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!

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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?

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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.

Yes

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Media Fasting Works Until You Talk To Other People Around You

Last night I had a handful of pickups, a below-average night, but rather routine for a Monday night. Each and every single one of my Lyft pickups mentioned the hullabaloo that’s happening now within the love triangle of national politics, Uber, and Lyft.

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My last Lyft rider asked if I had many Lyft riders new to the platform that day.  I responded that although I was on a strict media fast for over 45 days, I’d become well-aware of the political situation, and that every Lyft rider was asking similar questions.  He then mentioned that I was his 2nd Lyft driver ever. We shared discussion about both of the rideshare companies. Then he told me that up until recently he was going to take a customer service job with Uber as it paid more than he was making at his current call center sales gig- no longer was that to be the case- he had completely dropped the idea of working for Uber.  At the conclusion of our ride, he stated that during both his Lyft rides he had accumulated more information about the companies and their processes than during his many Uber rides.

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As a 1099 contractor of both Lyft and Uber, I am loving that competition is getting red-hot between the main rideshare rivals. I enjoy nothing more than meeting new riders and discussion, this hullabaloo will only make the conversations more fruitful and interesting. As a political animal whose favorite spectator sport used to be Chicago politics, I am slowly and reluctantly getting back into it!

Are you interested in fasting from all forms of media? Please leave a comment below.

 

Rideshare Pilfered $3.88, Then Gave It Back, With A Bonus

After completing 1,000 rides, I’ve noticed only 2-3% of them are permanently memorable, and all the others have an memory expiration date of 1-3 weeks. Below is a memorable ride for 2 different reasons.

Drove to the pickup location: Erie Cafe. Dude opens the door, he bought the ride, and tells me “She’s all your now!” Woman gets in the car, we are going for a quick jaunt to the Gold Coast and then I’ll go hunt for another fare from there.

As an aside, easily 10-20% of my rides are purchased by someone other than the actual rider. Routinely, a male purchases a ride for a female.

Trying to start a conversation with passengers is not always met with enthusiastic open discussion. In this case, I noticed she was fucking annihilated. When she talked she tried to breathe in to prevent the smell of alcohol permeating my vehicle and only spoke a word or two at any time.

She did end up telling me that she was at the Erie Cafe for after work drinks and sucked down too many whisky shots.

Perhaps 2 blocks from her home, she requests that she get out of the vehicle. I did what I could and she successfully got out of my vehicle at the 100-150 block of W Division St.

I threw on my hazards, and got out of the vehicle to check on her. She had vomited all over the front of her black mini-skirt, mostly beer suds and froth, no visible chunks. Thankfully for her, nothing on her cream colored high heels. I asked how I could help, and she wanted napkins. I handed her a half dozen sheets of paper towel from my rideshare bugout bag and she was thankful.

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Not actual rideshare bugout bag

Back in the car, I proceed to give her a pep talk after she wanted to end the ride and walk. I told her “We are in this together, we are a team. We are going to get you home, the doorman is going to get you into your condo, and everything is going to be fine. We only have 2 more blocks to go!”

Minutes later, I unceremoniously saw her to the door, and the doorman handled the rest.

Later I see that the requester was charged $5.00 for the ride of which my take was $3.88…

…Five weeks later my payment statement from the rideshare company lists a debit of $3.88. Curious, I check what I was being docked for, I realized that I remembered this ride, VIVIDLY. The rideshare company had removed the payment from one of my most memorable rides.

I then kicked-off what turned out to be an infuriating 3-hour email battle with rideshare customer service reps. They stated, quite emphatically, that I gave a ride to the wrong passenger, and that the requester did not take the ride. The second part was technically true. Nonetheless, everything on this fare was compliant.  The requester probably just looked at his rideshare statement a month after he got blackout drunk at the Erie Cafe. How would you communicate this situation, your rage, and your sarcasm via email to a customer service representative, who’s primary language is not English?

After several ridiculous replies from customer service representatives, I reached a sympathetic person at the rideshare company that thanked me for my professionalism with the female passenger. She reapportioned me $3.88 for the ride, and re-reviewed the ride, thereby rewarding me with an additional $0.50 for something she didn’t identify.

That ride and that passenger will never be forgotten.

What is $5.00 worth to you?  Please leave a comment below.

Best Ride To Date, Woman Tells Me of How She Was Beaten Badly, Stop At the Trailer Park, And Back, Part I

This is the post excerpt.

The further I drive from the city, the farther out I eventually get from the city. Or, as I enter the adjacent suburbs there exists a great likelihood that I will enter far flung suburbs.

After several short rides, I found myself in Burbank, far from my starting location. I accepted the next ride and pulled up to the address.

As I sat patiently in the car at 2:00am, I watched as the shadow of a male walked out from the apartment complex that I was parked adjacent to. He approached my driver side window, I became uneasy, as everyone in my first 700 rides has approached a different door.

The guy then motions me to lower my window and he anxiously asks “Do you know how to get to…Trailer Park…” My response was just “…put the address in the app, I’ll get you there.”  Unfortunately I had to repeat my response a couple of ways, before our conversation concluded.

The customer was wearing an adolescent mustache and one of those straight-brimmed baseball caps that teenagers mistakenly believe to be fashionable.

From the parking lot then appeared a female figure walking toward my car. She got in, and sat directly behind me. She was my rider and not the guy with mistake of a mustache and the edgy hat- what a relief! Within a couple of moments we were stopped at a highway intersection, and our conversation got raw.

My rider told me about how her “boyfriend” beat her so brutally that he had killed the fetus growing within her. About the time that I was going to ask, she said her “ex-boyfriend” was being moved to a different prison. The guy that I met was not the perpetrator, remarkably she seemed to be mixing up the terms “boyfriend” and “ex-boyfriend”. We were probably at the stop light for about one and a half minutes, but it felt like 15. Completely uncomfortable and unable to flee from the situation, I stated,

“We’ve been waiting at this intersection for quite a while, I am just going to blow this red light”

Five minutes later we were driving around in a labyrinth trailers.

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Not actual trailer park labyrinth

 

 

The rideshare app had gotten us to the correct trailer park, but now it was up to my rider to determine which trailer row, and specific trailer housed her baby. All the rows of trailers looked similar without natural sunlight and the street lighting was ambient instead of utility. We stopped at a trailer which was just as nondescript as any other, sans an obligatory patriotic flag, potted plant, or wind sock.  About 10 minutes after dropping her off, she reemerged with her one-year-old baby in a baby carriage along with that night’s babysitter, her cousin.

A baby, a 20-year old woman, and Stick Shift Lyft: we buckle-up and head back to her apartment complex.

To be continued…