I am no longer an Uber virgin! I was with a group of (much) younger coworkers when the situation necessitated an Uber ride. They both had the app. I had cash for a cab – who uses those anymore?
I was like a little kid peering over their shoulder as they made their selection. The car arrived within a few minutes and I sat in the front seat dumfounded. I started to give our office address, but she didn’t need it. She already knew!
What sorcery is this?
So curious was I about the intricacies of Uber that I began quizzing the driver.
“How did you know to pick us up?”
“So you were just tooling around waiting for a fare?”
“What happens if two drivers go after the same Uberer?”
She was patient with me despite the giggling from the backseat. When we arrived, I started to get out my wallet to pay or at least tip. But Uber already thought of that. No cash required. How do it work?
I have the moniker of the Office GrandPa… and I’m okay with that. But one of my fellow riders described me as “precious” in my quest for knowledge and I that isn’t really what I’m going for in life. That connotation implies someone so old that they have become childlike. Those days are coming, but are they here already?
A few weeks later, my family headed to the zoo where they are building a new parking deck, thereby reducing current parking to just 9 1/2 spaces. They’ve entered an agreement with Lyft for ride-sharing from a lot a few miles away. To impress my kids, I downloaded Lyft and set up an account. But then since I’m old, I made everyone leave way too early and we squeezed into the half-space angering a young vegan family crammed into what looked like an electrified wagon. I deleted Lyft.
I have also started using Venmo to pay and receive money. But like the bear squatting in the woods, is it really money if it nothing changes hands? I all seems so ethereal – like I’m trying to grab cash from one of those money-booths and everything is slightly out of reach.
As we age, that’s just the way of things, I think. It’s like living on the set of a sci-fi movie; we must decide whether we can suspend reality to engage with the ever-changing world around us… a world that we cannot possibly understand. And it’s more than technology. Everything gets more complicated: life, death, God, science, physics, women, politics… there are too many things I will never grasp. The question is can I appreciate and enjoy them without understanding the mechanics that make them run?
People with an insatiable thirst for knowledge make me tired.
Twenty years from now, I just want to sit back with a frosty beverage and get Uber to take me wherever I need to go – even though I have no idea how it works.
“To the proctologist, Uber man!”