Looking For Love In All The Wrong Ubers

| Chicago, IL, USA | Romantic | September 12, 2016

(I pick up a woman in downtown Chicago while driving for a ride share service. She makes small talk as we approach her condo, late in the evening.)

Customer: “So I imagine that you have long days?”

Me: “Sometimes, but I generally only do this part time.”

Customer: “Are you going to be done driving after my trip?”

Me: “Not really. I was planning on a couple more hours.”

Customer: *as I park in front of her address* “Well, you could come up if you want. I’ve had a long day and am looking for something to distract me.” *indicates her admittedly very nice looking condo*

Me: “Thanks, but I’m good.”

(I scratch the back of my head with my left hand in order to show my wedding ring.)

Customer: “Are you sure? I really need some company and it would be a lot of fun.”

Me: “I’m pretty sure I’m good. And I’m pretty sure my wife is sure as well. I hope you have a pleasant evening, though.”

Customer: “Well, if you’re sure, but you can always come back as you know where I live now.”

Me: *somewhat speechless and just hoping she’ll leave without a fuss*

Customer: “Okay…” *leaves after spending a few more seconds staring at me through the rear view mirror*

(I don’t know if I got rated lower for refusing her “request.”)

The Other Taxi Is Streets Ahead

| Portland, OR, USA | Working | July 12, 2016

(I live in a corner house so I can see the next few streets over. I call for a cab to get me to work because my bike has a flat tire that I don’t have time to fix.)

Taxi Dispatch: “Your taxi will be there in about five minutes.”

(Fifteen minutes later, it hasn’t arrived so I call back and sit on hold for five minutes when I receive a phone call.)

Taxi Driver #1: “Hey, I’m in front of your house”

Me: “No, you’re not. I’m standing on the porch.”

Taxi Driver #1: “Yes, I’m in front of your house. It’s [my address].”

Me: “Yes, that’s my address, but you’re not here. I’m standing right here and your cabs are bright orange, kinda hard to miss.”

Taxi Driver #1: “Yes, I’m in front of your house.”

Me: “Are you sure you didn’t pull into [next street over]? I just saw an orange car turn onto that road.”

Taxi Driver #1: “No, I’m on [my street], in front of your house.”

Me: “I don’t know how I can say this any other way, you’re not in front of my house. I would know.”

Taxi Driver #1: “Yes, I am on [my street].”

(This goes on for far too long and I would have just hung up but I am in a hurry. Luckily another cab from a different company drives by and I flag it down.)

Me: *to new cab* “Are you free?”

Taxi Driver #2: “Yeah, hop in. Where are we going?”

Me: *on phone* “Cancel that ride, I just found another cab.”

Taxi Driver #1: “Oh, you’re right. I am on [next street over].”

(He then drove the wrong way on a one way street to come over to my street, but I was already in the second cab and the driver was programming his GPS.)

Taxi Driver #1: *stops his car in the middle of the street and glares at me and the other driver until we leave*

Going To Jail For Taxi Fraud

| Prescott, AZ, USA | Right | July 5, 2016

(I drive a young, male customer about 11 miles from one town to another, running his fare just a little under $30. We arrive to his home and he gives me his debit card, and I slide it through a device attached to my phone. It gets declined.)

Me: “Do you have another form of payment?”

Customer: “No, that’s all I have! I don’t understand; I have over $1,000 in my account!”

Me: “Let me input the information manually. Maybe it will work that way.” *it gets declined once again* “Sorry, it’s not taking it. I can take you to your bank and you can see what’s going on?”

Customer: “I don’t have time for that! I don’t understand; there’s money in my account!”

Me: “I need payment from you. I cannot let this slide.”

Customer: “I don’t know what to tell you.”

Me: “I can run you to your bank quickly so we can get this straightened out.”

Customer: “I told you, I don’t have time for that!”

Me: “Look, you either have time to go to the bank, or you have time to deal with the police, because this is theft of services.”

(He quickly found a way to pay me after that!)

They’re Uber Demanding

| Orlando, FL, USA | Right | June 18, 2016

(I am manning a taxi stand at a sports complex hosting a national cheerleading competition. I am offering complimentary cold water to guests who are using our taxi service, as it is sometimes hot and humid in the Sunshine State. I am approached by two adults and a child who appears to be nine or ten years old.)

Dad: “We would like to go to [Destination].”

Me: “Certainly, sir. Can I offer anyone a cold water for the ride?”

Dad: “That would be great.” *takes water and turns to daughter* “Honey, would you like a cold water?”

Daughter: *crosses arms, frowns* “I WANT A STRAWBERRY LEMONADE.”

Dad: *turns to me, thrusts the water in my direction* “She wants a strawberry lemonade.”

Me: “No strawberry lemonade here, sir. Just complimentary water.

Dad: “BUT SHE WANTS STRAWBERRY LEMONADE!”

Me: “…”

(I close the door and watch the taxi drive away.)

Coworker: “Did that just happen?”

Me: “I’m going to start weeping for the future now.”

Very Taxing Taxiing

| Chicago, IL, USA | Working | June 7, 2016

(I’ve called a taxi three hours before a domestic flight. I live 20 minutes from the airport, so I figure this will be plenty of time to get there and through security. I get in the cab. A hellfire and brimstone sermon is playing loudly on the radio.)

Taxi Driver: *shouts over radio* “There’s construction, so I’m going to take a shortcut.”

Me: “Sure, cool. Your depot is a few blocks from my house, so you must know the routes to the airport best.”

Taxi Driver: “Yes, yes.”

(I start reading my book and look up to an unfamiliar residential area. I check my GPS and see we’re now 25 minutes in the opposite direction!)

Me: “Um, this is kind of a strange way to get to the airport…”

Taxi Driver: “No problem! No problem, miss! It’s a shortcut.”

Me: “Okay…” *that’s not what my phone says at all*

(A couple minutes pass, and the driver pulls over at a gas station.)

Taxi Driver: “I’m going to stop and ask for directions.”

Me: “I know how to get there, and I have GPS…”

Taxi Driver: *ignores me, gets out and goes to ask the cashier, and then comes back* “Okay! Easy, we’ll take a shortcut.”

(He turns out and goes the wrong way again. Now I’m a little scared.)

Me: “Really, I can set my GPS on the dash if that’s easiest. Or I can read you the directions. Turn north, take exit two—”

Taxi Driver: “No, no. I know how to get there. I don’t know how to use that.”

(He pulls over again by two men walking down the sidewalk.)

Taxi Driver: “EXCUSE ME! TELL ME HOW TO GET TO THE AIRPORT?!”

(The men look confused and shake their heads. This continues with the next person he passes as well. I seriously consider jumping out of the moving car.)

Me: “Please follow my directions! I know how to get there; I live here. My flight leaves in an hour and ten minutes and I’m going to miss it!”

Taxi Driver: “Oh, okay, fine, FINE! But that’s plenty of time! We can make it there in an hour!”

(Apparently the guy didn’t know that there’s a cutoff for check-in and baggage long before boarding, as well as TSA. I gave him step by step directions and made it to the airport with six minutes to spare for check-in. He still aggressively demanded a good tip.)

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