@MaxOfLagos who had been an Uber driver in Lagos for some months shared some of the experiences he had while on the driving job.
Sharing the experiences, he wrote;
“I was an Uber driver for a few months in Lagos. Gender doesn’t matter, almost everyone is rude
I did notice a pattern: the worst of them tended to be the ones who definitely cannot afford a car. Reason unclear, cause you’d think they’d appreciate the value more
Also, almost everyone is apparently unable to read and understand the meaning of “Your driver is completing a trip nearby”.
I’m sure it sounds like a simple concept now when you read it, but it really does escape most people.
Always amusing and somewhat embarrassing when someone starts out very rude and by the end of the trip they’re asking if they can save your phone number to discuss “business” or some other such thing.
There were some good ones. For example, I met the person who helped me land the voiceover of that Johnnie Walker ad when I picked him up for an Uber ride.
There was of course that one chick who made the mandatory joke about getting a different kind of “ride” in addition to the Uber ride. She didn’t get what she was looking for.
There was a lady who was going to visit/fight her in-laws somewhere on the Ogun State border. Very lucrative and entertaining trip. She brought snacks, the fight ended in a victory for us and everyone was home before sundown. 10/10
Generally people are surprised to find that their Uber car is an SUV and then further surprised when they hear me speak. Interestingly, they almost always assumed the reason I was driving was that I was down on my luck. One person tried to buy the car, that was quite strange.
I once picked up a group of university kids from Ibadan who were here for a beach party. What I found interesting about them is how incredibly respectful they were. Confirmation that only Lagos people don’t have sense Loudly crying face
Driving in the Chevron/Agungi area really exposed me to the internet fraud community and I found it interesting how established they are and the remarkably ordinary nature of their lives. We often imagine them to be like those guys the FBI arrests. Not always the case.
That last tweet isn’t an endorsement of fraud. Just pointing out that they don’t all live flashy lives based on my observations. It is still a crime.
The foreigners I picked up were also interesting. There was a Syrian guy who barely spoke a lick of English and believed he could make it as a mechanic in Nigeria. I followed up, he now runs a restaurant owned by another Syrian.
There was an Italian lady who thought that Nigeria was hopeless because she believed young people are just as corrupt as the older people who currently run the country. We didn’t get to explore that further but it was curious that it came from a foreigner who lives here.
Fellow from Taiwan who thought Nigerians rich business potential but always got lazy and chose to do things that everyone else was already doing rather than innovate. He learned this in 15 years of doing business here. I didn’t disagree.”
Read more of his story
Remembering these as I read through them and realising that this diary must never leak to the public Face with tears of joy. There was an IJGB who had arrived from the US the day before the trip. He was real fresh too, cause he didn’t even know what IJGB meant. Still upset I wasn’t tipped in USD.
An entry about a guy who works at a shipping company and was very vocal about his displeasure with tribalism, especially among younger people. Says here that he had a “needlessly nice messenger bag”. I remember that bag and I stand by comments.
In case you’re wondering, I don’t actively try to get these people to talk, that would be unprofessional. I’m just a friendly guy. Also, people in Lagos have lots of things to be upset about, and they will readily talk about them when given the chance.
There was a kid who apparently looked just like Ycee and also makes music. He chose that path after failing to see/obtain the value of his BSc. Econs. Left me with a nice piece of advice. “You can be bitter or better, I try to be better.” I didn’t ask for his name.
Direct quote: “This trip lasted all of 5 minutes. He saw a friend on the street going in the same direction and cancelled the trip to join his friend. Just as well, he was starting to seem a bit dodgy and more importantly, saved me from an evening mainland trip”
There was someone who harassed me for being slow all the way to their house only to take another 10-15 minutes to actually show up for the trip. This actually happened quite frequently. People of Lagos, why are you like this?
I’ve noticed 2 recurring themes:
1. Whenever I took someone to the airport, I asked them if they would bring me along in their suitcase. It never worked. I haven’t stopped asking.
2. People talk about tribalism ALOT. Probably something to unpack there.
Picked up someone who was on the phone talking about AGO, tank farms and millions of dollars. Obviously I was an idiot for not working to retain this person’s contact information. A big fool.
While we’re talking about begging people, found an entry where I’m acknowledging that I have received lots of tips. It’s true that I was getting tipped very often, I think because I’m such a friendly guy. I promise I wasn’t begging them Loudly crying face
Picked up a guy who worked for Uber on his way to work. I may have asked repeatedly for Uber credits. I did not receive any Uber credits.
Thanks for nothing, Gbenga.
If you’ve come this far, please check out my podcast @Truestoryxyz where I sometimes narrate things while trying to make people laugh Smiling face with smiling eyes
Picked up a guy called “King” who was the CEO of an online TV platform and proud parent of at least 2 turtles. Yes, part of the trip was a visit to a pet shop to get some food for his turtles. Apparently he had on Balenciaga creps, and I thought that was very cool.
There was a lady who called her friend during the trip to congratulate her about starring in a recently released film. You can imagine my disappointment when I found that my passenger couldn’t even get free tickets for HERSELF to see said film. Shocking performance. 2/10
I formed a stereotype: “Beard, “nerdy” glasses, backpack, going to Yaba”
Apparently I picked up quite a few of these and they almost always turned out to be exactly what you’re thinking Face with tears of joy
Lamented the fact that I was never really able to find a community of fellow drivers to go “Surge Hunting” with and discuss the experiences we had. Something to look into.
Description of a ride straight from the journal:
“The ride, unsurprisingly, was silently pregnant with a mixture of elation, regret, and that stuff they put inside sandpaper”
What exactly was wrong with me? Face with tears of joyFace with tears of joy
Some of my favourite riders were the ones who brought snacks for the long trips and had entertaining things to say. More people should do that.
But please don’t overdo it by bringing boiled eggs like a certain Jennifer. Not cool, Jen. Not cool.
Fun fact: I actually was in an Uber ad with @BankyW when he was announced as an ambassador. Although I don’t think most people involved realised that I was an actual driver, as opposed to a paid actor haha.