"I had a passenger, my second one ever actually, about a year ago that was discussing her financial situation with who I'm assuming was her mother.
The thing is she was in the back and had the phone on speaker.
Now it's not like I have a divider, so I could hear pretty well...
After I honed in on the conversation, it became clear that she had a good amount of debt and didn't intend to pay it off with a regular job.
She apparently married a man 2 years prior and was preparing for divorce. Her mother was in on the plan and they were aiming for enough to clear the debt and have $30,000 left over after that! It was blowing my mind at the time.
All this happened in about 10 minutes, as her destination was just around the corner, in front of a bank none the less."
"A few months ago this lady came into my car whilst busily talking on her phone: 'Yeah you can't tell anyone on the team yet. No no, I haven't told anyone at all.'
I was secretly eavesdropping, as I usually do, trying to figure out what kind of job she had.
'The details are kinda gruesome. The poor thing was lying there for a while after it happened because there was no one around. These dudes took everything from her and tried to steal her car, but they apparently ran over her and they just booked it. Her body was practically split in two under one of the wheels. It was only a couple hours later someone saw it and called us. She was still alive when we got there. Hey, listen, I gotta go. We'll talk more soon.'
We had reached her destination: Church. She got out of the car with a quick thank you."
"I picked up a female and her male friend.
They were both in the rear talking about their mutual friend. Let's call him John.
Well, it turns out that the female dated John for a short time.
Apparently, he was a very nice and respectful guy. You know, the nice guy type as she made it sound. Apparently, the male in the car was saying that John liked her a lot and wanted to take their relationship to the next level. The male friend was confused to why the female wouldn't do so. The female confessed that his manhood size was too small for her liking and appreciation, so that is why she decided to end it with John.
Just like that, they discussed this 'problem' for the duration of the ride."
"I'd been part-time driving for a few months and had gotten the swing of things. I only did it during the day, since I didn't want to deal with the late-night crazies or those who are extremely wasted. I got the ping in downtown Los Angeles, around the banks and law offices, during the middle of lunchtime, on a Monday. The guy had trouble finding the car -- I had to call him and give directions to where I was. He sounded a bit weird - like a surfer or homeless dude. It didn't quite fit the locale, but hey, whatever, right?
Then he came out -- just a normal looking businessman in a suit. It's broad daylight. Business district. What could go wrong? No destination programmed, and when he hopped in, he said 'I'm going to the casino!' He programs in the destination -- Hollywood Park. So I jump right on the 110 freeway south.
The first thing he asks is, 'Can I smoke in here?' Nope, sorry man. 'That's ok', he says. 'I don't have any anyway.'
He confesses that he's 'a bit wasted'. I cheerily ask if he had some drinks at lunch, and he darkly replies, 'No, I've been up since last night.' That's when I should have pulled over.
Then the stories start flowing:
He just got fired from his job. No, wait, he quit. He yelled at his supervisor because he didn't like him drinking at the job. 'Hey man, I get my stuff done. Why do you care? My dad owns the company!' he helpfully explained.
Then he tried to call his ex-girlfriend. 'She's married now, but we still see each other, once a week.' He dials, chats with her a bit, then hangs up angrily. 'Dumb woman. She just asked about my meds.' Wonderful...
At some point, still on the highway, he comments that he likes my sunglasses. 'Make you look cool! I'm gonna call you Hollywood. Got that, Hollywood?'
THEN he goes off on how he used to be in the army. 'I saw a lot of death out there. Did you serve?' Nope, I replied. But I've worked with a lot of vets. I ask him where he was stationed.
Whoops. He says that he really didn't serve. He just uses that line to pick up chicks.
'But you saw right through me, didn't you, Hollywood? Yeah, I see how you're nodding. You're judging me too.'
So now I know things are bad. Not only is he wasted, but likely on all kinds of stuff. Plus lots of emotional issues. I don't want this guy in my car anymore, but I'm going 45mph on the 110. My options are limited. They get worse, quick.
He decides to change the casino/destination. This one is in the City of Commerce, so I need to get off of the 110 South and go north. I pull off the exit ramp near the University of Southern California and start to look for the northbound on-ramp.
Then he changes the destination again. Now he wants to go to the Hustler Casino. 'It's near Manhattan Beach, where my family is' he instructs.
So I get back on the 110 South and begin to mentally sort out my options.
Time passes. He informs me that he needs to use a restroom. 'I'm gonna have to use your window.' I tell him that if he's got stuff on his suit, they'll never let him in the casino. He seems to calm down.
Then: 'Hollywood, we should totally hang out. You should gamble with me. C'mon!'
Just as I think I've got this messed up out maniac chilled out, he barks 'Ok, get off on this exit here!' I inform him that we're driving through the middle of Compton. 'This isn't The Hustler Casino, this is South Central. We've got a few more miles to go.'
'Get off on this exit!' he demands. 'Why did you pass it? I know what you're doing. You're trying to scam me. You think I don't know that? You better listen to what I tell you. You think you're all cool with your Hollywood glasses. I might just take those right off your face.'
Now things have gotten real. 'Ok, ok' I say. 'I'll get off here. But this isn't the casino. We're still 10 miles away. This isn't the casino, this is the Hood.'
'You don't think I know what you're up to? You better believe I do. You better not mess with me. You won't look so cool after I'm done with you, Hollywood.'
Now, I'm 6'1, 200 lbs and have taken more than my fair share of Brazilian Ju-Jitsu and self-defense classes, and he's just a normal sized guy, but none of that matters when I'm driving on the freeway, and he's bouncing around in my backseat with the voices in his head telling him that I'm the enemy.
So I decided to look for other options. I start looking for a police station, or a public building, or just a crowded spot to bail and get help. Now he's all weepy: 'I know you're my buddy man. I'm sorry, I know you have my back. What do you think I should do? My whole life is ruined.'
I tell him that I think he just needed some time, 'You've done everything right, and maybe you should use the bathroom. Remember how you needed to use the restroom?'
'You're right, Hollywood. I just can't go back there. I need to clear my head.'
Then, like a clap of thunder, he explodes again: 'Ok, now turn around. See, you're still messing with me. You think I didn't see those signs for the casino? You drove right past them. You're messing with me too. Just like them.'
I turn around. 'What signs?', I ask.
'The signs right there? See it?'
He's literally pointing at the open sky out the window.
'See it, Hollywood? See, I knew you were lying.'
I insist a little more now: 'Listen, before we go to the casino, you said you had to use the restroom, right? Let's stop off, take a break. We can get a pack of smokes too.'
'Ok, yeah. Good plan.'
We pull into a McDonald's. Via eye contact thru the rear-view mirror, I assure him: 'Yeah, we'll both use a restroom, grab a pack of smokes, and then we'll both head to the casino afterward. Sound good, man?' He agrees.
I back into a parking spot. I turn the car off. I slowly jangle my keys, while keeping my door shut and seatbelt on. I tell him I'll meet him in a moment. The dude stumbles out of the car and starts peeing in the bushes, right next to the drive-thru menu/speaker. A bunch of locals hanging out notice him and don't seem too pleased with a stumbling, belligerent whiteboy peeing on their hangout. But I'm not willing to wait and find out what they do.
I start the car, throw it into drive and then jerk it forward three feet. The passenger door slams shut. I hit the gas again, tearing out of the place. I turn out back onto the street and go about 2 miles before pulling over. A bit of the post-adrenaline rush kicks in and leads to shaky fingers. It's an odd sensation. I called the Uber safety line and explained the whole story. They fixed his account so that he couldn't ever ping me again, and also froze his entire account temporarily so he couldn't call another Uber and put another driver through the same crazy experience."
"I picked up 3 guys in Los Angeles and they only had about a 15-minute ride. They seemed like fratty 'Bro' types, so I put on a 50-yard stare and keep driving.
The guys in back start swapping hook-up stories, and one of them mentions a girl who refused to sleep with him a second time because she 'felt forced into it' the first time.
His exact words were 'I guess she said no, but whatever,' to which his friend gave him a high five and the three of them laughed.
He freakin' took advantage of a girl. Scary stuff!"
"My worst ride was also my best ride, and most twisted.
I work in the Dallas Fortworth area.
One evening I was requested at the Dallas Cowboys football stadium. The game had just gotten started, so I was surprised to receive a call this early in the game. When I arrived, I picked up a short Hispanic man and a very beautiful, tall blonde woman. The man looked sick and the woman had a slight grin on her face.
En route to their first destination (the female's house), the couple spills a very interesting story (this is the abridged version):
The man has a crush on the woman. The man tells his co-worker that he has crush on the woman. The co-worker sells counterfeit tickets to the man for cash, so he can take the woman 'on a sweet date.' So he asks the woman to the game. The woman says yes. So they both go to the game and the man gets stopped by security for bad tickets. They then have to go to the stadium holding area (stadium jail). The man shows text messages showing he bought the tickets from someone else. They end up getting released and then are asked to leave.
Now, this is where things get interesting.
I have been listening to the game on the radio. The call that Romo is down and hurt comes across the broadcast. The man gets very, very upset and begins to speak very colorfully. He also begins to hit the back of my seat (was sitting directly behind me). His fist missed the back of my seat and made contact with the back of my head and neck, just below my ear. I immediately pull over and begin to inform the man that you, in fact, CANNOT assault your Uber driver and he will be removed from the car if he cannot control himself.
The man turned pale and begin to apologize profusely. The woman also begins to scold him on his behavior and asks that he be dropped off first.
I change routes, and not a word is spoken through the rest of the ride.
After arriving at the woman's house, she steps out and comes to my window. She apologizes to me, informs me that she went on this date as a dare by her other co-workers and that she wasn't actually into guys. She tipped me $20, and left."
"I work for a company similar to Uber.
Oftentimes you have to play therapist for wasted customers as they will lay out very personal details about their lives to you. One customer told me about how her ex-husband has been hospitalized several times due to complications from his drinking problem, and that they told him that the next time he comes in, he'll likely die. She told me that she really hopes that he will die before her 17-year-old son turns 18 because she doesn't want him to have the responsibility of having to decide to pull the plug.
Another ride started with the customer asking if I played Overwatch, and within 5 minutes she was crying and telling me about her friend who died.
One ride I couldn't find the window button (we drive the customers home in their own cars), so the customer reached over for it, very clearly moving her hand across my 'goods' on the way. She also refused to sign her check unless she could write her number on my arm, and slapped my butt as I walked away.
Another customer asked me for change, and I handed it to him as his other hand was being used to urinate in his front yard.
ANOTHER customer, whose car interior was absolutely covered in ash and butts from his smokes, told me about how her daughter recently got hooked on illegal substances by her boyfriend, and how she hates certain types of men because her father left her as a child when he went to prison.
I could go on."
"I work in Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah.
I picked up a fare from Park City going to Salt Lake. He was a bigger guy, that was holding some suitcases. It was late around midnight.
He was really nice, and he and I had great conversation. Then he got a call...
'Oh, hey baby, what you been up to? I miss you a lot.'
A few minutes of idle conversation, at normal volume, then he gets real quiet and says: 'So what are wearing? That sounds hot. Oh, you're doing what?'
At this point I stop listening, it was hard to hear him without being obvious or turning the music down. It went on for 15 or so minutes. Then there was a flash in the backseat. Yes...from his camera.
Not sure what it was of, but I have my fair share of guesses..."
"I've been driving Uber for a couple of months and have completed nearly 400 rides in that time.
I've already seen some of the standard crazy stuff: people so wasted that they can't get out of the car when it's time to get out; another rider asked, 'Where's my friend?' 'Uh, she never got in the car. Was she supposed to?'
Beyond that, the hardest trips to deal with are the heartbreaks.
Guys, you have no idea just how bad women can break down after you send them on their merry way for the last time. I had one rider who had been heavily drinking and dealing with an apparent break-up. She was wrecked, full on ugly-cry. She kept saying how she hated herself and that she wanted to die. It was raining pretty hard, so when she pulled up to her upscale apartment garage, she discovered her clicker didn't work. She. Freaking. Lost it. What am I supposed to do as a driver? So sorry, but get out in the rain, you'll get over it...is what jerk of a driver would have said. I needed for her to calm down. 'Look, I don't know you, but I care about you. Take my hand, it's going to be okay.' Still a mess, she composed herself as best as she could and left in the rain to find another pedestrian entrance.
The one that takes the cake is my very first ride. So I'm pulling out of Wal-Mart after literally buying my dashboard phone clip, and I get my first ring. I go, pick up a kid, probably 18 or 19 at most. 'Where are we headed?' 'We're going to my buddy's house, I forgot something.' We drive the 10 minutes there, I tell him this my first Uber ride ever, as either a driver or a passenger; he's friendly, and he's digging the music I put on. When we arrive he asks if I can do the round trip. I'm totally new to this, of course, so I didn't realize I could simply leave the meter running. He was in and out in two minutes flat. I was like, 'Ugh, yeah, you're gonna have to make another request. I don't want to break the rules.' 'You really are new to this, huh?' And then something peculiar. He calls the guy inside to request me again. Why would he do that? Homeboy just went in for two minutes with nothing but a backpack, what does the guy inside owe my rider? OMG, I just helped this kid make a delivery. I just unknowingly broke the law on my first ride ever. Ugh, I'm so screwed.
So my first ride ever, I presume, was a young dealer who gets his hard-up buyers to book Uber rides in order to make the deals."
"There were these two parents, I presume and hope, that needed to be picked up after their date. I was the one to be their designated, or at least randomly chosen, driver.
When they got in the car, they naturally were having a conversation. This one, however, was loud and, by my standards, quite unusual.
'Do you think Tim is safe at home?'
'Yes honey, he's thirty-five.'
'But I didn't leave any chicken nuggets for him...'
'Honey, he can make them himself.'
'But what if he burns the house down??'
'We only have a microwave...'
She stopped talking after that blow. It was silent the whole drive there. Whoever you are, Tim, I hope you got your nuggets."
"I used to Uber in Los Angeles, California.
My first week on the job, a Sunday early afternoon, I picked up two guys that looked wrecked from the night before. I say hello and ask how they were doing. One of the guys begins to explain their wild night they had at their house. He says we were drinking and snorting this and that all night long with adult entertainment stars.
Then he says he went into his office to work on some minor work before they left, and went he put his feet under his deck he heard a yelp. He had kicked a guy that had fallen asleep, naked, that had white powder all over his face."
"Making illegal substance deals are common.
Normally I would just turn a blind eye, but every so often they really try to start a conversation about it, as if it's some dirty little secret they really really want to share.
I had a guy offer me a $45 tip at the start of the trip...then ask for the $5 back because he needed some paper to roll up for his stuff. He then started to get his baggies out, I told him to wait until he was out of the car. He got out of the car and proceeded to do ingest his product right on the hood of my car.
Sunday mornings are always fun. A lot of people returning from hotels to their homes alone. They love to share the whole 'I'm too old to be doing this' story."
"I once drove some well-dressed Russians in between bars on the west side of Chicago. I used to work for a Russian-owned cab company and I understand a little Russian, and I heard two of them talking back and forth about something one of them was very anxious about.
The phrases that jumped out at me were 'This is death, this is serious,' 'Blood is on me,' and 'I'm not a bad man.' The other guy was mainly just telling him to relax a lot, and telling him, 'There are no fools here,' or something along those lines.
Upon dropping them off, like an idiot, I temporarily blanked that I had just heard parts of a seemingly harrowing conversation, and I spoke Russian, saying 'good night.' Only one of them heard me (the older guy telling his colleague to relax) and he just stared at me. Then he came around to my window while reaching into his coat pocket, which scared me to death. He then pulled out a $100 and said (in English), 'My friend, do we understand?'
I just took it, shook my head in the affirmative, and drove off. I didn't take any rides for the rest of the night."
"I picked up a woman from Houston and took her all the way to Lake Charles, Louisiana.
She wanted me to drive her back as well and offered to get me a room in the casino and said she would do stuff for me if I'd take her back home in the morning. I respectfully declined but she started criticizing me saying she couldn't imagine a man turning that offer down (she wasn't very attractive). At this point, I was already an hour out of town.
Then for about 15 minutes she was crying and yelling in her respected language, to whomever she was talking to on the phone.
I felt so uncomfortable the whole way there and decided to just sleep in my car, after dropping her off to rest a bit, before taking the hour-and-a-half trip back home."