Due to my occupation, I have no issue with declaring myself an American hero. And yes, I’m talking about my current job, not my former job as a United States Marine. From 2010 through 2014, I served the greatest country on earth as a Marine stationed out of San Diego. With one deployment thrown into my experiences, I consider every good thing I’ve done in that arena to be a team effort. After my separation from the Marine Corps, I embarked on a new journey that led me to the throne of heroism I sit atop five days a week for five hours at a time. Of course, that throne I speak of is that of an Uber driver.
Settle down, everyone. Your applause isn’t needed. I do this not because of the dollar per mile fare, but because I care. Sure, it’s the easiest job in the world. Throughout my rides, I converse with people and my phone tells me where to go: I’m a glorified monkey behind a wheel. But it’s not the work itself, it’s the meaning that makes us Uber drivers heroic. I look to you, twenty-something female with a broken heel and what appears to be throw up in your hair. Where would you end up every Friday night/Saturday morning if it wasn’t for us? There’s a laundry list of possibilities, but without the oh-so-important Uber driver, I can tell you that you most likely wouldn’t get back to your apartment in one piece. Seeing as how you stumbled onto your yard a couple times on the way to the door, one piece could be debated, but I digress.
Now I look to you, thirty-something dude wearing an Affliction tee and sparkly jeans. I know you don’t think you were too old for that bar, and I definitely know (from him repeatedly telling me) that you got kicked out because you may have had one too many jager bombs and punched a bar back because he bumped into you. You have enough issues tonight, do you really need to walk home, get a DUI, or have to suffer through a taxi? I’d venture to say no, and I’d venture to say you think I’m your hero.
Lastly, I look to you, college-aged girl whose mascara is running and has watery eyes. You just broke up with your boyfriend of three and a half weeks? He cheated on you with a Pi Phi at their mixer? That son of a bitch. You can do so much better. As soon as I offer you my kind words of encouragement and tell you that life will get better, I might as well have gotten my doctorate in Psychology. I’m your personal therapist for this four-minute ride across campus. You tell a complete stranger all of your trials and tribulations and leave out no details and feel completely comfortable doing so. Why? Because I’m a fucking Uber driver.
Sure, I’d love to be at happy hour on a Thursday evening, sipping a marg with my friends. But there’s a 3X multiplier and tons of people who demand my help. I put my selfish dreams aside for the moment in order to tame the debauchery that is Scottsdale, Arizona. You need my transportation. You crave my wisdom. And for 20 hours a week, I’m happy to oblige your wishes with my Toyota Corolla. I’m not necessarily the hero you all deserve, but I’m the hero you need. .
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