Diary of an Uber driver Part One: Interesting conversations

Sept. 21, 2015

Alexander Nedd
anedd@uccs.edu

If you want to make your own hours and constantly meet new people with just your car and a license, work for Uber.

I have been an Uber driver since early June. Working here has been one of the most entertaining and profitable decisions of my life.

Uber provides rides at half the price of a normal cab, perfect for college students that don’t have a car. As one of the drivers, my car is turned into a taxi.

People can download the Uber app, and only credit cards are used, so no need to check the cushions for loose change.

Being an Uber driver has helped me free more time for class and make a little extra cash on the side. It helped pay for books and I got to know the streets of Denver and Colorado Springs really well.

It also allows me to improve my social skills and talk with customers during trips that can range from five minutes to two hours.

And let me tell you, those customers do talk.

While on call, I’ve listened to stories and sympathized with others’ struggles in day-to-day life. Sometimes it seems like a therapy session.

There is something about opening up to a complete stranger that can relieve the stress of being judged, since you’re probably never going to see them again.

I’m not sure if it’s my personality, but a lot of people feel the need to talk to me. I listen, and at times give advice.

I’ve heard it all, from couples fighting about watching Netflix shows to a touching “I miss you and will be on a plane back to you as soon as possible.” Each customer is different, and with it, their experiences.

These are the best soundbites I’ve had while driving my cobalt to the next destination.

“If I haven’t answered you in 15 texts, get the clue.”

“He has a girlfriend, yet he’s talking in to me. I wonder if she knows.”

“We are so drunkkkkkkk.”

I also noticed the girls talk a lot more than the guys. Word of advice to the guys: assume she is showing everything you say to 20 of her friends and Instagram.

Ladies, you’re not out of the clear. Many men have told me about your antics.

One customer talked about a crazy ex-girlfriend that was stalking him in person and on Facebook, and how he’s done everything to get away from her, short of getting a restraining order.

One of the most memorable customers I had was a teen who was graduating high school soon. I asked him about his night while taking him back to a hotel. He replied it wasn’t the best, saying he hadn’t a chance to meet other people in town yet, specifically other guys.

Yes, he was gay, a fact he opened up about more after I gave some tips on how to meet other people. I learned his story, how he was still in the closet and how his parents were not very accepting.

I wished him the best of luck as we drove up to his hotel and he thanked me for the advice as he got out.

If being an Uber driver has taught me anything, it’s that we are all human. Sometimes with the rush of assignments or hustling to work, we forget to take a moment to just pause.

Uber allows me to connect to those moments, no matter how short they are.

Until the next fare.