There’s no question that ride sharing apps like Uber and Lyft have totally revolutionized the taxi industry. Before these two apps, we used to rely on taxis to get us home safely after a night out. Now, with just enough cells left to operate a phone, you can take a break from texting your ex, stumble out of the bar and request a ride home.
Before this, we used to have to rush to get a taxi before everyone else or in the case that there were none just waiting outside the bar, you had to memorize numbers for local companies. Not to mention each driver would give a shitty attitude as if you had some nerve getting in their cab and asking them to do what it is they were lined up outside the bar to do. The whole process was highly inconvenient and unpleasant. But despite it’s flaws, the best part of the taxi era was the anonymity. You could enter a cab a total stranger and leave with the same reputation. If you were lucky, you’d never seem them again. You could keep this going week after week with different cab drivers.
There also was no rating system that ranked both drivers and riders on their performance. There was no forced small talk. None of that “so how long you been driving cabs?” It was an unspoken agreement that the driver would get you to your destination no questions asked, literally. Your appearance, ability to hold a conversation, overall demeanor or behavior didn’t matter.
These new ride sharing apps changed all that. The rating system holds everyone accountable, and it sucks. Sure it’s nice to know you have a quality driver, but this is awful for us riders. The pressure is now on us riders to keep our 5.0 ratings. We now have to impress the drivers and step our game up. I no longer dress up to go out, I dress up to look good for the uber driver. Will I undue a extra button and show more chest hair if it means getting a perfect rating? You bet your ass I will.
Bad jokes? Can’t afford to test them on a driver. You wanna test out new material then you go to the comedy club. Bad jokes make people uncomfortable which can cost you some rating points. Dirty jokes are ok if you know they’re funny and you’ve felt out the drivers sense of humor. There’s only so much “how long you been doing uber” can tell about someone’s personality so probably best to leave the dirty jokes at home.
Now that anonymity is out the window, you can’t do anything that you can’t walk away from or could make the driver kick you out. Can’t puke in or outside the uber. Can’t make out (with another rider not the driver). Even a stinky fart that lingers after you leave could give you a terrible rating.
On the flip side, we now have the opportunity to rate our drivers. Most riders are pretty generous with their 5 star ratings, so if they have a pretty low score than you know they’re pretty bad at their job. This rating system now gives us the chance to collectively fire bad drivers. Incredibly rude and offensive? Take a hike. Creeping on passengers? Buh-Bye. Want to argue with me that a road I drive down every day is closed and a much faster route? Sianara! Want to offer passengers drugs and hookers? No 5 stars for you pal, you’re getting 6 stars. Great job. Teach the others.
Sure, as a human being, we should all just be on our best behavior and respectful at all times. After all, it is there property and you shouldn’t do anything to it that you wouldn’t want done to your own car. But there’s some douchebags out there that ruin it for all of us so now we have to live under this 5 star rating system to keep society in check.
This of course does not apply to Uber Eats or any of those food delivery services. I absolutely will not put on pants or walk anywhere past my front door to get my food. All effort should be performed by the driver and any effort required on my end will be met with a negative rating.