I thanked my driver for finding me. He told me that GPS didn’t want him to take a simple left turn onto the street and right into the parking lot; it wanted him to drive up the street and take a u-turn, then turn back into the parking lot. It’s a wonder it didn’t want him to drive into a lake.

I asked my driver where he was from originally. He said he grew up in Los Angeles. His high school is still there, but it’s very close to the airport, and he can’t imagine going there now. Everything has changed drastically. He said he worked for 25 years in L.A., and then the company (Frito Lay) transferred him to Palm Springs, where he was sort of a one man show. He was responsible for sales, operations, management and distribution. But then when he was 61, the company forced him into an early retirement.

He decided to get into beverage distribution on his own, and did that for a few years. But it was always a struggle. Someone managed to talk him into finishing his degree, and that was completely useless. My driver just kind of threw his hands up in the air and said now what. He also told me that age discrimination was a real thing. I told him that I knew about that, because when I was laid off at age 40, I had it in writing that I would likely face age discrimination – and I did. It wasn’t imagined, I was told I was too old for a position, and I was floored. He didn’t seem phased when I told him this, only outraged that it happened when he was in his mid-60s.

My driver decided that rather sit than around, he would drive for Uber/Lyft and pull in cash that way. He and his wife also moved from Palm Springs to the Phoenix area a year and a half ago, approximately the time when the pandemic just started. A difficult time to be sure, but he seemed to adjust okay. He got into a 55+ community and signed up for an online board to make himself available for airport runs for a flat fee, which a lot of his neighbors immediately hit him up for. Now he drives Uber/Lyft only when the airport rides are quiet.

I mentioned to him that I had some family members who lived in Palm Springs that were just kind of fed up and moved to Nashville. My driver told me that he also knew people who were fed up and moved to Nashville. We compared names (because it can be a small world) and determined they were not the same people, but you never know.

Friendchip Goals coffee mug

Make Salsa Not War sugar skull t-shirt

I Love You & Chips cutting board