As we all know, or should know by now, the transportation services Uber and Lyft have revolutionized the driving industry. Cab and taxi companies are transportation tools of the past, now that people can just drive other people to where they want and/or need to go in their personal vehicles.
I was skeptical of the service at first. Some guy picking me up in his own car driving me around? What happens if something goes wrong? It's their own car — people do what they want in their own car no matter who they work for right? Why is everyone loving this?
However, after using Uber to get somewhere on time (because I'm ALWAYS late going EVERYWHERE!), I decided these services were worth it.
The massive personal benefits of these two transportation services for me are monumental. Yes, I STILL get to destinations late, but not as late as I would be if I didn't use them.
Grocery shopping day on public transit is a rare occurrence for me now thanks to Uber and Lyft.
Raining outside? Hot outside? I don't feel like walking it that day? Too far to walk it that day? In a new neighborhood? Late night out? Early morning out? Going somewhere I've never been? Took the wrong bus somewhere and now I'm stranded? Uber or Lyft to the rescue!
UberEats and other food delivery apps make it so I don't have to brave public transit to go get a tasty meal somewhere.
Then comes the other side of Uber and Lyft. The creepy side. I've never been comfortable with the final destination of my house. Now this stranger knows where I live. When they're not giving rides, they can just come to my house and watch me while I'd be none the wiser!
I've had a couple of guys sit and watch me enter my building. Safety thing I know, but its still creepy. You have to register your phone number on the app so your ride can text or call you when their outside or they need better instructions to get to your pick up point. How protected is that? How private is that? ANY driver you've ever had and future drivers have access to your cell phone number?! Emergency/clarification/verification purposes or not, that's creepy.
One guy dropped me off across the street from my apartment — even though I repeatedly told him it was the building across the street, but for some reason, he insisted my drop off point had to be one the houses across the street instead. He went so far as to shout out to me that he'd wait till I got in before he pulled off.
When I didn't go into a house right away, he put his car in park and waited and watched me! So I hid on the side of the house I was in front of till he finally pulled off. I hoped I didn't frighten the house tenant(s) creeping on the side of their house! I sped across the street to my building just in time to see him loop back around and check that I'd gone in that house across the street!
Another guy not only waited till I got in my building, but he also sat and waited and watched lights come on in apartments to see which was mine! When he saw lights come on from a unit adjacent to mine, that's when he finally pulled off!
One guy went on and on about the healing powers of herbs and cinnamon and that all black people should do it. People were cured of cancer and other debilitating illnesses because of it. Nobody needs prescriptions anymore. I didn't need to be picking up any prescriptions because what he knows cures all. Even my sinuses in the spring and summer months can be cured.
He had pamphlets and samples and wanted my contact info to try and convince me at a later time since I was seemingly in a hurry to get my pills! Gee, I wonder why?
One guy was blurring the lines between idle travel chatter and prying. The constant different variations of asking me where I was going was one thing. Then at my destination, he made like he was going to park and come in and check it out as well!
Mind you, I have Crohn's Disease, and I was going to one of the sporadic educational events the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation chapter here in Cleveland was throwing one Saturday. He'd never even HEARD of Crohn's Disease till I got in that Uber, now suddenly he wants to check out all things Crohnie? Creepy man, just super creepy.
Then there was the latest one. I'm sure other women have encountered the guys on the bus who keeps asking for your number and you finally relent to get him to leave you alone but give him a fake number or a rejection hotline number? Then they call it RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU to make sure you pick it up right in front of him for his number?
A guy picked me up from the Greyhound station early in the a.m. I didn't feel like taking buses home and risk falling asleep and missing my stop. Guy asks me if I want to make extra money. He has a day job at what sounded like one of these get-rich-quick-scheme places. Offers people lots of national and worldwide travel opportunities for some reason.
He was going to Hawaii and wanted my number to tell me about the opportunity and get me in on it. Gave me a date he'd call me. Made SURE before I got out the car to give him my number. Then he called the number right in front of me! I froze in fear when I heard my answering machine come on his phones' speaker! I was relieved I didn't give him the rejection hotline number like I wanted to, because I shudder to think how unsafe he'd react being rejected like that by some girl he met in his Uber at three o'clock in the morning on a sleepy and deserted residential street.
All my uncomfortable and weird and creepy encounters with Uber and Lyft have been with male drivers, so that's where this piece is coming from. Yet that's not to say that there aren't drivers of other genders that do creepy things like this to their passengers too.
So to ALL of you who do or have done things like this to your passengers, in the words of one of my favorite Mike Tyson memes, TOME PEOPLE NEED TO THOP IT! JUST THOP IT! LAWD, HAVE MERTY!
But seriously guys, cut this shit out. Y'all are creepy as fuck. You get one star, a report, and your ride fare placed back in my bank account.