The Lyft driver says he has done more than 8,500 rides on the platform.
“No way,” I say.
“No joke, bro.”
“Well, I guess you would have the data to back it up.”
“Oh, I have the data.”
“You must have some crazy stories.”
“Like you would not believe.”
“The thing is, 99 percent of the people are good people, nice people. You understand? They want a safe ride and a good chat, so we are in business, as they say.”
He explains how he came to America six years ago from India, how he enjoys learning about his new country from the people he drives, and how he’s never once experienced any kind of hatred because he’s an immigrant.
“Not once, bro,” he insists. “But there are some people, a very small group, who… they are entitled, ok. With them, it is like I don’t exist because I am their servant. I am nothing to them, bro.”
He tells me about a drunk woman who passed out in his car.
“She could not walk, so I had to get her inside. I carried her.”
“You carried her?”
“Up three flights of stairs, bro. Then she got inside her apartment and she went right to the floor. I couldn’t leave her there, so I carried her to the couch.”
“Then I took photos of where I had been in her apartment, of her purse where I left it, and of her on the couch, sleeping safely.”
“Why did you do that?”
“I have to protect myself. A criminal does not photograph a crime scene and send it to the authorities. I took the photos and sent them to Lyft immediately so they would have a record.”
His logic is good and I’m impressed he had the presence of mind to document the situation, so I ask how he knew to do that.
“It’s a common thing, bro. I’ve carried a lot of drunk passengers to their doors or inside. It’s happened to all the drivers I know, so we have an unofficial procedure, understand?”
“Wow. That’s nuts.”
“If they are drinking too much, that is like a warning there could be a problem.”
“Like the drunk Taco Bell executive who punched a driver.”
“Yes! You have seen this video?”
“Yes. That guy was an asshole.”
“Yes! An asshole. That is why I have the dashboard camera. A police officer told me, anyone starts acting rude, turn it on just to be safe.”
“But you’ve never had anyone get violent?”
“Oh yes I have. You will laugh at the reason. He wanted me to drive him to Jack N The Box, go to the drive-thru, and pay for him because he did not have cash.”
“And that got violent?”
“Yes. Because I refused so he began hitting me. I got out of the car and opened his door to get him out, but he kept hitting me.”
“What did you do?”
“I said, sir, you must stop this.”
“Did he stop?”
“No, so I punched him. I knocked him out.”
“I am an amateur boxer,” he says, pointing to a pair of miniature boxing gloves hanging from the mirror.”
“Yes, my coach gave me the gloves, like a deterrent, but I do not think he saw them because he did not really see me, you understand?”
“I understand. What happened with the guy?”
“Oh bro, it’s a sick joke. I took him to the hospital because he was knocked out. I called the police to be safe. They said, it’s not your fault, basically he is a drunk asshole. But I don’t want to press charges; live and let live, that’s how it goes.”
“I feel a but coming on.”
“Yes, a but. Here is the but. He sues Uber and they ban me from the platform, so now I only drive Lyft. 8,500 rides, 4.9 star average.”
“Wow, you really do have the data.”
“I have the data, bro.”