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Being a Lyft driver has really opened my eyes to the world. It’s amazing what kind of different people you can drive around all weekend and realize live in the same city as you.
More importantly it’s a service that pays me weekly and helps supplement my income as a recent postgrad trying to make ends meet until my full-time gig starts in October. With that being said, here’s a few tips from your Lyft driver.
What I Notice
Yes, I can see and hear you drunkenly making out with your date in the back of my car. No, you are not smooth at all when it comes to being drunk in the back of my car. No, I have not yet been privy to worse extracurricular activities than some smooching and I hope that continues to be the case for the foreseeable future. Let’s not cross a line here people.
I could care less where you choose to sit in my car. Front passenger seat. Back seat to have some privacy. It’s all the same to me. I’m just trying to get through your ride just as smoothly as you are. The same can be said as it relates to conversation: I’ll be pretty welcoming to you when you get in but if you’re not feeling it, go ahead and not keep the conversation going.
I’ve been playing some pretty generic music thus far while driving and will continue to do so until someone asks me to turn the music down or change my playlist. If you ask, I’m more than happy to accomodate you and if not then looks like we’re listening to 1980’s hits from some random Spotify playlist (I’ve found it has the most range as it’s considered good music for older people riding and lit “oldies” music for my fellow millennials).
As someone who’s usually doing four to six hour shifts driving around, you can imagine the hot club hits and even my own selected playlists are going to get old fast. I’ve turned to comedy specials on some nights to mix it up and I must say the reception has been very positive. Looks like John Mulaney, Tom Segura, Mike Birbiglia, and more are here to stay. Might turn to some RBP episodes pretty soon too so if you’re in Austin and get the driver playing some Micah reading rap lyrics give me a shoutout.
Directions & Driving
Ah, the really important stuff! Your driver’s directions and driving can leave even the best of us in a bad mood. We’ve all been there before.
Let’s get this straight: 100% of the time, when I pick you up, I’ve got no fucking clue where you’re going unless you tell me. You know why? Because my directions app immediately jumps to what I’m supposed to do next, whether it’s cross two lanes of traffic to turn left when I’m in the right lane or go back straight from the way I came on a single-lane two-way street that’s gonna take an extra 5 minutes to get around because you’re downtown. Work with me here.
Most of the time I don’t see the name of the bar, restaurant, or store you’re trying to get to until that is literally the stopping point in whatever shopping center or bar district we’re in. Even when we get close to the destination and you’re trying to go to, say, Chili’s or Name’s Bar/Restaurant, I’m still only seeing the address. Help a guy out and point out where we’re stopping when we get close or where you’re okay with being dropped off.
The directions app, no matter which one I’m using, sucks. As someone who doesn’t know the technology behind it, I assume the route it’s generating is the middle point between maximizing a driver’s (and effectively your app of choice’s) earnings and getting you the rider there as soon as possible.
Also, let’s be real here. You do not know where every single restaurant is located in your city, so why should I? I’m defaulting to the directions my app is going to give me 10 out of 10 times unless you speak up and tell me a different or quicker way to get to your destination.
Again, I’m here for you and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had someone misplace their drop-off pin without noticing or telling me and we head off in the wrong direction. For example, having some out of towners drop it on 6th Street in Austin intending to hit up the legendary Dirty or West Sixth and have us end up 15 blocks in the opposite direction of where the bars are located.
As a Lyft user, I’ve been there before and because of that I’m not trying to fuck over my riders and will turn off their fare so they aren’t getting charged up the ass because they weren’t paying attention. But help me out here and just throw out a casual comment about where you’re headed. Worst case scenario and your driver defaults to the app’s directions but maybe you get to your destination quicker, thus cheaper, because you said the relative direction you were going.
The whole ridesharing business is a weird concept. In each other’s eyes, we didn’t even exist until I, as the driver, accepted your ride request. Suddenly, you are a very real and tangible person getting in a complete stranger’s car with qualifications that prove just enough that I’m authorized by the state to operate a motor vehicle and said car has insurance. Pretty thin credentials there.
We’ve made it work thus far though so I say let’s keep it going. People: don’t drive drunk, pop your phone out, and choose the right service. Enjoy your weekend and leave me a five star rating..