I had an amazing experience last night.
While I was driving, I received a ride request from that rider, who only had a 4 star average
Prior to this request, it had been an extremely slow night. I was tired, I was angry, I was ready to give up and go home. But the Lord spoke to me and told me to click on this request. I did. I get to the pick up location, and the pax is nowhere to be found. I told myself that I wasn’t going to give my usual courtesy call before marking them a no- show, because I really didn’t want to deal with a rider who had that low of a rating. I wanted to cut my losses, take my no show fee, and go home for the night.
The Lord spoke to me again. He told me to be patient and don’t mark her a no show. So I waited. 4 1/2 minutes later, out walks a very pregnant 20 something female carrying a purse and take home bag of food (pickup location was McDonald’s). She hobbles over to my car “are you Patrick?” She asks. I tell her I am, and it turns out she’s my pax. I begin to feel a little guilty for judging her on the wait time.
I confirm the destination address and we are soon on our way. I make small talk on the way to the destination and she apologizes for making me wait. Apparently she had attempted to text me that she was at the other entrance, but didn’t realize her phone didn’t have reception so it didn’t go through.
She then proceeds to tell me that she’s 8 1/2 months pregnant and the child’s father was killed in a crash a few months ago. I was almost in tears. It gets better, though.
She said that she was unemployed for a long time and just recently started working. She has to take 3 buses to and from work every day, and the bus picking her up from work was late tonight, which caused her to miss her next bus, so she had to spend the extra money and call an Uber to get the rest of the way home. I begin to feel bad for her.
We get to the destination, and it was only then that I realized where she was going. It’s a homeless shelter. O… M… G! I inform her that I didn’t recognize the address at first, and I reasonably should have. Choking back tears, she says “yeah, when the baby’s father died, I didn’t have any money coming in anymore, so I was kicked out of my home. I had no place to go, so I ended up here. I do have a job now, but I still don’t know where I’m gonna go. She’s full on crying now.
The Lord spoke to me again. I’ve never done this before while driving Uber, but there’s a first time for everything. I explained to her who I was and where I worked (I’m a Case Manager for the homeless by trade). I gave her my card, and instructed her to call me after the baby was born. I told her I couldn’t make any guarantees, but there was a good chance I could help her out.
Folks, the point I’m trying to make here is that you never know anybody’s whole story unless they tell you. There’s usually a reasonable explanation for everything. If I hadn’t taken that ride request tonight, I’m sure the world would have continued to turn, but my spiritual life may not have.
I’ve been there before. I was homeless, for several months, back in 2010. I had no job and nowhere to go. No place to turn. Somebody helped me out back then, and hopefully this is how I can pay it forward.
Uber on, ladies and gents!