Until self-driving cars come along and you can freely brush your teeth, drink orange juice and choreograph a dance while in the driver's seat of a car, Uber is a necessary evil. Because, safety. Plus the fact that DWIs and DUIs are a real bummer. Also, being driven around Dallas and its suburbs is fun and, for me, feeling like Miss Daisy is even more fun.
But one day, when we are all old and grey and married to our dogs, we will tell tales about Uber to our grandchildren, who will look confused and troubled.
“An app on a phone that tells a driver to drive you places, Meemaw?" they will ask while fueling up their cars with solar rays and drinking Coca Cola that doesn't burn their insides.
The Uber Machine represents a moment in time and because there isn't any real quality form of public transportation in Dallas (Please don’t argue with us on this one), Uber is a basic lifeline when living here. And pretty much all its drivers fall in 10 categories. Exactly 10.
Here are the 10 types of Uber drivers you have encountered:
The one who has never driven in Dallas before
This Uber driver has never driven in Dallas before. He is confused by the term “Deep Ellum.” He tells you he just came from McKinney and cannot believe the traffic in Dallas Dallas. He turns the wrong way down a one-way street. His GPS is also not working so he has no idea how to get to your destination. He’s surprised when Truckyard ends up being a bar and not a junkyard of truck parts. He apologizes because his official Uber car is in the shop for maintenance issues but you know that he was probably in some horrible he-didn't-see-the-median-there accident and the worst part is that you know that he knows that you know and it’s all one big giant Uber elephant in the Uber zoo.
The Judgey McJudgey Judger
“Yes, beer was consumed tonight and yes McDonald’s needs to be, too,” you tell your Uber driver who is giving you the lookover. You don’t need to be lectured by your Uber driver on the amount of calories or fat or salt or good stuff that’s in that Extra Large Happy Meal you’re about to order because judges are meant for the courtroom only and those McNuggets aren't going to eat themselves.
The silent one
No matter what you say or what you do or how loudly you sing, this Uber driver will remain silent. They look constantly uncomfortable They resemble Mike Myers standing next to Kanye West during his Hurricane Katrina monologue. Either the Uber driver doesn't speak English or they don’t want to chitchat or they just plain hate you, but their mouth is shut and it's staying that way. Classical music plays on the radio, which is nice background noise for your inevitable murder.
The backseat is a personal lounge for their Uber riders. They have lemon-infused water bottles, three different kinds of mints, a three-foot long aux cord so you can listen to “Uptown Funk You Up” on repeat, reclining chairs with blankets and a mini straightener just in case your hair gets frizzy. It’s a God-made Uber ride. It’s everything you so desperately need for that six-minute long car ride. This Uber driver is also dressed head to toe in a suit because he’s convinced you’ll give him a better rating if he looks presentable. He takes his job way, way too seriously. And as you are exiting, he lets out a quick but aggressive “Give me five stars, please!”
The Job Interviewer
Sometimes after a long day at work or school or the bar, you just want to be driven somewhere and not answer more than two questions, which include “Where are you going?” and “Do you want a mint?” So when your Uber driver begins asking questions like, Where did you go to school, where do you work, how long have you been there, what’s your biggest fear, do you have daddy issues, what hospital were you born in, it’s time to shut it down. It’s exhausting. Uber is not a job interview. Uber is not a haircut. Uber is a one-night stand and should be treated that way. Uber drivers are meant to pick you up, take you somewhere and if you’re really lucky, not murder you in the process. We all have dreams and some are simpler than others. But when you add endless questions to the equation, you might as well as open the door and roll out of the moving vehicle.
There are approximately four female Uber drivers in the city of Dallas. That’s a fact. No more, no less. Do not argue. Seeing a woman driving an Uber is the same exact thing as seeing a straight male singing along to Cher. It just doesn’t happen. If you happen upon a female Uber driver, take a picture because that shit is rare.
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You get it. Sharing is caring. Therapists are expensive. Chocolate and alcohol don’t really cure all. But not everything needs to be shared with a complete stranger. You don’t need to know about your Uber driver’s cheating ex-husband. You don’t need to know why they were fired from Corporate America and are now driving for Uber. You don’t need to know more than their name and even that is optional.
The self-promoting Uber driver
You are three minutes into your Uber ride and everything seems normal. And then like a slap in the face, your Uber driver extends their arm to the backseat and hands you a flier. You learn she is some kind of beauty instructor and wants to do your makeup and hair. You wonder why she thinks you need your hair and makeup redone. You are too tipsy to fully understand what she is trying to sell you when all you want is to be dropped off in front of Mi Cocina without a pink flier advertising "Janae's Beauty Shop" in your hand.
It’s nice when you find an Uber driver who is just perfect. The next Goldilocks book will be about finding the perfect Uber driver. You and your Uber driver get along. They have an aux cord, they don’t ask you for directions, and they carry you up the stairs when you’re too drunk to walk. It’s the perfect relationship that you will one day write a soft-rock song about. But just because it’s perfect doesn’t mean it has to last longer than one Uber ride. Sometimes it gets weird when they give you their personal phone number so they can drive you around again. Isn’t that against the rules or something?
Oh, the irony. It’s a good time in history when Jehovah’s Witnesses have figured out how to stop making the long and exhausting trek from door to door and instead, just subject the unwanted to riding in a car with them. It's best to just nod and answer their questions minimally and then get the hell out of the car ASAP.