The One Question I'm Not Going To Answer

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Take It Outside!
I suspect that I am a more candid and talkative driver than most.

Part of this stems from the fact that the overwhelming majority of rides that a rideshare driver is going to catch in a major metropolitan area are for people you will never see again. Especially if you hang out in the airport queue, or in the tourist areas. (Hint for other drivers: these are both good areas.)

But there's one question that I'm not going to answer, and it comes up often enough that I feel it deserves its own post.

Namely... "Has anyone ever thrown up in your car?"

Usually, this question crops up when someone looks at the spray bottles of glass and upholstery cleaners in the seat pocket behind the front passenger seat. (When, realistically, those are just there because where else should they be, really? I mean, I clean the car pretty routinely. Not having the stuff that I use to clean it close at hand would just be silly.)

Here's the thing about answering that question... there's really no good answer for me.

If I say yes, then the passenger is suddenly going to visualize that, and if it indeed happened, where it might have occurred. Especially in relation to where they are currently sitting.

If I say no, then the intelligent passenger will start to do the math on the number of rides I've completed (will pass 7,500 this week, assuming nothing unexpected happens) and wonder if I'm being honest.

I don't really want you think about either of these things. I'd much rather keep the conversation going to a more fun place.

What I can tell you is that throwing up in a rideshare car is an expensive practice for all parties. Lyft generally hits the passenger with a $150 charge that goes directly to the driver for that, and honestly, I feel that it's completely justified. As a driver, you are going to lose working hours while getting your car clean and the odor removed, and it's just work that no one signs up for. Beyond that, it's a risk of long-term damage to your livelihood.

(Note: this doesn't in any way excuse the smash and grab tactic from a driver staging an illness event. Fraud is fraud. Drivers who engage in that give the rest of us a bad name, and I want them out of the system. You should too.)

Drivers can, of course, limit their risk of an illness event by not driving when bars close, and by keeping a sharp eye on impaired passengers.

But sometimes you have to be out at those hours to make your number, and there are plenty of places where pulling over to let someone ruin the shrubbery isn't an option.

But has it actually happened to me?

Again, it's the question I don't answer. Even when I ask it. :)

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