It Shouldn’t Happen To A Lyft Driver: Of Ratings And The Kenyan Octopus

Everything Is So Pink In LyftHere is an interesting little fact that I discovered during my time as a Lyft Driver: 90% of single female passenger pick-ups, the female will sit in the front seat of the car next to me, while 95% of male passenger pickups the passenger will sit in the backseat. That being said, welcome of the next installment of is shouldn’t happen to a Lyft Driver, as I retell some of my more interesting adventures in ride-sharing – so join me after the jump and we will begin.

Of Ratings

Every Thursday Lyft Drivers get their rating summary email, I always viewed this email with mixed emotion, not because as a Lyft Driver you had to maintain a 4.7 rating or higher to not be suspended (yes, your rating is that important!), but because of some of the asinine negative feedback you would get.

By asinine, I mean comments like… Didn’t like the drivers music selection (obviously not a fan of 80’s rock), driver refused to let me smoke (want to smoke, walk), driver told terrible jokes (all the time… suck it up buttercup), driver’s car smells of wet dog (we are not allowed to refuse passengers with pets), car smelled of weed (last passenger was a pothead and I hate the smell as much as you), didn’t like the drivers shirt (obvious fashion critic) etc… etc..

I was amazed at what people would criticize the ride about, if I was a sensitive guy I would take it all personally.

A Retort Of Sorts

Do you remember what the old style taxi cabs used to look like? Like driving pools of puke, even now some mini-cabs look like trash heaps. You took a Lyft, because we are more responsive and 90% of the time faster, cheaper than a regular cab and 100% cleaner than most. In the end I have taken 667 successfully rides without incident, or breaking of traffic laws from point A to point B, while the PAX have ranged from sober, to drunk, to completely high.

All the time during this ride, we are trying to keep us both safe, keeping an eye on the other cars on the road, hoping you are not going to be sick in our car, hoping we don’t get carjacked, hoping you are not going to attack us and wondering if the GPS will drop us in the right location. The only thing we are not worrying about is if you like our music choice.

We Can Rate You Back

It is true, as Drivers we get to rate the PAX back with a score between 1 & 5. As a Lyft Driver I give you a score of five, because you didn’t try to kill me, of which my wife and myself are very, very grateful, you will only ever get a one because you did something really, really bad. Thankfully, I have given the one rating less than half-a-dozen times, but that is a story for another time.

The Kenyan Octopus

In my FAQ I said that during my time as a Lyft Driver I have been hit on, this wasn’t an idle boost, it actually is a thing that happens. Since I am English, I cannot help but think of the bad sex farce ‘Confession’ movies made in the late 70’s. So, let me tell you the story of the Kenyan Octopus and a journey down a very, very odd rabbit hole.

It all started around 2.30am on a Sunday Morning in March, I had pretty much finished doing my Lyft Driving for the night and had turned the Car nose back home. I had not turned off the App, and just as I was about to push the offline button, when I got a ride request. Fairly local to where I live, it was a bar, so I accepted figuring it would make for the last ride of the night.

I arrive at the bar, hit the arrive button and wait, and just before the clock runs down out comes this petite woman carrying two roses, who gets in the front seat of my car. Nothing unusual about that, a lot of single woman do this. I bring up the destination, confirm it, ask her to put her seat belt on and off we go. On the way I learn she is from Kenya and she gives me one of the two roses, a little unusual, but she is a little drunk, so I just say thank you and keep driving.

About a minute later, her hand touches my knee and she looks at me. At this point I don’t actually know what to do, so I laugh, make a bad joke and her hand is withdrawn. A minute later the hand reappears, this time I ask her to please keep her hands to herself as I am driving. This seemed to signal for a full on handsy assault, it was thankfully a five-minute ride to her apartment complex, of which it felt like it was fending off an octopus, and I pretty much ended the drive almost sitting outside the driver’s door to keep away from her.

Yep… It was very uncomfortable…

I get our Kenyan Octopus to her destination, tell her we are here and her hand goes on the inside of my thigh, and she asks if I would like to come in for coffee. I thank her nicely and say I am married, and I have another scheduled pick-up to make (I lied about the pick-up, but any excuse to get out of there), she gives me her phone number, insisting I put it in my phone, see’s me do it and then leaves. I watch her go into her apartment (to make sure she is safe), delete the phone number, give her a five-star rating (hey, she didn’t try to kill me), switch off the app and go home.

I get home give the rose to my wife and tell her the story of my encounter with the Kenyan Octopus

A week later I get my ratings review email, I notice one negative rating with comment, ‘Driver refused to come in for coffee.’

It really shouldn’t happen to a Lyft Driver…


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About Nick

Just an Englishman lost in the USA who happens to write now and again... Anyone got a cup of tea?

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