Posts Tagged ‘rideshare’

Photo by Karim MANJRA on Unsplash

An asshole, that’s who.

I was shocked he was going to take off and leave me there. I am not someone that posts pictures online of people without their permission, but this is one time I wish I had. I wish I had taken his picture before he took off and been able to post it here. I know I’m being vindictive and mean with my thoughts, but that’s where my head is at right now.

It was last Sunday. The weather was near 100 degrees when I got the ride request for someone right down the street from me. I was bored and had just logged onto the Lyft app. I figured since I needed the money and there wasn’t anything left to do for the day — except clean my house, but let’s not go there — I’d drive around for a bit. I just needed another $20.00 to make my financial target for the week. I was super happy to see the fare coming in was over 45 minutes.

I happily hit “Accept” and took off.

I got to the location and waited a few minutes. There wasn’t much traffic since it was a hot and lazy Sunday afternoon, so was able to park EXACTLY where the pin on Google maps said.

After 3 minutes, I called him because the app was getting ready to cancel the ride as a “No Show.” He answered and I told him I was outside waiting. He kept asking me where I was and I said: “Right in front of the XXX apartments….”

Ends up, after he booked the ride, he decided to walk away from his location and wait on the corner.

I’ve realized after being a rideshare driver, never underestimate the stupidity of some people. Apparently, there are those that think the rideshare app is a tracking device.

It is not. This is not Harry Potter. The rideshare app is not “The Marauder’s Map.” We don’t know where you are if you walk away. We are not mind-readers. We are not going to drive around to find you. We are going to arrive where the app places us and wait. You’ve got 3–5 minutes before your ride is canceled.

We have to find you by following the app, pull over safely and find a place to safely park until we get your happy ass in our car.

  • Please don’t order your ride while standing on a curb that is painted red. Read the signs; we can’t stop for you and we’re the ones that have to pay the ticket.
  • Please don’t request a ride on a street that has been blocked off due to a street event.
  • Please don’t order your ride from your third story condominium. I can’t drive up there.
  • Please don’t be a dick and wait for us to call you before you decide to come down to the car. I’ll cancel your fare before you know what’s happened, collect the $5.00 no-show fee and block you from ever contacting me again.
  • Don’t make us wait. It’s rude and even though we are getting paid, it’s our car and our time. It’s not as if we are making a shitload of money doing this.

The app was just about to cancel his ride when I looked around and saw someone standing on the corner. I called him and asked him if he was the guy with the backpack, wandering around in circles on the corner.

He said he was. He said he saw me drive by. Apparently, it didn’t dawn on him to walk towards my car. Instead, he called and waited for me to find him.

I made him walk over to me. I wasn’t about to pull away from the curb WHERE THE PIN CORRECTLY TOLD ME TO BE, go 100 feet, make an illegal u-turn to pull up to him and wait for him to get into my car.

He came over, got in the front seat and off we went. He was a nice enough young man, but about 10 seconds into the ride, his body odor was apparent. I cracked my window a bit, looked down at Google maps and saw I had 45 minutes to get him to his location.

“I can do this,” I thought. I know people of his culture do not bathe as often as us native-born Americans. It was still enough to make me want to roll down the windows and forgo the air conditioning. I also knew he was hot from standing out in the sun, so I just decided to buck-up and ignore the stench.

We chatted quite a bit and had a very pleasant ride and I actually enjoyed his company despite the smell.

It was about 30 minutes into the drive when I hit the turnoff to make our trip shorter. It is a freeway that goes between the two major freeways in Livermore California. You end up going up into the hills for a few miles and then dumping back onto the main freeway. It’s a slick little highway. It was packed with cars doing the exact same thing we were doing, taking a shortcut.

Everything was fine until I got behind a truck that was going very slow. It was over a hundred degrees outside so I had the air conditioning on full blast. As we ascended a steep hill I put on my left blinker and began to pull out from behind the big truck when suddenly there was no power. My car shook for a few seconds as I attempted to pass the truck and then the check engine light came on.

That dreaded check engine light that strikes the fear into the marrow of my bones and stomach. I lost all power. Fortunately, I was able to pull over to the shoulder right next to a highway patrol call box. I put the car in park and shouted: “Oh my God my car has stopped working!”

I got out of the car and it was extremely windy and hot. I walked over to the call box and picked up the phone and waited five minutes or so for an operator to respond.

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There were so many cars going by and it was so windy and hot that I could barely hear her. He got out of the car and got on his phone and was making a call. I couldn’t put my phone down but I wanted to get his attention to hold on while I ended his trip. About 10 minutes later, I got back into my car and called AAA. I began the process of getting a tow truck while he continued to talk on his phone and walk up and down on the shoulder.

He got back into the car and told me he had just ordered an Uber and it would be there in a few minutes.

I looked at him and said “What?”

I couldn’t believe what I thought I heard. Maybe it was windier than I realized and the heat was getting to me. By then we had been on the side of the road for at least 15 minutes. My feet were already showing a slight sunburn from standing outside.

He said he had just ordered an Uber and was going to go and would I please take care of his fare so that he wouldn’t have to pay for it.

I had already driven him 40 minutes. I looked at him and said “Sure. I’ll tell you what. First, let me get my car towed and safe. And then I’ll need to make sure I don’t die or get killed out here and then I will very happily take care of your fare. No worries, I’ve got my priorities straight.”

He smiled and thanked me. Not only was I pissed off he was leaving, but I was also angry that my sarcasm was lost on him.

Right then a car pulled over and he jumped in and took off.

He didn’t stay.

He didn’t wish me luck.

He didn’t even wave as he got into the car.

The Uber driver didn’t check on me. He had his fare and was good to go.

I watched him drive away and could not believe that anyone would leave a woman stranded on the side of the road. I began texting my roommate and waiting for the tow truck. My cell service was spotty because I was in the mountains and away from the thousands of towers in Silicon Valley, where I call home.

Fortunately, my text got through to my roommate. I thanked him and told him I was fine. I said I was sorry to ask for help because he was going to have to drop what he was doing on a Sunday afternoon and drive an hour and pick me up in the middle of the mountains.

The tow truck eventually arrived and I was taken to a place about three miles away and waited for my roommate. I never felt unsafe or scared. It was a Sunday afternoon, bright and sunny out, very hot but I was very upset that I had been left alone.

I can honestly say I would never leave somebody like that. It wasn’t as if he was on his way to donate a kidney or accept the Nobel Peace Prize or go off to another country and cure cancer. He was simply going to his mom’s house for the afternoon and apparently that was much more important than a woman stranded on the side of the road.

And to ask about getting the ride for free was the icing on the cake.

Needless to say, I said nothing to Lyft about him getting a refund and I did get paid for the trip, which was great. Just in case there was any dispute on it I cashed out early to make sure I got my money.

The next morning I did get an email from Lyft at telling me my account has been deactivated until I took it to my mechanic and had a very thorough safety check done. They emailed me the form they needed to be done. I got it done the next day and everything was fine.

As far as we know my car just started to overheat a bit and I have learned my lesson:

  • Never run my air conditioning when it’s over a hundred degrees while I’m going up a hill.
  • Never depend on anyone to help you. Assume you are on your own and appreciate those that help you.
  • Block the asshole passengers.

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Yes, there are lots of good people out there but I cannot conceive of a good man that would ever leave a woman or anyone alone and vulnerable on the side of the road.