One morning I drove an Uberpool trip from Venice to Beverly Hills. Let me start with a few judgmental statements:
- I have never had a positive interaction with a customer going to or from Beverly Hills.
- UberPOOL customers largely are absolute garbage.
I may be biased because of how Uber financially rapes their drivers with pool trips (speaking to Los Angeles, specifically. I don’t know the rates for all cities). In LA, if you take a Pool trip, you get a completely made up “upfront price” that in no way reflects what the driver is making. He or she is paid $0.57 a mile and $0.08 a minute from the start to the end of your trip, no matter how many people are in the car. They recently upgraded that, so that for each additional pickup during a pool trip, the driver gets $0.95. 95 whole cents, you guys. Have you ever noticed that if you do a pool, your driver is kind of angry as fuck?
Annnnnywayyyyy, so I pick up the Beverly Hills d-bag and I’m praying that we get another customer joining the trip before I hop on the freeway, because after that it becomes increasingly more annoying. I have to stay in the slow lane during pool trips, because Uber can add another passenger at any time and I often have to exit at the drop of a hat.
I sat waiting for a solid 3 minutes at a light to turn onto the 405, and my customer, Johnny Confidence, is huffing and puffing in the back seat. I’m praying that someone will join before I get on that freeway. The light turns green, I make the irreversible turn, and as soon as I’m almost fully merged onto the 405, I get my next passenger joining the pool. Her location? At that intersection where I just sat for 3 or 4 minutes. So this will now take another 10 minutes to get to the next exit to go back (it’s rush hour in the morning, mind you.)
I’m at the next off ramp trying to turn right but I’ve got a red light. Good news is that there is virtually nobody on the road. I turn right and immediately hear a siren and see the red and blue lights in my rear view. A motorcycle cop is waving me to pull over.
Did I have a tail light out? Did I speed at some point? Does he just hate gay people? I’ve never been pulled over before so I have literally no idea what I’m in for, and I am about to throw up in the car.
I pull over in traffic and he waves me on to go into a parking lot. I oblige, and he keeps waving me to go further and further forward. I’m starting to think he’s going to gay bash me once he gets me into a remote area. He motions for me to stop the car and he takes his grand old time making his way over, and thats’ when I see the sign “NO TURN ON RED, 6AM-9AM.” It was 8:58.
I’m sweating bullets, I know these guys don’t like minorities. But the news has shown that the shootings tend to happen to brown and black people. Was I safe? Police always made me nervous anyway.
He asks me if I know why he pulled me over, and I say, “Well, yeah. I know now that I see that sign.” He asked if I was around here and I wanted to say something proverbial and thought-provoking and sarcastic like “The road is my home” but I’m sure he wouldn’t appreciate my sense of humor (I’m an acquired taste).
So I told him I’ve never been pulled over and I don’t know which is a registration and which is an insurance document. I hand him the loan details of my car and the receipt for my last oil change, because I’m really that stupid under pressure.
He appreciates that I’mt trying to do the right thing, and ultimately after several minutes of deliberation, lets me go with his “final” verbal warning of the day. THANK GOD. I drive away with the biggest sigh of relief and maybe just a drop or two of pee in my pants, and I remember I have a customer in the car.
“So sorry about that, we’re on our way now.” I look at the Uber app and see THAT GIRL HAS STILL NOT CANCELLED FROM THAT OLD INTERSECTION. I go to pick her up, and it’s now been nearly 20 minutes. She gets in, a small Asian college student, and is upset, but not overly upset.
“You took so long!” she says to me.
“Yeah, I’m sorry. It sent me the request as soon as I pulled away from you onto the freeway.”
“Yeah but you stop for really long time.”
The best part of her trip is that she was literally only going a few blocks away. She was in the car for less than two minutes.