Driving for Lyft has provided me an opportunity to meet all kinds of interesting people from different walks of life.
From one destination to the next, I’ve had encounters with students, CEOs, surgeons, sanitation workers and even a few strippers. The list goes on and on.
One thing's for certain, when the door opens, you never know what kind of person is about to climb into your backseat. Of the many lessons I’ve learned from my experiences on the road, perhaps the most important has been to never judge a book by its cover. In addition to that, just because someone’s rich with finances doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re rich with morals.
Just this past summer, I did a scheduled ride for a young couple going to the airport.
As I pulled up to a beautiful home in an upscale neighborhood, I remember thinking, "Damn, these folks must really have money".
A few minutes later they came outside, loaded their bags in the trunk and we were on our way. Immediately after I dropped them off, I received a request for another ride at a separate terminal. While circling the airport, I noticed that one of the passengers I’d just dropped off left their iPhone in my backseat.
Moments later, I received a message from Lyft, providing me with a number to contact the young lady, so we could arrange a way for her to get her phone back.
After I’d completed my next ride, I turned off the app and gave her a call on what turned out to be her boyfriends’ cell phone. Literally getting ready to board her flight, she asked if I could drop the phone off to her dad, who lived forty minutes away from where I was at the time. Thanking me repeatedly, she reassured me that her dad would give me a nice tip out of appreciation.
After she provided me with his contact information, I stopped to get gas and headed that way. When I arrived at the home, I couldn’t stop staring because it was at least three times bigger and more extravagant than the one I’d originally picked them up from.
I called her dad to let him know that I was outside and a few minutes later he came to the door. When I handed him the phone, he complimented my sneakers, thanked me for coming and pulled an extremely thick wad of money out of his pocket.
Thumbing through at least a dozen twenties, he looked me in the face and handed over a five dollar bill.
I thanked him, got back in the car and went on my way.
For the record, I had every intention of doing whatever it took to get the passenger her phone back the moment I spotted it in my backseat. It honestly had nothing to do with a tip.
If I left my phone in someone’s car I would definitely hope that they’d do the same for me. Needless to say, Lyft had already advised me that they would give me twenty dollars upon making the return.
The fact of the matter is, I’m a Lyft driver, living in a studio apartment with no other means of income. Meanwhile, this guy’s literally sitting on acres with money to burn. After I kindly returned an eight hundred dollar phone that his daughter left in my car, the best he could do was hand over five measly bucks.
It just reminded me of the old saying, “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer”. Clearly, this is how.