They cancel on me. I wonder if they think 10 minutes is too far to wait. It’s alright though because I realize that I forgot my wallet, and there for my driver’s license, at home. I turn around.
Two college age kids get in my car. This is the same apartment complex that I picked up the college kids for the hour long trip the day before. I get a little nervous that this will be the same. They get and even look like the same kids. “Hello sir, thanks for picking me up.”
It’s only about a ten minute trip, which is good because I’m getting drunk off of their beer sweat. I know the smell, I’ve experienced it before. I ask what the agenda is today and they state they’re picking up their car down town and then are going to go eat lunch… well breakfast… they can’t decide which one it is because they haven’t ate yet, but it’s in the afternoon. I mentally recommend something with bread in it to help soak up the alcohol in their system.
They’re friendly, but one of them is clearly hungover and doesn’t want to talk too much. I’m hoping I don’t have to clean my car after this.
No tip, I earn $5.95
I drive to a residential area not too far from my own home. It’s a student who is heading up to the local university. We awkwardly both try to create small talk, but while the effort is there we just don’t have anything in common.
They see an opportunity to try the conversation up again. Two Bassett hounds are being walked by their owner. “Awww, looks at those dogs they are so cute.”
I’m a cat person, but I lie. “Yeah, their ears are so droopy!” The passenger is now talking about all of the dogs in their life with much excitement. I talk about all of the dogs that friends and family have like they’re the best things in the world. I also play off the fact that we don’t have dogs at home because it’s against my apartment’s rules, which it is.
I get pinged while they’re still in the car and I accept it. I drop them off and realize that my next pickup is a block away. Score!
I earn $6.82, no tip for pretending to like dogs. I'm a traitor with no honor.
The campus is literally in the middle of the woods so the GPS has no clue that I’m even on a road. Still, I live here so I know the ins and outs even if the road doesn’t exist on my screen. I park where the green dot is on the screen and wait for a minute. I don’t see anyone so I start to text the customer to see where they are. Before I get halfway through my text I see someone frantically running towards my car. I close out the text, this is definitely my fare.
They get in the back seat and I apologize. “Sorry if I passed you up.” They swear that I didn’t pass them, they were just running late and didn’t expect me to be there so quickly. I’m not sure if they’re telling the truth so I add a little, “Hope I didn’t make you run.” They promise I didn’t, but they say they their bus is leaving in 15 minutes. The GPS says it’ll take 16 minutes to get there. I promise him it’ll only take 10.
I ask him where he’s going. No response. “Don’t fall for this again…” I look into the mirror and notice their headphones on. No big deal buddy, I didn’t want to talk to you either. As promised they’re there in time for their bus.
No tip. I earn $7.12
I decide it’s time to go home for a break, but if I’m pick up anymore rides on the way then that’ll be fine. I get halfway home and I have another ping so close to my apartment that I can see my front door. I pick up three college students who are going to the beach. We start off with some nice casual chit chat, but they immediately start talking to each other. It’s nice to hear conversation after half of my rides being quite quiet.
A couple of times I try to join in the conversation. They point out a farmers market that we pass on the way and I mention that I’ve been there a few times. They don’t care, I give up. I drop them off at the beach and head back home. This time I don’t get pinged so I take a break.
No tip, I earn $6.12
I pick up three individuals from a hotel next to the beach. They’re really talkative and cheerful. It’s a nice change of pace from the majority of the rides that I’ve given people so far. “Omg I can’t believe so and so didn’t want to come out with us tonight.” “Yeah they just want to stay inside and talk to so and so all night.” “I didn’t fucking go on vacation to stay inside, what a waste.”
This conversation is awesome. I look down at the phone and see they’re heading to a sushi place. I take this opportunity to get in on the conversations. “Yeah, so and so isn’t worth missing sushi either, what a loser.” It works. They love it. “Yeah, especially since so and so is married!”
I do an over exaggerated, “Ohhhhhhh!”, like I’m about to throw down on the Jerry Springer show. We’re all laughing. The rest of the trip is full of super over dramatic conversation that all kind of runs together now, but this is a trip to remember.
They don’t tip, I earn $5.29
I pick up a couple from their hotel room. They’re going on a date downtown. I ask if their going anywhere specific, but they’re just going to explore. This reminds me of the great nights that I have with my partner whenever we visit a new place. We’ve gone to Vegas, New York, Philadelphia, Bolivia, and Cuba to name a few places. It’s really awesome to check out new areas, find some awesome place to eat, and just enjoy each other’s presence without any stress. It’s not something I get to do often.
They’re from the East coast like me. We talk about the time change and how it sucks missing the football games all of the time because we are used to them being on so much later in the day. These guys are having a really good time and they’re really fun to talk to. Since they don’t really know where to go I drop them dead center downtown and tell them no matter which direction they walk they’ll run into something great.
They tip me $1.00, I earn $4.75
I’m a very quiet person. I keep to myself most of the time and observe. These three college students I pick up are kind of the same. Except they don’t say a single word other than the original hello and how is everyone tonight statements.
I get a small yes when I ask if they’re all undergrad students. We are driving back to the campus, directly next to my house. Even my mention of living on campus can’t spark any sort of response. It’s a good time to end the night. Or so I thought…. my map turns all sorts of red color when I reach my destination. That can only mean one thing.
Same old, same old no tip. I earn $6.76
I see that the area is surging and decide to suck it up and do one more trip. This basically means there are way more riders than there are drivers in the area. The basic supply and demand translates into drivers getting paid more for the trip. I drive past my house, cry a little bit because I want to go home, wipe the tears away, and drive along.
I pick up two college students from their dorm room. They don’t speak English very well and the entire trip on of them is talking speaker phone to someone. I have no clue what any of it is about, but every phrase has so much emotion and it’s entertaining nonetheless. I drop them off at their destination. I popular, and delicious, noodle house down town next to the bus stop. They don’t invite me in so I shut the app off and drive home for real this time.
This trip is just as far as my last, but I make more than twice as much. No tip. I earn $14.92
Daily Total: $57.73