"A guy needed a ride from a restaurant to the motel he was staying in while his house was being rebuilt after a fire.
The dude spent the whole 15-minute drive trying to convince me that he didn't burn down his house for the insurance money. Just started defending himself out of the blue as if I'd asked, 'Hey buddy, did you burn down your house for the insurance money?'
Weird. I just smiled and nodded the whole drive."
"I was driving for Uber a few years ago in Savannah, Georgia as a side hustle. One night, I picked up this couple from a bar. For simplicity, I will call them girl and boy respectively. They were both wasted and were talking really loud. The boy kicked off the convo with talking about how he ended up in Savannah. This is where I started to pay attention because he started to tell this girl that he had enlisted in the Marines to be an astronaut. He was going through his training and it was discovered that he had less than perfect eye sight. So he quit the Marines and enrolled in med school in Tennessee to be an eye doctor because he wanted to help people like him to have better eyesight. Well, he couldn't stomach operating on humans so he left med school and enrolled in veterinarian school. He then went on to say that he got bored of that and he left and moved to Savannah to go to art school.
While he was saying all of this, girl was all full of ooohhhhhs and aahhhhhs. Then, he tells her of his world travels and that's when it happened. He mentioned a particular country that he had visited that the girl had also visited all though at different times. A few years prior, there was a bomb set off in a mall there. The girl went on about how when she stayed there she was at a hotel right next to the mall in question and how it could have been her at that mall even though it was a few years before. She was legit distraught over this. Because the bombers were later identified as Muslim terrorists, the boy went on to tell the craziest thing I have heard that night. He went on to tell a story about how his cousins were in some eastern block country I can't remember right now on a mission trip. The whole town came under attack from, you guessed it, Muslim terrorist. He went on to say that he called his parents and told them what was going on with his cousins. He told the girl that his parents then called in a favor from a friend and had the CIA go in and rescue them. I then dropped them at a high-end apt complex. I honestly felt bad for this girl."
"I once picked up two gals and a guy presumably from dinner.
They all sat in the back seat which I thought was weird at first but I decided they had been drinking and just didn't realize it.
Fast forward to 5 minutes later, the two girls started kissing. I was watching the whole thing go down on my rear view mirror. My first thought was, 'Oh, it's a lesbian couple and their gay friend.'
Nope! Then he got in on the action and I couldn't keep my eyes on the road because I was BASICALLY watching soft core adult movie go down in my back seat. Not to mention they started detailing what they were gonna do when they got home.
I was very confused after I dropped them off."
"For context, the local public transport system in my city is called TransLink.
I picked up two dudes and one sat in the front, the other in back so it was kind of hard not to overhear their conversation. They were having a really intense conversation about front-seat-guy's brother who had just come out to his family over Christmas as being transgender. The front-seat-guy was fine with it but his parents were not and it sounded like a pretty tense situation. His friend, the guy in the back seat, was sympathetic saying, 'Yeah, man that's heavy... I hope it all works out.' You could tell there was a lot of emotional tension in the car.
Then, after few moments silence the friend piped up '...so does that mean she gets a discount with TransLink now?' The guy in the front seat burst out in laughter."
"I had just dropped off my last passenger for the night at MSP (Minneapolis-St. Paul) airport.
As I'm pulling away from the curb, I see a man around my age, completely in tears. Especially in a high-traffic area, I'd normally keep on moving to avoid backing-up traffic, but he's obviously in distress and I didn't want to just walk away.
I step out to ask him if he's alright, and he's mustering up everything he can to explain his situation through intermittent crying and attempts to breathe.
He apparently needs to get to Duluth, MN which is 2.5 hours away and no drivers (Uber, Lyft, shuttles, or taxis) would accept his fare, especially since it was so late at night.
Up to this point in my own life, I had been battling a deep depression, with most days leaving me feeling like I was on the losing end of an endless war, so I felt a great sense of empathy for this guy.
All he needed was a little help.
I showed him I was an Uber driver. I had the sticker on my car and the driver app. But, motioned him just to hop in and that I'd give him a lift, off-the-books, no charge.
He accepted, so we gathered his things, loaded-up, and were on our way for a road trip to Duluth.
We didn't talk. Didn't need to.
An hour in, once he collected himself and NPR started to static-out, he asked to borrow my phone, so I obliged.
Based on his conversation, he recently lost his wife of several years and their children in a car accident. He then lost his job. He lost his home. And, he was now on way to see his father who was on his deathbed in Duluth. He had sold everything in his possession to make this trip.
We pull up to the address and while unloading his things, he attempts to hand me whatever money he has left, which I wasn't going to take regardless. But his gesture, which was a sandwich bag full of mixed coins and crumpled bills, let me know how grateful he was in spite of having lost everything.
I was just happy to lift a burden off someone else's shoulders, even if only for 2.5 hours, and yet we really hadn't spoken up to this point. I went home, hugged my mom who was asleep on the couch with the tv still on, and felt fortunate that I had an opportunity to lend a helping hand to someone who needed it."
"This happened the day before Thanksgiving a few years ago. I was driving in Denver and picked up a disheveled looking middle-aged couple and twenty-something male from a relatively nice looking apartment building in a good neighborhood. They had ratty suitcases and a box or two of junk that they piled in my trunk before getting in. As soon as they got in, the smell hit me.
So they got in and immediately started talking to me. I found out that they are a divorced couple and the twenty-something was their son. I asked them if they were going on vacation for Thanksgiving and they responded, 'No, we're actually just coming back from a trip. And wait, tomorrow is Thanksgiving?' So I asked them where they went and they said they didn't go anywhere, they were just holed up in that apartment but they had to leave.
It was rush hour on one of the busiest travel days of the year. I had to drop the mom off at some fleabag motel out by the airport. It took forever. During the whole trip the dad, who was sitting in the passenger seat, was practically coughing up his lung. Meanwhile, the son was trying to have a conversation with me but could barely speak comprehensibly. Once I dropped the mom at the hotel, I had to bring dad and son to grandma's house, twenty minutes away. At this point, the dad and son just started talking to each other, about how the son was going to be checked into rehab after the weekend and dad didn't know where he was going to go.
The whole ride was extremely uncomfortable but also really sad for me. This family was completely strung out and it was obvious that the substances had really taken their toll on what could've been a relatively normal family. It was one of those moments as a driver where you get a glimpse into someone else's life that is completely different and foreign to your own.
I did over 2,500 rides in my time as an Uber driver but that one sticks out in my mind the most."
"I picked up a couple in LA early one morning. They had luggage so I popped my Jeep's power truck and the gentleman walked right up, threw his bag in the back and just jumped in the car and kinda slammed my door. He didn't help the woman with her bags. I offered to help but she said no. It was clear they were both in a terrible mood and being that it was prime time for LA traffic, I knew this was going to be a long ride to LAX.
I pulled away and after about 5 minutes of silence, the guy said, 'So this is how you're gonna be on the entire trip huh?'
The woman replied, 'Yes, because you can't apologize sincerely to me. Everything is a joke to you.'
The guy laughed it off in a smug way and she started crying shortly after. The guy said, 'Look I'm sorry ok.' I don't know what this guy did but that unconvincing sorry must have been the last straw for the woman because she went from crying to full-on angry.
She started unloading saying stuff like, 'Why are we even going on this trip? My mother doesn't even like you, I should have listened to her. You should probably check to see if the hotel has another room for you, I don't want you staying with me.'
At this point, they are full-on arguing like I am not even there, saying some personal stuff like how he can't keep it up in bed and how she cheated on him but he has no right to bring it up because they both agreed to move on from it. It was bad and at this point, I am gridlocked not moving in terrible LA traffic.
Here is where stuff hits 11 though...
The guy said, 'You know what, I don't need this, I'll jump out of the car right now and ruin the entire trip I don't care.'
And she goes, 'You don't have the courage to do that! You're a big wimp. You would never stop acting tough.'
After she said that, it was completely silent for a good 15 minutes. The radio was off so it was kinda creepy. Then, just when I thought it was all calmed down, out of nowhere the woman goes, 'See, I told ya you were a big wimp!'
I literally said, 'Ooooh. Noooo...' in my head.
The guy yelled, 'Unlock this door now.' I did and he jumped out of the car. We were still in traffic so we weren't moving.
I could not believe it. The woman said, 'Good, I'll keep going. I don't care.' But he had called the Uber and as I'm trying to process what just happened he'd canceled the ride.
She offered to pay cash but I told the woman politely that I did not feel comfortable continuing the trip after someone just jumped out. I dropped her off with the luggage at the nearest Starbucks."
"A woman in her early 20's, explaining to her daughter who must have been 4 or younger, that daddy wouldn't be coming back home because he tried to run from the cops by jumping in the river in the middle of December and froze to death.
I could tell the girl was too young to really comprehend the whole thing. The mom kept trying to explain that water was too cold and he 'got too tired to move' and 'sunk in the water.' The girl kept asking why he jumped in the water if it was cold and the mom kept trying to explain and just... ugh."
"I was driving two girls from one club to another. They were obviously hammered. They were yelling the whole time and every 10 seconds, they would scream and laugh. Then I heard one say, 'Actually, I have a quick question. Is it wrong if I slept with your fiancee?'
The other goes crazy, like the Tasmanian devil. Girl 2 was screaming, and the first was just calmly explaining to her how she has been sleeping with him for the last five months or so, like two times a week.
Needless to say, I ended that ride with only one rider, and a HUGE tip."
"My Uber driver's phone rang. She had one of those phones that connects through your car so you can take calls hands-free. She asked if she could take the call, as she was expecting a call from her son and thought it might be him. I said, of course, take the call.
She answered and an operator replied stating the call was coming from County Jail, and cost rates may apply and to press 1 to accept the call. Before she had the call connected, she quickly stated, 'My son is in jail, I don't get to talk to him much.' It was a very normal mother/son conversation. Except he was in jail. So. That was weird."
"I was the passenger. My uber driver started slow, asking if I was married, what did I do for a living, talking about how this was her side hustle etc. When I asked if she was married, she said that she wasn't any longer because: 'God was good.'
She went on to say how she'd moved from Nigeria with her then-husband to the US. She was working several jobs but he was having trouble finding one, she said. She suspected him of cheating because he'd be watching tv with her and texting. Then one day, she went to pay groceries and her card was declined. She found out their bank account had been drained. She confronted him, he had some excuses about bills that had come in. She didn't believe him, so she prayed on it. God told her to go to Radio Shack and buy a tape recorder and record his conversations. She bought it, put it under the seat of his car and waited. Every few mornings, while he was in the shower, she would change out the batteries and tape in the recorder and replace it under the seat.
As the marriage continued to deteriorate, God's plan paid off: she heard him on his cell talking to his mistress, saying how much he missed her, how he was going to buy her presents, that's where the joint bank account money was going. He said he'd meet her at McDonald's that day and they would get lunch. When he got home, his wife asked him where he'd been, he said out looking for a job. 'At McDonald's?'
The man was straight spooked.
He went out to his car that evening and told his mistress he thought something was up and that his wife must know something. How did she know where they were together? They have to be more careful.
This continued for a few weeks. She kept listening to their phone calls, dropping the occasional hint that she knew where he was going. She collected evidence- credit card receipts, etc. Even when he was extra careful, she seemed to be onto him. He started going crazy- how did she know? He got so paranoid, he broke it off with the girl. His wife finally told him she knew he was cheating, and he denied it, but he knew she knew. Her witchcraft scares the life out of him. He went along with divorce proceedings, giving her basically whatever she asked for. She never told him how she knew, never brought it up in divorce court. He moved in with the side piece, who, once he didn't have access to the joint bank account anymore, dumped him.
'God is good,' she told me. 'He showed us the path we must follow.'
"I was a passenger in an Uber in London last year. The guy driving was this pretty buff roadman type who looked like you didn't want to mess with him.
Anyway, he was on the phone to what I assume is his missus having what at first appeared to be a pretty standard conversation. I then realized he was not on the phone to his missus but it was actually his mistress who started telling him she's been offered £10k for him to kill someone. She said they need the money so that he can divorce his wife and get her into the country.
Now all of this should be a red flag to stop and get out but at this point, I'm halfway to my destination and, to be honest, gripped by this conversation.
So the guy told her he's not up for it but she convinced him to think about it. He hung up the phone and immediately called what I thought to be his actual wife. Wrong. This is mistress number 2. At this point, he starts telling her about the conversation he'd had with mistress number 1. He was saying how he was thinking about doing it but only so he could get mistress number 2 into the country rather than mistress number 1.
At this point, I get to my destination so never really got to hear how it played out and will always be left with the thought, 'How did your life get to this point mate'"
"I drive for a local cab company. It takes about 10 minutes to drive from one side of town to the next so all my fares are pretty short and I don't make that much money from it. I picked up a lady from a fast food place. While I was driving her back home, she called her significant other. She had him on speaker and told him to be outside to help bring in food.
A few blocks from the house, she was still on the phone. Her significant other said, 'Just jump out and run inside, what can the driver do?'
I glared at the passenger and called back to the passenger, 'Call the police.' She paid her fare, of course."
"I was actually the passenger, and it was the driver talking in his earpiece.
The driver looked to be in his 40s and he was apparently on the phone with a mistress, behind his wife's back.
Some juicy snippets I heard, not the exact phrases though:
'My wife saw your message last night, I told her you're a colleague, good thing you didn't send me any hearts on that message.'
'I'll tell my wife I'm busy tomorrow and she'll have to bring my son to the doctor herself.'
'I booked our tickets to (another country) already, let's go have fun! I told my wife I'm going on a fishing trip with my friends.'
'I can't leave her so easily, we have a son already. Let me think of an excuse.'"
"I picked up a guy downtown while he was FaceTiming his girlfriend with no headphones. It was about 20 miles to her place so I hit the road. She was asking him where he was and why he was so late, like hours later than they planned. I don't remember exactly what he said but it sounded like a stupid answer and a flat out lie. We got on the interstate and were about 5 miles away from her place when she told him not to come.
So we turned around and drove back the 15 miles to town and then a few miles in the opposite direction. As they were hanging up, it sounded as if she didn't want to see him again. This all went down as I'm sitting there silently driving because the radio is off so he can hear. The only thing that made it worth it was a massive surge at the time. I called it a night after that one and went home myself."
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