Once Upon A Ride

It’s probably my worst kept secret that I do Uber driving as one of my sources of income. I don’t mind either; I’m grateful for the opportunity and anything keeping me from working retail again. But BOY, does that not make the hardships I run into with the rideshare experience any more pleasant.

This job is very simple; take people where they’re going and don’t hit anything on the way there. So why does such a simple job run into so many problems? I can talk all day about my laundry list of Uber gripes, but I might want to come back to this topic once or twice again, so I’ll talk about two for now.

1. “English *insert trademark Samuel L. Jackson swear here*! Do you speak it?!”

Look, this isn’t one of those “This is MERICA, we only speak ENGLISH here” rants. Uber is inheritly a visual application and therefore anyone can use it. But when a problem arises? I suddenly can’t learn Spanish (or Portuguese, or Creole, regular French is okay though) to address the situation. This typically combines with another Uber issue to create a massive headache, but sometimes it can be a real pain all on its own too.

Recently, I picked up from Jersey Gardens mall, which has about half a dozen different entrances. My passenger naturally put just the actual mall as the pickup spot, so I had to call and confirm the location. Great, a confused voice speaking in Spanish answers the phone. Thankfully Uber has a message system that I was able to see her text with; it was a message saying her English wasn’t very good. Well, I appreciate the honesty, at least. A quick message through Google Translate told me they were at the food court, as I figured, by the location of their pin. Thankfully, the actual family were just glad to see me. I’m just glad there was no confusion. as to the destination.

No, I’m not kidnapping you. Or taking you to Flavortown.

2. Did you hear about this guy doing this thing with that girl and their friend?

The second, is drunk discussion. I like driving late at night, so I’m no stranger for the bar crowd. But the discussions that happen in the back of my car (which is a public space when passengers are in the car and therefore I can be as nosy as I please), whoa. They have beginnings, middles, and ends, and enough exposition for all people in the stories for me to have some sort of opinion at the end of it all. Yeah, Janet sounds like a real bitch. I usually get asked for my input anyway, so I have to have an opinion either way.

But the absolute craziness of some of these stories, and the people telling them. Do you know that the average Hoboken pasttime for those living in those lovely riverside penthouses, is cocaine done off of glass tables? I don’t think I was supposed to know that, but I heard it anyway.

Happens more than you think.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but these are two that really are more common than you think. They don’t really hinder me from doing the actual driving job, and sometimes it keeps things interesting, but overall it’s stuff I’d rather deal without, you know? As long as everyone gets where they’re going and I get paid, it’s all groovy. And no, that doesn’t mean I’m kidnapping anyone who has a bad payment method. I’m sure someone has though, and that’s why pepperspray is quintessential. Thanks for hearing my TED Talk.

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