Hug Your Uber/Lyft Driver.

I am insanely curious about people. It’s embarrassing. We all have stories and mostly, we want to tell stories that present us in the best light (hello Facebook, my life is fabulous-ish = not true, because life, actually, is hard).

Wednesday night Lyft.
My driver lives 45 minutes outside the city – a friendly woman who might be close to my age. I ask her: “what time did you start.” She proceeds to tell me that she started at 7PM and will work until 3AM. I comment that it’s a late shift. She proceeds to tell me:
– I have a special needs daughter who needs to be cared for at home.
– My husband gets home from work, we eat dinner and then I leave to work as a driver. She’s been following this routine for 3 years.
– She tells me that she’d love to find a job where she could work on a computer from home. But they are difficult to find.

I ask her about difficult customers.
– She tells me that she doesn’t deliver bodies (when people are passed out drunk and their friends want someone to take them home) and she is extremely watchful of people who are drunk-sick. She learned the hard way.
We chat a bit, I try to say some nice things – I admire her commitment to her daughter and her willingness to hustle.

My Lyft driver yesterday morning.
My driver is Dawn, another woman in her 40s (my guess). She announces that I’m her first Lyft and she’s terrified that she doesn’t know the software (she demonstrates that she doesn’t). I kind of immediately like her. I ask her: “why did you start driving.” She responds: “I’m recovering from breast cancer. I’m a psychotherapist but had to give up my practice during my treatment. I’m ready to start up again, so this is my first day putting myself back in the workforce.” We have a great conversation about somatics, SAD, compassion fatigue and we commiserate about the fact that she works in a heavily professionalized helping profession. And in contrast, I work in an unregulated helping profession where anyone can call themselves a coach – so my profession has a lot of under-qualified “professionals” and some charlatans.

My Lyft driver yesterday afternoon:
Is hard of hearing. I google ASL to figure out how to sign “Thank you.” Thankfully, I did not sign: “I love you” – details matter.

It’s been an interesting week. More than a few of my friends are having a really tough time. It was good to be around some people who are hustling, working through their challenges and making it work. There are lots of good people out there.

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