In the information age, Millenials have created countless social taboos and quandaries that require extensive examination and criticism. Fortunately, I have managed to amass the four most brilliant minds of in human history when it comes to dissecting the efficacy of social norms. Today the gang discovers the way we are all subtly judged: Uber Ratings.
[Jerry and Elaine sit at his table. Elaine is playing solitaire while Jerry is browsing on his iPad.]
ELAINE: I still don’t understand why you won’t give me your wifi password.
JERRY: Elaine, wifi access is a privilege, not a right, and you lost that privilege when you used my network to download the entire collection of Dr. Who.
ELAINE: For the ninth time, I did not know that show had been airing for forty years.
JERRY: My internet was crawling for a week, I couldn’t figure out why I had the Comcast guy coming out. Then out of the blue, you come over telling me you’ve been downloading night-and-day, but suddenly you don’t need to watch it.
ELAINE: Well, I mean, after Ben and I broke up there was no point. I’m not gonna watch that many episodes if I’m not gettin’ a little something something.
JERRY: Well now your wifi permission is nothing nothing.
[The front door opens. George walks in, clearly irritated, slamming the door behind him.]
GEORGE: I tell you there is no justice in this world! It’s a society of judgmental, selfish narcissists who prey on the weak. Abusing their one shred of power in an attempt to extort the less powerful! This is the beginning my friends, the creation of a caste system in this country is nigh. I tell you, Lenin is spinning in his grave!
[Jerry looks confused, while a wide grin creeps across Elaine’s face.]
ELAINE: You found out about the Uber rating system, did ya?
JERRY: [Laughing.] Oh my God, after three years of using Uber. I don’t know if you’re still on the star system anymore, Georgie. I wouldn’t be surprised if you started getting frowny faces or stormy clouds.
GEORGE: It’s so unfair. I mean, what do these drivers expect of me? Money, gifts, sexual favors? And in exchange for a meaningless, subjective measurement in their own algorithm? To pray that they manipulate their proprietary algorithm to show me favor? Well, I won’t be a party to bribery, Jerry! This is America where a man shouldn’t be denied a ride-share based on some vindictive and arbitrary rating system. Martin Luther King Jr. would never stand for this sort of discrimination.
ELAINE: Yeah, when Dr. King said he wanted his children to be judged “not on the color of their skin but the content of their character,” he definitely didn’t mean for strangers to judge each other based on how easy they are to deal with during a ten minute car ride to Laguardia.
JERRY: Come on, George, these guys aren’t giving out 5-star ratings in exchange for lobster dinners. I mean I never talk to my Uber driver, and I’m sitting at a respectable 4.6 rating.
ELAINE: You don’t talk to your Uber driver during the ride?
JERRY: What am I gonna talk to a stranger about for ten minutes?
ELAINE: Make small talk?
JERRY: Their whole life is small talk, what do I have to be the tenth guy that day to comment on how much traffic there is on Broadway? Let’s all just admit that we don’t have any interest in the lives of strangers and embrace the uncomfortable silences. Whether it be Ubers, plane rides, on the subway, haircuts, or waiting in line at the DMV. I say, down with small talk!
ELAINE: Such a noble cause for you to champion. Please make sure I get an invite to your $1,000 per plate fundraising dinner. [She turns back to George.] But he is right, George, you don’t have to be Mr. Congeniality to get a decent rating, just be nice to the driver and don’t make the ride too difficult. I mean even you can do that right?
[Jerry and Elaine exchange a brief look before bursting into laughter.]
GEORGE: Oh yeah, laugh it up! Meanwhile, I’m sitting here waiting 20 minutes for a driver to accept my fare.
JERRY: 20 minutes for a fare? Alright, out with it. What’s the score?
GEORGE: [He hesitates, then lowers his eyes before answering softly.] 1.3.
[Jerry and Elaine begin laughing again, even harder than before.]
ELAINE: I didn’t even know that you could have a rating that low!
JERRY: I heard about a guy who had a rating in the 2s once, but I assumed that was an urban legend.
GEORGE: You see! You see how I’ve been targeted! Everyone else in the world gets a fair shake, meanwhile, I get put at the center of this massive corporate conspiracy.
JERRY: Conspiracy to do what?
GEORGE: To make me suffer. To play with a man the way a cat plays with a mouse, and watch me squirm just to revel in their power.
ELAINE: You don’t think it could be because you’re sometimes a bit difficult to deal with.
GEORGE: Not difficult enough to warrant a 1.3.
JERRY: Well let’s take a look.
[He walks over to the counter and pours himself a glass of water.]
JERRY: Have you, or have you not, requested an Uber driver make a right on red, despite a sign explicitly stating that was not permitted?
GEORGE: There were barely any pedestrians in that crosswalk, no one got hurt!
ELAINE: Is it true that at one point you were riding in an Uberpool, with a lovely young lady who happens to be present right now, and bribed the driver not to accept another pickup because it would cause a seven-minute detour?
GEORGE: Hey, that was his choice!
ELAINE: Well tell me, sir, after making this “deal” with the driver, did you happen to follow through with your promise to tip him?
GEORGE: I didn’t know you couldn’t tip through the app!
ELAINE: But that’s because you’ve never even tried to leave a tip through the app, isn’t it?
[George has clearly had enough. He stands in a huff and walks straight for the door.]
JERRY: Finally, is it true or is it false that you once forced an Uber driver to commit several traffic violations, including driving down a one-way street in the wrong direction, blocking an intersection, and cutting off an ambulance, by telling him that your wife, who does not exist, had just been rushed to the hospital after suffering a stroke?
[George flings open the door and steps into the hallway. He looks back and shouts one last retort before storming off.]
GEORGE: Well that was all because of your incessant and hysterical whining that we were gonna be late! You know that without my actions we would have missed the beginning of Batman vs. Superman!
[After George has left, Elaine turns to Jerry.]
ELAINE: Batman vs. Superman?
JERRY: I didn’t know it was gonna be that bad. In fairness to him, we made it to the Upper East Side in ten minutes that day. .