The late-night Uber driver in Ft. Lauderdale

Robot cars will be safe but we’ll lose a lot of stories.

After a heroic-yet-unsuccessful struggle with a Samsung Galaxy S7 we ordered an UberXL from a friend’s iPhone. The driver showed up to our rented house in Ft. Lauderdale in a beautiful Infiniti SUV. He was a compact guy who looked to be in his mid-50s (but was probably more like 60) who had moved from Los Angeles to be closer to his wife’s relatives. “It was a huge pay raise because I got transferred to another office of my company [life insurance] at the same salary and don’t have to pay 10 percent income tax plus the cost of living is so much lower here.”

Why would he drive for Uber if he has a real job? “I get up early in the morning and found that I was watching way too much television. So instead I drive from 3:30 am to 10 am. You’d be amazed at the kind of people you meet during those hours.”

What were his best stories? “One college girl I picked up immediately passed out in the back seat. She hadn’t given me an address and I didn’t want to leave her on the street or call the police on her. So I spent about 10 minutes trying to wake her up and finally got an address. When we got there she was passed out again so I carried her and her purse into her rental, dropped her on the couch, and left.” His other late-night story started with an apparent no-show. “I waited and waited outside an apartment complex and the woman said that she’d be right down. Then a man about 38 years old gets into the car. He was confused and ashamed, but explained that he’d met the woman earlier that evening, gone to bed with her, and he’d been asleep only for about two minutes when she was tapping him awake and saying ‘There’s an Uber waiting for you, on me.’ He said ‘Now I know how women feel.'”

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