Feb. 1, 2016
That’s how many miles I’ve put on my Chevrolet Cobalt since becoming an Uber employee last July. That’s more than 250 trips.
When I think about these trips, I’m reminded of the people I met and what we have shared with each other. In that moment, we both travel in the same space, before going our separate ways.
I’ve enhanced my people skills and continued to treat those around me with the respect and courtesy that they deserve during my time with Uber.
I’ve learned a lot from my customers during those drives, but one common theme continues to dominate the future of sharing rides and public transportation.
People lack respect for one another, and the golden rule is quickly being forgotten.
Just before the beginning of the year, it was obvious my client was stoned and slightly intoxicated when I picked him up, but those aren’t immediate grounds to deny a fare in my book.
It wasn’t until he tried to use my phone without my permission, smoke in the car and use vulgar, homophobic language that I said enough was enough.
I kicked him out on Colorado Boulevard and 22nd street, into the cold.
As I reflect on what happened, I realize there is nothing I would change if I was put in that situation again.
Respect was once considered important, but this skill is now lacking when it comes to talking with others face to face, thanks to the 4.5-inch screen that sits in your hand as I write.
While most people I give rides to do not compare to the man I kicked out, the number of people that hop in my car, give me an address and sit in the back distracted by their phone baffles me.
As a communication major, I often overlook how difficult it might be to start a conversation with somebody. But we weren’t always this way, and it’s sad to see this trend continue as I get older.
While awkward silence in the car is a routine I’ve learned to expect on my trips, I refuse to tolerate disrespect for others and myself.
Last year, another Uber driver picked up an intoxicated passenger when he was brutally assaulted by the individual.
Caught on film, the man was upset he was being kicked out because he couldn’t provide clear directions to the driver. This man was later revealed as a Taco Bell executive.
Earlier last month a female doctor assaulted another Uber employee and tried to hijack his car while punching the driver in the face.
This behavior is completely unacceptable, and it begs a bigger question of why high profile customers feel the need to belittle and harm those that are working for them.
During that time in the car, the driver and the customer are equals, even though we may be different in many ways.
Let’s treat each other that way, and make the world a better place in the process.