going to wait around while they packed, so I dropped them off and left. Went to a nearby parking lot and sat for about 15 minutes, without a single ping (during rush hour, imagine that, what a surprise). My next ping was to their hotel, picking up these two guys again and taking them to the airport.

Traffic sucked and the normal 30 minute drive to the airport took 1:15. We cracked jokes and I told stories. They compared Lyft and Uber to Ola (ride hailing competition where they are from). We talked about horrible road conditions that stretch for 30+ km in parts of their country, and how drivers treat pax over there (and vice versa), ordering rides for the back of motorbikes, and so on. For these two gentlemen it was their very first time in the USA. It was a great ride! They got to the airport with a smile on their faces, despite the horrid traffic.

Now skip forward to the present. One of those two gentlemen was in the USA for his second time ever, doing business at the same place, staying at the same hotel. He had been in town for two days and was leaving in the morning. He doesn’t really know anybody at the tech company even though they employ over 10,000 in this area. He has spent the last two days surrounded by people, yet working alone, eating alone, drinking alone… and all of a sudden he gets picked up by the most memorable person he met from his first US visit 5 months ago!

He was truly amazed at the coincidence (as was I). He said that even though he doesn’t know me, he feels like he was just picked up by an old friend. I told him that when he comes to the States again, if I happen to pick him up, I will take him home to my family for a home cooked meal. (Yes, I really will, and no, we didn’t exchange numbers or emails)

This guy was using Lyft because one of the business people he was working with in town here recommended it over Uber. Since he has only been to the States twice now, he has ordered maybe a dozen rides at most, and I have been the driver for three of them. Highly unusual!

I can’t help but wonder if the Lyft matching was coincidence or not. I was two blocks away, and there were absolutely no vehicles between us at the time. Plus, I went down a one way street to get him, so even if there were other vehicles that were physically closer, it would have taken them longer to pick him up, so I really was the closest car, as far as I can tell.

On the other hand, there are over 10,000 drivers in my market, and a Lyft rep once told me that there are typically 1,500-2,000 drivers online at any given time in my market. I estimate that there were likely 150+ other drivers online within a quarter mile radius of his location, and experienced drivers all know that Lyft likes to match people with the not-so-closest driver many times. Coincidence seems extremely unlikely.

Either way, it was a cool pickup. It’s nice to feel appreciated and remembered in such a positive light.

No, he didn’t tip.


Icing on the cake

Friday, 14 hour shift. Saturday, 13 hour shift. Sunday, email survey arrives from Uber wondering why I haven’t been driving with them lately. Seriously??

1580926367875.png


What a dipshit technology company. No wonder their IPO tanked.


Always trust the GPS

Speaking of dipshit technology…

Hey Lyft, what’s the best route to take to get to my passenger? Why, through the drive thru, of course!

1580926345914.png
 
Mr T

Comments

Uber Driver stories: Part Five



No win situation

Chatting on the phone with a fellow driver when I received a ping to a grocery store a mile away. Should have let it go, but pings were few and far between so I took it. We joked on the phone about how many bags would be hitting my trunk, and who would do the loading and unloading.

I arrived, and grandma opens the back door. Her little yip dog jumps in, right up on the seat. Obviously not a service dog, they behave much better than that. It was a somewhat rainy day and I was immediately offended that someone would let their dog put their wet paws on my seat. You wouldn’t put your wet shoes on someone’s seat, would you?

The dog is followed by a little girl about kindergarten age. Grandma says to the kid “You stay right there and watch BooBoo while I load the stuff into the back.” She closes the door and proceeds to load 4 bags in my trunk while I sit there, rehearsing in my head the 2 questions I am allowed to ask (about service animals) and how to go about it diplomatically.

She finishes and gets in. I’m ready to quiz her on the dog, but I’m going to be friendly about it. I start with “Hi, how’s your day?”

She responds by telling me about an argument she just had with some A-hole in the store who told her she couldn’t bring her dog in. Apparently she told him it was a service dog, but he didn’t believe her because the dog wasn’t wearing a vest. She tried to educate him that vests are not required, but he wasn’t having any of it, and they ended up name calling and shouting at each other in the store, in front of the little girl.

Oh great, now it’s a service dog. Doesn’t matter if it’s an ESA or not, she calls it a service animal and just argued with someone over that issue. Somewhere in her rant she had mentioned that she had to go through some kind of training to get the dog, so maybe it really is a service animal. Who knows, it doesn’t matter now. I decided that the two questions might not be the best idea.

I look at the little girl, who is not yet buckled up, and ask how old her little princess is. “Four. That’s my granddaughter.” Hmmmm. “Looks like she needs a car seat.” Grandma says “It’s no big deal, we aren’t going very far. Plus I’m a good tipper.”

View attachment 412114

This, folks, is what we call a no-win situation. By rights, I could deny her the ride due to no car seat. I could also question whether that four legged creature is a true service dog or not. However, I’m one of those people who has learned the easy way that you don’t poke the bear, and the bear in this case is the ADA Service Animal law.

The way I figure it, this woman has just had a big argument with someone about her “service animal”, and if I deny her a ride for ANY reason, the headlines tomorrow will read “UBER DRIVER DENIES DISABLED WOMAN WITH GROCERIES AND A FOUR YEAR OLD BECAUSE OF SERVICE ANIMAL”. Heck, she could start power vomiting and pull out a stun gun and a can of spray paint, and I would still end up being the bad guy. Then I would be fighting to keep this job, pulling video from the dash camera, complaining to everyone about Uber and how unfair they are, telling my friends that there is more to the story than the news media showed, sending endless emails to an AI brick wall, and so on.

I decided it was better to take them, even without the car seat, than to fight the other battle. Uber and Lyft give warnings over all sorts of stuff, but service animal issues turn into instant deactivation, and they just don’t care about your video evidence. So, I will take ‘em, for better or worse, and dish out a one star later.

Grandma buckles the kid up. I’m second guessing myself now … what if I get pulled over? What if I get in an accident? That kid has no car seat, I would be royally screwed (and so would the kid) if someone hit me hard. Should I tell them I’ve change my mind? It’s rush hour, higher chance of an accident, no matter how safe of a driver I am. But I don’t want to lose this stupid job just yet… Stress, inner turmoil... why would she put me in this position? She is not a 19 year old twit, this grandma knows better! This really sucks!

I hesitantly start the ride. The destination? One block away. Who is this woman?!? I’m thinking, you seriously can’t walk one block? I just watched you load 4 bags of groceries all by yourself into my trunk!


Note 1: in my city, grocery stores do NOT physically stop people from taking shopping carts off the property. Stores do not have wheel locks on carts out here. Homeless take them all the time.


Note 2: The destination was on the other side of the store.


The woman could have loaded the kid, the dog (on a leash) and groceries in the cart she was already using and pushed it through the store (about 1 block in length) or through the parking lot, and across an intersection (controlled by a stoplight). Did they really just order a ride to go through the parking lot and across the street?

Their car was getting detailed at the car wash and they walked to the grocery store while they waited. They bought too many groceries to carry, that was her excuse. 18 seconds later I dropped them off. I gave her a one star and smiled at the thought of repeatedly slapping her upside the head. This “good tipper” left me $2 in the app.



Strange pickup location

1:30am on a Saturday night. Pickup is on the side of a highway, middle of frickin’ nowhere. Nothing around, no buildings, no people, nothing. I figured it was a really bad pin drop, so I will sit there for 5 minutes and collect my free money while I listen to some tunes. Sitting on the side of a highway is dangerous and kind of illegal, but there’s no traffic, and it’s only five minutes…

View attachment 412113

A minute later 2 guys in bright yellow reflector vests appear OUT OF NOWHERE from the bushes. They are railroad workers and had been working on a freight train on the other side of the trees! They were very thankful that I actually came to pick them up.


Protestors

Few years back, during presidential election time, anti-Trump protestors were causing problems in my city. Try and imagine SWAT in riot gear; someone shot during a march; millions of dollars in vandalism; the works.

The wife sends me a text: “Protest downtown today avoid downtown love you be safe.”

Sure, I will try to avoid downtown, but since these jackass companies don’t tell us the destination before we pick up the customer it might be a challenge.

I did well avoiding the mess for a few hours. But then I picked up this younger woman, and her destination was City Hall, right where the protests were taking place.

I asked her if she was joining the protests. Her response? “On no, I’m not stupid! People are going to get hurt and arrested down there! Tear gas sucks, and rubber bullets hurt! My boyfriend is a photographer and he’s going to be taking pictures. I’m just going down to make sure he’s safe.”

I see……


Made his weekend

Saturday evening between 10 and 11pm, in the busiest part of town. Get a ping to a pizza place 2 blocks away. I pull up and this guy gets in. He recognizes me, and says “OMG, I can’t believe this! It’s YOU! This is amazing! This is fantastic! It’s actually YOU!!”

Now let’s jump in the TARDIS and go back about 5 months in time to a Friday afternoon at rush hour. I picked up two businessmen from one of the major tech companies and took them to their hotel, where they needed to pack and go to the airport. I wasn’t going to wait around while they packed, so I dropped them off and left. Went to a nearby parking lot and sat for about 15 minutes, without a single ping (during rush hour, imagine that, what a surprise). My next ping was to their hotel, picking up these two guys again and taking them to the airport.

Traffic sucked and the normal 30 minute drive to the airport took 1:15. We cracked jokes and I told stories. They compared Lyft and Uber to Ola (ride hailing competition where they are from). We talked about horrible road conditions that stretch for 30+ km in parts of their country, and how drivers treat pax over there (and vice versa), ordering rides for the back of motorbikes, and so on. For these two gentlemen it was their very first time in the USA. It was a great ride! They got to the airport with a smile on their faces, despite the horrid traffic.

Now skip forward to the present. One of those two gentlemen was in the USA for his second time ever, doing business at the same place, staying at the same hotel. He had been in town for two days and was leaving in the morning. He doesn’t really know anybody at the tech company even though they employ over 10,000 in this area. He has spent the last two days surrounded by people, yet working alone, eating alone, drinking alone… and all of a sudden he gets picked up by the most memorable person he met from his first US visit 5 months ago!

He was truly amazed at the coincidence (as was I). He said that even though he doesn’t know me, he feels like he was just picked up by an old friend. I told him that when he comes to the States again, if I happen to pick him up, I will take him home to my family for a home cooked meal. (Yes, I really will, and no, we didn’t exchange numbers or emails)

This guy was using Lyft because one of the business people he was working with in town here recommended it over Uber. Since he has only been to the States twice now, he has ordered maybe a dozen rides at most, and I have been the driver for three of them. Highly unusual!

I can’t help but wonder if the Lyft matching was coincidence or not. I was two blocks away, and there were absolutely no vehicles between us at the time. Plus, I went down a one way street to get him, so even if there were other vehicles that were physically closer, it would have taken them longer to pick him up, so I really was the closest car, as far as I can tell.

On the other hand, there are over 10,000 drivers in my market, and a Lyft rep once told me that there are typically 1,500-2,000 drivers online at any given time in my market. I estimate that there were likely 150+ other drivers online within a quarter mile radius of his location, and experienced drivers all know that Lyft likes to match people with the not-so-closest driver many times. Coincidence seems extremely unlikely.

Either way, it was a cool pickup. It’s nice to feel appreciated and remembered in such a positive light.

No, he didn’t tip.


Icing on the cake

Friday, 14 hour shift. Saturday, 13 hour shift. Sunday, email survey arrives from Uber wondering why I haven’t been driving with them lately. Seriously??

View attachment 412111

What a dipshit technology company. No wonder their IPO tanked.


Always trust the GPS

Speaking of dipshit technology…

Hey Lyft, what’s the best route to take to get to my passenger? Why, through the drive thru, of course!

View attachment 412109
Screenshot_2020-02-05-12-42-47.png
 
Ok I have ALOT of stories after almost 5400 trips and 5 years. I remember when I first started driving for Uber I pulled up at this hotel and pharmacy reps we’re having a convention and 7 walks out drunk as a skunk. They said they wanted to go to Peg Leg Pete’s which is a Seafood Restaurant and I told them you do realize it’s across the street right. They said yea but we don’t want to walk. They said we all will give you cash tips. I said pile in. I had them stacked like dominoes in my car. Pulled across the street and got around a 100.00 in tips. They were throwing so much money at me I thought I was a stripper. They all were beautiful women.
 
This happened last night in a suburb of Toronto.

We had a pretty bad storm last night so I was surprised to show up at a home at 3am to find a passenger waiting outside. Solid 5 ☆ rating which is a good thing.

I pop the locks and a young lady get in the front seat and confirms the name. Shes going 30km away on the direction of my home so Im happy.

About a min into the ride she gets a text and asks if she can change the address, I say sure. Its still 30km....but in the other direction...😥

Still a decent ride so off we go. We get to talking and she tells me that she met a guy at a bar, decided to go back to his house with him, when she entered his place she saw 6 other guys in the living room. They were harassing her by grabbing at her and asking if she was a teeli-gal (i learned thats the new lingo for prostitute for kids nowadays....telli =hotel) They wanted to run a train on her (I am pretty sure I know what that is so I didnt ask...)

She told me she got out of there lickedy split (she actually used the word fast but lickedy split is my generations way of saying it)

We continue talking about other stuff and she tells me about her 4 year old that resulted from a previous one night stand she had....

Anyways, as we pull up to her destination I say "Im glad you got out of that sketch situation and can spend the night safe at home" to which she answers...."oh, this isnt my home, its a guy I met earlier in the night".....

Smh....Im gonna end up reading about this chick in the paper one day.
 
This happened last night in a suburb of Toronto.

We had a pretty bad storm last night so I was surprised to show up at a home at 3am to find a passenger waiting outside. Solid 5 ☆ rating which is a good thing.

I pop the locks and a young lady get in the front seat and confirms the name. Shes going 30km away on the direction of my home so Im happy.

About a min into the ride she gets a text and asks if she can change the address, I say sure. Its still 30km....but in the other direction...😥

Still a decent ride so off we go. We get to talking and she tells me that she met a guy at a bar, decided to go back to his house with him, when she entered his place she saw 6 other guys in the living room. They were harassing her by grabbing at her and asking if she was a teeli-gal (i learned thats the new lingo for prostitute for kids nowadays....telli =hotel) They wanted to run a train on her (I am pretty sure I know what that is so I didnt ask...)

She told me she got out of there lickedy split (she actually used the word fast but lickedy split is my generations way of saying it)

We continue talking about other stuff and she tells me about her 4 year old that resulted from a previous one night stand she had....

Anyways, as we pull up to her destination I say "Im glad you got out of that sketch situation and can spend the night safe at home" to which she answers...."oh, this isnt my home, its a guy I met earlier in the night".....

Smh....Im gonna end up reading about this chick in the paper one day.
tenor (2).gif
 
This happened last night in a suburb of Toronto.

We had a pretty bad storm last night so I was surprised to show up at a home at 3am to find a passenger waiting outside. Solid 5 ☆ rating which is a good thing.

I pop the locks and a young lady get in the front seat and confirms the name. Shes going 30km away on the direction of my home so Im happy.

About a min into the ride she gets a text and asks if she can change the address, I say sure. Its still 30km....but in the other direction...😥

Still a decent ride so off we go. We get to talking and she tells me that she met a guy at a bar, decided to go back to his house with him, when she entered his place she saw 6 other guys in the living room. They were harassing her by grabbing at her and asking if she was a teeli-gal (i learned thats the new lingo for prostitute for kids nowadays....telli =hotel) They wanted to run a train on her (I am pretty sure I know what that is so I didnt ask...)

She told me she got out of there lickedy split (she actually used the word fast but lickedy split is my generations way of saying it)

We continue talking about other stuff and she tells me about her 4 year old that resulted from a previous one night stand she had....

Anyways, as we pull up to her destination I say "Im glad you got out of that sketch situation and can spend the night safe at home" to which she answers...."oh, this isnt my home, its a guy I met earlier in the night".....

Smh....Im gonna end up reading about this chick in the paper one day.
She might have been a traveling prostitute. I live in a very affluent neighborhood and used to pick them up all the time at the nicest houses and bring them to the worst ghettos ... they always had the wildest stories.
 
Uber Driver stories: Part Five



No win situation

Chatting on the phone with a fellow driver when I received a ping to a grocery store a mile away. Should have let it go, but pings were few and far between so I took it. We joked on the phone about how many bags would be hitting my trunk, and who would do the loading and unloading.

I arrived, and grandma opens the back door. Her little yip dog jumps in, right up on the seat. Obviously not a service dog, they behave much better than that. It was a somewhat rainy day and I was immediately offended that someone would let their dog put their wet paws on my seat. You wouldn’t put your wet shoes on someone’s seat, would you?

The dog is followed by a little girl about kindergarten age. Grandma says to the kid “You stay right there and watch BooBoo while I load the stuff into the back.” She closes the door and proceeds to load 4 bags in my trunk while I sit there, rehearsing in my head the 2 questions I am allowed to ask (about service animals) and how to go about it diplomatically.

She finishes and gets in. I’m ready to quiz her on the dog, but I’m going to be friendly about it. I start with “Hi, how’s your day?”

She responds by telling me about an argument she just had with some A-hole in the store who told her she couldn’t bring her dog in. Apparently she told him it was a service dog, but he didn’t believe her because the dog wasn’t wearing a vest. She tried to educate him that vests are not required, but he wasn’t having any of it, and they ended up name calling and shouting at each other in the store, in front of the little girl.

Oh great, now it’s a service dog. Doesn’t matter if it’s an ESA or not, she calls it a service animal and just argued with someone over that issue. Somewhere in her rant she had mentioned that she had to go through some kind of training to get the dog, so maybe it really is a service animal. Who knows, it doesn’t matter now. I decided that the two questions might not be the best idea.

I look at the little girl, who is not yet buckled up, and ask how old her little princess is. “Four. That’s my granddaughter.” Hmmmm. “Looks like she needs a car seat.” Grandma says “It’s no big deal, we aren’t going very far. Plus I’m a good tipper.”

View attachment 412114

This, folks, is what we call a no-win situation. By rights, I could deny her the ride due to no car seat. I could also question whether that four legged creature is a true service dog or not. However, I’m one of those people who has learned the easy way that you don’t poke the bear, and the bear in this case is the ADA Service Animal law.

The way I figure it, this woman has just had a big argument with someone about her “service animal”, and if I deny her a ride for ANY reason, the headlines tomorrow will read “UBER DRIVER DENIES DISABLED WOMAN WITH GROCERIES AND A FOUR YEAR OLD BECAUSE OF SERVICE ANIMAL”. Heck, she could start power vomiting and pull out a stun gun and a can of spray paint, and I would still end up being the bad guy. Then I would be fighting to keep this job, pulling video from the dash camera, complaining to everyone about Uber and how unfair they are, telling my friends that there is more to the story than the news media showed, sending endless emails to an AI brick wall, and so on.

I decided it was better to take them, even without the car seat, than to fight the other battle. Uber and Lyft give warnings over all sorts of stuff, but service animal issues turn into instant deactivation, and they just don’t care about your video evidence. So, I will take ‘em, for better or worse, and dish out a one star later.

Grandma buckles the kid up. I’m second guessing myself now … what if I get pulled over? What if I get in an accident? That kid has no car seat, I would be royally screwed (and so would the kid) if someone hit me hard. Should I tell them I’ve change my mind? It’s rush hour, higher chance of an accident, no matter how safe of a driver I am. But I don’t want to lose this stupid job just yet… Stress, inner turmoil... why would she put me in this position? She is not a 19 year old twit, this grandma knows better! This really sucks!

I hesitantly start the ride. The destination? One block away. Who is this woman?!? I’m thinking, you seriously can’t walk one block? I just watched you load 4 bags of groceries all by yourself into my trunk!


Note 1: in my city, grocery stores do NOT physically stop people from taking shopping carts off the property. Stores do not have wheel locks on carts out here. Homeless take them all the time.


Note 2: The destination was on the other side of the store.


The woman could have loaded the kid, the dog (on a leash) and groceries in the cart she was already using and pushed it through the store (about 1 block in length) or through the parking lot, and across an intersection (controlled by a stoplight). Did they really just order a ride to go through the parking lot and across the street?

Their car was getting detailed at the car wash and they walked to the grocery store while they waited. They bought too many groceries to carry, that was her excuse. 18 seconds later I dropped them off. I gave her a one star and smiled at the thought of repeatedly slapping her upside the head. This “good tipper” left me $2 in the app.



Strange pickup location

1:30am on a Saturday night. Pickup is on the side of a highway, middle of frickin’ nowhere. Nothing around, no buildings, no people, nothing. I figured it was a really bad pin drop, so I will sit there for 5 minutes and collect my free money while I listen to some tunes. Sitting on the side of a highway is dangerous and kind of illegal, but there’s no traffic, and it’s only five minutes…

View attachment 412113

A minute later 2 guys in bright yellow reflector vests appear OUT OF NOWHERE from the bushes. They are railroad workers and had been working on a freight train on the other side of the trees! They were very thankful that I actually came to pick them up.


Protestors

Few years back, during presidential election time, anti-Trump protestors were causing problems in my city. Try and imagine SWAT in riot gear; someone shot during a march; millions of dollars in vandalism; the works.

The wife sends me a text: “Protest downtown today avoid downtown love you be safe.”

Sure, I will try to avoid downtown, but since these jackass companies don’t tell us the destination before we pick up the customer it might be a challenge.

I did well avoiding the mess for a few hours. But then I picked up this younger woman, and her destination was City Hall, right where the protests were taking place.

I asked her if she was joining the protests. Her response? “On no, I’m not stupid! People are going to get hurt and arrested down there! Tear gas sucks, and rubber bullets hurt! My boyfriend is a photographer and he’s going to be taking pictures. I’m just going down to make sure he’s safe.”

I see……


Made his weekend

Saturday evening between 10 and 11pm, in the busiest part of town. Get a ping to a pizza place 2 blocks away. I pull up and this guy gets in. He recognizes me, and says “OMG, I can’t believe this! It’s YOU! This is amazing! This is fantastic! It’s actually YOU!!”

Now let’s jump in the TARDIS and go back about 5 months in time to a Friday afternoon at rush hour. I picked up two businessmen from one of the major tech companies and took them to their hotel, where they needed to pack and go to the airport. I wasn’t going to wait around while they packed, so I dropped them off and left. Went to a nearby parking lot and sat for about 15 minutes, without a single ping (during rush hour, imagine that, what a surprise). My next ping was to their hotel, picking up these two guys again and taking them to the airport.

Traffic sucked and the normal 30 minute drive to the airport took 1:15. We cracked jokes and I told stories. They compared Lyft and Uber to Ola (ride hailing competition where they are from). We talked about horrible road conditions that stretch for 30+ km in parts of their country, and how drivers treat pax over there (and vice versa), ordering rides for the back of motorbikes, and so on. For these two gentlemen it was their very first time in the USA. It was a great ride! They got to the airport with a smile on their faces, despite the horrid traffic.

Now skip forward to the present. One of those two gentlemen was in the USA for his second time ever, doing business at the same place, staying at the same hotel. He had been in town for two days and was leaving in the morning. He doesn’t really know anybody at the tech company even though they employ over 10,000 in this area. He has spent the last two days surrounded by people, yet working alone, eating alone, drinking alone… and all of a sudden he gets picked up by the most memorable person he met from his first US visit 5 months ago!

He was truly amazed at the coincidence (as was I). He said that even though he doesn’t know me, he feels like he was just picked up by an old friend. I told him that when he comes to the States again, if I happen to pick him up, I will take him home to my family for a home cooked meal. (Yes, I really will, and no, we didn’t exchange numbers or emails)

This guy was using Lyft because one of the business people he was working with in town here recommended it over Uber. Since he has only been to the States twice now, he has ordered maybe a dozen rides at most, and I have been the driver for three of them. Highly unusual!

I can’t help but wonder if the Lyft matching was coincidence or not. I was two blocks away, and there were absolutely no vehicles between us at the time. Plus, I went down a one way street to get him, so even if there were other vehicles that were physically closer, it would have taken them longer to pick him up, so I really was the closest car, as far as I can tell.

On the other hand, there are over 10,000 drivers in my market, and a Lyft rep once told me that there are typically 1,500-2,000 drivers online at any given time in my market. I estimate that there were likely 150+ other drivers online within a quarter mile radius of his location, and experienced drivers all know that Lyft likes to match people with the not-so-closest driver many times. Coincidence seems extremely unlikely.

Either way, it was a cool pickup. It’s nice to feel appreciated and remembered in such a positive light.

No, he didn’t tip.


Icing on the cake

Friday, 14 hour shift. Saturday, 13 hour shift. Sunday, email survey arrives from Uber wondering why I haven’t been driving with them lately. Seriously??

View attachment 412111

What a dipshit technology company. No wonder their IPO tanked.


Always trust the GPS

Speaking of dipshit technology…

Hey Lyft, what’s the best route to take to get to my passenger? Why, through the drive thru, of course!

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i wonder if a cop pulled you over in a similar NO WIN situation

Officer: driver you are aware that youre legally required to have the right child seat for the kid right?
Uber driver: um but my passenger has a service animal
Officer: oh does she now? i guess ill just have to call in to dispatch and request additional units to close down the roads and escort this service animal we dont want grandma to give you an bad rating and no tip.
 
Her little yip dog
DAMN, Sam! That is what I call them, as well. Sometimes, I call them "yip-yip dogs". .....great minds, I guess.............




I’m ready to quiz her on the dog, but I’m going to be friendly about it. I start with “Hi, how’s your day?”
.......either a fortuitous question or born of lessons learned while working the streets...............knowing you, I am guessing the latterOTE]

She responds by telling me about an argument she just had with some A-hole in the store who told her she couldn’t bring her dog in. Apparently she told him it was a service dog,

Oh great, now it’s a service dog. Doesn’t matter if it’s an ESA or not, she calls it a service animal and just argued with someone over that issue. I decided that the two questions might not be the best idea.

You might have gotten away with:

(in a friendly tone and one of concord)"Ah, I see, yes, a service dog, oh...........and what tasks has this dog been trained to perform?"

Still, your choice may have been better, as, when in doubt:








This, folks, is what we call a no-win situation. By rights, I could deny her the ride due to no car seat. I could also question whether that four legged creature is a true service dog or not. However, I’m one of those people who has learned the easy way that you don’t poke the bear, and the bear in this case is the ADA Service Animal law.

The way I figure it, this woman has just had a big argument with someone about her “service animal”, and if I deny her a ride for ANY reason, the headlines tomorrow will read “UBER DRIVER DENIES DISABLED WOMAN WITH GROCERIES AND A FOUR YEAR OLD BECAUSE OF SERVICE ANIMAL”. Heck, she could start power vomiting and pull out a stun gun and a can of spray paint, and I would still end up being the bad guy. Then I would be fighting to keep this job, pulling video from the dash camera, complaining to everyone about Uber and how unfair they are, telling my friends that there is more to the story than the news media showed, sending endless emails to an AI brick wall, and so on.

I decided it was better to take them, even without the car seat, than to fight the other battle. Uber and Lyft give warnings over all sorts of stuff, but service animal issues turn into instant deactivation, and they just don’t care about your video evidence. So, I will take ‘em, for better or worse, and dish out a one star later.


This is, indeed, a true zugswang. You analysed it correctly. Had you denied the ride, you could have bet the rent that she would have complained. Upon receipt of said complaint, you could bet the next month's rent that Uber/Lyft would have waitlisted you. While I m ight not bet the rent that Uber/Lyft would de-activate you, you could be the telephone bill that you would have a strike on your account. Despite that, you could, have been actually de-activated. In short, you have a one-hundred per-cent chance of suffering adverse consequences if you deny the ride. I would put the odds at three to one in favour of permanent de-activation.

Conversely, the odds of the police's popping you for no car seat are probably greater than ten to one in favour of your not getting popped. If you apply a corollary of Pascal's Wager Argument, you MUST run the job. As you subsequently discovered that it was an extreme local, the odds against your getting popped increased geometrically.

You made the correct choice.


I have had more than one zugswang , especially in the cab.

If a customer called two cab companies and both cabs showed up at about the same time, it was generally agreed that neither cab would haul the customer unless said customer paid the driver whose cab that she did not ride a dismissal.

I took a call in a part of the city where my company usually did not have any cabs. It was a Sunday afternoon; storefront church; fifty-whatever year old black woman passenger who had a few extra kilos on her. She boards my cab. A cab from another company (that usually had more than a few drivers in that neighbourhood) pulls up and asks for the same name. The customer admitted that she called two cabs. The other driver asks for his dismissal. The customer balks. The other driver asks me not to haul her.

My choices:

1. Haul her despite her not paying the other driver his dismissal. As, at the time, I was well known among the cab drivers in the Capital of Your Nation, I would be risking the contempt of my fellow drivers. This particular driver had seen me more than once and knew who I was.

2. Refuse to haul her-

A. Let the other guy haul her: As I did mention that this woman had a few extra kilos on her, she had a hard enough time getting into my cab. She would have an even harder time getting out and back into the other guy's cab. This assumes that she would actually have gotten out of my cab had I refused to haul her.

B. Neither of us haul her, as she would not pay either driver a dismissal.

Had I picked either sub choice of Number Two, at best, I would have had my hack licence suspended, only. Despite my being in the right by refusing to haul her, I would have stood no chance at any administrative process. " White cab driver denies ride to older black woman passenger who does not get around well and just wants to get home from church.". We can pass over an article and editorial in the Washington ComPost plus a TL;dr column from Bob Levey, who is likely the most ignorant and moronic columnist EVER to mar the pages of a newspaper. Further, my good name at the Hack Office would have been ruined forever. A huge fine likely would have been added to the suspension. A revocation was not off the table.

Cost of either of sub-choices of Number Two: Out of work; ruined reputation among regulators and the public, out the amount of the huge fine.

Cost of choice Nember One: no money, temporary damage to my reputation among my fellow drivers that could be salvaged, still employed.

Neither choice was good, but, I chose to haul her. The whole way to her home, she squawked about the "nerve of that driver who expected her to give him money just for showing up." I chose the option there of "being thought a fool" over that of "removing all doubt" and just let her talk. We got to her address, she paid me, and gave me a dollar tip. I helped her out of my cab. We went our separate ways. I did hear about it from my fellow drivers. Still, I did manage to save my reputation among them thanks to some work that I did with the Taxicab Commission on fare and zone revisions.

.
This “good tipper” left me $2 in the app.

At least she gave you something. I have had "good tippers" leave me a quarter, thirty cents and even zero.


That folks is what us Trekkers refer to as... The Kobayashi Maru.
A number of years back, there was this Star Schlepp Story site where you could post Star Trek stories. I posted a series of short storys about this character I had created. He was basically an earth born successful smuggler and wheeler dealer who was a highly trained due to being a member of an ancient order or warriors of a long fallen empire. This order was the last remnant of that empire's glory. People liked the stories. One of my stories was about his beating Kobayashi Maru on the computer's own terms.

The site is long since gone. I do not remember even its address, any more.

Still, as you stated, it was a no-win situation for the author. He took his best choice and did not lose. Keep in mind that failure to lose is not the same as winning.
 
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Officer: driver you are aware that youre legally required to have the right child seat for the kid right?

Officer: driver you are aware that youre legally required to have the right child seat for the kid right?
Uber driver: Oh it's okay, officer. She said she would give me a big tip, so nothing to worry about. Have a good day, thanks for stopping!
 
She said she would give me a big tip, so nothing to worry about. Have a good day, thanks for stopping!
OCCIFER: For your sake, son, I hope that the tip is big enough that you will have something left of it after you pay this summons that I am about to issue you,,,,,,,,,,,,,could I have your licence, registration and proof of insurance, please?
 
OCCIFER: For your sake, son, I hope that the tip is big enough that you will have something left of it after you pay this summons that I am about to issue you,,,,,,,,,,,,,could I have your licence, registration and proof of insurance, please?
You get the real tip when you are sharing a cell with Bubba...
 
You get the real tip when you are sharing a cell with Bubba...
Do they throw you into the hoosegow in Ontario if you are driving a car and there is no car seat for the child? Here, they just give you a summons, although it is a pretty nasty one and you get points, as well. The traffic lawyers that I know tell me that it is difficult to get it busted down to something else and have the points suspended. The traffic lawyers here can get most violations busted down to something lesser, get the fine reduced and the points suspended. The three that they say on which they get no quarter (not even fifteen cents) are reckless, failure to yield to a pedestrian and no car seat. On the second, if it is a first violation, they can get traffic school, successful completion of which will result in no points and an expungement after six months.
 
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