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UBER DRIVER THOUGHTS – DON’T MAKE ME WAIT!

July 14, 2019

Uber

I drive for Uber part-time in Denver on early morning weekends. I have 1000 rides to my credit. What is the result of this experience other than a chronically locked right knee, car payments going into a void, and learning how, at the airport, to lift baggage the size and weight of an aircraft carrier while pulling out the walking handle in a seamless fashion? It has reinforced my view that at the heart of Human Nature is a person’s need to feel special, superior to the rest of humanity, especially when the human in question professes to be humble, or, better, to brag that they’re humble, because humble people are BETTER than egotistical people. And what better – and cheaper, classless — way is there to establish your ascendancy over someone else than to make that someone wait for you? Enter Uber.

Uber gives nonentities the chance, perhaps their only chance, to lord it over a fellow human, me the Uber driver, by making me WAIT an interminable amount of time for them to walk the thirty feet from their ratty garden apartment to my car. The ride-sharing app inflates them with the idea that they are now royalty. What is more indicative of a king or queen than to leave the Help, the Servant class, to stew in their own peasant juices, waiting for the chance to escort nobility to Walmart to pick up a pair of nylon gym shorts? These primates masquerading as the crème de la crème think that because they are paying $8.00 to Uber or Lyft – which is a lot of money to a bud-picker at a marijuana grow – they are now entitled, if not obligated, to stretch out the time it will take the driver to earn their share of $3.75. The elite cannot spoil the lower orders with expectations of a more dignified life.

One of the reasons I do not drive past noon on weekends is because then I would have to pick up people at bars. This is not so much because these rides enhance the odds of the upholstery of my car receiving a fine coating of puke, albeit puke from the mouth of a high-class IHOP waitress, but rather because bar patrons will always make the driver wait longer than a new homeowner waiting for a Comcast technician with A.D.D. to show up for the installation. Those getting obliterated in a tavern equate their experience with being a member of King Arthur’s court celebrating the beheading of a peasant for stealing a pig-leg from the royal kitchen; and as such, they bellow to their fellow revelers/knights, “Screw Uber, let ‘em wait!” This is then followed by a call for another round of the finest spirits in the realm (better known as Pabst Blue Ribbon). And when these Norse Gods – aka a gang of UPS warehouse workers from Denver – do emerge from the Hall of Valhalla, they of course have to take an additional five minutes to smoke a cigarette, since only a god is a desperate addict who will suffer if they don’t blacken their teeth and lungs with tarter and carcinogens.

Then there are the corps d’elite who demand that you make a stop, and thereby wait for them, at a 7/11 so they can load up with cigarettes and industrial-sized drums of Mountain Dew. To these Masters of the Universe, I am their private chauffeur pleased to serve at their omnipotent pleasure. And when they see me in the rear-view mirror balk at their request, they will hold up a superior finger, usually yellowed by a two-pack-a-day habit, and say, “I’ll tip you on the app.” Of course, I can check the app for eternity, or at least until the Universe expands and then begins to contract, for the mythical tip to show up in my account.

Riders – excuse me, Magical Beings – will counter my grievance with, “Yeah, but you’re getting paid to wait, right? So shut up.” I’m so sorry, oh Lofty Personage – yes, I should be so freakin’ grateful to receive 29 cents an hour. Let me bow my head and stoop my shoulders beneath the mighty weight of your noblesse oblige for now being able to pay off my mortgage by simply waiting for you and your baby-mama to finish shouting at each other over who did what with the family bong.

During early weekend mornings, the Uber app will often tell me that it will take fifteen minutes for me to reach a passenger. Thus I will step on the gas while imagining my new client tapping their foot with impatience and muttering, “C’mon, asshole, hurry the f**k up!” And what happens when, out of metaphorical breath from having driven like a maniac, I do pull up in front of the designated pickup location? You got it, I have to sit and wait for another fifteen minutes for my lordships to do whatever it is overrated nincompoops do in order to gain a sense of superiority over a working person. In sum, I have now wasted almost a half-hour of my time and gas money just to help inflate the ego of yet another nonentity looking to feel special.

The moral of the story is, the next time you, the reader, calls for an Uber, please be ready to get in the damn car when it pulls up to you like a limo arriving at the Red Carpet to pick up a world-famous celebrity, because, contrary to what goes on in your feverish imagination, you are NOT a celebrity.

(Check out my writer website: http://www.authorjamesfjohnson.com)

 

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