The Nicest Driver
Drivers don’t get enough credit. Some of them go to great lengths to take care of their passengers. Duc (not real name) is one of these drivers. On a recent trip into Washington DC he shared something he had done to help out a passenger, unfortunately without any appreciation.
Bryan: Hi Duc, how are you doing? Do you always drive in the mornings?
Duc: I used to drive in the evenings but it was too crazy. Now I mostly drive in the mornings. I got up at 4:30, exercised, had breakfast, and now you are my first passengers.
Bryan: You are more of a morning person than I am. Do you drive for both Uber and Lyft?
Duc: Just Uber. I get more rides than with Lyft.
Bryan: And how long have you been driving?
Duc: About four years.
Bryan: That’s a long time! What kind of passengers do you like and not like?
Duc: Most passengers are fine and I enjoy talking to them. I don’t like it though when they are always telling me what to do. Sometimes they yell at me when I slow down to go over a speed bump. Or sometimes I have a passenger already and then guys I don’t know jump into the backseat and tell me to drive them somewhere and they will pay me cash. Uber drivers don’t handle cash and anyways people shouldn’t just jump into the car like that.
Bryan: I didn’t know that ever happened.
Duc: It does. Also, sometimes passengers threaten to give you bad ratings for not driving just the way that they want. They don’t realize that we rate passengers too. If a passenger has a low rating, drivers won’t want to pick them up.
Bryan: What’s the strangest thing that has happened while you were driving?
Duc: I picked up a passenger who was very drunk – and he got me pulled over by the police twice. He saw a cop and he hung his head out the window and was waving his arms around like I had kidnapped him. So the police officer stopped me – and the guy was in the back pretending like he was sleeping. I told the police offer the passenger was drunk and I was taking him home. Then I was getting ready to go on the highway and he did it again so another police officer pulled me over. I told the guy if he did that one more time, I was going to drop him off at the place where I picked him up.
Bryan: That must have been really hard to focus on driving with a guy like that in the back seat.
Duc: Wait, there’s more. I got home at 4:30 and was getting ready to sleep when my phone rang. It was the same guy and he was saying he must have left his wallet in the car. Sure enough, it was on the floor in the back. He pleaded with me to bring him his wallet because he had an early flight that he couldn’t miss. I drove 45 minutes to his house in Herndon. I go up to the door and knock. His wife opens the door, grabs the wallet out of my hand, and slammed the door shut in my face. No thank you or anything. Then I drove home and went to sleep. That was an hour and a half extra I spent in the car to give him his wallet.
Bryan: I think you may be the nicest driver ever.
Duc: Unfortunately, his wife didn’t seem to think so.
Bryan: Your name is Vietnamese, right?
Duc: That’s right.
Bryan: Outside Alexandria, we have a lot of Korean restaurants. I wish we had more Vietnamese restaurants, though. We do have some decent Thai places.
Duc: I ate at a Thai restaurant the other day and it was very, very spicy. The server saw I was suffering and she brought me over a bunch of basil and told me to eat it. She said trust me, eat this and you will feel better. She was right. It made the burning go away.
Bryan: I usually eat cucumber slices for that. But I’ll try basil sometime. That’s my stop over there. I’m going to make sure I have my wallet before I get out!