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Old 03-24-2019, 08:24 PM
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Tales of Uber...


I do a fair amount of driving for Uber and Lyft: I have always enjoyed driving, both city and rural driving, and doing so allows me to think on shit – and right now, I’ve got some shit on which to think.

And as I do the job, more and more I keep on meeting people who I think are interesting in and of themselves, get into situations beyond the normal, and more, so I wanted to create a thread where I could come in here and say “OK, this guy yesterday was insane…”

And also, feel free to post your stories – either as a driver or a passenger – as I’m sure I’m not the only person here who has had some tales.

However… and I know I can’t control these things no matter what… this isn’t the “debate Uber” thread. Want to talk about whether ride sharing makes sense, want to talk about the gig economy in general, want to complain on behalf of taxis – that’s great. Just go start another thread.

This thread is about the interesting... or insane... people we meet when doing ride sharing. Or, at the very least, the interesting ones I meet.
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Old 03-24-2019, 08:46 PM
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The Tale of Uber & the Time Traveler


A couple of weeks ago, I gave a ride to a Time Traveler.

Now, you scoff. “There’s no such thing as a time traveler, JohnT. This is the SDMB and you should know better than to pass off that crap as real.” And you are quite right – by the typical “science fiction definition” of the term, I did not meet a time traveler. Sorry – no stock tips. Don’t know when Trump will leave office. Have no idea when any of us are going to die.

But I still gave a ride to a Time Traveler.

Got a call from Mary, (names changed, of course) in downtown San Antonio on the riverwalk, requesting a drive to somewhere near US 90 and 1604, about 10-15 minutes west of the city. On my way, Mary calls and let’s me know I’m picking up her brother, Lance. So I get there and a man… Lance… gets in the car and, I gotta tell you, for a time traveler, Lance looked a little rough. Not drunk, just… let’s just say that Lance has lived the sort of life which wore heavily on his face, you know what I mean?

So I get to driving, head east on Commerce street in downtown SA, going to connect to 35 south, then US 90 West. And Lance, like a lot of men who have had maybe 1 – 3 too many, is in a mood to talk. So we do so, the usual stuff – what’s it like driving for Uber, his lack of success at the women in this bar, etc. Then, approaching his exit ramp, Lance begins the part of the conversation which leads to my realization that Lance… as rough as he looked… was a man who traveled through time, thrown from the past into a future both unknown and uncertain to him.

“This is my first time using Uber.” (Not unusual.)
“Really?”
“Yeah. This is my sisters… account. I didn’t even know this existed until an hour ago.” (That’s… unusual.)
“Oh, that’s cool. That happens all the time – people calling rides for other people.”
“Yeah, true. The guy at the bar was irritated for me using his phone, though.”
“Sorry to hear that. Your phone broken?”
“No, I don’t have one. I just got out of prison two weeks ago and the last cell phone I had was in 2002, when I was imprisoned.” (This, too, is not typical conversational patter.)
“Oh, yeah, they’re a little different from then, that’s for sure. I’m not too sure I even had a phone back in 2002 – probably.”

We ride on a few more seconds… he’s probably waiting to see how I respond to his revelation. And I did respond… Straight Dope style!

“Mind if I ask you a question?”
Here it comes… he’s probably thinking. “Sure.”
“So… you said you went into prison in 2002, and just got out last week. Same sentence?”
“Yup.”

In my typically nerdy way, I'm rather excited about this! Wow! Here's a guy who... well, let me continue:

“In some regards, it’s like you time traveled, right? You went in during 2002, and come out in 2019… it’s still America, but things have changed, right?”
Chuckles… “Oh, yeah.”

… and we’re pulling in to his street, but I’m not going fast and we still have 1.5 miles to go. Time for a question or two.

“So… what’s the biggest difference? What change in the world have you noticed most?”

And it’s here that my Time Traveler – for a man who enters a parcel of land, never to leave for 17 years, in my mind, can be considered as such – began to sound frustrated as we pulled up in front of his destination.

“You people don’t talk to each other!”
“Really! How do you mean?”
“All you do is look at your little TV sets, and when you’re not looking at those, you’re looking at your big TV sets! I go see my friends, and it’s difficult to get a conversation going, you know? They get interrupted, they try to talk to you and their phone at the same time, and they end up talking to their phone, mostly. Even now, I’m going here to say goodbye to my niece, and I know that for the most of the time we’ll have together, she’ll spend looking at her TV. Her phone, dammit, I gotta stop saying ‘TV’.”
“Wow. It’s that different?”
“Yes. And there’s TV’s everywhere! On the bus, in restaurants, embedded in cars, on your phones. I was told about this, too, but didn’t really believe it. But, goddamn, there are a lot of TV’s around.”

“Fascinating.” Turning around to offer my hand, “Lance, I appreciate you answering my questions and I believe we are here.”

Shaking it, “Yes this is my sister’s place, and no, don’t worry about it. You at least didn’t ask the ones everyone asks, about what it’s like in prison. Appreciate it.”

Lance exited the car, I collected my $18.43, and we made our ways, likely never to meet again. And I learned that, according to my time traveler from the year of 2002, the year after my daughter was born, that we live in a world with too many TV’s and not enough conversation.
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Old 03-24-2019, 10:09 PM
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Looking forward to this thread. I'll be using Uber for the first time this week when my son and I visit Seattle. He's convinced we're going to get murdered. I'm convinced I'll max out my credit card. I'm sure we're both mistaken.
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Old 03-24-2019, 10:44 PM
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Looking forward to this thread. I'll be using Uber for the first time this week when my son and I visit Seattle. He's convinced we're going to get murdered. I'm convinced I'll max out my credit card. I'm sure we're both mistaken.
Get the Lyft app, too. Both Uber and Lyft usually have sign-up specials, so you can take advantage of both offers. Both have a huge presence here in Seattle.

Check the fare on both services when you're ready for a ride. Their prices can vary, and usually one will be a couple bucks less than the other. Many, if not most, drivers seem to drive for both services, and they seem equally good out here. Uber has more drivers, still, and may have a quicker response time at odd times, but either should be fine.
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Old 03-24-2019, 10:50 PM
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I had an Uber driver a couple months ago who picks up only 2 fares a day. He lives outside of the city, and works near downtown. He picks up one ride on his way in to work, and another ride when he leaves work. He says it pretty much just pays his gas bill every month. I thought that was quite clever of him.
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:18 AM
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I had an Uber driver a couple months ago who picks up only 2 fares a day. He lives outside of the city, and works near downtown. He picks up one ride on his way in to work, and another ride when he leaves work. He says it pretty much just pays his gas bill every month. I thought that was quite clever of him.
I thought about this idea. John T, I'm sorry if this is a hijack, but if someone tried this, they may have to reject several rides that are headed "the wrong way," and wouldn't that be a "no-no?"
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:34 AM
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No. There is a "destination mode" for both apps which allow you to do this.

As a driver, you do not know where you are going until you pick up the passenger, so you don't know if any ride is going the "right way"... unless you use the destination mode.
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:17 AM
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The Tale of Uber and the Drug Dealer(s)


It may shock the more gentle of us, but people actually do use Uber and Lyft in the commission of crimes... prostitution, drug dealing, I have probably transported a stolen item or two... stuff like that.

Drug deals are most common. The typical one goes like this:

Pick up Randy @ 2:34am, Saturday morning. Randy's been waiting a few minutes for his Uber and he apparently realized he smoked all his shit up and has nothing left at home to cap the night off. See Randy sweat...

Randy gets into the car. "Uh..." (it always begins with "uh...") "Uh... I need to stop at my landlord's house to pay the rent."

Fact check: Third week of December. 2:34am. Needs rent paid or faces imminent eviction. Got it!

Take Randy to his "landlord", who oddly enough, lives in an apartment. Randy disappears for 5 minutes, comes back out in a much better mood, I take Randy home.

------

That's typical. Then there are the special cases...

Rhonda called. Needs to be picked up from work at her call center job @ De Zavala/I-10. Got it.

Rhonda comes out, gets in the car. A woman in her mid-30s, Rhonda says that she programmed two stops as we need to pick up her baby... and, yes, there are two stops in the app. (Which, btw, means it's a Lyft because Uber users cannot figure out how to program multiple stops. It's the damndest thing. But I digress.)

We go to stop 1, a home. Rhonda goes inside, comes out about 15 minutes later with a really cute 4yo boy in tow, car seat in her other hand. Rhonda expertly installs the car seat, the kid in the car seat, comes around to the other side of the car and gets inside, shutting her door.

HOLY SHIT, BUT THAT'S SOME STRONG GANJA SHE'S GOT THERE!

I roll down my window like having a skunk explode in my car is the most natural thing in the world, and take Rhonda (and son) home.

But it gets me to thinking:

For Rhonda, it's a helluva setup, right? Her weed dealer and her day care provider are the same person. Talk about convenience and value - I wonder if she earns points, or qualifies for a discount somehow?

For the dealer, that's some smart thinking: You need a way to launder your drug money, so why not open a day care, take a client or two, then fake the rest of your books?

Then I'm wondering... did the dealer decide she needed extra money and decided to open up a day care center, or did a struggling day care center take to dealing weed on the side?

This job leaves one with a lot of unanswered questions.

----

Then there is Maurice, my favorite drug dealer of all. I pick up Maurice around 7am, being told by Lyft that it's a "Long ride". Yay!

Maurice comes out, carrying a backpack. A thin man in his 20s, there's little to note about Maurice - just a normal dude.

I start the drive and am immediately informed that there are six stops on this ride. Holy hell!

So I take Maurice to stop 1. He gets out, takes his backpack with him, goes inside (we hit both apts and houses on this one), comes out in 5 minutes whereupon he rumbles "I'm ready." Rinse, lather, and repeat. 6 times.

(Maurice is not a talker, so there's not a lot of idle chat going on in this one.)

We drive all over San Antonio, and Maurice did a good job with his route selection - not a lot of wasted driving time going back and forth. It's like he's done this before...

The last stop was back at his place. Maurice gets out of the car, hands me a $20, and leaves. Then he tips me another $20 on the app. I look at the fare when done and see that he paid $69 (I got $48, not including tips), so Maurice effectively paid $109 to insure that it's not his car that's impounded when/if he gets pulled over.

Now, technically, I am uncertain that Maurice was dealing. Rhonda had obviously purchased a Nice, Fat Sack, but Maurice... if he was selling, he wasn't selling weed. But all other signs were consistent with drug deals, so I'm pretty certain my guess is correct.

Neither of these is my greatest drug dealing story, but the Tale of Uber, White Privilege, and the Crackhead will have to wait another day, sorry.
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:02 AM
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Rhonda goes inside, comes out about 15 minutes later
I've never used Uber or Lyft. How does this work? If the customer is paying by the mile, how do you get paid for delays like this?
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:14 AM
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I'd like to know that too, for the more innocuous case of just a quick legal retail stop. I'd think it would be more convenient for the driver and the customer to have a way to do stop n shops because the driver and the customer won't have to look for another hookup, but then what happens if the driver has to wait longer than expected and they spend a lot more time hanging around than they would have if they'd looked for another trip.
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:58 AM
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You get paid for time + mileage, with the time being calculated as (hourly local minimum wage/60). So if you have a minimum wage of $12/hour, your driver makes $.20/minute for waiting (to pick you up, etc.). Also earns $.20/minute while driving as well.

Last edited by JohnT; 03-25-2019 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:00 AM
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Also, many times when I'm asked "can you stop by Whataburger?" I negotiate something for me - "if you don't mind buying me a large drink", something like that.
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Old 03-25-2019, 12:54 PM
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JohnT, if I may humbly hijack your thread, what makes a good passenger? I assume the usual things: not reeking of BO, weed, or various bodily fluids, not being drunk or argumentative, etc. What do I need to know so I don't end up on some Seattle Uber driver's "Tales of bad Uber fares" blog?

And do you prefer cash tips or tips through the app, which I didn't know was a thing?
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Old 03-25-2019, 12:59 PM
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Cash is better as Uber/Lyft logs tips for tax purposes.
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Old 03-25-2019, 01:24 PM
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99.9% of my riders are "good riders". I very rarely give lower than a 5 star rating - you have to have vomited or been a serious pain in the ass for me to worry about rating you lower than 5 stars. (I only had 1 vomit and the guy hit my tire. Got $40 to hose down my car, no questions asked.)

Seriously, the only constant about my bad riders is the need to argue. I love to argue, but not when working.

Other irritating habits, (none of these earn a passenger a lower rating. Arguing gets you a low rating.):

1. Giving me directions, other than local tips 'n tricks ("there's a quicker way out of this complex" is a good tip. "Turn left onto I-35" is a bad tip.).
2. No open drinks. Gotta dump that thing before you get in my car.
3. Don't take your last drag on your cig, only to exhale when you get in my car.
4. Control your friends.
5. No dipping, vaping, etc.

Yeah... sneaking a vape gets you 1 star. Ask first.

Last edited by JohnT; 03-25-2019 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 03-25-2019, 01:33 PM
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HOLY SHIT, BUT THAT'S SOME STRONG GANJA SHE'S GOT THERE!
I roll down my window ....

... so Maurice paid $109 to insure that it's not his car that's impounded when he gets pulled over. ..
I'd never thought of this before---(yes, I'm a naive old man)...but what's the legal situation here for you as the driver?

You are totally innocent,but a cop isn't going to know that when he stops you and smells weed, or finds heroin in the passenger's backpack.

Of course you have the Uber history files to prove that you just happened to be nearby and picked them up...but what would happen if you have multiple trips with these passengers over the past month, following the same route each time? Does that make you look like an accomplice?

Last edited by chappachula; 03-25-2019 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 03-25-2019, 01:49 PM
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Very true, and I can be prosecuted if they desire.

However... and I have done this quite a bit, so you can take my word for it, in a city as large as San Antonio it has been very uncommon for me to have the same person twice (at least it isn't common that we remember riding together). It has happened about 3, 4 times (probably more), but if I were to become this guys "official" car, it would have to be an arrangement made outside the Uber system.

Maurice, for example, probably is still making his rounds, but I have never seen him since. Same thing with Rhonda, and she works within 2 miles of my home.

Also, here in SA, police love Uber. That will be the topic of future posts, however...
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Old 03-25-2019, 02:21 PM
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(Btw, I just remembered: marijuana has been decriminalized here in Bexar County and only rates a ticket. Of course, DUI laws also apply, but since I'm not the one smoking...)
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Old 03-25-2019, 03:20 PM
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Before Tumblr removed adult content in December 2018, I used to read the blog of a female Uber driver in Seattle who would frequently hook up with passengers, as she and her husband were in a very open relationship. I think she has a self published book on amazon about her adventures.

As for my personal experience, the only thing I have noticed is the younger the driver, the chattier they seem to be.
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Old 03-26-2019, 09:46 AM
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I was in San Francisco for work in 2014. Grabbed an Uber from the office to the hotel.

The driver was certifiably insane. Allow me to repeat... certifiably insane.

The traffic was brutal, so I was stuck in his car for ~10 minutes. Aside from calling random pedestrians over to his car so he could insult them, the most astonishing thing he did was drive a whole block on the sidewalk... between cars parked along the curb and the buildings/store fronts. A couple pedestrians literally had to scurry out of the way.

Driver was laughing. Bat shit f'ing crazy he was. I've never been so tempted to jump out of a moving car.
  #21  
Old 03-26-2019, 09:52 AM
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Neither of these is my greatest drug dealing story, but the Tale of Uber, White Privilege, and the Crackhead will have to wait another day, sorry.
Hey, yeah, it's storytime right?
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Old 03-26-2019, 10:52 AM
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The Tale of Uber, White Privilege, and the Crackhead


Since you asked all politely and shit...

The reason I started doing this was boredom. Sophia was entering high school and, being an active and social person, was involved in a lot of parties, after school stuff, etc., which involved me driving Sophia to point X, then driving back to point X 2 hours later to pick her up. And it was irritating me to drive 15 minutes, drop her off, drive 15 minutes home, wait 1.5 hours, then drive 15 minutes to pick her up and 15 minutes back.

So my wife was like “Well, why don’t you drive Uber or something to kill that 2 hours?”

Sophia goes to a private school in Castle Hills and was on some dance committee or something. She had to be dropped off at the school at 7pm, to be picked up “9, 930, maybe earlier. I’ll call you!” Drop her off, turned on the app (Uber this time), and immediately got a call: Pick Michael up at Castle Hills Baptist Church.

I drive to the church and the first sign that the drive might be unusual was the two police SUV’s*, lights flashing, in the parking lot. I pulled in and there’s Michael – a 50-ish white man with an “executive” look about him, arguing with the police officers.

Police Office 1: “Are you the Uber?”
“Yes”
“Need you to take this man home.”
“OK.”

The police officer proceeds to hand Michael his (Michael’s) phone**, Michael gets in the car still sputtering and bitching, and we’re off.

I look at the destination and verify: “I’m taking you home to Timberwood Park…” (a community way north of SA, with homes ranging from $250k-1.5m) “…correct?”

“You’re not taking me home. We’re going downtown.”

Well, I’m not in the kidnapping business, so if the guy in my car wants to go elsewhere, we go elsewhere. It’s not like I’m being followed by those two cops or anything.

“God, I hope you’re not a dick like that last Uber driver.”

“I’ll try not to be.” (Narrator: I failed) “What happened?”

“Guy started arguing with me for no reason! Didn’t want to take me to my destination, was just a complete asshole about it. We started screaming at each other, then the asshole kicked me out of his car and… I guess… called those two cops.”

“Huh, sorry to hear that.”

So a few more minutes pass in that vein, then we get close to the I-10/I-35 split, NW of downtown:

“Where are we going?” (My app still says to take him to Timberwood Park.)

“Take 35, get off on New Braunfels Avenue.”

Now, I don’t want to profile or anything, but as a general rule, white male executives don’t go to New Braunfels Ave unless they’re on the way to the Spurs game. And there was no Spurs game that night.

We get to New Braunfels Ave, I turn south, and that’s when the fun really started.

“Where are we headed?”

“There’s a convenience store about a mile down the road, past Houston St. We’re going there to buy some crack.”

“OK. Well, I’ll drop you off before we get there and you can walk, but I’m not pulling in there now.”

“What? Don’t be a dick! All the guy has to do is come to our window – I don’t even have to get out!”

“The fuck you don’t! You’re not buying crack while sitting in my car, who the hell do you think you are?”

“You’re just like that other Uber driver! Goddammit it – take me to that store!”

So while this convo is happening, I’m approaching Commerce and Houston. And what dipshit doesn’t know, but what I know, is that there is always a police SUV sitting in the HEB parking lot. I whip the car into HEB, turn to the asshole and say:

“Get out. Or I will involve that police officer right there…” and I point to the SUV “… and he can figure out who is in the wrong here. You got lucky once tonight – don’t fucking press it.”

“Goddammit, how am I going to get home?”

“Call a fucking Uber, you junkie. Now get the fuck out.” (I resort to Fuck-Speak when pissed.)

And he gets out.

Driving away, I try to close his ride… and the app won’t let me. Says I’m too far from his destination – it will allow me to cancel it (resulting in no payment), but I can’t just finish the ride because I’m not where he said he wanted to go (this has since been fixed). This means, because of the crackhead, I can’t get any more rides until he does whatever with his app.

And then I start laughing because I realized what the solution was: I drove 40 miles to Timberwood Park, go to his home, and then closed out the ride, resulting in $46 of earnings for me and a $70 charge to his account, for what should’ve been a $12 ride. Good times!

*We don’t have police cars in San Antonio. We have police SUV’s.
** The guy has the cops called on him because he was threatening violence against his Uber driver, and in response the cops use his phone to call an Uber to take him home. Think this happens if he’s a 24yo Hispanic male?

Last edited by JohnT; 03-26-2019 at 10:52 AM.
  #23  
Old 03-26-2019, 11:02 AM
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And then I start laughing because I realized what the solution was: I drove 40 miles to Timberwood Park, go to his home, and then closed out the ride, resulting in $46 of earnings for me and a $70 charge to his account, for what should’ve been a $12 ride. Good times!
Whew!
  #24  
Old 03-26-2019, 11:15 AM
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I was in San Francisco for work in 2014. Grabbed an Uber from the office to the hotel.

The driver was certifiably insane. Allow me to repeat... certifiably insane.

The traffic was brutal, so I was stuck in his car for ~10 minutes. Aside from calling random pedestrians over to his car so he could insult them, the most astonishing thing he did was drive a whole block on the sidewalk... between cars parked along the curb and the buildings/store fronts. A couple pedestrians literally had to scurry out of the way.

Driver was laughing. Bat shit f'ing crazy he was. I've never been so tempted to jump out of a moving car.
Gotta say, Stuntman Mike, this story would be even better if you had jumped out.
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Old 03-26-2019, 11:20 AM
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I was in San Francisco for work in 2014. Grabbed an Uber from the office to the hotel.

The driver was certifiably insane. Allow me to repeat... certifiably insane.

The traffic was brutal, so I was stuck in his car for ~10 minutes. Aside from calling random pedestrians over to his car so he could insult them, the most astonishing thing he did was drive a whole block on the sidewalk... between cars parked along the curb and the buildings/store fronts. A couple pedestrians literally had to scurry out of the way.

Driver was laughing. Bat shit f'ing crazy he was. I've never been so tempted to jump out of a moving car.
Looks at user name.

Looks at last sentence.

Wonder's why I'm feeling a vague sense of disappointment here...
  #26  
Old 03-26-2019, 03:19 PM
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Gotta say, Stuntman Mike, this story would be even better if you had jumped out.
Yeah, really! Given his user name, it would've been an obvious, easy solution.

Enjoying your thread, JohnT!
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Old 03-26-2019, 03:38 PM
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most of the drivers here work for uber lyft uber eats and door dash at the same time which I'm told makes for some unique situations ..

my cousin who uses uber all the time said in the middle of a ride home one time her driver received a delivery call and asked if they could run by burger king ... since she wasn't in a hurry she said sure ..... he came out with 3 orders ... one for himself one for her since she was being nice and the order he was delivering .... it was 3 houses down from hers ...


The couple across the street lives off of delivery .. and their car broke down .. so one day guy gets a ride home from uber and is sitting next to a largeish Chinese food order so he's getting hungry but by the time he texted his SO about dinner he was home ... come to find out shed ordered the food he was sitting by ....
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Old 03-26-2019, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by nightshadea View Post
come to find out shed ordered the food he was sitting by ....
Now that's funny.
  #29  
Old 03-27-2019, 07:21 AM
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My only weird Uber incident: One time in Chicago we got picked up by this driver who was listening to some really offensive rap music. It had the A word, the B word, the C word, etc. He didn't turn it down or change it, and my husband, who is ordinarily pretty confrontational, didn't say anything. We silently made faces at each other during the ride, but hell, we don't have virgin ears anyway. I don't think the driver ever spoke to us.
The weird part was that the driver had a really good rating.
  #30  
Old 03-27-2019, 07:22 AM
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Not an insane tale, but once I was picked up by Uber at the airport for a ride home, about a 40 minute ride. As we approach home the driver start to get excited saying "Oh, wow!" Turns out he was my next door neighbor, who had just moved in recently!
  #31  
Old 03-27-2019, 08:06 AM
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Uber in Eastern Europe is pretty cool, and for some reason you are much more likely to find a driver who speaks English than by just getting a random cabbie, which at least in Poland, (even in Krakow, which is by far the most "Tourist-Centric" city here) is not easy to find.
  #32  
Old 03-27-2019, 08:19 AM
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The Tale of Uber, the sick mother, and the time I was on FB Live


Get a call from Tessa one Sunday afternoon, somewhere near Bandera and 1604. Now both Uber and Lyft have photos of the passengers, but this picture is more prominent on Lyft and Tessa is quite a good-looking woman in her 30s.

I arrive at Tessa's, a house on a long cul-de-sac, press "arrived" on the app, and a few minutes later she comes out with an older woman in tow. Tessa helps her get in the car, goes around and gets on the passenger side.

The fun starts immediately.

"Hi, John! This is my mother and she's ill so we need to go to the clinic."
"Of course! Let's go."

I press "proceed to destination" on the app... and there's no destination entered.

"I'm sorry, but where are we going?"
"I was still looking up med clinics when you pulled up."
"Tessa, I'm fine." comes from the back seat.
"Mother, I got this."

So I get on Google Maps and do my thing.

"There's a Texas Med Clinic 2 miles away, and they're open. Let's go there."
...
"Is that OK?"
...
...
"Oh, look at this review. We can't go there."
"Tessa, really, I'm OK."

Tessa starts frantically pressing buttons on her phone. As I mentioned upthread (maybe), we're supposed to wait 5 minutes on our riders so I let Tessa take 5 minutes, a few more, to search for an adequate medical service for her mother.

"Ma'am, I need to know where to go or I'm going to have to cancel this ride."
"You're not cancelling this ride on me, goddammit! My mother is sick!”
”Dammit, Tessa, why do you get like this?”

With that last, Mom exits the car and heads back inside the home. Tessa, however, is not done.

“I just want you to know that I think your manners and customer service are horrible!”
“OK” (I could not have cared less)
“NO, GODDAMMIT, IT’S NOT OK!”

So Tessa whips out her phone, starts pressing, then points it at me

“I’m now on Facebook Live and talking to the biggest asshole Uber driver”… (it was a Lyft)… “ever! Here he is, everyone!”
“Tessa, I allow you to record me on the sole condition that I get a copy of this for my attorneys, invoking the Internet Freedom Act of Texas passed in 2014* which allows me the rights to any recording made of me and placed on social media**. In addition, to all those viewing, I have already asked Tessa to leave my vehicle, which she has refused, deciding it better to record her committing the crime of theft by taking***. So, for the record, Tessa – I need you to leave my vehicle and ensure that I have a copy of this video for further prosecution, should I decide to bring it.”

Tessa’s phone enters her purse faster than she whipped it out a minute earlier – I don’t even think she took it off FB Live. Exiting the car, slamming the door, she has to have the last word:

“You’re not supposed to treat your clients this way, dammit!”

I refused it, rolling down the window:

“You’re not a client, honey, you’re just a customer.”

And I drove off, with Tessa screaming soundlessly behind me.

*LOL
**LOL
***LOL

Last edited by JohnT; 03-27-2019 at 08:21 AM.
  #33  
Old 03-27-2019, 09:06 AM
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If I lived in/near a larger town I might consider a job with Uber just based on these tales.

A few years ago my gf went to the Shaky Knees music festival in Atlanta with a friend. They took an Uber at some point and the driver talked music with them. At the end of their ride, he gave them a business card with his name and cellphone number, explaining that they could call him direct and he'd give them a better rate.

I assume this isn't Uber-kosher, right? Anyway, they avoided Uber the rest of their time in Atlanta, fearing they'd get the same driver and he'd be pissed off at them.
  #34  
Old 03-27-2019, 09:11 AM
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LOL, the odds they would get the same driver in the ATL is almost zero. And trust me - this guy isn't getting call backs.

No, it's not kosher. It's also stupid on his part - you can purchase a nice insurance policy via Uber and doing without it is folly. It's subordinate to your insurances, of course, but it's still there for you and the passenger. By doing rides outside the Uber system, he ups his liability and increases the risk for his passengers.
  #35  
Old 03-27-2019, 10:10 AM
China Guy is offline
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My most interesting Uber driver was a Pashtun from Afghanistan, where he had been a translator out on patrol for the US marines. He could have been exaggerating but spoke with the usual calm, no bs, no drama way that rang true to me at least. We had a pretty interesting chat mainly about what was interesting to him as a relative newcomer to the US on our way to SeaTac.

I'd say 80% of the drivers I get in Seattle are immigrants from all over. The ones that have stood out came from Afghanistan, Brazil, various Eastern Europe, various African countries. Although not an immigrant, I lived outside of the US for 20+ years, so feel some common ground with these folks. We usually shoot the shit about families, kids, stranger in a strange land type observations. No great stories that come to mind like JohnT's standout rides.
  #36  
Old 03-27-2019, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
Looks at user name.

Looks at last sentence.

Wonder's why I'm feeling a vague sense of disappointment here...
That's funny, I hadn't actually made that connection. I'm a disgrace to my online persona.
  #37  
Old 03-28-2019, 08:56 PM
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I broke my Uber cherry a couple of days ago and while the guys and their cars were lovely each way I wound up having a very bad night thanks to their car air fresheners pissing off my lungs. I know the US and Canada is way ahead of Australia in recognising indoor air pollution as an issue, do Uber have any rules on such over there? I can't use the service again and as we are a nation with high rates of asthma it strikes me as a bizarre thing to allow.
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Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur
  #38  
Old 03-28-2019, 09:06 PM
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I used to drive Uber. Interested in my stories?
  #39  
Old 03-28-2019, 09:11 PM
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Of course!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
And also, feel free to post your stories – either as a driver or a passenger – as I’m sure I’m not the only person here who has had some tales.

Last edited by JohnT; 03-28-2019 at 09:11 PM.
  #40  
Old 03-28-2019, 09:36 PM
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These are old posts, so the tenses might not match. None of them are "today."

Here's an interesting Uber ride from earlier today - stopped at a laundromat and picked up three huge men - linebacker size. All dressed in all black, down to black gator shoes. Each carried a duffel bag that they didn’t want to put in the trunk. Their leader - I assume - sat in the front seat and spoke in German on his phone the whole time while the other two sat in the back, seeming out of breath and nervous but completely silent. I dropped them off at a PATH station and am happy to hear there was no bombing of any trains today.
  #41  
Old 03-28-2019, 09:37 PM
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A few weeks ago, in making small talk, my day job came up (counselor). As soon as my passenger heard that, she was like OMG CAN YOU GIVE ME ADVICE?! I said, sure, why not.

She wanted boundary advice for her first threesome. The one I was dropping her off at in 15 minutes.

Yes, she was hot. And a super conservatively-dressed Jewish girl.
  #42  
Old 03-28-2019, 09:39 PM
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I picked up three people in an Uber Pool today - that means you’ll have a cheaper fare if other people join. I picked up the first lady, and it sent me to another lady, then a man. I dropped off lady #2 at the mall and then remarked “both of you are going to the same Indian restaurant!” The dude said “yeah, I have a blind date.” The lady then said “I’m going on a blind date... my friend Ravi hooked me up.” Dude goes “Ravi is my cousin... He sent me on this blind date.” Turns out I had the blind daters in my car on an Uber Pool.
  #43  
Old 03-28-2019, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thylacine View Post
I broke my Uber cherry a couple of days ago and while the guys and their cars were lovely each way I wound up having a very bad night thanks to their car air fresheners pissing off my lungs. I know the US and Canada is way ahead of Australia in recognising indoor air pollution as an issue, do Uber have any rules on such over there? I can't use the service again and as we are a nation with high rates of asthma it strikes me as a bizarre thing to allow.
Omg, this drives me crazy. Sometimes I can smell it in my clothes after I get out of the cars. I don't think the drivers can smell it anymore.
  #44  
Old 03-28-2019, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
Now both Uber and Lyft have photos of the passengers,
Wait, what? How?
  #45  
Old 03-28-2019, 10:12 PM
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Popped my Uber cherry today as well.

Seattle. There's some major construction going on on the road outside our hotel and one entrance to the parking lot is blocked off, so I figured I would do the driver a sold and walk a couple of blocks down the street to a rather large and empty parking lot, hoping that would be easier to access. I made sure my location was turned on (it had it correct on the map) and called for my first ride. Not 10 seconds later my phone rings and it's the driver, asking where I am. It shows his car still 3 or 4 blocks away and moving in my direction. Thought that was a bit weird, but whatever. The ride itself was fine.

The second driver was very talkative. We were going from the National Archives building in Seattle to the Space Needle, so it was probably a 15 or 20 minute trip. The guy would. Not. Shut. Up. about how Amazon and Jeff Bezos was ruining the city. He kept pointing at random buildings—hundreds of buildings—and complaining about how Amazon owned them and was driving everyone else out of the city. "One man! ONE MAN owns all this! Miles and miles! Half of downtown is owned by Amazon! That building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* and that building *points* ... all owned by Bezos! ONE MAN!"

And on. And on. Uber said this guy was a "diamond"... something. I guess that means he has lots of satisfied customers. I wasn't satisfied but I gave him a decent rating and a tip, basically because I want to get a good passenger rating too and last night's cab ride was worse and I'm a noob so wtf do I know.

The third driver was cool, he talked about the Marvel exhibit at the pop culture museum and actually got my son to open up and talk to him. That was amazing.

So, all in all not particularly bad experiences, I saved a ton over what I would've paid for 3 taxi rides, and I learned that Jeff Bezos owns every single one of those buildings over there *points to entire Seattle skyline*.
  #46  
Old 03-28-2019, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by needscoffee View Post
Wait, what? How?
Standard profile pics. Required of drivers, optional for passengers.
  #47  
Old 03-28-2019, 10:17 PM
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Lancia, I don't think the driver can see who gave them what rating, but maybe one of the drivers in the thread can confirm this.
  #48  
Old 03-28-2019, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
Standard profile pics. Required of drivers, optional for passengers.
Right, I mean as a passenger I've never submitted a photo.
  #49  
Old 03-29-2019, 07:40 AM
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Drove two guys and their keg to a house party on Sunday.
  #50  
Old 03-29-2019, 07:41 AM
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Today was the first time I asked a rider to cancel a ride. I went to pick up at the mall and the rider was four adults with four strollers (only two kids, though???). They literally tried to talk me into bending physics and somehow getting them all into my Honda Civic when I told them they needed to cancel and pay extra for an uberXL. How cheap can you be?

Luckily, I was at a mall, so I had a replacement rider in two seconds.
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