Dear Uber Drivers,
Actually, I shan’t discriminate. Let’s include Uber, all other ride-sharing services, and cab drivers who ask me more than, ‘Where are you going?’.
Many, many times, you have saved my life. Not literally, but you have saved me from many stressful, unfortunate moments.
Say the time I desperately wanted to leave the office Christmas party, with one click of a button I had requested you arrive around the back where I could sneak out.
Or, when I had stayed back at university studying and the buses were no longer running. There, dearest Uber (and all other networks), you were.
Despite my self-described love and my eternal gratitude for your services, there is one thing I do not sign up for.
Your life advice.
Now, many people might disagree with me on this.
Some of my friends have never been victim to the 11pm unsolicited life coaching session of a driver.
Hell, even one of my colleagues, Luca Lavigne, wrote a whole article thanking an Uber driver for her incomparable life advice.
Unlike Luca’s situation, my life advice is rarely welcome. And, it doesn’t come with the hope of actually improving my life. It is mostly slightly condescending and disapproving of my life choices.
I purposely picked this photo of me looking upset. BECAUSE I AM UPSET.
If you don't believe, then I have already prepared three examples.
Exhibit A: 'You shouldn't sell out to Sydney.'
It was approximately 4:05am. I live in Brisbane. The HQ for my work is in Sydney.
So, once again, I found myself in the company of a strange person as they kindly drove me to the airport at that ungodly hour.
We chatted most of the way and she was really lovely. Until, she asked me why I was travelling to Sydney.
Listen: Now, life advice aside, we love Shebah at Mamamia. Listen to a snippet of our interview with their founder. (Post continues after audio...)
I explained that's where work was and in the next few months, I would be moving there, just so I would never have to be on a plane at this time again.
"I could give you 10,000 reasons not to move to Sydney, right now," were the first words that she said to me.
"Yeah, it's not everyone's cup of tea," I responded because Brisbane people have told me this approximately four million times.
"But, seriously, have you already made the decision? I am so sick of people selling out to Sydney," she continued. "You will literally not meet one sincere person down there."
Thank you for your vote of confidence, driver, who I met approximately 20 minutes ago.
Your positivity is so helpful before I make one of the biggest decisions of my life. Did I say thank you enough?
Exhibit B: 'Do law. You'll make more money.'
As I explained earlier, many times I called on the services of Uber* after late nights at university.
After politely answering that I studied Law and Media, however, I didn't want to practice law, the conversation could turn many different ways.
However, one that never failed to rear its head was the value of law. Or, in particular, the money that came with the legal industry.
"You know, all I wish I could have is money. That's why I'm driving Uber," one said to me.
"All I wanted was money growing up and you are just throwing it away to write things. Have you ever thought about how disappointed your parents would be?"
Actually, no, I haven't. A) I haven't made decisions based on what my parents would think of me, and B) My mother begged me not to study law, so, ha.
Exhibit 3: 'You can't help the poor if you're poor.'
Many hours have been spent trying to figure out what makes me so susceptible to these bits and bobs of advice.
I have concluded that despite graduating from high school many years ago, I still could easily pass into a grade nine disco. Maybe grade eleven with makeup on.
So, I'm young, impressionable, and in NEED of your opinions.
However, the following woman learned oh so quickly she picked the wrong passenger to lecture.
"So, what are you studying?" she starts.
*Insert typical explanation of my degree but, no, I don't want to practice law. And, I'm actually not 100% sure what I want to do with my life. Though, I am interested in social justice and advocacy in the media.*
"Well, I'm actually a careers counsellor and life coach," she jumps in, which literally has me like:
On she goes, "And, even if you want to help people, you have to have money. It's all well and good if you want to help others, but you need to be rich to do that. As they say, 'You can't help the poor if you're poor.'"
WHAT. SORRY. WHO'S 'THEY'? WHO SAYS THAT?
Oh, no, she wasn't done. I know, you were praying that she was done. So was I, guys.
"You know, we have a real stigma with rich people these days. I don't see the problem if you want a big house. That's just what you want."
Now, with these three examples, I don't want to tar all Uber drivers with the same brush.
I have had some truly wonderful people who have shared with me their fascinating stories, asked me my passions, and even one who played 2000s Britney all the way home for me after a rather big night out.
Nonetheless, I beg you - from the depths of my heart - your advice, shaking your head at my life decisions is not asked for. Or, paid for.
If anything, I'd just love some more free Mentos.