It's probably safe to say that most people who take UberPool aren't doing it for the conversation with strangers. While it's cheaper and more environmentally responsible than taking a private Uber ride, you can't always guarantee the best pool partners. At the end of the day, no one really wants to participate in small talk with two or three strangers crammed inside a Honda Civic for what's usually a minimum of ten minutes. It's the equivalent of sitting in the back seat of a car between two uncles that you last saw when you were a kid, on your way to a relative's wedding. It's an uncomfortable experience for most, if not all, involved.
But UberPooling as a woman, like any other kind of sharing service today, can become significantly more uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous. I mean, even with regular car sharing services, it's never really been ideal for a woman to get in a car with a stranger whose photo, eight times out of ten, looks like a potential mug shot.
So when you hop in a car with multiple strangers, Murphy's Law will surely have it that you end up with at least one bad seed. For the sake of warning other women about what they'll encounter, and to show men what they probably (definitely) shouldn't do, we created this list of the kind of men you'll meet in UberPool.
The Guy Who Thinks UberPool Is Speed Dating
Sure, UberPool can be a great way to meet people. But I can assure you that no one goes onto the Uber app and clicks the Pool option thinking, "Maybe today is the day I will meet The One." Uber is a transportation service and that's strictly what most people view it as. That is, except for when you end up in the back seat with a man who wants to play an impromptu game of 20 questions.
Almost immediately, this dude will literally turn towards you and proceed to ask personal questions like how you like living in your condo (which unfortunately he now knows you live in because that's where the Uber picked you up), your background, how many siblings you have, the details of your job, and your career aspirations.
This will also take place at eight in the morning on your way to work, which is exactly the time that you want to speak and think the absolute least. After dozens of noncommittal responses, or straight up moments of silence when you just give up and ignore him, he'll then ask for your number when one of you arrive at your respective destinations.
Honourable mention: the dude who insists upon playing this song the entire ride
Driver Who Wants to Play Matchmaker with You and Another Customer
All you wanted to do was get to your tattoo appointment, but this Uber[cess]Pool driver has other plans. He says a "beautiful young lady like you" needs to get wifed up—in fact, how about this nice man who is vaguely around the same age as you sitting in the passenger seat? When he starts talking about how attractive your children would be, you and the other customer both simultaneously transform into living Mr. Krabs memes. Briefly, you consider an exit strategy wherein you jump out of the Toyota Corolla while it is still moving. After somehow living through the next turn in conversation, wherein he suggests that you shouldn't have a career because you are a woman, you stumble out of the car at your final destination, nearly throwing up on the curbside as you SMASH that one-star rating when your app has the audacity to ask you how your trip went.
The Quiet, Respectful Guy from a Hip Startup
You've actually seen this guy around before, playing ping pong on an outdoor table with some other tech bros near your local "handmade espresso" shop. Nice khakis, nice knit tie, and sharp blazer from Top Shop. He nods politely when you get in the car and goes back to furiously typing into Slack on his iPhone. You ignore him and drive home in peace and as the driver drops you off, the tech guy leans over to you and hands you an emoji-laden business card with "let's collab" handwritten on the back of card.
The Man Who Orders the Driver Around Because He Apparently Knows Everything About Local Traffic
This guy will condescendingly tell the driver to divert from the route he's following on his GPS to take the side street that's "100 percent faster during this time of night." When the driver starts to turn onto that street but then stops because there is a Road Closed sign, this dude playfully urges him to go anyways because local traffic is allowed. As you're riding down this tiny residential street, he lectures the driver about the city's streets, assuming that he has no idea where he's going. And then when the dude gets out at his destination you're stuck on a one-way street and have to make an even bigger, longer detour to get to your stop because of that dude's selfishness.
The Two Guys Who Immediately Bro it up and Make You, the Third Wheel, Very Uncomfortable
When two bros are in your UberPool, they will already be deep in conversation about their finance jobs by the time you enter the car. You might think they already know each other because the guy in the front is turned around and smiling at the other dude in the backseat and then they share a fist bump, but you realize they didn't know each other until five minutes ago. They quickly acknowledge your existence before they dive right back into their bro-sesh—and that will go on for the whole ride while you alternate between looking at your phone and making eye contact with the quiet Uber driver is who is also noticeably uncomfortable. Then one of the bros will get out, leaving you and the solo bro to start a conversation, as if you weren't already sitting there for five minutes.
The Dude Who Propositions You for a Gangbang with the Other Passengers Whom Are Also Strangers
It's last call, and you're a little short on funds after a night out drinking with the pals on Queen Street West. So, you make the seemingly responsible decision to take an UberPool. Classic mistake. Though the three bros who are already in the car don't even know each other, they seem to share a collective consciousness with a sole purpose of creeping on you. After sitting in the backseat clutching your coat around you with your head partially stuck out the window in an attempt to avoid engaging in a discussion about sexual fetishes, you finally pull up to your apartment building. The grand finale: As you open the car door, the dude sitting next to you asks, "Hey, how about we all come up to yours?" The other passengers with penises promptly erupt into laughter, but all you can think about as you decline their self-invitation into your home is that they now know where you live. Yes, this actually happened to me.