Who Ruined My Uber Rating? Or, a Modern Tragedy8 August 2016
I have been betrayed by an Uber driver, which is a thoroughly modern concept. I am a five-star Uber customer. This is a fact. Yet, to my astonishment, I have recently discovered my rating has dropped to 4.7. There are four possible suspects. These are their stories.
Abdullahi – $8.89
It was 3am when I jumped in Abdullahi’s Hyundai, and he immediately began an interrogation. Family? Yes. Friends. Yes. University? Yes. Friends at University? I eat lunch alone every day.
“Why would you go to university when you could drive Uber, my friend? At the end of three years, I have $100,000 and you owe $100,000!” He cackled.
Every time he laughed he shook his head softly, like he was always on the verge of muttering, “The Gods must be crazy”.
He dropped me at my cousin’s flat in Brunswick. As I walked away, he wound down the window and called out, “Good luck with debt, Uni Boy!”
He drove away, his laugh echoing down an empty Sydney Road. My confidence destroyed, I gave him five stars.
Janice – $19.27
Janice looked like a Muppet had come to life and began voting for the Nationals. I was waiting in front of a local scout hall when she skidded up in her Prius. I could hardly fit in the front seat, as it had been pushed all the way forward.
I asked her if I could move my seat backwards a little. She shook her head, explaining that her cat got claustrophobic. On cue, a meow emerged from the back seat.
She slowly tapped my destination into her GPS, and we set off. I told her that it was taking us the long way but she demanded that we follow her path. She drove ten kilometres under the speed limit the entire time, accumulating a seething convoy of cars behind us. She leaned across to me and smiled.
“I hope you know how important five star ratings are. I’ve lost my accreditation before because people think it’s a joke and kept marking me down. You’ll give me five stars, right?” The cat meowed again.
In front of my friend’s house, Janice bade me farewell and reminded me about rating her highly. I desperately wanted to mark her down but I’m a weak man. Five stars.
Rajthilak – $13.27
Rajthilak picked me up from Lilydale train station late one Saturday. I’d bought two cheeseburgers at Southern Cross Station, eaten one and stashed the other in my jacket pocket. It was to be my treat for making it home.
He was a timid Uber driver and barely responded to my standard Uber passenger questions.
I wondered why he was so quiet. Perhaps he was depressed to find himself in Lilydale so late on a Saturday night. Whenever I tried to find myself in Lilydale, I also ended up depressed. I sympathised with him. I’d had too much to drink.
In the silence of Rajthilak’s Toyota, it soon became apparent that every few second he took a few sharp breaths through his nose, like he was sniffing. Either he could smell my pocket cheeseburger or he had a shocking cocaine habit.
This was an easy rating. If he could smell my cheeseburger and not say anything, he deserved a high one. If he was an addict, he needed to keep this job because cocaine is expensive. Five stars.
Rajnish – $22.18
Rajnish picked me up at one of my lowest points, crawling out of an over-28s nightclub on a Tuesday night. Having just booked a holiday, I had New Delhi on my mind. I asked him where he was from originally, emphasising the last word like all of us socially conscious racists do.
To my delight, he replied ‘Punjab’ and I quickly showed him how cultured I was by listing off every Indian city I knew. I was so happy with myself – I’d proved to this Uber driver that I was a true international statesman.
Mere minutes later, my reputation was shattered in a McDonald’s drive-through. As I was handed my food, I looked the poor girl at the window up and down.
“Sorry, aren’t these fries meant to come with your phone number?” I shot her a toothy grin that no doubt smelt like an open bottle of Jack Daniels.
Surprising no one, she declined and Rajnish mused that he should get me home quickly. Great guy with great travel tips. Five stars.
Any of these four could be my Brutus but when in doubt, pick the cokehead. Fuck you, Rajthilak.