Lessons from an Uber Driver


Uber, oh where do I begin. I think it’s safe to say we have all had some interesting experiences using the Uber app for a quick and convenient method of transportation. After all, it’s supposed to be quick and convenient, right? They never said it wouldn’t come without a series of unknown risks, just like that bottle of opioids your doctor prescribed you last week. Anyway, if this title or even the name “Uber” made you cringe, it’s probably because you’ve had a sketchy experience with a driver who didn’t have at least a 4-star rating. It’s just a short ride though, who cares how high the rating of the driver is, right? On the contrary, these ratings are pretty important. So important that it’s become a trend for people to post their high Uber rating in a bio on social media (because a 4.8 Uber rating means you’ll be a 4.8 level boyfriend, right?)

I was hired to model at the Arnold Classic the first weekend in March. Going into the weekend, I knew Uber would be my best friend to avoid the hassle of traffic and trying to find parking somewhere nearby that wasn’t the price of a new iPhoneXR/XS/whatever the hell version it is now. What I knew was that I would get to work on time. What I didn’t know was the lesson I would learn from my driver would be way more valuable than my 4.94 Uber rating (thank you very much).

If you’re one in a million who hasn’t experienced riding with Uber, one of the first things you notice is the kind of car you are getting into, how clean it is, what the atmosphere is like, etc. I have to say, I was surprised when the driver pulled up in a beautiful brand new 2019 Mercedes-Benz Mayback S-650. It was clean, polished and smelled of lavender. My first thought was, there is no way in hell this is my ride. But when a set of very profound, shimmering brown eyes peeked back at me and said, “Kaycie?” I thought well shit, I guess I’m finally meeting Kelly Clarkson. Kidding, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t skeptical. 

As expected, the traffic was insane at eight in the morning, so I began to strike up a conversation with the woman and complimented her on her vehicle, holding back the big question: why in the HELL are you driving for Uber when you have a car like this? She simply smiled and said “thank you, it was a gift from my fiancé.” Us being girls, we began to talk about her relationship with this guy, how they met, etc. Long story short, they met through social media, and she refused to date him because he was from another religious background, one her culture was not very fond of to say the least, and was significantly younger than she – 11 years to be exact. I am not one to judge, but I couldn’t hide the look on my face when she said that. Noticing my expression, she said “I know, crazy isn’t it.” and I laughed and replied, “Well it’s definitely not something you hear of very often.” Curious, I prodded her with more questions than she could have ever anticipated, I’m sure she was not anticipating a journalist to hop in her backseat.

In addition to her responses, I couldn’t help but notice how her face gleamed when she spoke of him. This woman was genuinely happy, and she could not hide that if her life depended on it. At the risk of sounding completely cliche, I bit the bullet and asked her. I asked her what the secret was: the secret to finally finding true love and that genuine level of happiness that radiated from her voice when she spoke.

Without hesitation, she glanced up at me through the rearview mirror and said it was because she stopped focusing on dating or going after the guys she thought she should be dating, and gave the man who had been trying to get her to agree to going on just one date a chance.

“I finally realized that after the longest time, I had only been going out with guys I always dreamed of myself being with. Men who I could picture myself being happy with, or anyone who I had always pictured would be the kind of man I would end up with. Those guys were great, but at the end of the day I wasn’t truly happy, I wasn’t in love, and I just couldn’t get myself to commit to someone I wasn’t really in love with.” 

“It happens all the time,” she said. “I have watched my friends go through this over the years, they find the man they always believed would make them happy, so they get married. While they’re stable or have the ‘ideal’ man for them, they are not truly happy. The eyes are very deceiving,” she continued. “When the man you always pictured yourself with is right in front of you; he hits all of these check marks you always wanted on paper, your mind subconsciously has you thinking yes, this must be him! But if there is an emptiness in your gut, don’t ignore that. Do not deny that hole, listen to that feeling. If he doesn’t make you truly happy, that will never change, no matter how many check marks he hits on your list.”

She proceeded to tell me that after years of dating men she finally decided to give her friend a chance, despite him not meeting any of hers or her family’s strict qualifications religiously or her standards in general of what she thought the perfect man would be for her. Surely enough, she fell in love and he has made her happier in ways she never imagined. Over the years of dating, she helped and watched him continually grow a successful company on his own and they are now beginning to embark on a very successful and happy life together. She mentioned that while she knows she does not need to drive or work, she loves it and wants to continue doing it, at least for right now.

“Don’t look at the x’s and o’s, listen to your gut. Who do you find makes you happier than anyone else? Who makes you laugh uncontrollably and makes you smile on even the darkest of days? When you find that rock, that person who knows you like the back of their hand, that is the person you marry.” She said. “Do not be afraid to try dating people who initially would have you thinking,  ‘there is no way in hell I will ever end up with a man like that,’ because believe me. I thought the exact same thing about my fiancé and look at us now!” she gleamed.

So if you’re wondering what a five-star Uber rating looks like, there you go. That’s one car ride I will never forget.