I thanked my driver for finding me. I told him we were heading to University Hospital downtown, and he said he had no idea what that was or where it was, so I told him we were starting with a right turn. Turns out he has only been in Phoenix for a few months. I think it takes about a year to become comfortable with the city enough to know where certain places are.

I asked my driver where he was from, and he said Kankakee, Illinois. Now, I have driven through many states, and have been through Illinois many times because of work and travel, but never heard of this city. It’s about an hour south of Chicago. Chicago was the first place I traveled to when I landed my first job in Phoenix, which was a traveling training job. I was trying to remember the name of the Chicago suburb where I would stay while I was talking to my driver but my mind completely blanked out. I told him I would remember when it was 3 am – which is close enough. It came back at about 4:30. I stayed in Schaumburg, where the very first Ikea in the U.S. opened. I still have a few items including my silverware set that I scored when I went there. I still remember how heavy my suitcase was.

My driver found out that I was previously in IT, and so told me about his old laptops and desktop, and about wanting to replace them. He was in his 70s and I could tell that he was comfortable with technology, much more than some in his generation. We talked about android vs. Apple, and we talked about Windows 11. My driver told me that he wasn’t quite sure about what to look for in a newer machine, so we talked about the processor, the memory, and that operating system. And then we talked about his printer that has been giving him trouble. He said that he had tried everything, but when he was telling me all the steps he went through, he never said he uninstalled and reinstalled the print drivers. I told him that he probably needed to do that to make sure he really had tried everything. I recently had a laser printer die after only two years, but every component died, and the machine was past warranty. It wasn’t worth salvaging. I told my driver that in the future, whenever he is ready to recycle, including plugs and cords or any type of equipment, Best Buy has a recycling program and to take it to a specific location near us (because not all Best Buy stores participate). My driver said that he was considering taking classes from them on how to use his computer, and I told him that if he was comfortable talking to me about his print drivers and how to uninstall and reinstall, he didn’t need a class. It would really just be about them taking his money at that point.

While we were driving, his wife called, and he warned her she was on speaker and I was in the vehicle as well. She asked him where his “stuff” was, and he said it was hanging up somewhere (a continuation of a previous conversation, apparently). Then she swore at him a little bit – because it didn’t seem to phase her that I could hear her too, not that I am a prude or anything – and they hung up. My driver said that she was getting over a sinus infection and was beginning to feel better, but that she was getting ready to fly home this weekend, and then fly home again in January. He said he didn’t understand why she moved down to Phoenix if she was going to be home so much. With the way that he said it, I wondered if they lived together all of the time, or kept separate households. After he dropped me off, my driver was heading all the way home to get a sandwich. It was at least a 40-minute drive. Maybe they just wanted to swear at each other in person.