I have always been a fairly social person and enjoy meeting new and interesting people. I love volunteering for the local festivals in the area, Celtic Classic, Musikfest, & Oktoberfest to name a few, because it is fun and just another way to meet more people. Then, when I started to get the idea to Uber, I thought, now here is a chance to meet some more interesting people AND get paid. Count me In.
For the most part, when I started it was pretty much what I expected. Driving people to the airport, driving drunks home after a night of partying, driving hung over partiers back to their car the next morning, or even just driving people to work. One thing I didn’t expect was giving kids a ride to school in the morning.
One of the first times this happened, I had just got done dropping my kids off at school and figured, what the hell, let me turn the Uber app on and see if I can get any rides. Sure enough, within about 2 mins of turning the app on, I get a ping to pick someone up. Now, we live right across the river from Lehigh University, and the person I was picking up was right by the campus, so I just thought it was a college kid. WRONG.
Turns out it was a high school kid who missed his bus and needed a ride to school. I really wanted to ask him, “Is this normal? Do you take Ubers often to get to school? But like most kids just out of “Uberity” he got in the car and just put his headphones on, played on his phone and didn’t say a word until I dropped him off. Although, in his defense, he was very polite when he got out of the car, thanking me and wishing me a nice day. Such a nice young man.
Another time, there was a high school girl who was in my youngest daughters grade. Again, I had just dropped off my daughters and decided to turn the app on. I pull up to the address thinking it is just going to be someone going to work. Again, WRONG. Turns out this girl does not live that far from the school and could probably walk. Since she didnt put the headphones on as soon as she got in the car, I figured I would ask – “Do you normally take an Uber to school?” She tells me, no, it is just that she was running late, missed the bus and if she was late one more time she would get Saturday school.
Then there was the kid who I picked up a 7am and was also just going to their High School. When I picked them up, I looked at the destination real quick and recognized the school name but still hit the navigation link just so I could take the quickest route. After about a min or so into the ride I hear the GPS say, you will arrive at 10:30am. At this point, I am thinking, “3.5 hrs for a 3 mile ride – the clock on my GPS must be off. I drive a little farther and look at the GPS again and see that is says the ride will take 3.5hrs. WHAT??!!!
I pull over, and confirm where they wanted to go. They say, Easton High School, in eastern PA. Well, that was not the address they keyed in. They did keyed in the address for an Easton High School, but it was in Maryland. Luckily, we had not gotten that far and I was still able to get them to school on time.
The whole thing just kind of feels weird driving these kids around. I mean my oldest daughter just started to drive so now we don’t have to drive her around that much anymore. But now thanks to Uber, I get to drive her classmates around. On the upside, I never got paid to drive my daughters around.
Photography by Suzanne Drake Photography