So, I had a rather scary encounter with Lyft the other day. I had a pick up on the west side, over by Blue Dog Tavern. So I headed over there and pulled in the drive way. There was a man, woman and several children out raking leaves. A very nice looking scenario. Dude gets in and I do the normal verifying of the riders name, and then their destination. He’s going to Ace hardware on Fulton street. Now, before I get into the bulk of the story, let me give you some background information.
I use an app called “Waze“. It’s a GPS app for iOS and Android that is community based. That is to say, it allows for people to input road construction, blockages, police locations, traffic jams, etc. I like to call it crowd sourced GPS. Waze takes all of this information and translates it real time to give you directions around all those things that would slow you down. Now, let’s get back to the story.
So, I back out of this guys drive way and as soon as I pulled on to 4th St he started getting at me because I pulled out of the driveway in the wrong direction. He made a comment about how Ace Hardware was the other way. Now keep in mind when I backed out I was following the GPS directions because of a traffic jam on the way. But I brushed it off and tried to keep a positive attitude and decided I would just go around the block and go in the direction that he was wanting me to go. Generally you can kind of tell the people that think that there is only one way to get somewhere and that’s the way they always go because it’s “the fastest”. This guy however, went from zero to sixty in two point nine. So I make the first turn and he starts asking me if I know where I’m going. I inform in that I was using the GPS and that I, in fact, don’t know the West side all the much. At this point he’s getting more and more agitated. He then starts accusing me of “running up the meter”.
At this point I’ve had enough. We’ve only been in the car for probably 3 minutes or so and I can tell that I’m one pothole away from getting a bad review if I hadn’t gotten one already. So I politely inform him that I’m going to be bringing him back to his house, and he can find another Lyft driver that he can get along with because clearly him and I aren’t gelling. This was apparently the excuse that he was looking for because he went literally unhinged. He starts screaming at me asking me what my effing problem is, who the eff do I think I am, and all sorts of things that I just honestly can’t remember. As I turn the corner towards his house I get stopped by a red light. At this point I’ve been pretty quiet and just hoping that he would shut up, but clearly that wasn’t going to happen. So I turn around and I inform him pretty curtly that THIS. This is why I’m turning around because you don’t stop screaming at me. As I’m pulling into his driveway he continues to scream at me and rolls down the window and starts telling his wife that I’m being a huge piece of sh*t and this and that. At this point this guy is full on screaming at me and I’m screaming at him to get out of my car. He’s refusing, and starts calling me racist and telling me that he’s been recording me. Which he wasn’t because he was waving his phone around while he was screaming at me. At this point I’m a sneeze away from being scared either of him doing something or myself doing something because he’s screaming so much at me. I’ve dialed 911 on my phone and I inform him of that fact. He decides to inform me that I’m racist because I’ve brought him back and because I’ve refused to drive him to his destination. I tell him I’m refusing him service because he’s intimidating me and I feel threatened. He then tells me that I’m a Honky and that’s why I’m doing this and it’s just like a honky to do this. I’m like, you’re accusing me of being racist while you scream at me like an insane man, and ACTUALLY ARE BEING RACIST to me??!! Just as I’m about to dial 911 he informs me that as soon as I cancel this ride he will get out of the car. Well of course, I have Sprint, and his stupid driveway decides to at that moment be a complete deadzone so I can’t get Lyft to cancel the run. After about 2 more minutes of him screaming at me and telling his wife and kids about how prejudice I am, he finally gives me the wifi password and I’m able to cancel the run.
As soon as he gets out of the car, I drive to the nearest empty parking lot. By this time I’m literally shaking because of the confrontation. I immediately called Lyft and filed a complaint against him. They gave me a cancellation fee and promised not to match me up with him again. They also said they would look into his account. After getting off the phone with them I took an hour break to calm myself down because I didn’t want to be driving around all juiced up on adrenaline. While chatting with some of the people in the local Facebook group for Uber and Lyft drivers, it would seem that many people have had issues with this guy before. Although a couple said he was a really nice guy. I don’t know about their experiences, but I know mine. What a nightmare.