What Lyft Teaches Me

Lyft teaches me to NOT judge a book by its cover…

I’m always just a little uptight and clinched in the jaw when young people get into my Lyft car.

I know its terrible, but it’s the truth.

I’m assuming they’ll be rude and enter my car without speaking. I don’t know what kind of home training some of these kids and adult kids have had, but it’s different from mine. Not speaking really gets my goat.  You know you’re getting old when you say ” Gets my goat “.  WTF!

My mother would demand that my little friends walk back out of our house and re-enter if they failed to speak.

Yes! I’ve turned into my mother.

Or, they’ll turn their cell phones on to play some ratchet and degrading rap music.

Is it just me and those in my age group; but isn’t that just rude and inconsiderate?

I drive for Lyft and I love it.  A typical fourteen to seventeen hour-six to seven day a week in these Baltimore, DC and Virginia  streets consists of:

.  Driving to train people in their homes, Country Clubs and Gyms

.  Attending Toastmaster Club Meetings

.   Sending email correspondence, making and returning phone calls to theaters and local production companies regarding mounting my 1-woman show

.  Working out at Gold’s gym six days a week

.  Running errands  and of course

.  Giving people Lyft rides from Baltimore to DC and Virginia along with several Maryland cities in between. I’ve even driven as far as Hanover, Pa.

On this day,  I’m heading to Bowie, Md ( Prince George’s County);  which is the wealthiest African-American County in The US.  I’m headed to train my radio personality client.

I have the Lyft app on; as I’m making good time with 90-minutes to spare.

It never fails.  I pick up a young man from the Crofton Public Library. Crofton is a neighboring suburban city to Bowie with a lower percentage of African Americans.  The young man I pick up is a very tall Caucasian.  He’s a little on the androgynous looking side; yet handsome with strong features.  He’s a very serious looking young man who appears to be 19 or 20 years of age.

His drop off location is seven miles in the opposite direction of Bowie. It’s also a rush hour.  “Let’s do this”, I say to myself!

I’m always down for a new adventure.

Lyft Driver:  Good afternoon young man.  How are you today?

In a very stoic dead man expression,  he responds

Lyft Passenger:  Hi

I decided I’ll let him take the lead on if he wishes to engage in conversation.

A couple of minutes pass by.  The silence was killing me.

Lyft Driver:  just getting off work?
Lyft passenger:  No. School
Lyft Driver: Oh!  What grade are you in?

My inner dialogue:  You’re in high school.  You kids look old.
Lyft passenger:  I’m a junior.
Lyft passenger: So, why do you get dropped off at the library?

We continue our casual chit-chat.  Suddenly  the conversation shifts

Lyft passenger:  So, how’s your day been? 

My inner voice: it’s rare,  if not ever,  does anyone under the age of 20; let alone someone of the Male gender ask me how my day was.  Oh! This is going to be good.

Lyft Driver:  Thanx for asking.  My day has been exceptional.

He continues to ask me more questions like:

Lyft Passenger:  How long have you been driving for Lyft?

Lyft passenger:  Do you like it?

Lyft passenger:  What do you like about it?

Lyft passenger:  Do you also drive for Uber?

Lyft passenger:  Do you so anything other than Lyft?

After I answer  his questions,
I ask him:

Lyft Driver: So, what’s your favorite subject in school?

Lyft Driver:  What’s your plan after High School:  College, Military, Trade school Or straight to work? 

He talks about college.

Lyft Driver: What do you plan to study?

These Gen “K” kids are vastly different from their Gen “Z” and  “Millenial” predecessors.

According to Professor and Author- Noreena Hertz, Generation “K” also has a stunning commitment to social issues; they’re worried about terrorism and climate change, stressed out about getting jobs and getting into debt, are soberer than previous generations, and harder working, since “45% percent say they intend to work as hard as it takes to succeed over the next 10 years even if they have to labor day and night.”

She goes on to state:

What she found most alarming about Generation “K” is the profound amount of anxiety they seem to have. A lot of this could be brought on by living with and being shaped by things like:

.   war
.  school shootings
.  September 11th attacks

Article cred: (Splinternews.com)

My mind was blown by this young man’s ability to be engaging with an adult.   He was 100% present.  He never fiddled with his cell phone.  He’s quite unique

By the time I dropped this young man off; we had discussed nutrition and Gmo’s.  He pleaded his case as to WHY GMO’s get a bad rap. He recommended several YouTube channels to check out on GMO’s.  He tells me he’s studying to take his pilots license, while in the 11th grade so that when he finishes High School he can get his flying hours.  This young man’s plan is to be a computer engineer. He’s on the fast track to success.

He was not what I expected.   He was:

.   thoughtful.  kind.   interested
.  Interesting
.  engaging and.  mannerable

Lyft affords me this unique opportunity  to connect with people of varying:

.  Ages
.  Ethnicities
.  Socio-economic  backgrounds
.  Cultures  and
.  Religious beliefs

This Lyft experience could very well be the solution to:

.  Sexism
.  Ageism
.  Racism

And sheer ignorance.

Fee King
Lyft Chronicles
Fee@fee-king.com

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