Days 40–43 — The United Colors of UberPool
The word “diversity” is all over the news these days. In Silicon Valley, you get to experience diversity every day and everywhere you go. That’s especially true when you ride UberPool.
My morning today got off to a weird start when my Driver called me and asked me if I was going to SF. He sounded disappointed when I told him that I was only going to Redwood City and he reluctantly agreed to pick me up anyway. Rick was a new driver and was trying to get back to SF to finish his shift and was caught off guard when his Uber app went off and he mistakenly accepted another fare shortly after picking me up.
Rick’s misfortune turned out to be my good fortune as our fare turned out to be two six foot tall Norwegians who had just moved to Silicon Valley a month ago to work at a Norwegian startup in SF. Rick’s mood quickly improved as the Norwegians were in a chatty mood and proceeded to tell us about how their startup was “doing great and was going to have an app soon and they were going to get funded” and they were all going to be rich and famous, etc. I’ve lived in Silicon Valley long enough to know that this is the kind of nonsense you hear from 21 year old Norwegians in the late stages of a tech bubble (Reminder to self: sell all your assets, buy gold bars and hide under your bed). I don’t want any of this to take away from the fact that a Persian guy rolled to work today with a Chinese driver and two Norwegians and this was a totally normal day in the Valley. I love America.
My ride home today was no less international. I got picked up by a young Persian brother who told me his life story on the 17 minute drive home. He’d recently left his family in Tehran for a better life in the U.S. and now was having second thoughts after the recent election. Think on this for a second: He’s worried enough about being an immigrant in Trump’s America that he’s considering going back to Iran where he has to serve a mandatory 2 years in the Iranian Army! On a related note, I’m considering a summer hitchhiking/backpacking vacation through North Korea, Iraq, and Sierra Leone. I assured him that everything would be fine and to stay the course and that America is still the greatest Country in the world. I think he felt better after our chat and I’d like to think he’ll go to bed tonight dreaming of the day when he too can ditch his car and take Uberpool everywhere to his dystopian office job.
Rick: 5 stars and a round trip coach ticket to Norway
Arshan: 5 stars and a green card
(Bob, why are you putting yourself through this? Why don’t you just buy a car? Read the Fat Uber Daddy Mission Statement here)
(I’m late to this party, where can I see what happened the previous days? Go here)