For the end of the year, we here at RSG are wishing you a safe and profitable new year! Below is a guest post from Jeff about a fun and almost free gift he gives his passengers every year. Could this free gift for your riders earn you more in tips? Maybe, maybe not – but it’s sure to brighten most people’s days, including yours!
It was December 2019, and I was finishing my first full calendar year of driving rideshare. This is when my rideshare business changed forever. A month earlier, I had three unforgettable rides:
- A 21-year-old woman, originally from Minnesota, who told me an unbelievable story of southern hospitality. She said that the people in South Carolina were friendlier than in Minnesota, which had just been voted the friendliest state in the country.
- A huge Boston Red Sox fan shared a shocking story with me about his grandfather’s funeral, who was a die-hard New York Yankee fan like myself.
- A young Pennsylvania woman’s hilarious ride ended with my first funny comments on the app, “We had a magical evening ride that lasted only a mile.”
These three riders have entertained hundreds of people in the 6,500 rides I’ve given since then. This has resulted in me receiving more tips and better tips from my riders, but it encouraged me to do something more.
I had been writing a blog for two years, Becoming a Southerner, and at the end of each month, I would write a blog on my favorite rider comments and my favorite rider stories. I had been entertaining riders with stories and comments throughout the year, but it was now the holiday season. I wanted to give some of them something for the holidays. What do you give complete strangers that they would like and that was relatively inexpensive, so your wife isn’t mad at you?
I put together a list of my favorite rider comments of the year, and I gave it out for the next month or two. I found out that I had to give this to my riders when they got out of the car, otherwise, they would read it instead of talking with me. They were surprised and excited to get “my gift,” especially women.
When December 2020 came, I put together a list of my favorite comments from that year and gave them to hundreds of riders until December 2021. I recently just finished giving out my 2021 list of comments, and some of the reactions I get from riders are hilarious. Sometimes I call it an anniversary gift, birthday, housewarming, welcome to the south, graduation, holiday, new job, or thank you for the ride gift.
Over my 9,700 rideshare rides, I have so many stories and comments from riders. My past riders entertain my future riders, and they do an amazing job. Most of the riders that I drive enjoy hearing about other people who were sitting in their same seats.
Your Gift: Let Your Current Riders Be Entertained by Your Past Riders
Below is my new list with 24 of my favorite rider comments from 2022. I tell people that some of the comments are funny, some are strange, and some are both, but none of them were under the influence of alcohol. These are somewhat normal, sober people from all over.
If you would like your own list without my comments, you can go to my blog, and it will be posted the first week of January. I will send you a copy if you post a comment on the blog with your e-mail address.
Many riders in 2023 will be getting this list, and I will entertain them with older rider comments and comments from riders in 2023. I’ve entertained riders all year with this list, and I’m sure you will enjoy it too.
Most Popular Topics Among Riders
It’s real, and it’s amazing. I’m from New Jersey, and I’ve lived in the south for five years. Many people find it challenging to adjust to how friendly people are here.
- The woman from New York has been living in the South for three years. Me: “have you gotten used to how friendly people are down here?” She: “yes, and I don’t like it. I prefer rude people where I can give more right back to them.” (She may have been having a bad day, or she needs more time living in the South.)
- He said, “it is difficult adjusting to the south from the north. you have to adjust to people waving five fingers at you instead of one.” (He has adjusted, and his comment is perfect. People are always waving at you, even behind their back!)
- This professional couple living in the Charleston area for two years were from New York, and I asked the wife, “Have you gotten used to how friendly people are here?” She replied, “I’m not there yet,” and added, “just this week, the cashier at Publix asked me what I was making for dinner. when we first moved in, a neighbor left a pie on the front porch, and I told my husband, ‘don’t you even think of eating that; it could be poisoned.’” (Southerners are very amused by this, and Northerners know the last few words before I say it.)
My 2021 list had three positive and funny relationship comments. The few this year are not as positive, but they are still very amusing.
- I was talking with a young woman, and she surprised me when she talked about how unique her grandmother was. She said, “when I came out as gay to my family, my 90-year-old grandmother said, ‘I wish I liked women; men suck!.’”
- The guy told me that his daughter had waited six months to tell him, and his comment was, “my 16-year-old daughter just told me she had a boyfriend. she didn’t want to tell me because she was afraid I would scare him. I just wanted to tell him about guns and graveyards.” (He was a nice guy with a sense of humor, I think her boyfriend will be fine-I’m pretty sure)
- The couple had been married for ten years, and it was his birthday. I was trying to put the customer first. Me: “your birthday is more important than my 39th anniversary tomorrow.” He disagreed, “anyone who suffers the pain and torture of a woman for that long, it’s more.” His wife added, “she may not be as bad as me.” (I think her comment may have been funnier, were they joking?)
- The couple had been dating for five years, and I said, “so, you’re still in the dating stage?” Him: “we’re actually in the married and just want to kill each other stage; we’re just not married yet.” (They may have argued earlier, but the “not married yet” I’m taking as a positive sign.}
- This comment was funny and surprising, and this woman was hilarious throughout the ride. This is how she got married: She: “we were watching the movie “he’s just not into you,” and I said, ‘I’m not desperate to get married.’ he said, ‘would you marry me?’ I said I would, and we’ve been married six years. he was the sixth man I was engaged to.” (By age 25) (She did have an incredible personality!)
Each year, I have comments that are difficult to explain. Some are shocking, and some are just bizarre.
- Him: “when I first arrived in South Carolina from the West Coast, I saw a 7-foot gator on the golf course. I picked it up from its tail, and it started hissing.” Me: “what did you do then?” Him: “I put it down and ran.” (One of my favorite riders of all time who I think can do anything he wants to do.)
- She was headed to work and said, “in our old age home is a 108-year-old man. He drives his own truck to church every Sunday and just got a girlfriend in church.” (I would drive that guy any day or any time, wouldn’t you?)
- One of the most extraordinary young people you will ever meet. The first time I drove the 20-year-old woman, I said, “what do you do for work?” she replied: “I’m a part-time traveler. Each month I take a 3-5 day vacation to a place I’ve never been. I want to be a chef who travels the world.” (She’s in Culinary School, her mom just retired as a flight attendant, and she’s going to be one, too.)
- This rider had a funny and unusual way of explaining his uniqueness. He accepted he was unique when he was 30 years old. “A good bowl of pasta has a lot of pasta that looks the same, but you have to have spice in that bowl. Me: “so you’re the spice in a good bowl of pasta?” Him: “yes.” (Me, too)
- The young woman and I had a twenty-minute interesting conversation, and then she said, “you’ll never guess where I’m going today; I’m going to a reptile convention. I help rescue exotic animals, and right now, we’re helping a tarantula.” (She said she hates tarantulas and does this in her free time.)
- I gave 4,000 rides wearing a mask for over two years, following Uber’s rules. This woman was only the second rider to get upset. Pulling up on her driveway, she saw my mask and was angry but said she would wear it. She did not want to talk during the ride. Getting out, she said, “I hope you don’t die with that on; it gave me pneumonia. I usually tip extra for this, but not when you do something like this.” (She walked away proud, not realizing how ridiculous she sounded.)
Some of these are cute, and some are very funny.
- The lawyer and I are very big Beatles fans. “Paul McCartney was my first crush when I was 3-he’s the only 80-year-old man I would trade for my 60-year-old man.” (She had a crush at 3?)
- The two women had many shopping bags from the outlet mall when I picked them up. I said, “what did you get me?” The youngest woman said, “a speedo.” She paused and added, “do you know what that is?” (Maybe she thought I was 90?)
- I did not deserve what I got from this woman and her boyfriend. She got out of my car after a 3-mile ride at noon, handed me $20 and said, “this is for not murdering us.” Me: “thank you, but you’re wearing a black Friday the 13th shirt – I should fear you.” (I wish I had time to ask about her fear.)
- The couple was laughing a lot during the ride, and he said, “you can blow sunshine up our butt anytime. I would have said ass, but I thought I was on Cash Cab.” (My business name is “The Sunshine Man”)
- I knew he was successful, about age 30, and in sales. I loved this: “I talk to many important people for work. We have a stupidity problem in this country. I told my wife that I have to make enough money to support the next seven generations in our family.” (He probably will too.)
- I drove the chef on a short ride, and he told me that when he made pizza in the Virgin Islands, people always asked him why his pizza tasted so much better. He said, “happy dudes make happy foods.” (Terrific guy.)
- I drove this woman for an hour, and we talked a lot, and she said her husband is an introvert. “You’ve just said more words on this trip than my husband has in 17 years.” (Exaggeration, but she did enjoy having someone talk to her.)
- The ride was ordered for her by her sister, “America.” Her sister said, “America always wanted to come here from Costa Rica. She’s a teacher, and her students call her Ms. America.” (She lives locally.)
- I was on the phone trying to find my rider. He said, “we are across the street from a large Jewish-like candle thing.” Me: “I got it, I’m Jewish, and it’s a menorah.” His name was… Christian. (It was outside this cultural center. It’s a funny line, and it came from a Christian?)
- I’ve saved the best for last. Recently, Hawaii experienced blizzard-like conditions (picture below), which had to be amazing for the kids there. How amazing? Earlier this year, this 12-year-old had my favorite comments of the year: “My friends and I were convinced that mainlanders made up snow to make us look bad in Hawaii. When I was 9, I was in New York, and it started snowing, and I ran out of the house yelling, ‘it’s real, it’s real.’ I sent a message to my friends in Hawaii, but they thought I was lying.” (She told the story like a pro with childlike enthusiasm.)
Do riders enjoy hearing interesting, unusual, and funny comments and stories about other riders? Absolutely, “it’s real, it’s real.” Have some fun today!
-Jeff @ RSG