I thanked my driver for finding me. He told me I wasn’t playing (as I was getting in, Sir Mix A Lot was blasting. Oh Yeah, old school!). Usually riders made him wait until they just kind of wandered outside, but he liked that I was right outside and ready. It was 7 am for this ride, so in Arizona at this time of year, it means the temperature hovers between 85 and 90 degrees and allows me to wait and not pass out.
I asked him where he was from. He said he was from Florida, and then he lived in Dallas for a while, and now he is here. I told him he picked the states with the worst social safety nets and employment stability. He said Florida and Texas were bad, and Arizona is better. He told me he has a Master’s degree in business administration. I asked him where he was working and he said he had a government job, which is generally great – stability plus benefits. But my driver told me that when he hustles, he makes more with Uber. So he keeps the government job for the 401k and health insurance, and Uber pays rent and fun money.
Then he let me know he has a 2-year-old daughter, but she is out of state. So he wants to get a larger apartment and get set up for her to be with him for at least the summer months. When he was telling me about his daughter and his finances and his planning, he was tense, but I think it’s because he is a planner, rolling those numbers through his head over and over. It’s a way to manifest things into happening. He obviously has tunnel vision and loves his little girl. I hope he has some support, though I didn’t get a chance to ask.