I’d like to think I’m a relatively low-maintenance individual.
I’m self-sufficient and my diaper only needs to be changed once per day.
Which is why I was stunned to find out that I have a really low Uber rating–and I’m not an Uber driver.
How is that possible? (you say)
Ratings are out of 5.
Now, if you’re an Uber driver and your rating is below 4.7, they tie you to the back of an UberXL (the big ones) and drag you around the greater metropolitan area til you give better service and/or fire you and take away your iPhone.
what did I ever do to forsake you
It’s a good idea so that drivers provide the best service.
But I’m a passenger.
And according to Uber drivers, I suck.
Needless to say, I’m inconsolable.
I found some tips online to see how you can earn a high passenger rating:
- Compliment their car or music
- Ask them about themselves (how are you doing, where are you from, how long have you been driving)
- Make small talk (how about this crazy weather/traffic/drunk people, do you have any weird stories, have you ever been to place xyz)
- Tell them a little about yourself or where you just came from/are going to
- Have the address of your destination or tell the driver how to get there
- Leave a tip for efficient service
- Don’t throw up in the back seat
Ok, let’s go through these one by one.
- Compliment their car or music: I’m a car nut and like to use UberX most frequently (cuz I’m also cheap) so I get a wide variety of cars. 9 out of 10 times I will either compliment the car or make a generic positive compliment about it. Am I too cloying? As far as music, the only things I’ve heard in an Uber are Top 40 or Top 40 Dance Remixes. So unless Katy Perry is driving me, I’m probably not going to compliment their music preference for “the stuff everyone is listening to”.
- Ask them about themselves (how are you doing, where are you from, how long have you been driving): I come from a long line of Torosian men having in-depth conversations with strangers. Check.
- Make small talk (how about this crazy weather/traffic/drunk people, do you have any weird stories, have you ever been to place xyz): I literally can think of one Uber ride where I didn’t talk to the driver. One out of dozens, and now that I remember it, I DID talk but it was a 40 minute drive and I was reading emails in the backseat so I wasn’t my gabby self. I got the same driver again and he was really nice so I doubt he tanked my rating.
- Tell them a little about yourself or where you just came from/are going to: I do this in 7 out of 10 rides because the other 2 out of 10 rides have painfully quiet drivers who either grunt occasionally or respond in a halted, mousy voice. No dice, suggestor of these tips!
- Have the address of your destination or tell the driver how to get there: Unless the driver is telepathic, the whole idea of it is to tell the driver how to get someplace they’re taking you.
- Leave a tip for efficient service: You can’t leave tips for Uber drivers. Trust me, I’ve tried.
- Don’t throw up in the back seat: shit.
It was a late night, I ate some room-temperature tuna appetizers (one of the only times in my life I’ve literally tasted myself getting food poisoning), and when the driver showed up he took the absolute wrong route back to my apartment.
We were at Hollywood and Vine. Hollywood.
I lived off San Vicente and Wilshire. Brentwood.
You can reach that destination a variety of ways, namely taking Sunset Blvd, Santa Monica Blvd, Wilshire Blvd, Olympic Blvd, or if there’s traffic and you dislike anything remotely scenic, Pico Blvd.
where scenery goes to die
Or if you enjoy beatings, the 10 Freeway.
also known as an “LAPD Thank You”
So with all those options available, bizarrely, our driver chose to take the 101.
Through the Valley.
To the 405.
Back down into Brentwood.
That’s a 20 mile drive.
On surface streets, it’s about 9 miles.
I remember spending most of the trip feeling like dying, and I remember protesting loudly when we obviously weren’t taking a sane route back home, and I remember being so dizzy and sick I slumped against the glass most of the drive.
Instead of taking 30-45 minutes, it took an hour and a half.
Relief came when I saw the Getty.
*insert Hallelujah chorus here*
And then for the first time in my life, I projectile vomited.
I felt terrible, and offered to pay the driver cash on the spot to clean it up and for his obvious inconvenience (tuna appetizer in the backseat of his Uber–wait, that stuff’s expensive. He should be paying ME)
He kindly refused the money and said Uber would pay to clean it up.
So, it looks like Uber took the money out of my passenger rating.
I still believe in Uber and it’s saved my butt (and other body parts) in more situations that I can count.
Anyway, if you haven’t signed up for Uber, then 1) shame on you cuz it rocks and 2) use this coupon code when you sign up: