#101  
Old 08-13-2019, 08:13 AM
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I was in New Orleans a couple of years ago for a friend's wedding. I was getting an Uber from our Air B&B in Treme to the CBD.

I went on the app and created the trip, and watched as my driver came down the street straight toward me, but then turned away when he was two blocks from me. I watched him go around the block three times, actually driving past me twice, and eventually I ran down to the next block and basically stood in front of him to make him stop. He was an older guy, probably a retiree, and he proceeded to insist the street I was standing on wasn't the street I was standing on. I had literally been standing right underneath the street sign.

We had what I felt was a pleasant conversation on the ride, and afterwards I gave him a 100% tip (it wasn't a very long ride) and 5 stars. He gave me 2 stars. Whatever. That guy was a fucking moron.


Last year I was in Lisbon for a wedding. Almost everyone was staying at the same hotel, and we were all Ubering to the rehearsal dinner. My Uber got me there just fine in 10 minutes, but another guest's driver took her on an hour-long ride around the city, continually switching between "I can't get there from here" and "my English is not good." She got there eventually but that was fucked up.

.

Last edited by DCnDC; 08-13-2019 at 08:17 AM.
  #102  
Old 08-13-2019, 07:00 PM
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I drive part time for both Uber and Lyft. I guess my life is dull, because the strangest ride I've given (so far) was a fairly pretty young lady who was stoned out of her mind and spent the trip telling me how the universe sends down silver tendrils, like tendrils on a Christmas tree, and if one of them touches you, it will dispense wisdom.

Uh-huh.
  #103  
Old 08-13-2019, 08:14 PM
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I'm also an Uber driver for places other than the states.

I do it part time for pocket money - generally working 8pm Saturday till 8am Sunday.

My car is a "soccer mum" people mover, which is probably one of the 5 biggest ubers in this city. Makes a bit of a difference to the more normal Toyota Prius that most use.

I currently have a little over 1500 rides under my belt - a few interesting stories....

But first some general thoughts about how Uber works here and misconceptions

1. I get paid on actual time / distance travelled. You are welcome to deviate from the route suggested if you wish, add stops or do whatever you like so long as we understand this

2. I am VERY accommodating - whatever you want is what you get, which includes stops for Mickey D drive through, beer runs, drug runs or whatever else you want to do

3. If the pickup is not a residential address, or if the rider is not obviously nearby I drop a text "I have arrived"

4. If the pickup is the clubbing district (we have a pedestrian clubbing district that cars can't get into) I text instructions on how to find me

5. I don't have to stop the ride at your destination - we can add a second location, go further, drop you sooner or whatever else.

6. It's pretty common for person A to call an Uber for person B - mostly this is either a booty call, or a ride home for a drunk

7. Riders and drivers can't see each others ratings before making their own ratings

8. I can't accept my next ride before rating my previous rider -

9. I've never had to turn someone down due to lack of space - I've even had 12 pax worth of luggage (family group x 3 ubers from airport) with all luggage in my car
  #104  
Old 08-13-2019, 08:22 PM
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My most interesting ride so far -
Driving around 11pm or so on a Friday night,
got a call to an address that is 15 minutes away in a exurb (VERY far in my city, where you can get from one side of the city to the other in 20 minutes),
turns out it's a 3km trip (about $5). Grumble grumble, never mind, them's the breaks.
Make the drop-off and head back towards town - a few minutes into the trip I get another call - JOY! This person no doubt wants to go into the city party.
No such luck - I find out on pick-up
a. the lady is stinking drunk (has to be belted in to keep her upright)
b. is going 15 minutes FURTHER out of town to the local army base.
Reach the married housing, just out of the base, and she sits in the car looking at me and starts telling me how much hubby travels and that he's away at the moment.

er......that's no good Ma'am - have you got your keys? Your house is just there....
  #105  
Old 08-13-2019, 08:25 PM
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Then there was the time we almost had a punch-up in the back seat.
Picked three pax up in a different part of town, another exurb (5 minute motorway trip to reach)
they were climbing in and were talking about person X that they wanted to avoid...
Sure enough as we were trying to turn around and exit the car-park and turn around he comes out and stops the car - guilting them into giving him a lift.
He was being a jerk the whole way, until they were having quite a heated argument....
Car was stopped and he was kicked out and left there.
  #106  
Old 08-13-2019, 08:28 PM
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There was also the guy that was tripping on magic mushrooms (he got a free ride home)
Had picked up some people and taken them into town.
On reaching the club, their friend was outside and obviously not in a healthy state to be left in town taking care of himself - they asked if I could take him back to where we'd started.
Totally not a problem - I'd already ended the ride, so gave him a free ride home (it was a 5 minute trip, so no dramas on my part)
  #107  
Old 10-22-2019, 10:58 AM
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The Tale of Uber, the seething Evangelicals, old Twitter lines, and my rare 1-star rating...


Sometimes y'all just can't stand each other. It just happens.

So, get a call for Bar 210, out on Boerne Stage road exit on I-10. I'm listening to Dan Carlin's Hardcore History: Blueprint for Armageddon during this short, 4-5 minute ride.

They get in the car, talking. I pull out, ready to do the turnaround, and Mr. Carlin is intoning that WW1 was a blueprint for Armageddon, when the conversation started:

"Do you think WW1 was foretold in the book of Revelations?"
"I'm sorry, I didn't catch that." (I did, but wanted a few moments to think of my response.)
"Do you think WW1 was foretold in the book of Revelations?"
"Interesting question. Why do you ask?"
"Because the man mentioned Armageddon, and I'm really fascinated by the End Times."

OK, back in 2016 I dropped a line on Twitter that I occasionally reuse when appropriate. So I decided to do it again, because why not?

"Oh. Well, I don't know if 1914 qualifies as an End Times candidate. Surely our era is more appropriate, don't you think?"
"Really?" excited, but her husband (I assume) sighs.
"Oh, yes, of course. Don't you?"
"I do! But why do you think so?"
"Well, think about it - in 2016, over 50 million American Evangelicals voted for a pro-choice atheist, a man who married not one... " (I use my fingers to count) "... but two Eastern European Communists turned call-girls, a man supported by an ex-KGB agent turned plutocrat ruler of yet a third Communist country which once vowed to bury the United States, a man who openly pays off porn stars while President of the USA, and yet these supposed Christians think they're being holy and righteous. But... and correct me if I'm wrong here... the problem is that the 144,000 Christians that are saved? The 12,000 times the 12 tribes of Israel? They're not the ones who followed the Antichrist, right?"
"I... I don't recall."
"Well, I do recall, and those that supported the Antichrist were, in the end, sent to Hell. So if you believe in this stuff and want to be on the side of angels, don't vote Trump, OK?"

silence for the rest of the ride. 1 star rating received. Well worth it in every measure.

Last edited by JohnT; 10-22-2019 at 11:01 AM.
  #108  
Old 10-22-2019, 12:09 PM
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Some great stories here, thanks very much (and especially to the OP) for some insightful, funny, or moving tales of humanity.

My only Uber story worth sharing (as a passenger) is more a curiosity not because of the Uber driver, but because of the one who wasn't the Uber driver.

This happened several years ago so I may have some of the details off by now (and I may have shared this story here the day it happened), but it went like this:

A day or two after I had dropped off my motorcycle for servicing/repair at a shop that was about 15-20 miles from where I live, I got the call saying it was all done and ready to be picked up. I happened to be at home instead of at work, in a quiet residential area, and without anybody to drive me over, so I called upon a ride via Uber (not for the very first time, but one of the few times).

I'm not sure what the app may do right now, it's been a few months, but back then, it told me the name of the driver, the make/model of the car that was coming for me (but no further description, such as model year or color), the license plate of the car, and an estimate of when the car would arrive (along with a GPS update on its progress towards me). It would be a guy driving a large SUV, like a Cadillac Escalade or a Chevy Suburban - let's say it was a Suburban - who was very close by already and would be there in less than five minuets.

"Oh man, I'd better get my riding gear quickly, then," I thought, and headed out to my garage where my helmet, gloves, and jacket were.

As I came out of my garage with the gear in hand and turned away from rolling down the door, I saw a white Chevy Suburban pull up at the end of my driveway. Just in time!

I walked down my driveway and pulled on the rear passenger door. It was locked.

I tugged a few times, assuming the driver would realize the difficulty and unlock it, but it remained locked.

I tapped on the tinted window to get the driver's attention. The window obligingly rolled down, revealing a car empty except for the driver, who was a woman I'd never seen before. Well, maybe the name was potentially unisex? I don't know?

"Yes?" she said to me.

"I'm <name>." Pause. "Your ride. To <location>?"

I got a blank look and no response. I stepped back and looked at the license plate, and it's not the same as from the app.

She rolled up the car window, pulled away from my driveway, and drove off. Not turning the corner to circle the block or anything, either. Just... Left the neighborhood.

Approximately 60 seconds later, a BLACK Chevy Suburban pulled up to the end of my driveway, with a dude driving it, the correct (livery) license plate on the car.

I was left utterly confused as to why a Chevy Suburban, of all cars, a car I didn't recognize and not driven by any neighbor I knew... Would just appear out of nowhere, exactly when I'd called for one three minutes earlier, drive down my street past numerous open curb side parking spaces, only to pull up at the end of my drivway and stop there.

Last edited by robardin; 10-22-2019 at 12:10 PM.
  #109  
Old 10-22-2019, 12:15 PM
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Man, that other woman must have freaked. Talk about coincidences!
  #110  
Old 10-22-2019, 12:21 PM
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... I ... tell them all "God bless you" because it's about what they need to hear and not what I need to say ...
BTW, as an atheist/agnostic, let me say that that is beautiful. I said "God bless you", not because I needed to say it, but because they needed to hear it.
  #111  
Old 10-22-2019, 12:25 PM
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Man, that other woman must have freaked. Talk about coincidences!
Yeah, but who was she, and why did she pull over in front of my driveway when the street was relatively empty? If she randomly pulled over to text safely or something, why did she choose someone's driveway to do it? Much less the driveway of someone expecting an Uber car matching her vehicle's description, within a three minute window?!

It just blew my mind. I used to have trouble remembering exactly what the word "nonplussed" means (I would think it was some kind of Orwellian Newspeak, like "plus-ungood"), now I just remember that it refers to how I felt at that moment that that woman just silently drove off in the distance.

What... The hell... Just happened?
  #112  
Old 10-22-2019, 12:30 PM
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So, as a driver it does happen that my pickup gets changed while I am enroute. I have no idea why - perhaps the person cancelled, perhaps there was an Uber much closer to her which became available, other. I truly don't know.

There may be a chance this is what happened to you, that the app changed drivers and the first driver was unaware that they were no longer on the fare. That has happened to me, which frankly... and I get this is petty and small, but I am human... irritates me enough to cancel the next rider as well. They won't notice - the app will just shift drivers - and I get my petty revenge on The System.
  #113  
Old 10-22-2019, 01:04 PM
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So, as a driver it does happen that my pickup gets changed while I am enroute. I have no idea why - perhaps the person cancelled, perhaps there was an Uber much closer to her which became available, other. I truly don't know.

There may be a chance this is what happened to you, that the app changed drivers and the first driver was unaware that they were no longer on the fare. That has happened to me, which frankly... and I get this is petty and small, but I am human... irritates me enough to cancel the next rider as well. They won't notice - the app will just shift drivers - and I get my petty revenge on The System.
That's interesting. I didn't know rides could get yanked and reassigned from the driver.

However, not only was the window of time extremely small, the car that the app had told me originally was coming for me had the usual livery plate number: in NYC, they read "TL&C" for "Taxi and Limo Commission" and typically end in a "C" (unless they spring for a fleet vanity plate, like Carmel having cars with plates like CARMEL99), and are required for on-call (versus curb-hailed) car rides. One cannot just use a personal car and pick up people for money, the vehicle must be specially registered and the driver similarly specially licensed with a TLC endorsement.

The rando white Suburban that stopped at my driveway had ordinary ABC-1234 formatted NY state plates as issued for a passenger vehicle.

I'm pretty sure the car that actually came for me, was the one that was coming for me all along.

Last edited by robardin; 10-22-2019 at 01:06 PM.
  #114  
Old 10-22-2019, 08:54 PM
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Yes, mileage + time + surges + tips + pickup fees (if applicable) + a couple of other things I'm forgetting.

I do think at times the driver gets paid more than what the person pays. Just a hunch, though.
Interesting. When I book a Lyft, I'm told the fare in advance. If the guy wants to go 20 miles out of the way, as far as I can tell I would not be charged anything extra.

BTW, this thread got me to make something right that I'd goofed on. With Lyft, you have the opportunity to tip the driver via the app after you're dropped off. Only, this one time, I flat-out forgot, and by the time I remembered, the app wouldn't let me do it. So, fast forward 3 months, the thread pops up, I remember accidentally stiffing the driver, and I contacted Lyft and they were able to take care of it. "Peter" was no doubt confused as to why he got an extra 5 bucks that day .
  #115  
Old 10-22-2019, 09:02 PM
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Lol, mystery tips happen all the time. I don't cash out until late Sunday specifically because I will inevitably receive tips throughout Sunday for drives taken earlier that week. I call it "expense report time".
  #116  
Old 10-22-2019, 10:36 PM
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with uber you can tip up to a week or more ......
  #117  
Old 01-19-2020, 11:50 PM
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This article sheds a disappointing light on the gig economy.

For example, Instacart changed its billing from a voluntary 10% tip for the shopper to a mandatory 10% service charge ... but kept the service charge itself. Now the algorithm it uses to compensate shoppers is kept secret from them. Many shoppers sleep in their cars because they can't afford the gasoline to drive from the well-off town where customers live to the poorer town which the shopper can afford.

(The title of the linked article is about Silicon Valley. Here is another article about the New Silicon Valley.)
  #118  
Old 01-20-2020, 12:49 AM
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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.
... to the point above...
  #119  
Old 01-21-2020, 02:51 PM
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Yeah, but who was she, and why did she pull over in front of my driveway when the street was relatively empty? If she randomly pulled over to text safely or something, why did she choose someone's driveway to do it? Much less the driveway of someone expecting an Uber car matching her vehicle's description, within a three minute window?!

It just blew my mind. I used to have trouble remembering exactly what the word "nonplussed" means (I would think it was some kind of Orwellian Newspeak, like "plus-ungood"), now I just remember that it refers to how I felt at that moment that that woman just silently drove off in the distance.

What... The hell... Just happened?
Maybe I read the original story wrong and missed something, but did she drive off in the direction she came in? Wouldn't that just be her realizing she was in the wrong area and turning around?
  #120  
Old 02-26-2020, 02:57 PM
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Dear Penthouse. I never thought this would happen to me, but...


Some of you may have noticed (in other threads) that I divorced my wife of 25 years, a process which began… officially… in December of 2018, and concluded… again officially… in December of 2019. Usually I wouldn’t begin an Uber story with such a downer, but I do think that… given the story… the constant reader would like to know that I’m not a complete cad.

So, May, June of last year I get a call from… I’ll call her Heather. Heather has a short trip to a convenience store, and she gets in the car and we’re off.

Notes on Heather: mid 40s. Cute. Dark hair. Attractive. Likes to talk (this is important). May be high on something?

“Hey, I like your Beto sticker!”
“Thanks! My daughter and I are big fans.”

… this is how it starts. Heather and I start talking and, ladies and gents, I’m getting some vibes from this woman. And it soon stops being vibes as we pull into the Chevron.

“Hey, I like talking to you. Do you mind waiting here and taking me back?”
“Sure, no problem” (I haven’t closed out the ride yet)
“Would you like some gas?”
“Why, thank you! I’ve never had anyone offer before.”
“How much?”
“Eh, looks like $10 will top me off.”

So, Heather goes in, does her thing. The pump beeps, telling me that it’s prepaid. As I start filling the car, Heather comes out, asks me if everything is OK, and steps in and gives me a big hug.

(Unless I’m doing this shit wrong, this is not typical Uber passenger behavior, by the way.)

I finish filling up the tank. Heather gets in the back seat and the conversation is going gangbusters. I’m ready to make my move, all suave like and shit, going to say something smooth and cool and hip like “You know, this is my last ride of the night. What are you doing?”

(As smooth as a man who has been married for 25 years could be. )

But! Heather is a talker! And the conversation is about politics and she goes on…

“You know, I would like that…” (whatever, I can’t remember, JT) “… candidate, but he’s supported by the Lizard Jews.”

“The what now?”

“Well, there are two types of Jews in the world. The regular Jews and the Lizard Jews, who control everything… even the regular Jews.”

“Wow. I didn’t know this.”

“Yeah, there’s YouTube videos all about this. You want to go inside and watch?”

(… excuse me for a minute, gentle reader…)

GODDAMMIT!

My big brain and my small brain go into immediate fight mode:
“No!”
“Yes! All you have to do is watch some stupid videos! You’re in, guy, you’re in!”
“No, dammit! I’m not sticking you in the crazy!”
“Fuck that – you ain’t been sticking me into anything the past few months.”
“I’m just saying, I can see this girl getting all Fatal Attraction on you – you want to end up boiling with the bunnies?”
“Damn you. God damn you to hell, big brain. You’re no fucking fun.”
“I would love to, but I just got another ride while I was pumping gas.”

“Oh well! It would’ve been fun! Bye!”

… goddammit.

Last edited by JohnT; 02-26-2020 at 02:57 PM.
  #121  
Old 02-26-2020, 04:27 PM
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you made the right choice
  #122  
Old 02-26-2020, 04:30 PM
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... yeah. So I've been telling myself for 8 or so months.
  #123  
Old 02-26-2020, 08:49 PM
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Thank you for reviving this thread - this needs to be one that gets "grandfathered in" in that no matter how long between posts, it can't ever be looked down upon as a "zombie"!

Quote:
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So, May, June of last year I get a call from… I’ll call her Heather. Heather has a short trip to a convenience store, and she gets in the car and we’re off.

Notes on Heather: mid 40s. Cute. Dark hair. Attractive.
Though can you help me out on {my bolded} above, with the "I get a call from .. Heather"?

I'm only curious in that a gal who once drove me from Love Field to my car, and I thought I had a little bit of a "thing" for - I tried texting her later that afternoon with a "hey, great meeting you today, I was the Uber rider from Love Field", and I immediately got an auto-reply (fashioned from Uber itself).

Something about "you're forbidden from contacting your driver directly at this point, but if you have an issue from your ride or if you left an item behind, contact us at Uber Customer Service" {of course I'm paraphrasing most of that, and I can't remember if we're talking 2013 or 2017, or somewhere in between}.

I guess I didn't realize you could just "dial up" your own personal Uber. So now I'm curious how close you and "Heather" are.

I'm already subscribed to the thread, but I'm interested to read Chapter 2.
  #124  
Old 02-26-2020, 10:17 PM
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Oh, it was just a normal, random call. I have never seen her again, of course.
  #125  
Old 03-23-2020, 06:21 PM
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Are you still driving in the midst of all this? I would think that would be somewhat scary, but I suppose it could be a great "in the meantime" gig if you're willing to take every precaution known to man. Do you know, is the rideshare business up / down / the same? Affected a little / a lot / not much at all?
  #126  
Old 03-23-2020, 08:10 PM
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I have no experience driving for Uber/Lyft, so am talking as a passenger:

I didn't know drivers dislike passengers sitting in front. I always feel like heading for the back is rather snobbish, like they're mere serfs doing my bidding.

I prefer Lyft because, in my area, Lyft rides are usually cheaper than the same trip would be by Uber. I've also been told by people who've done both that Lyft has tougher background checks on drivers, which makes a middle-aged woman with lousy eyesight and occasional mobility limits (arthritic hips) feel safer about getting into a car with a stranger who is statistically much more likely to be male.

Lots of immigrants among the drivers I've ridden with, and I've had some very nice conversations with them.

About the only way a driver's going to get less than 5 stars from me is bad driving (and I define tailgating as such) or offensive music. I'm pretty flexible on music, but don't play foulmouth gangsta stuff at me, please. I'm a bit old and a bit melanin-deprived to fully appreciate that genre.
  #127  
Old 03-26-2020, 09:58 AM
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Sad tale of a Uber driver who probably got COVID-19 from a sick passenger and died--and naturally no Uber provided health insurance:
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/...e-coronavirus/
  #128  
Old 03-26-2020, 12:06 PM
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So, since the financial need (paying for the divorce lawyers) has receded, I don't do much Ubering any more... just enough for "pin money" or boredom.

But I decided a few weeks ago to start delivering food, seeing what was happening and figuring that I could do something to alleviate many people's boredom while staying at home.

A couple of notes, from the drivers side:

1. Please don't leave food instructions for the driver. Don't put in the delivery notes "Need extra ketchup", "Can you ask them to leave the mayo off", etc. We will not see this until we leave the restaurant. Put this information in the restaurant order, not as delivery instructions.

2. If you're in an apartment complex, it's a BIG FUCKING HELP to tell us not only the name of the complex, but the building number. Is Apt# 1304 in building 1 or 13? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

3. When I started, I got this black card so I could facilitate transactions to places which weren't fully integrated into the Uber Eats system. For example, Whataburger: The process would be that I would go into Whataburger, place the order myself (which has its own problems), and then pay with the black credit card by Uber. I would guess 30% of my orders were like this. This has completely stopped, which indicates to me that Uber has made the decision to discontinue this service during the emergency, and to which I can't blame them.

4. Is it busy? Whoa, is it busy! Many times I pick up 2, 3 orders from the same restaurant, most times I'm assigned a new pickup before I'm done with the current one.

5. Tips. I get tips on 80% of my deliveries. For driving, it was about 20%.

6. The stories have dried up. Since I deliver food, there's no weirdos, cranks, or assholes. Well, there was one - a woman called me up after I picked up her Popeye's and started complaining that I didn't call her to ask if she needed extra ketchup. I told her that's not part of the training or process - she got snitty with me and demanded I take the food back to Popeye's. I responded with "So, this bird lived its life and died, merely to be thrown in the trash because you wanted extra ketchup packets? Seriously? That's who you are?". I then called Uber support and filed a complaint on her because I can be an asshole too.

7. About 1 in 10 apartments smell of weed. Yesterday, my first restaurant reeked of weed. So if you're working in restaurants and smoking, that's cool and all, just go out the back door like usual. Don't blaze in the kitchen just because you no longer have sitting patrons.

8. Some restaurants do well with distancing. Some do not. The number of times I've told people to "just put it right there..." pointing "... and I'll pick it up when you back off" is kinda depressing. Handing me the bag of food is not proper distancing.

I'll think of more as I have time...

Last edited by JohnT; 03-26-2020 at 12:08 PM.
  #129  
Old 03-26-2020, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
Some restaurants do well with distancing. Some do not. The number of times I've told people to "just put it right there..." pointing "... and I'll pick it up when you back off" is kinda depressing. Handing me the bag of food is not proper distancing.
Heh, yesterday at work I had a guy walking toward me to ask a question. For each step he took, I took one away from him. After three steps he stopped and said, "Oh, you're one of the virus believers".

Apparently there are COVID-19 deniers out there.
  #130  
Old 03-26-2020, 12:31 PM
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I literally had the same thing happen... well, kind of, as it was a neighbor. My response to the "believer" comment: "In matters of fact, belief is not required."

Last edited by JohnT; 03-26-2020 at 12:31 PM.
  #131  
Old 03-26-2020, 01:01 PM
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Heh, Louis Pasteur and Joseph Lister pretty much nailed down germ theory, yet there are people today who still don't get it.
  #132  
Old 03-27-2020, 05:19 PM
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Will say, this must be putting a big hurt on Lyft. They never got in the delivery game and I can only assume that driving persons has taken a hit, from both the # of people requesting rides and the # of drivers who want randos in their car.
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