Week of July 31st, 2022: “Dream Journalist.”
“Uber driver millionaire”
Dies ist eine fiktive Geschichte
“What’s it like to be an uber driver anyway?” the passenger, a twenty something college student at the local university, asked me from her location in backseat, her head resting on the backside windowsill as I continued driving on towards the airport.
“Probably a lot like you would expect,” I replied as I exited onto the ramp and headed toward the local terminal. “Just accept the rides when they come in, use google maps to get people there safe and drop them off. That’s really it actually,” I said as I veered up toward the departures ramp.
“That’s cool. I did doordash one summer too,” she told me getting ready as we began pulling into the entrance. “I study psychology at the university now — I want too help athletes overcome traumatic injuries, you know, like psychological strength?” she asked as she opened the door and grabbed her bag.
“Yeah sure, the science of resilience? That’s really cool stuff, pretty awesome that is what you are doing-and I mean that! Have a fun trip,” I said as she thanked me and shut the door and headed inside the airport.
That was my first ride of the day. When the ride ended it was 7:45 a.m. and I had not yet finished my coffee.
The phone pinged and it told me to turn around in a circle so I spun the car around — attracting a few neck rolls from drivers passing on, however I made my way over to the passenger pickup at the arrival gate a full three minutes faster than analytic maps had predicted-clearly justifying any decision I had made. I pulled up into the designated arrival area and my second ride of the morning began.
“Hello, are you Stacy?” I asked after rolling down the window.
“Yes,” she said and quickly hopped into the backseat and put on her seat belt.
“Ok great, sorry I’m not from this area, let me just check the maps and see where we’re heading really quick.”
“It’s 3115 pen avenue,” she said in a rushed manner. “It’s urgent that I arrive within the next 45 minutes, we need to leave right now ok?” she asked and then motion for us to depart with her hand flicking forward.
“Ok, sure no problem,” I assured her, switching on the audio function for maps so that I could hear the instructions as I pulled out of the arrivals lane and onto the off ramp from the airport.
“So where are you from I asked?” as I took the designated exit off from the airport and we began our journey north.
“Boston,” she said, her attention focused on her phone.
“Oh, Boston, Massachusetts huh?” I said just trying to make conversation.
“No Boston fucking Nantucket ! What do you think ?!” she said in an irritated manner.
“Oh,” I said taking the approaching exit and turning at point a few blocks ahead. “I’m sorry I was just trying to pass the time — I’m still new at this, just doing it for past week or so while on job search, if you don’t want to talk or anything it’s not a big deal, I apologize,” I said as we continued driving on towards our destination.
“Oh no it’s not anything like that,” she said, “sorry it’s just I’m not from here — I saw your license plates — you’re not from here either are you?”
“No I came out for a job and then they downsized and I got let go so I’m looking right now,” I said explaining my situation.
“Oh I see,” she said signaling concern. “I’m sorry, I know what that’s like too,” she said. “The place we are going, where you are taking me — it’s a prison,” she said — “jail — I’m from Dallas. I came here on a trip six months ago — drove out with some friends, well one night had a little too much and got a DUI, now I have to fly back out and come do somewhere between 2–5 days in jail out here as part of the sentence,” she said, her voice demeanor growing more relaxed as she finished explaining her story.
“I’m sorry,” was all I could think to respond as I was uncertain how to reply to such a story.
“No need to be sorry,” she told me. “It wasn’t anything you did. I’m the one who has to come out here and spend this time. “Anyway how is your job search going, do you have any good leads?” she asked as she prepared her items in anticipation of our arrival.
“I have a couple interview we’ll see. Well I’m sorry you have to come out here just for this and don’t get to see how beautiful a city it truly is, I hope you get to come back and see it again because it’s truly a great place to explore. “ I said as we pulled in front of the entrance and I stopped and she got out. “If you need a ride when they let you out I can take you back to the airport, here’s my email.”
“Thanks I appreciate that. Have a great rest of your day,” she said as she closed the door and headed inside.
That was my second ride — it ended at 9:33 a.m., my coffee finished I went to fill up with gas which cost about $65, with an approximately 3 billion dollar hold on my credit card, which had me in a bit of an agitated state before I accepted my next ride request and headed toward the downtown loft area in the direction of the pickup location.
“Marcus?” I asked as I pulled up to the outside pickup area.
“Yes sir!” he said with enthusiasm as he put aside his laptop bag and hopped into the backseat.
“How are you doing today?” I asked as I checked the map instructions for our the location of our destination.
“Fantastic, how about yourself?” he asked, his energy extruding kindness.
“I’m ok, thanks,” I said, turning on to the first exit. “Actually to be honest the last ride had me a little bit thrown off — I just dropped a passenger off at jail…I just wasn’t expecting that I guess,” I confessed.
“Not before 10 in the morning !” Marcus said with laughter. “I understand though, that must have been very serious. Was the person ok?” he asked in general inquiry.
“I think so,” I said uncertain. “They were from out of town and got a DUI. They have to do a couple days in jail. I hope everything works out they seemed like a nice person.”
“Well that’s a good thing. And what about yourself?” he asked directing the conversation towards a new topic. “Your driver profile said you speak three languages?” he asked as he pulled up the profile on his phone.
“Oh wow you read that?” I replied with laughter and shock. “I’ve been driving for around two weeks and no one reads the profiles.”
“Oh really? Well I work at SBJ Industries — you know, the global investment institution? I’m a financial analyst, and we’re actually looking to hire on our team.”
“Oh really,” I replied shocked to have such a variation of circumstance on my daily routine. “That’s is definitely impressive — my background is really not in that field unfortunately but…-”
“Well send me your resume anyway-we tend to train in and you never know when the right position opens up,” he said preparing to exit.
“Ok sure,” I said jotting down my email address onto a piece of loose leaf paper from a notebook in my backpack. “Here take this please — if you send me an email I’ll forward you my resume,” I said handing him the paper.
“Sounds good,” he said hoping out. “We’re always looking to invest in new talent.”