15,000 Rides

No not me, but Tommy, who picked us up last Saturday at DIA. We were coming back from a great time in the Bahamas, flying through a big snowstorm and my first ever “medical—emergency” in the seat right behind me. Now I’ll put in a shameless plug for Lyft and flying out of airports. Why would anyone drive their car, leave it parked, and then pay more than it costs take a Lyft? You get picked up and dropped off at your home and 80% of what you spend goes to a local. So we stepped out on Level 6 and Tommy was right there. I knew he was good when he had our bags loaded faster than I could get to his car. The usual small talk began. “Where were you? Did you have fun”. It came up that I too, drive for Lyft and I proudly said, “I have almost 5,000 rides”. “Well, last week I hit 15,000”. “Wow, a Lyft Super Star”!

We began to compare notes. “It’s not as good as it was when I began three years ago. Too many drivers”. Then I heard a story that makes me proud of my country. Tommy was from the Middle East. “I went to work as a translator for the US Army. It eventually became too dangerous for me to stay there. They brought me to Denver and my wife and I are raising our three kids here. I have a pension from the Army and I do this full time. What I love about it is that I am there for my family when they need me and I set my own hours”. We talked about how 98% of rides are normal and 2% get weird. He asked, “Do you find that apparently ‘rich’ people are the worst tippers? They think you are supposed to do this for them”? “Yep, that is my experience and the best tippers are folk who work in the food service business”. “Exactly”!!!

I was able to say “Thanks for everything you did for our Army. I am glad you are able to make a life for you and your family here”. He replied “This is the best thing that ever happened to me. Driving for Lyft has made me appreciate even more what a great place this is”. We pulled up in front of my home and again, four bags were already to go, on the curb. I joyfully hit the tip button.

Onward and Upward, Mark

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