Monday holidays in LA are always a reminder of why I don’t work driving at night. My main problem is that I don’t deal well with drunk people when I’m sober. No poker face whatsoever.
So I stick to my morning routine to avoid the drunk bar crowd. I wake up early and I get lots of airport runs and people in a hurry to go to class or to work or wherever people go during the day. (Let’s not kid ourselves: it’s LA. They’re all going to brunch.)
So on President’s Day, which is on a Monday, I wake up early, completely forgetting that to some freelancers, today is more like Sunday morning. And their Sunday mornings typically tend to be a very late Saturday night. I immediately see that there is no surge pricing and realize that my day is going to be a lot slower and longer than a typical Monday morning.
My first call is a guy named Steven. I show up at his address and he comes mozying down the hill slower than a turtle on Nyqil.
He gets in, and between the smell and the incoherent, delayed nature of his speech pattern, I can tell he hasn’t gone to sleep. Also, it’s 6am and he asked how my night was going. This guy has been partying all night long and is using UberPOOL to get to the next stop on this bender.
He tells me in microbursts (between very pregnant pauses) how his night has gone until now. Opens up about his ex-girlfriend, who’s going to be at the address where he’s going. (His initial mention insinuated that there was a party happening there, but then he admits that he’s going there to see her alone. Gross.) A few minutes later, he thanks me for the ride, even though we’ve got a solid 12-15 minutes ahead of us. At least he’s trying to be polite. I’ll take it.
He then starts giving me directions that are completely incoherent. “Turn left on 6th,” even though 6th Street is parallel to us, so that is literally never going to be possible. I follow a few directions here and there until he asks what street we are even on.
“We’re on Fountain,” I tell him.
“Shit, I literally don’t even fucking know where we are.”
Then stop fucking giving directions to the guy who is sober, has the address, and is running two GPS’s, trying to get you out of his fucking car. I politely request that he let me do my fucking job.
That’s when he backpedals (of course with another pregnant pause). “Hey man. Thank you for this. You don’t gotta take me all the way there. I know you probably got shit to do.” Wait, can I really kick this drunk idiot out of my car? I’ve been literally counting the seconds until the ride ends!
I’m a little put off, and I ask if he wants a different address or something, and he says, “No, I just really appreciate this. You’re too nice. What’s your name again?” I tell him my first name and he asks for my last. Then he repeats my full name back to me and tells me that he loves me. Not awkward at all!
I ask his name, because we’ve still got 6 or so minutes and I’m like “Do I say I love him back?” In a split second, I let it roll around in my head and settled on “It’s nice to meet you, Steven.” Which felt a little like a burn, whether or not I meant it to be.
He’s quiet for a minute or two and then talks about the punk band he’s in, tells me he’s surprised that the shitty music I’m playing sounds good (#tactful) and after a second of realization, asks if I know Elena (?). I do not. He’s a little puzzled. “Did I meet you last night? Or are you friends with Chris?”
Oh God, he doesn’t fucking know that I’m an Uber driver.
I tell him, “I don’t know you. You ordered an Uber, and I’m your driver.”
“Oh. That makes way more sense. But I think you’re really nice anyway.”
I dropped him off and wished him good luck with whatever the hell he was doing with his ex. Just hoping they use a condom, because if she’s dumb enough to have sex with that idiot, I can’t imagine how few functional brain cells their offspring would have. I realize fully that this could’ve gone much worse, however I would’ve much rather taken a sober person to the airport.