The Weirdest Uber Ride I Ever Drove
I'm Lexus Jones. I have a regular full-time job but on the weekends and occasional weeknights I drive for Uber. Over the last couple of years I have driven over 2,000 trips for Uber. At first I drove on the UberX platform. Now I drive a luxury car on the Uber Plus platform. Whenever I think that I have seen it all, something new happens. I will be sharing those stories here. I will also answer questions and give advice on how to get the most out of your rides.
So, some high rollers wanted to go from Santa Monica to downtown L.A. (Photo by Sergey Ryzhov via Shutterstock)
The weirdest ride I ever drove was from Santa Monica to downtown L.A., and it was also the most I ever made in an hour.
I had gotten to know some of the people who work in the nice hotels and one day, one of them called me and asked if I was nearby. For some reason, the hotel couldn't reach its normal private car drivers and needed to get a small group of high rolling young businessmen across town. I told them I'd be right there.
When they got in they were loud, well-dressed and had been drinking. They asked how much will it cost to get downtown? I said about $30 because of the traffic. The loudest guy said, "If you can get us there in a half hour I'll give you an even $100."
And we were off.
It was Saturday evening and everyone was leaving the beach so traffic was bad going from the 1 to the 10. The loudest guy was bragging to his friends how much money he made recently in the stock market, how great his business was doing and how much he would love to work with them but his partner wants to keep the company small. They were former frat brothers at some school. They were annoying, but not boring. The traffic was challenging, but Waze predicted I would get that bonus.
Around the Crenshaw exit, Loud Guy asked if he could have a smoke. I gave the most polite hell no you've ever heard. He asked why. I explained that the reason the oceanside, five-star hotel arranged for me to be their driver was because my car is clean, inside and out, and doesn't smell like bootie. And the way I achieve that is by not allowing handsome devils to light up.
He said, "I'll give you $50."
His friends, almost in unison, said, "Whooooah!"
I said, "It's against the rules."
He said, "When we get to the Standard, I'll give you $150. $100 for the ride, $50 for the cigarette."
I said, "Roll down all of the windows."
Terrible EDM music was playing, by the way, due to an earlier, unfortunate request.
I opened the sunroof and the man smoked his cigarette—ashes blowing everywhere, mind you, loud wind whipping around as we sped east.
He smoked it fairly quickly. We rolled the windows back down and I closed the sunroof.
They talked and talked and as we got on the 110 right around the convention center, Loud Guy popped another cigarette in his mouth and looked at me.
"We're so close to the hotel," I told him. "You can wait."
He said, "$50."
I said no way. "We are minutes away and this car's smell will last forever."
He said, "$50!"
And we rolled down the windows and sunroof and I turned the music to rock because it was all just too much.
When we pulled up to the Standard, the guy hands me a credit card. I said, "Cash only."
He said, "You're a businessman and you can't take credit cards?"
And I got very nervous that I was about to get ripped off. A voice in my head said, "This is how the rich stay rich, they don't give their money to anyone."
I convinced him to let me drive him to an ATM, he complained that he was going to miss the wedding. I said it would be quick, and it was. He came back with eight $20 bills and asked if that was okay. It was okay. I went to the car wash, got a car wash and called it a night.
If you are an Uber driver or an Uber passenger, tell me your weirdest ride in the comments below.