The crazies were out in full force last night; let me assure you of that. K-turns in the middle of major roads, people on the wrong side of an entrance/exit divider, and that’s before I’ve gotten to any of my passengers. My Pandora game continues to be on-point as I had a full car of riders belting out Bowling for Soup’s “1985” when it came up. My star drunkards of the night was a middle-aged threesome from the South Park area, the leader of which curled up with my bottle of Mountain Dew for half the trip while another stroked my beard when I turned around to back up out of the driveway. My last trip of the night was a long quiet ride on I-85 to Concord. The driveway to their home was so steep that when I backed down it, it made my car engage some kind of automatic “let’s not die today” lock-up function. A quick re-ignition resolved that issue but that’s just poor urban design.
I wouldn’t necessarily call this week strange but it’s been interesting. Tuesday had some long dead periods but I was able to make up fro it with a couple of longer trips. This morning, I took a trucker to his HQ depot, including his supplies for the long haul like bulk packages of bottled water and cup o’ noodles. It’s the sort of thing you don’t think about until it’s right in front of you but make sense in the moment. This afternoon, I went to see a movie and played the “going home” game coming back and it proved more profitable than expected as well as highlight-filled. I had to help a stoner come up with an excuse to tell his girlfriend for why he left the stove on. The best I could come up with on the fly was that he was preheating it for his return but he seemed satisfied with my answer. My journeys also took me to Fort Mill which is unusual for a weekday evening. On a non-trip related note, I saw one of those family sticker collections on a rear window and one of the children had additional stickers for wings and a halo. I find it disconcerting that the manufacturers accounted for this contingency. Finally, a food blog moment: I tried a bottle of Crystal Pepsi. It tastes like ginger ale. Save your money. See you on Saturday.
This week thoroughly whupped my butt. I wasn’t able to devote a full afternoon to driving so I did halfsies on Thursday and Friday, but still did Saturday night. Thursday didn’t have interesting riders but a ride from Huntersville to Concord took me past the Metrolina Greenhouses. Seeing a massive field covered by glasses is quite the spectacle when witnessed in real life. Friday’s first trip took me from Indian Trail to the airport which is easily one of my longest trips to date.But as always, Saturday remains the headliner night. One of my earlier trips of the night took me from the South End to Huntersville and it was round there where I spent the majority of the night. I can now add Davidson and even Mooresville to my domain of Uber conquest. My standout rider of the night though would easily be the girl who, 16 minutes into a 18 minute ride, after a long period of silence, exclaims that her father died earlier that day. That’s quite the bomb to drop on a complete stranger at 3 a.m. but I maintained my composure and gave her my sympathies. I wish her and her family well as I do for all of my riders and readers.
Ring the bell in the village square; it’s time for the weekend update. I wasn’t on the road long on Friday but I did take someone from Indian Trail to the Amtrak station east of Uptown so it was by no means a lost day. But last night was my prime-time by far. I made over $20 on tips alone. Highlights include the young couple who it seems had been kicked out of Amos’ Southend because she called out a guy faking his military background which she took personally because she had family who had served and given their lives. She was clearly distraught by the whole experience and both her guy friend and I were trying to comfort her but she was not having it. At least the trip was brief. I was also successful on selling a group of passengers on becoming drivers themselves and gave them my invite code so hopefully that proves fruitful in the near future. I ended the night on one of those golden trips drivers tell stories about where the surge is high and the distance is great. Even the passenger riding next to me was cool because he seemed genuinely interested in the work I do as a youth counselor. I’m going to keep on keeping on so see you next week.
Yesterday was good. I got an early start by doing a few trips while coming home from work in the morning and had hardly any prolonged gaps while driving in the afternoon. One thing I’ve experienced doing this job is some of the interesting names of my riders. Case in point: my first trip after lunch was a distinctly African man with a distinctly African name. He struck me as a stand-up fella; it sounded like he’d been all over since he mentioned having lived in Chicago and the trip was to the airport. I also met a charming young woman and her little dog Martini who were both living their lives to their fullest. I have a lot of hours at work this week so watch the digital skies this weekend for my next post.
Okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve been slacking so it’s time for a full-week mega-post. It’s not completely my fault though; demand wasn’t especially high on the weekdays. I almost expanded into new territory on Tuesday by picking up someone in Davidson, north of Cornelius, but they cancelled on me. I got called in to day treatment on Thursday on top of more hours at work, so I only did a couple of trips around Matthews before calling it a day. Moving on to Friday, I’ve now learned its significance in the Islamic faith as I took a gentleman to the congregation at the Islamic center on The Plaza. I was able to dodge the worst of the weather but I still had to bite and claw my way through rush hour. Saturday was the prime time that pulled me out of the slump. Hardly anyone was on the road and the air was cold, so demand was high. I drove a group of three less than half a mile because they couldn’t bear to walk in the freezing night. Conversely, I made two drop-offs in Fort Mill. I also continue to get a kick out of people saying they love the nostalgia trips I give them when I play early 2000’s pop-punk on Pandora. I’ll try to more self-disciplined about posting, so keep watching.