"I was a former Uber driver. I picked up a sweet girl from a bar on a Wednesday night who had been partying hard around 10 pm. She got into my car, apologized for being so trashed and politely asked if we could just drive around a little while with the windows down.
I was prepping for a cleaning fee, trying to drive and pull a vomit bag out of the glove box, but no, she just did that airplane thing with one hand out the backseat window. She asked me if I had ever thought about dying, to which I replied, 'Yeah, I guess so.'
That's when she told me that she had cancer. It was in her brain and it was too far gone to consider chemo. I remember my heart just pounding. She told me she was dying and she was going to be okay. Tonight she was celebrating with her work friends who threw her a going-away party. She told them she was taking a position abroad. 'I just didn't tell them that abroad was heaven,' she said. I turned off my app and cried all the way home."
"I could go on for days with these, but this one takes the cake. It's not a secret, but just one of many insane experiences. So I picked up a guy in a suit at around 6 pm on a Tuesday near Venice, CA. He told me to take him downtown and per usual I asked if he had a preferred route and he said, 'No whatever is quickest.' We get going and the usual banter begins. He asks how long I've been an Uber driver for and I tell him it'd be a year or so and that I thought it was a great job." He says, 'Oh cool, where do you stay?' I answer, 'In the valley' and he says, 'Oh nice, nice...so, how long have you been driving for Uber?' I paused and kind of half smiled, thinking he was messing with me. He wasn't. So I answered verbatim, '1 year or so. It's a great job.' He goes, 'Oh cool, where do you stay at?' This repeated 3 more times before I finally answered it differently, saying 'I just started, it's not for me.' And him again replying, 'Oh cool, where do you stay at?'
I answered one last time the original way, but then finally, silence. By this point, I was on the 10 highway, stuck in rush-hour traffic. I look in my rearview and he is rubbing his head and hair profusely, like someone going through withdrawals. He took his suit jacket off and looked severely uncomfortable. I dialed 911 on my phone in case something went down. He then out of nowhere deeply yells and I asked if he was alright. He screams, 'WHERE ARE WE!' I said, 'Ummm on the 10 headed downtown, is that still okay?' He goes, 'Yes.'
At this point, by the graces of the Universe, we ended up moving pretty quickly through traffic. Then, right before we exit off the 10, two miles or so from his apartment, he yelled again 'WHERE ARE WE!?' I said, 'Sir, we're almost to your house, is that still okay?' And he goes, 'Yes that's fine.' Once we arrive, I pull up to drop him off and he gathers his stuff, opens the door and looks back in at me before walking away and in the most genuine, kind way says, 'Have a great night! Watch out for crazy people!' Honestly one of the strangest, creepiest events ever. Subsequently, I bought a stun gun/taser and luckily so, as this was just the beginning of several crazy incidents. So glad I don't drive anymore."
"I drove Uber one night. It was pretty tame until I picked up two guys who wanted to go to exotic female club 40 miles away. As they requested an UberSelect fare I was happy to drive that far, which is around $80-100. It took them 15 minutes to get ready and into the car and they seemed cool so I wasn't worried. As soon as we got on the freeway, the guy in the passenger seat started asking about Uber driving and things got dark. After a few minutes, he started saying things like, 'What would you do if someone just grabbed the steering wheel and ran the car into the median?' and 'Have you ever thought about what would happen if someone in the back seat tried to strangle you while you were driving?' I got a little freaked out and tried to lighten the mood by asking what they were celebrating, etc, but the one guy just kept at it. I was happy to get to the club and get them the heck out of the car. Bonus was that the bouncer at the club gave me $40 for dropping them off there. I never drove Uber again."
"I met a guy who owns a dispensary in Colorado but lives in my state. Clearly in a good mood after partying, he told me all about cheating on his wife with his girlfriend. His girlfriend got mad when he decided to go back to his wife. So this guy apparently would bring carry-on bags filled with his "product" back from Colorado. The angry girlfriend knew about this and ratted him out to the police. They were waiting for him when he got off the plane from one of his trips. He was arrested. I guess he was out on bail or something. I drove him to his apartment. He was hoping his wife would forgive him and let him move back into their house. He kept telling me how much he loved her."
"Two girls were talking about how they fooled around with the same guy. They both agreed his man part was too big and he was hurting them by lasting too long. By the end of the conversation, they both agreed he was gay. Another time, two middle-aged couples were trying to agree to a foursome."
"I had an Iraqi driver telling me he was an engineer in Iraq before the first gulf war and he'd developed a superior means of gilding furniture, chandeliers, etc, which you can imagine was hot in pre-war Saddam Hussein-ville. Well, Uday Husseinville wanted to go into business with him apparently. This is a direct quote from the passenger: 'First Uday wants to be your partner in business, then he wants to be partner in your wife.' Words to live by."
"I've never overheard a juicy secret, but I've definitely had plenty of interesting passengers. One time I had a group of 3 guys, probably around my age in their mid-20s. They seemed nervous, avoided eye contact, and were pretty much silent from the moment they hopped in. I tried confirming the destination, asked how their night was going, etc, but only got muffled mumbling in return. As always, I worked the situation out in my head in a calm, rational manner. Something like, 'Are these guys trying to rob me? Jack my car? Did they just kill somebody? Am I an accessory to murder? Do they have knowledge of the impending apocalypse?' As my paranoia routine winded down, I slowly started to realize what was going on. Between the beads of sweat, occasional jaw clenching, and finally, random giggle outbursts, these kids were definitely reacting to some illegal substances. Once it hit me, I called them out immediately and told them I was cool. They looked so relieved. I started blasting music (some Umphrey's McGee I believe) and they just started geeking out by that point. Fun ride. At the end of the ride, the guy that sat up front tossed me a bag of the stuff they were on. Good times."
"It wasn't so much weird as it was random but my first night driving for Uber/Lyft, I picked up a dude at 2:30 AM that was finishing up a pub crawl. The dude was dressed in a purple dinosaur onesie and had clearly been partying hard for a while. He got in and started telling me his entire life story and how he came out to his parents and moved across the country the next day."
"I am not an Uber driver but I have a story that was told to me. This driver told me that he picked up his last fare for the day and it did not have a final destination. The dude gets in the car, wired off the illegal substances he took and was yelling on the phone. The guy says 'drive to Vegas, here!' and the guy tosses $500 bucks at him. That is on top of the Uber fare which apparently was surge pricing. So the guy drives him to Vegas from Los Angeles, which takes about four hours. The whole time the guy is talking/yelling on the phone to his mom. They get to Vegas and he drops the dude off at some mansion where his mom is outside waiting to yell at him. Apparently the guy forgot about giving him the cash because he tossed another few hundred bucks at him, got out of the car and split."
"I had someone get in my car and tell me he's in his late 20s and having physical relations with a girl who just recently turned 18. I awkwardly told him that's good for him and he proceeded to tell me that it's not, that his life sucks and everything he does to make himself happy doesn't work. He told me he watches videos of people committing suicide and wishes he had the courage they did to go through with it. He told me he's going to go to San Francisco and spend every last penny he has on vacation and just jump off the golden gate bridge when he's done. I didn't really know what to say. When I dropped him off, I told him that I hope things start looking up and he just said, 'They won't. They never do.' Then he left. He also asked weird questions like 'If I hit you would you beat me up?' When I said I'd rather no one hit anyone he said, 'Dude, you'd be able to beat me up. I'm worthless' I hope he got help."
"This isn't my story, but I had an uber driver tell me this one. An Uber driver named George was doing Uberpool one night in Austin where you pick up multiple people en route to the destination. Girl #1 got in the car alone and sat in the back seat on the passenger side. Then a couple (guy and girl) comes in and there's not enough room for everyone in the back, so girl #2 sits behind the driver and guy sits up front. The two girls in the back start chatting and seem to be getting along well. Girl #1 asks what they're doing tonight and girl #2 says, 'Oh, me and my boyfriend Josh are going out to celebrate. Josh works at XX and just got a promotion.' At this point, George notices Josh is crouching down in his seat and looking guilty. Then, Girl #1 says, 'That's funny, my boyfriend is also named Josh and works at XX. I wonder if they know each other.' Then girl #2 starts tapping her boyfriend on the shoulder and bugging him to turn around to meet girl #1. At some point Josh can't avoid the introduction any more and is forced to turn around. He does so with a look of utter horror on his face as it slowly dawns on both girls that they're dating the same Josh. Anyway, both girls start screaming and kick Josh out of the Uber. Not sure what happened after that, but you can bet Josh never took Uberpool again."
"Two 40 something year-old guys who I picked up from a bar were talking on speaker phone and they were trying to make plans with a third guy who was at a party with a bunch of wasted 12th graders (his exact words). One guy in my car asked if there was anyone younger there, other dude said, 'dude really?' Followed by silence, then he said "Sweet.' I'm not sure exactly what else was said as there was missing context but it sounded like there was younger teenagers there already trashed and these older dudes were going to pick up."
"One time I was driving a guy for a bit of a long trip. It was going to take around 25-30 minutes. He had definitely just left a party, which I could tell by the way he was acting. It was late and he must've been feeling a bit down, so he confided in me and asked me for some advice. He told me he's madly in love with his fiancée's best friend and he couldn't back out now. He'd been with this girl 4 years, engaged for 1 and getting ready to be married in a few months.
It was pretty sad to hear because it wasn't just your average story. It was filled with a lot of subtle emotional and mental anguish. The guy went through about 5 years of ups and downs with his girl and managed to find comfort in the best friend. After a few years, he developed feelings and it was just downhill from there. I felt bad for the guy because he seemed like he was truly in love with his fiancée too, although he had strong feelings for this friend. He knew that going through with the marriage meant a lifetime of being around the friend and suppressing feelings, but also breaking it off meant that he lost the girl of his dreams. He seemed like a genuinely nice guy, and I hope he's doing okay."
"I picked up 2 dudes once. They were talking about how they were going to keep hiding their relationship from their wives and children. Pretty messed up stuff."
"My mom told me this story. She does rides in San Diego which is a a city that loves the Navy and is where future Seal go to BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) Training. My mom was telling me one time that she gave a ride to a young man about 20 years old. He had been fighting to become a Navy Seal his whole life and ended up falling asleep on the last day or two of BUD/S and getting dropped for the season. He was just crushed because he made it through everything before and now he would have to wait before being able to enroll again and would be starting from scratch.
Anyway, during the ride he started to open up to my mom about his other passion which was medicine and she suggested he chase that dream instead because he came off as a very caring and devoted person. At the end of the ride, he asked her to step out of the car so he could give her a hug and a huge thanks for lending an ear and giving her honest opinion about the situation. He also left her his phone number so he could give her a call and let her know what he decided to do. A few day later, he gave her a call and said he had returned back home to Texas and would start taking courses to pursue a career in medicine."
"I picked up a girl to take her straight from work to the hospital to see her dad. Her mom had called her work to make her end her shift early because it was serious. Her dad had cancer. I dropped her off and was like, 'God, I hate this job cause I'll never know how her night ended.' Wrong. The next night, I was taking people home from bars and her two guy friends took her out to party because her dad had died. They were acting like idiots so when I took them to get pizza, she came outside and we talked about it a little. That was probably the one ride where I felt I had a positive impact on someone's life beyond getting them home safely."
"I drove a lot of college-aged girls that were looking for or already had a sugar daddy. They wanted 30 year old men with no children and a good job who was willing to buy them lots of things/pay their bills. I had no idea this was so popular but practically every girl that age that opened her mouth about a guy in my car went on about his age, job, and money. One girl even admitted to fooling around with someone with the same name and of the same age as her dad."
"I once had a middle-age couple fight for an entire 30-minute ride. They attempted to bring me into their fight many times. I just pretended like I was deaf and didn't answer when they tried to rope me into it."
"My friend ubers in my hometown. She picked up some really nice girls out on a Friday once. They were talking about their plans for next autumn. My friend thinks he recognizes one of them and it turned out to be my younger sister and he tells me all about it. That's how I found out my little sister was moving to Spain."
"I took this 19 year-old kid and what I assumed was his girlfriend back to her house on pride weekend in San Francisco. They made out the whole ride. When I dropped them off, only she got out. He said 'Take me to Castro and 18th.' I said, 'Really?' He said, 'Yeah, I only make out with girls when I'm on stuff.' Never a dull moment in San Francisco."
"I picked up this young overly affectionate couple that spent the entire trip making out in my backseat and telling each other that they loved each other. Cute. So I drop off the couple and head on my way to pick up my next fare. I hear a cellphone ring in my backseat, realize it's my previous ride's, and pick up the phone to let them know I have it and I'll come back to drop it off. Turns out it was the guy's wife phoning to check in on him while he was on a business trip, which he was thoroughly enjoying with his mistress."
"I picked up a guy from a gay bar and he was noticeably coming on to me. He then confessed that he was one of the founders of a very popular gaming company and offered me $2,000 dollars to come up to his room. He also refused to leave my car unless I kissed his hand. Fun times."