An Uber Experience
What could be seen as an inconvenience has made for an incredible experience.
This week, I am in Dallas, TX to train on some people management software that my church uses. I intended to rent a car for my 7 day stay here but due to some new policies of rental car companies (no need for the details in this blog), I wasn't able to. Bummer. This, I felt, was crucial to my stay since Dallas is so huge. It occurred to me that I would need to figure out a way to get around town in a way that wouldn't be expensive and would be safe. I researched quickly the public transportation here, taxi's, etc., and none of these situations seemed right for what I needed and for our budget. So, I decided to give Uber a try!
One of things that I have been enjoying while using Uber has been being able to chat with the drivers. I usually get to ask them how long they've been working for Uber, what was the reason they joined, what they love about Dallas, etc.
The answers that I get are so interesting.
I found out that my driver Jonny, who drove me to my training location this morning, was a Christian. He has been for over 25 years and loves the Lord. He keeps a Bible in his car for down times and absolutely loves learning the deeper things in the Word. Johnny also told me that on Tuesday nights, he shuts Uber down so that he could attend his small group - a group whose common interest is Karaoke. They go out to Karaoke bars and sing the night away and then head to someone's home to dig into the Bible. Cool.
Aline has picked me up two days in a row now from training and she is from Rwanda! She asked me today how I knew of her country and I told her from current events and the movie Hotel Rwanda. She began telling stories of the hardships she endured while living there.
My Driver Pashal, who drove me to the mall tonight (where I got dinner and of course checked out the local H&M) is from North Dallas. He isn't married but really wants to be married. He's having a hard time committing to his girlfriend because he is nervous about not being good enough for her. This conversation went really deep. The mall isn't too far from where I am staying but since Pashal is not used to the area, he actually got lost...which gave us more time to talk. With a little encouragement that I gave, he said he may try to figure out his insecurities so that he can propose to his girlfriend.
Eddie picked me up tonight from dinner. I was really impressed by him and his car. He had water bottles and mints ready for me as I hopped in. Wearing a bluetooth connector for his phone, he engaged in conversation with me while listening to his GPS give directions back to my hotel. Eddie has a little boy who turns 1 next tuesday and he and his wife are going to be throwing a party for the occasion. Eddie works at American Airlines here and joined Uber just to make money to put away for his son's college tuition in the future. So we talked about him becoming a dad and the way he talks about his family, I could just tell how much he loves them!
It's only been a couple of days of using Uber and in what could be seen as an inconvenience has made for an incredible experience. I'm more and more convinced that the Human Experience is so real, more evident in hearing stories from strangers. We're all living trying to be the best versions of ourselves. Our paths are definitely different. Our perspectives different. Our histories different. But at the core, at the most human levels, we are the same, living out happy moments with joy and living out bad ones feeling every hurt and disappointment. Reaching for more and for less and for something different. And finally, we all have a desire to connect with each other...and it's pretty cool!