Conversations in My Camry, continues…
Not all conversations are in person, or with another person. I often talk to myself as I’m driving around town trying to figure out why my GPS is not leading me to where the rider(s) is waiting.
One evening I was summoned to the corner of S. Tryon and 6th St. I waited. No one approached my car. So I called the rider.
“I’m at the ale house,” he said.
“Um, where is that? Is it on Tryon?” I asked.
“I don’t know, I’m from out of town.”
“OK – well I will try to find you.” So I hung up and went around another block, coming up on 4th street. Although there are street lights, it was still hard to scan the names of the buildings while also watching out for cars moving in and out of the lanes. Oh, and then also look for someone who needs a ride.
Incoming call from my rider, “are you still going to pick me up?”
“Yes, I’m trying to find you. I’m sorry but my gps took me to Tryon and 6th. Can you give me another landmark to look for?”
“Across from the Bank of America.”
“OK.” And finally, I pulled up and found the rider. He got in the car and I apologized again for not locating him. He was from out of town, but had lived in Charlotte years ago. (But apparently didn’t know the streets and landmarks any better than me.) As I went to drop him off at his hotel, I said that I hoped he wouldn’t give me a bad rating because Uber had messed up the directions. He said, “Not a problem. Thanks for the ride.”
Whew, I was glad that turned out well. Another time I received a ping on 5th St and S. Caldwell. I wasn’t too far away and turned right on 5th and drove down the street but didn’t see anyone looking for a ride. So I called the rider, “I think I must have passed you. Where are you standing?”
“I’m on 5th Street.” (Apparently she wasn’t sure herself).
I responded, “I’ll swing by again and see if I can find you.” As I drove up 6th St, I got a ping –
‘Rider Canceled. We’ll find you another rider.’
One night I went out and it was just starting rain. Some have told me that I’ll get more riders when it’s either cold, raining or both.
I had dropped off a university student at his dorm when I received a ping to pick up another less than a mile away. I drove over to the apartment complex and found the building number, though I have no clue which door the student will appear at. So I backed my car up to the far end of the building and then slowly pulled forward. I saw a couple guys getting groceries out of their car, but no one who appeared to be looking for a ride. As I was about to call – the message appeared – ‘Ride canceled.’ I guess it wasn’t because I couldn’t find the person, but still frustrating to go somewhere and then not have a rider to take places.
I left the university area and heading down to NoDa. As I was coming up North Davidson, I got a ping – with an address. So I slowly drove up the street which was lined on both sides with parked cars. It’s a busy place. I kept an eye on my gps to see where about the holder of the cell phone might be standing. When I didn’t see anyone, I turned the car around but stopped briefly on the other side of the street. I was just about to go when..
Suddenly there were people climbing into my car.
I was glad I realized that before driving off. I checked their names to make sure I had the right riders – and then we were on our way.
It’s a good habit to get in to – to ask the names of the people getting in your car. I was picking up a rider in uptown Charlotte one evening. A man approached my car and opened the back door. I was just going to ask for his name when another man came up behind him and said, “This is my ride.” I asked his name, and yes, he was my rider. The other man walked away.
Hope you’re enjoying my adventures. The lesson in this post is to be willing to contact the rider, to make sure you’re able to locate them the first time. Also, if someone cancels on you, just keep driving. We all learn by doing.
What would be your pet peeve if you were an Uber driver? Leave your comments below.