Passengers who use Uber and Lyft love to share their “crazy” stories with friends and family. Insane Uber passenger “Story Times” have blown up on YouTube. What passengers might not know is that Uber drivers may have some even crazier stories. Chapman students Michael Khuraibet, Zoe Nixon, and Rudy Juarez-Pinedo have driven for Uber, UberEats, and Lyft. They shared their most exciting stories with Prowl.
Driving the Getaway Car for a Drug Run
It was a hot summer day. My phone rang and my next pick-up showed on the screen (Let’s call her Sarah). I saw her picture, but it turned out [that] Sarah was a guy. He got inside and as we were driving he asked, “Can you cancel the ride, and then I’ll pay you in cash?” I thought it seemed a little fishy, but I needed the money. I said, “Okay.” Then he explained to me, “This is my girlfriend’s account. Right now, she doesn’t have any money in her back account, so I don’t want her to be overdrawn, but I have money and I’ll give you cash if you just take me to the location.” So I said, “Sure.”
He gave me $40 in cash and I took him to this liquor store. While I waited for him, I noticed that he was talking to some guy and they did a drug exchange. I started sweating, thinking, “Oh, sh*t – I’m a part of a drug run. I have to play it cool.” I thought, if I get in trouble, that’s it, I’m gonna get arrested. And Lyft wasn’t affiliated, because I canceled the job.
He came back over, sat down, and he asked, “Okay, can you drop me off at my house?” I said, “Yeah, sure.” I played it cool. Then we’re driving and he said, “You don’t mind if I do some in the back seat, do you?” I was freaking out, but I played it cool. I’ve never done drugs, but I told him, “I would be down, but I have other customers after you so I need the backseat clean.” He was like, “No worries man, no worries.” I dropped him off, he gave me an extra tip, and that was it. That was definitely the craziest thing I’ve ever done, and the stupidest. I’ll never do that again.
– Rudy Juarez-Pinedo, Junior, Broadcast Journalism and Documentary Major
PSA: Marijuana is NOT an Acceptable Tip
I had to deliver to somebody who offered me marijuana, which I declined. I thought, “That was weird to offer your driver. How about a tip instead?” I’d rather have cash because I delivered something to you. But, that’s the vibe I get when I deliver UberEats to people who I perceive to be college students.
– Michael Khuraibet, Junior, Broadcast Journalism and Documentary Major
UberEats Driver Cancelation options do not include, “I’ve just been hit by a car”
I was rear-ended [on the way to an] UberEats delivery before and Uber did nothing for me. It was so frustrating. The hit-and-run happened and there were plenty of witnesses, but the guy just drove off. I couldn’t believe someone hit my car at a major intersection, clear as day, and then just drove off. What kind of person has the gaul to do that? I pulled over and was screaming across the street, asking people if they got a video or a license plate or anything. Nothing. Later, I found out that Uber’s liability doesn’t cover whatever I went through. The worst part was that I still had to finish the trip. If you go to report an issue or cancel the order, as a driver, the cancelation list doesn’t include, “I’ve just been hit by car.” I made four dollars off that trip.
– Michael Khuraibet
Tips Buy Engagement Rings
People should be aware that Lyft doesn’t pay well, so give me the tip! Some of the other drivers that I hear have different chargers for phones, candy, and gum – they have everything there to help you have a good day and all they would like is just a couple of bucks in return. Some guy I knew, the only reason he was driving was to save up money to buy a ring for his fiancé. He drove on the weekends and evenings, and he didn’t tell her that he was doing that.
– Rudy Juarez-Pinedo
One night, I picked up a group of really drunk guys from somewhere in downtown Long Beach. One of them was pretty flirty. His friends were like, “Dude, what are you doing? Why are you hitting on this girl?” During the ride, he asked, “Are you seeing anyone?” I said no and he was like, “Really?” And I said, “No, I don’t really have time.”
At the end of the ride, his friends were getting out, but he said, “Wait, I’m gonna stay here and talk to Zoe for a second.” He turned to me and was like, “You’re not interested in seeing anyone?” I said, “I’m really busy at the moment.” I was thinking, please don’t ask me out, you’re super drunk. Then he said, “When you find someone, I hope he treats you well like the princess that you are because that’s what you deserve. I hope you have a wonderful night.” I was like, “Wow, that ended a lot better than I thought it would.” I said to him, “You’re so sweet, have a good night.” I still think about him, because it was actually kind of nice. I wonder where he is now.
– Zoe Nixon, Senior, Communications Studies Major
Not Your Typical Business Card
I had to pick up this group of really drunk kids from downtown Fullerton. When I got there, I saw there were a lot of them. I drive a Prius, so there are only five seats, but we ended up fitting one more person in. I said, “Maybe I shouldn’t have done that.” But everything was fine. By the end of the ride, one of the guys said, “Here’s this business card, read it out loud.” He handed me a card and it said, “You are f*cking awesome,” on it. I was like, “That’s kind of nice, but also so weird.”
– Zoe Nixon
That Moment When a Celebrity is in Your Back Seat
I was driving in LA, and I recognized [a rider’s] picture. While I was driving, I was like, “I think I know who this is.” By the end of the ride, I asked, “This is really random, but did you open for 5 Seconds of Summer like two years ago?” He said, “Oh, yeah.” I said, “Yeah, I remember you. This is weird, but have a good night. Keep making music.” That’s the most LA thing that’s ever happened to me.
– Zoe Nixon
Did Your Mom UberEats You a Happy Meal? In Kindergarten?
While I was driving for UberEats, I had to deliver to this Catholic elementary school. A parent had ordered a Happy Meal for their student who was in kindergarten. I knocked on the office door and said, “Hi, I’m dropping this off.” They asked, “What’s the name of the student?” I said, “Sonya.” They asked, “Sonya, who?” I said, “I don’t know.” When you say that to a school official, obviously they’re going to be concerned. I showed them my phone and I said, “I think this is the parent that placed the order.” They looked at it and I asked, “Can you take it?” They said, “Yeah, we’ll take it.” I don’t know [if] the food ever got to the child. That’s funny for me to think about: this office worker at a Catholic school who had to be like, “I better check this out, just to make sure it’s safe.”
– Michael Khuribet
Chapman Students vs. Other College students
Chapman students were actually fine. I wasn’t around for Thirsty Thursdays or any greek parties, so the people I drove were great. They were mostly going to hang out with their friends at Disneyland. I’ve had frat guys from Cal State Long Beach in my car once. They got into my car and one of them pretended to have an accent and he told me he was from “Wakanda.” I said, “I’m not dumb, I’ve seen Black Panther.”
– Zoe Nixon