Estimated read time: 4 minutes
I’ve been chronicling some of the rideshare stories I’ve encountered as an occasional Uber and Lyft driver. It’s so interesting to hear what people are willing to share with a stranger!
It’s been fun to drive around for a few extra bucks – when I follow my strategy for driving – and to hear people’s stories. I might turn those tidbits into a book at some point – using the blog to book strategy.
But anyway, getting into a car is like sitting at a bar. You share things. Your secrets are safe until they are live streamed, tweeted or put into a book.
I actually do value privacy-including for my passengers-so when I share their stories I don’t share their name and I don’t know their full name anyways.
But it is interesting to hear what people share with a total stranger that may or may not be working another full-time job.
I’ve had people share entire business strategies and plans with me on a ride to take them to work. They work in digital marketing and I work in a related discipline as well.
Other people told me about their entire criminal history and what happens to you if you get caught driving without a license in Cedar Rapids. They take you to jail, fingerprint you and then release you. In case you were wondering.
Others are on the phone cutting deals or having job interviews. One time a guy was running through his entire job history and was even sharing the sizes of deals AND company names.
Interestingly, when I take Lyft while traveling I often happen phone calls during the ride. Of course, the driver can hear every word I’m saying and there is no true privacy. And I also don’t know what else the driver actually does for a living.
Of course, I shouldn’t assume that all rideshare drivers are part-time drivers but from my informal survey it appears to me that many of my drivers also have other jobs.
One time somebody asked me if I was a law enforcement officer. Of course I’m not and I’m not quite sure why they would ask me that. Maybe they were planning to be up to no good but I don’t know.
Ubers have been used as getaway cars, but as far as I know nobody has ever used me as a ride while committing a crime.
I did take a guy to the police station once to pick up property that was seized. Another guy wanted to go the impound lot to get his car after it was impounded.
One time I had two males who wanted to stop at a gas station which I don’t necessarily mind as long as it’s quick but they were in there forever. Walking up and down the aisles and apparently shopping. But who shops for that amount of time in a convenience store? So when they kept taking their time I finished the ride and went on to other passengers. I don’t know what they were up to of course but it didn’t seem legit and I don’t want to get involved in shenanigans.
Another passenger one time told me that another driver told him that a person was adding stops and wanted to stop at different houses and that they were thinking he was selling drugs.
These apps are allowing passengers to add stops along the route which appears to be a customer-focused strategy that’s positive but for the most part I do not like those rides because people take forever and sitting around doesn’t make any money.
One time a woman wanted me to wait for her while she was shopping at Walmart. Um no!
But hearing the stories I’m hearing in the few hundred rides I’ve given as a driver I wonder more about what I have said in cars in front of strangers.
Especially on phone calls. So it’s something to be aware of. And it doesn’t mean I won’t take a business call while in the car. It is really no different than taking a call while in an airport club for example but it’s something to remember. Just because we are in a car that’s driven by somebody else that doesn’t mean we have total privacy!