Confessions of an Uber driver
Bottom line: the kids are all right. Also, 7 other things worth your time.
I’m in a social media group called Grown & Flown, for parents of kids in high school or older.
It’s a bit of a mismatch, since my daughter is nowhere near that age. But, the group is interesting—maybe as a glimpse into my future? Maybe because I enjoy seeing what people in completely different life stages are concerned about and how they see the world?
Also, I used to work for a company that published a lot of digital content in what we call “the mom space,” and I did some partnerships with the folks over at G&F as a result.
(I actually interviewed one of them for Understandably about a year and a half ago.)
Recently, I came across an interesting post in the group by a mom who also drives for Uber near a college campus. It’s the University of Connecticut, but it feels like she could be writing about anywhere.
She had a heartening message for parents who might be a bit worried about what kinds of trouble their kids get into at college.
I thought it was worth sharing, so I reached out to her and asked her if I could reprint what she’d had to say, and she agreed. It’s not that long:
Confessions of an Uber driver
by Genevieve Morgan Coursey
I am a mom of high schoolers, and I drive for Uber a few nights a week for extra money.
I often end up over on the UCONN campus on a Friday or Saturday, and I spend the evening and the early morning carting loads of students back and forth—from bars and house parties, back to their dorms or apartments.
Honestly, these are some of my favorite rides.
Your kids are overwhelmingly fantastic. They are polite and considerate. Not only do they either make sure they put their masks on before getting in the car (or do so without complaint if I ask them to), they also check to make sure their friends have masks before the ride starts.
They are funny as hell and hold great (hilarious) conversations even when quite inebriated. With that said:
Your kids are going to drink at college.
I know you don't want them to, and they tell you they don't like to, but they will most likely end up in a group that wants to go to a house party or a bar, and they will probably have a few drinks.
Please make sure they know how to do so safely, and that purse crackers and drinking water will make their night MUCH more enjoyable (and safer!).
I know there may not be many opportunities to take an Uber with your kids when they are at home, but please—make sure they know that they are supposed to tip their drivers!
(And not just that, but also their food delivery drivers who bring them post-party munchies.)
While I really love driving them, and I know they don't have a ton of money, most don't realize that even a $2 or $3 tip is VERY appreciated—especially when I had to wait for them to go search for their friends … or chug their White Claw… or look for their jacket… or finish crying… etc.
Overall, your kids are lovely. Keep up the good work, and I'll keep reminding them to drink water and make good choices when I drop them off at the bars 😆🥰.
The point, I suppose? I guess it’s that you never know who’s watching. And that the kids are all right. And, a nice little bit of intel that my parents never would have had when I was these kids’ age.
Call for comments: What’s the unique insight into a sliver of humanity that you’ve had as a result of your job? And be honest: Would the cab drivers or folks like that you dealt with when you were college-aged have spoken so highly of you?
7 other things worth your time
Buckingham Palace released the first photo showing Queen Elizabeth II handling royal duties since she had to cancel some important appearances. She’s 95 years old, and there have been rumors (rumours?) about her health. (The Daily Beast)
The so-called ‘QAnon Shaman’ got 41 months in prison for his part in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The judge thanked him for his long remarks at sentencing, and said he’s clearly “on the right path.” But added: “What you did is terrible.” (NYT)
The Staples Center, home of the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, Kings and Sparks, has a new name: Crypto.com Arena, after a 20-year agreement was signed between the arena and the Singapore cryptocurrency exchange. (LA Times)
Two men who were convicted in the assassination of Malcom X in 1965 are set to be exonerated in court. Muhammad Aziz, Khalil Islam, and Thomas Hagan were sentenced to life in prison; Hagan says he pulled the trigger but neither Aziz nor Islam were involved. Aziz was released from prison in 1985 and is now 83; Islam was released in 1987 and died in 2009. Hagan was paroled in 2010. (NY CBS Local)
“The Catholic bishops of the U.S. ended a nearly yearlong debate Wednesday over whether to bar politicians who support abortion rights from receiving the Eucharist, passing new guidance on Communion that doesn’t address the issue. The measure passed by a vote of 222-8 and was followed by applause at a gathering [in Baltimore] of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.” (WSJ)
“More than 2 million children have already received their first dose of Pfizer's Covid vaccine, just two weeks after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authorized distribution of the shots for kids ages 5 to 11. ‘We estimate by the end of the day today 2.6 million kids ages 5 to 11 will have gotten their first shot; 2.6 million—that's about 10% of kids,’ Jeff Zients, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, told reporters.” (CNBC)
“A zoo in Australia has acquired what officials there say is the largest funnel web spider they've ever seen.” Click through to see the picture, I dare you. (NPR)
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