Great Uber Pool Story From A Fantastic Rider

A recent rider shared an outstanding Uber Pool ride story that he experienced

Sharing Line/Pool stories

Recently I had the privilege to drive an excellent listener and storyteller, whom was also a full-time physician. I think we improved each other’s lives by riding together.

We briefly discussed the differences between Lyft and Uber. I told him my story, and he told me the below story, and we were having a roaring good time!


He ordered up an Uber at around 5:00pm in the evening on a weekday about a month ago while in Hinsdale. Uber had recently changed the interface on the app which will explain some of the issues with this ride.

He sees his driver pull away from his location, but is able to successfully flag him down and then sees that there already sits a female passenger in the vehicle (in her 50s, blonde, suburban housewife).  He’s never ordered an Uber Pool before, but why not give it a chance.

For some Uber customers the Uber app’s default riding option became Pool instead of UberX after the app was recently updated, and I have heard this from other riders in the past.

He gets into the car and greets his driver by telling the driver his name.

Who am I Pooling with Today?

Since it was his first time riding in a Pool he had questions:

  1. where are we going first?
  2. when do I get to my destination?
  3. who am I sharing a ride with?
  4. how does Uber Pool work?


He asks his driver a series of questions and immediately determines that English is not a language that his driver is familiar with.  Also, the female passenger next to him is worrying him as there is definitely something wrong with her.  As a physician he is typically able to determine if someone is intoxicated, on recreational drugs, or mentally ill, and he can’t quite figure her out.

He starts to ask the blonde suburban mom where she’s going, what her name is, and a few other questions pertinent to the ride.

Her: Yes.


She answered “yes” to every single one of his many questions!


After this big reveal, the driver communicates to him that he’s going to find where to drop off the blonde passenger.  The rider then puts the puzzle together.  His driver was searching for him and asked people as they walked by, “are you _____”, and this woman answered “yes” and got into the vehicle. The best part, in my opinion, was the rider’s unusual name and this woman agreed that it was also her name when asked.


He determines that he needs to be in a public place and get the authorities involved. He announces to the driver that he’s calling 9-11, the driver doesn’t like the idea, but the rider retorts that “…this is the only way that this ends well.

Mall Cop response

He calls 9-11 and they are at the Oakbrook Mall surrounded by 2 mall cops and 2 police cruisers.  The blonde was passed out drunk on his shoulder.


The mall cops proceed to ask the rider, “What were you doing with her?

My rider was astonished that a suburban mom could be piss-drunk at 5 in the afternoon on a weekday. While I agree that one shouldn’t become blackout drunk until at least 8:00pm on a weekday, the biggest issue for me is this Uber Pool driver just picked up a random person and prioritized her drop-off ahead of his paying customer.

Have some standards, buddy!

Please follow this blog and leave a comment below:


What Happened When My 4.2 Starred Rider Accused Me Of Battery And Refused To Exit My Car, or The Worst Possible Customer in the World

My rider had a 4.2 rating and I accepted the ride which turned out to be a mistake as I ended up calling 911

Before I accepted the ping

In the previous week I had 2 Line / Pool rides where the rider made a decision to not count their infant baby as a human. At those moments I exhibited a scarcity mentality (regarding rides), did not challenge the rider, and drove them to the arranged location.

On this day, I ended up in Evanston during a busy college tavern time and I was happy until my next Line/Pool ride took me out of Evanston and into the far north side. They were fine except it was 3 people, yet 2 people is the maximum in a Line/Pool. That act got under my skin. I scored them 3.0 stars and left a note in the app purposing my score.

Immediately after dropping them off at a tavern, I received a new ping.

Rating of 4.2 Stars

The next ping had a rating of 4.2 stars.  This is the lowest rating that I have ever seen and yet, I smirked and said to myself ‘this will be fun’ as I accepted the ping. (What a horrendous decision that was!!!)

It is difficult for me to stress to you how abysmally low a 4.2 star rating is, except to say that I don’t recall seeing anything lower than a 4.6 or a 4.7.

Allow me tell you, dear reader, I can easily tell the difference between a 4.9 and a 4.8 rated rider.  The gulf between the two is immense; a 4.7 will drop backhanded compliments and have insults sprinkled into conversation. 4.7‘s often lack standard socialization and conversational skills.

The app made a recommendation to me

My rider comes to the car with an infant carrier in tow.  She plunked the carrier in the middle of my back seat without securing it as she didn’t have a base to secure it (FYI: that’s illegal in Illinois).

When riders get into my vehicle on a Line/Pool ride, I need to select “1 passenger” or “2 passengers” so the app can correctly route me to more riders during the trip.  This is so the app understands how many people are in the vehicle and how many more people are eligible to be added.  I pressed “2 passengers” on the app, and the app responds with “the passenger must cancel the ride” or something to that affect.


A metaphoric bomb exploded when I told her to cancel the ride

A metaphoric bomb exploded in my vehicle when I politely told her that she would need to cancel the ride as she and the baby are two people.

In less than 30 seconds she veered from loudly complaining that she shouldn’t be charged and blathering about how I was going to take her home to general incoherence.

So I cancelled the ride.

The bomb became nuclear when I told her to get out of my car as the ride was cancelled

I told her that she needed to get out of my car, and she outright refused!

What would you do if someone refused to get out of your vehicle?

“STOP HITTING ME!” “DON’T PULL ME OUT OF THE CAR!” “DON’T HIT MY BABY!” “YOU’RE HURTING ME!” “I’M PREGNANT! DON’T HURT ME OR MY BABY!” was all screamed toward me in a foreign accent.


As the situation escalates, what do you do?

Fight, Flight, or Freeze?

I froze.

Its at this point that I realize that I am dealing with the worst type of an excuse for a human. The probability of me being arrested or spending the night in jail had increased to somewhere around 1 in 100. I hadn’t touched her or made a motion toward her.  I simply cancelled the ride and told her to exit my vehicle.

(As of this writing, I see that her ride would cost her about $7.00.)

My decision tree was limited at this point.


The wretched human in my backseat then faux called 9-11 (I later figured this out based on context), and she complained to the ghost operator that I was beating her and her infant child. It was surreal.

She then called her husband and kept pushing her phone at me while shouting “TALK TO MY HUSBAND!”

Me: “Nah, I’m not talking to him.” [twice]

Why would I talk to someone who willfully married a mentally unfit sociopath? What helpful insight could that person provide to me during this nightmare?

Difficulties on the telephone; can you hear me now?

During her shouting episode, I tried calling the rideshare emergency help line. After waiting for 3 minutes to speak with someone, I hung up, and dialed 9-11 and exited my own vehicle. By the way, she was still screaming at me which made it nearly impossible to tell if the voice on the line was a live person or a recording, which necessitated me abandoning my property.


I gave the 9-11 operator the wrong address and the dispatcher hollered at me as the address I gave her was not in Chicago. I asked a passerby for help, and he did give me the address and seemed mildly interested in assisting me. Because I was carrying on 2 conversations, and I determined that the 9-11 call was paramount, the passerby eventually moved along.

Make her ears bleed?

After the call to 9-11 I got back in the car only to be berated further.  I thought about what I could do to make sitting in my car an uncomfortable experience- the only thing that popped into my brain was turning on the Pantera Pandora channel and blaring it to uncomfortable levels.  Lucky for her, she had her infant in the vehicle, so this idea did not enter the implementation stage.

Chicago Police arrived!


A Chicago Police cruiser pulled ahead of me relatively quickly.  After exiting my vehicle and flagging them down, the officer on the passenger side rolled down her window, and I explained the circumstances:

  1. I’m a rideshare driver
  2. I cancelled the ride
  3. She won’t get out of my car
  4. She falsely accused me of bludgeoning her and her infant
  5. I called 9-11

The Chicago police quickly consulted and questioned both me and the cancelled passenger. She says something about the $5.00 cancellation fee and both the officers look at me like I have her 5 dollar bill in my back pocket to hand right back to her.

Me: “That’s between her and the rideshare company.”


The Police get both of our stories and confer with one another.

Dear reader, how should the Chicago Police handle this situation?

What’s the solution to this ridesharing dilemma?

The Chicago Police suggested to the passenger that they transport her and her infant in its infant car seat (without its base) to her destination in their CPD SUV. This was 100% what I was hoping for.

Yet she refused the officers’ solution and continued to refuse to exit my vehicle. Rather, she demanded that I, the rideshare driver (whom she outrageously and wrongfully alleged had committed violence against her AND her infant), drive them home. Seriously, WTF?!

Please diagnose her mental condition in the comment section below.

The male officer comes back to me and speaks under his breath about how she’s accused me of some serious stuff and that if I drive her, they’ll tail me and intervene should their assistance be warranted.  He followed up the solution with a final comment about not egging her on.

Me: “I just want this nightmare to end.”

I drove the mentally unstable sociopath passenger and her infant to their home. The Police followed, as promised. I turned Pandora off and said nothing on the 8 minute trip to her home. Somewhere in the middle of the ride she complained about the potholes I had run over. That’s indicative of why she’s a 4.2.


I dropped the passenger off and she thanked me/someone (!). I never even looked in the rear-view mirror so I think its just as likely that she was talking to her invisible friend on the sidewalk.


The Police debriefed me after I dropped her off and said that this type of work- rideshare driving- was a poor vocational choice on my part as there exist many illogical, impossible, manipulative, and unruly passengers, just like her.

More time wasted on the telephone

I drove to a nearby parking lot and called the rideshare emergency help line.  While on hold, I typed out a ‘help email’ to the rideshare company, because why not?  After being on hold for 9 minutes I talked to a representative for 20 minutes.

If its an emergency, shouldn’t you pick up within the first 3 rings?

During the call and in my ‘help email’, I listed out all the issues that I need addressed. Over 80 hours, and 4 followup emails later, and I have heard zero from the rideshare company.

My thoughts on the riders

That infant and the supposed embryo have a tough road ahead.  The genes they have inherited are deficient and their environment is a septic tank of awful manners, horrendous communication, and the worst of humanity.

Please leave a comment and mental diagnosis of the passenger described, in the comment section below:


Lyft Line and Uber Pool Etiquette Guide for Passengers/ Riders

An etiquette guide for the Uber Poolers and Lyft Liners out there, written by a driver who loves Pool and Line rides

Time or Money?

When it comes to ridesharing, ask yourself this question: which am I interested in saving:

1. Time or

2. Money?

Because you can’t save both simultaneously.

If saving time is your primary objective, do not under any circumstances select Uber Pool or Lyft Line. Pick UberX, an upgraded Uber, Lyft classic, or an upgraded Lyft.

If you are interested in saving money, Pool or Line could suit you. But there are other caveats that you are consenting to when you make this choice. Hence the pricing difference. The purpose of this Lyft Line and Uber Pool Etiquette Guide is to help both you and your driver be satisfied with your choice.


I have ordered an Uber Pool or Lyft Line ride on my mobile device, what should I do next?

You should have already paid your bar tab, you should have already hugged everyone in your party goodbye, and you should be ready to exit your location and get into my vehicle within a moment’s notice. Why you might ask?

After I arrive at your selected location a 2 minute timer will begin, and the apps both prompt me to leave and cancel your ride if you are a “no-show” after that time period has elapsed. You will be charged $5.00 if I determine you are a “no-show”.


$5.00  is normally more than what I will receive if I complete a Pool or Line ride on your behalf ($3.75 net after Uber’s 25% fee). I will not hesitate to cancel and collect. Nothing against you, its purely a business decision.

As a passenger, what do I do upon entering your vehicle?

Greet me and the other passengers. I will say my name first and greet you, so you will know that you are getting into the correct (or incorrect) vehicle.

Do not talk on your mobile phone while riding. This is a community ride and engaging in polite conversation with the other riders and myself is expected.


Where should an Uber Pooler or Lyft Liner sit in your vehicle?

If you are the first passenger to enter the vehicle on either a Pool or Line ride and you are a single rider, ride in the front seat (shotgun). You are riding in the front seat because the next Pool / Line pickup could be a party of 2 (a “double”), and they should be able to sit in the back seat together if they choose.


If you are the first passenger to enter the vehicle and you are with your declared friend as a “double,” you and your friend can sit where ever you see fit.

Keep your backpack on your lap, no manspreading, and follow the golden rule.

Trifecta rides (3 different parties) happen frequently. Be prepared to sit uncomfortably in the back seat with other strangers for 30 minutes or longer.  This is a feature of Pool and Line, not a bug, as you have prioritized cost over all considerations.

I am already a passenger in Pool / Line ride, my driver has waited significantly longer than the 2 minute limit for the next rider, what should I do?

I suspect that your driver is brand new and not familiar with the ins and outs of the app. Politely mention to your driver that s/he can collect the “no-show” fee, when s/he hits the “cancel no-show” prompt.

When I was a new driver I was not familiar with the “no-show” fee. A passenger politely prompted me, and I was pleased with the result.


Are any conversation topics frowned upon during a Pool / Line rides?

Yes. Don’t be a dick and follow the golden rule.

As a Pooler or Liner, may I change my drop-off location or add an additional stop?

No. Cancel your ride before you get in my vehicle and eat the cancellation fee. Changes cannot be made through the app, and I will not honor your verbal request for an amendment.

Can I eat, drink, or smoke during a Pool / Line ride?

No. If you cannot do something on the buses or trains within the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), why would you be able to do it in someone’s private vehicle?

That said, if the driver hands out candy or bottled water, have at it while in the vehicle.

I am a new parent and want to ride with my infant child in a Pool / Line

I hope that you, as a responsible parent selected a “double!” An infant, a baby, or a toddler of any size legally requires a properly installed car seat. A car seat takes up a spot in the my vehicle and potentially prevents me from properly executing a Pool or Line ride. If you think keeping your child, or your infant car seat, on your lap is an appropriate accommodation, it is not. Children kick and squirm and are not generally known for sitting still. It is impolite to the other Pool/Line riders, and it may prevent me from best fitting the maximum number of people into my compact car.

If you bring your own car seat, it normally takes longer than 2 minutes for you to secure the car seat base into my car, so pick UberX or Classic Lyft, not Pool or Line as other passengers will be inconvenienced.

Should I complain to my driver and offer a better route than the GPS?

No. Uber Pool and Lyft Line rides are optimized to pick up more passengers.


As a rider, you might be curious why I am not taking the interstate as its quicker than the local lanes. Rest assured that as your driver, I have been taken out of the decision making process by the rideshare company.  Drivers must take the optimized route as determined by an algorithm.

Should I complain and tell my driver to not pick up additional riders?

No. As your driver, I have no choice. Uber and Lyft automatically add additional riders to an ongoing Pool or Line ride at their convenience and without my consent.


You should be able to see that other riders were added to your ride on your mobile phone app. Each company’s algorithm, not your driver, or  vocal passengers, determines pickups.

Do I Tip My Driver as a Pooler or Liner?

Yes! Tipping is a pervasive cultural norm in the United States of America. Despite what any rideshare company has messaged to you or has messaged in the past, and despite your beliefs to the contrary, tipping is expected.

Liners have the tipping option e-mailed to them, and it is typical for a $2.00 Line rider to tip an additional $5.00. It seems odd, but it happens a lot.

For social proof, I have provided a link to a comprehensive tipping guide for travelers while in the United States of America. For your convenience, here’s an excerpt:

For waiters at sit-down restaurants, bartenders, barbers/hairdressers/attendants at beauty salons, taxi drivers, tour guides, and food delivery folks, the tip should be calculated as a percentage of your total bill as follows: 10% usually means you aren’t totally happy, 15% usually means all was acceptable, 20% for excellent, over 20% for outstanding.  15-20 percent is considered standard in most communities.


As drivers, we have the obligation after every ride to score the rider and many of us downgrade your star rating for lack of a cash tip. While you are exiting my vehicle I might score you a 5, but will email the company later to update with a lower star rating.

literally judge you as a rider.

Tell me more about my Rider rating

This is the topic of a future article on Stick Shift Lyft. But here’s a teaser to whet your appetite:

Most riders have a 4.8 or 4.9. A rating of 5.0 generally means that you are new rider and have not had many ratings. While there is robust driver debate, any rider with 4.7 or below is a signal from other drivers that the rider is not worth the time or effort to pickup.

When I know the rider’s rating in advance, I can oftentimes see the personality traits and conversational quirks that manifest a rating of 4.8 or lower.

What do driver’s think of Pool / Line rides?

Based on social media and message boards the consensus is that most drivers dislike Line and Pool rides as they are routinely disadvantageous financially.  Pool/Line rides could be overwhelming for drivers who lack the ability to effectively communicate in dynamic situations and are not social butterflies.

Personally, I LOVE Pool/Line rides.  I drive Lyft and Uber to meet people, have interesting conversations, and make money on the side. Pool/Line rides allow me to meet more people, enjoy many more discussions, and learn new things.

Further, in the Chicago market, drivers are paid bonuses based on the number of rides they complete each week. Pool/Line rides allow me to hit the bonus requirements faster.



  • follow my blog; and
  • comment below on what you loved and hated about this etiquette guide