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secretly terrified of Uber

secretly terrified of Uber

Let me start by saying that I think the benefits of Uber– when its service is used ideally– are numerous.

The concept of Uber, however, somewhat outright horrifies me.

I’m sure there’s a background check required, right?  But don’t they also say, “there’s a first for everything”?  I know this applies to any- and everything in life, but–just saying– this “check” doesn’t calm my fears.

Everyone is a little nutso, and some much moreso than others.  Don’t some crazies just need to be given the right opportunity to go nutso on someone else?

There’s too much opportunity in Ubering.

When Uber first came out, it felt like an elite alternative to taking a cab.  I remember living in Philadelphia and summoning a car for the first time for a friend’s birthday celebration.  About 8 of us were headed downtown for the night, so we opted for an XL (I think that’s what they call it?).

Our ride was smooth, the driver was silent, and our 15 minute drive was $40.

We all agreed that a couple of cabs would have been cheaper.  We would have been separate for those 15 minutes, sure, but we could afford more booze thereafter.  Still, the ride was calm, custom, and cozy and so the benefits of Uber were still obvious.

Last month, at 3 am, some girlfriends and I opted for an hour-long Uber from Sarasota to Anna Maria Island.  I’m not sure of the total, but I know their prices have decreased drastically.  I’m not afraid of what the cost was, and I’m realizing I probably still owe a friend some money.

I was, however, terrified of the driver.

Nice and normal-looking, no one could have predicted he’d eventually be going 60 in a 25 mph zone.

Take a second to envision a 25 mph zone with which you’re pretty familiar.  Now picture going– not even 45– but 60 mph on that very road.

Worse, when bending with turns, he preferred to simply drive in the opposite lane rather than put in the effort to turn the steering wheel too much.

As glimpses of my entire life began to flash before my eyes, I realized I wasn’t alone as we all started to gasp and nervously ask the increasingly curious and inquisitive driver to focus less on the details of OUR night and more on the road.  He obliged each time, for at least a moment, then casually returned to questions and loss of road focus.

Was he on drugs?  Do they drug test?  Do they routinely drug test?  I thought of my 10-month-old, home and probably closer to waking up for the day at this point than going to sleep for the night.  Did I already see him for the last time?  Am I being dramatic?

Somehow, we made it back in one piece and, although I was NOT closest to the car door, I was laughably first one out and inside the house.

Perhaps most bizarre, the driver asked, before we got out, if we minded if he had a smoke before leaving the house.

Um.  Sure, now fully-weird guy.  Go ahead and stand outside our isolated, AirBnB-rented bachelorette weekend house at 3 am smoking a cigarette while our drunk asses file inside.  That doesn’t make me nervous at all.  One could appreciate him proactively informing us that he’d be sticking around after we went inside, but I likened this to murderers who simply say “you’re gonna die” to their victims.  It doesn’t make you any less creepy to give a head’s up.  It’s almost worse.

Maybe I just have too much anxiety for Uber, but as I hear more and more Uber-related news stories, I’m becoming less and less of a fan.  Stabbings?  Rapes?  Home invasions?  Kidnapping?  The customer is even becoming the creep?

Why are we all totally okay with calling a complete stranger to come pick us up, in full trust that they’ll take us where we’d like to go?

Before I met my husband, if I met a guy online (or I guess what would be considered Tinder these days), I’d cautiously decline his offer to pick me up for our first date and obviously insisted that we meet in a very public place instead.  And this was after talking and texting for days, sometimes weeks.

Yet, today, in a matter of minutes, I’m supposed to let a stranger know my exact address, tell him exactly when I’m available to come outside for his convenience, and then willfully join him in his car with full trust and a gracious smile?

Our naivety worries me.




1 thought on “secretly terrified of Uber”

  • I’ve never taken Uber, and I don’t think I ever will. I’m too distrustful of people. Though the same thing is true of AirB&B too and my mom does it. I understand and can appreciate both concepts but I just don’t have that kind of trust for strangers. (I don’t frequently take cabs either though, probably only a handful of times and most of them were when I visited Chicago and that’s a main mode of transportation.)

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