One of the things that annoys me most about driving for a rideshare company is their pool features. If you’re not in a major metro area, it may not be available to you, so I’ll briefly explain: for a little less money, you can share your Uber or Lyft potentially with other people who are headed generally in the same direction. It takes longer, but if you’re all about the bottom line and don’t mind fraternizing with the freakshow general public, this is your deal. For Uber it’s called UberPOOL, for Lyft it’s call LyftLine. Most of the time, people don’t want to talk to each other, so it’s twice the social awkwardness for half the price.
But every now and then, you get someone who wants to talk. I once had a great conversation with a guy and a girl and they ended up exchanging numbers. That was maybe the only time it was a good trip.
One of the things that makes it awkward, is that people often don’t realize that there is already someone in the car, so they don’t know where to sit. Sane people tend to sit in the rear passenger side seat, which is perfect. But sometimes they’ll sit up with me, which I hate. I can not stress it enough: your driver wants you to sit in the back seat, no matter how cool of a passenger you are. Trust me on this. Without realizing, you may start to forget that you’re not in your friend’s car.
Sometimes people open the door without looking and see that someone’s in that seat, then walk all the way around the car. It’s weird, uncomfortable and awkward.
One morning I’m in a Northwest suburb in the valley and a girl orders an UberPOOL, and naturally, I’m immediately in a bad mood. I make a lot less money on these trips, and I’m already in a zone that has probably never surged, ever. How much fucking cheaper do you need the ride to be?
So I ask her if she meant to do a Pool trip, because sometimes they do it accidentally. She says it’s fine. And I can’t help but think, “Is it? You cheap prick?”
They add another passenger and when I go to pick him up, he of course tries to enter the wrong side, and the girl is still in that seat, buckled in. He opens the door and shouts “WHAT THE FUCK MAN???” and slams the door shut. Oh, hell no.
So he comes around to the rear driver’s side and gets in. “This never happened to me before,” he says angrily. And I’m like, dude? Get real. You’re probably paying $2.00 for this ride and I’m making far less than that. You ordered a Pool, get over it. Sometimes you get lucky and have it to yourself, but the price is lower because sometimes you do have to share it.
The car is now completely silent as the two, in classic UberPOOL style, completely try to ignore each other. That’s when the guy speaks up.
“Sooooo, um……. How have you been?”
These two have a past.
She responds in a sullen, depressed tone, “I’ve… I’ve been good. How about you?” You can almost hear the acoustic rom-com magical moment music playing as you read this, can’t you? I’m thinking something from Sheryl Crow.
They start to talk a little, and they’re only together in the car for a few minutes. Long enough for him to invite her to a party that weekend, which she tentatively agrees to.
I have to drop off the guy first, so we get to his address and he tells her it was good seeing her, and that he’s looking forward to this weekend, and she says the same. He exits, and she rolls up her window and just about explodes, almost crying.
“That guy is such a fucking asshole!” I agree, lady. But what is YOUR reasoning?
“That was my ex boyfriend. He dumped me after he hooked up with my best friend. Then to get out of it, he told everyone in my sorority that we broke up because I was pregnant to his best friend. He’s such a lying dickhead! He fucking ruined my life!”