Get Moving Asap Please

Being a rideshare driver that operates primarily in NYC, I’m constantly on the move.  So, the last thing I need to be told by anyone is to get moving. In fact there’s little to no stopping during a routine shift, unless I’m stuck in traffic.  “Get moving asap please” was a message I received by the operations team that coordinates driver/rider transactions with Via.

I was sitting a red light when the

y/he/she, whomever it was, decided that my cell phone GPS (and therefore my surrounding vehicle) had been stagnate for too long;  and some instruction was needed to prompt me back into service.  So far I’ve rarely received instruction from Via’s ops’ team.  But for whatever reason they felt the need to verbally intervene with the idle, vehicle-shaped blip, that obviously is being monitored from behind the curtain.

How did this make me feel?  Well, it’s one of those little ego jabs that mandates being laughed off.  

Haha, you millennials don’t realize there’s left-turn signals on the WestSide highway?  Tells me how much road experience you actually have.

If left to brood over (which isn’t the point of this post, but instead an exploration of workplace dynamics) the little things can turn into monstrous demons.   That’s why I take to my blog here, and the vastness of the interwebs to vent about petty human annoyances.  And within the website, will fantasize about all the little ways that I could have responded to this insignificant exchange.  Don’t judge me, because I know we all do this in some form or another (e.g., thinking of that perfect comeback hours later, “Ack, that’s what I should’ve said!”).

Ok, here we go:

-> Get moving asap please

                                 Amen brother! <-

That’s how I mentally responded.  By taking the high road, after seemingly having drank the Kool-Aid that ignites my gung-ho! enthusiasm for doing Via’s ridesharing.  Literally.  This response requires minimal effort for maximum acknowledgement.  And was definitely one very tempting option that was considered; however, the opportunity to actually text while on shift is pretty minimal.

-> Get moving asap please

                    I’m at a red light dude <-

There’s another option to dealing with confrontation.  It’s called the blinding honesty route.  Although the effort is similarly minimal, this response doesn’t quite nip-it-in-the-bud as much.  I’ve left a little room for some back-and-forth, which of course would be highly undesirable.  In fact, any response that I would’ve made may have precipitated a follow-up text from the operations team member.  And that’s a slippery slope to travel down.

-> Get moving asap please

                                   <no response>

Then there’s the trusty ol’ no response, and subsequent ride cancellation.  Sure it’s childish and immature, but as I’ve well learned through life and in my academic career, there are consequences.

And yes, even to a seemingly innocuous text message from a stranger.  Perhaps my immaturity is a byproduct of being confided to a 6,000 lbs. box for a third of a day, each day.  But there’s potentially a chance that I was still being monitored at this point.  And an immediate ride cancellation would have been a little fishy.  

Similarly, knowing I’m being monitored while on the road (which Via’s operations team does for all active/Online drivers from a shared work-space in Manhattan, in case you haven’t picked up on that yet) makes me second guess any response I make maliciously.  Either directly or indirectly to another person (i.e., to a rider or operations team member, or even the off-chance driver I pick-up).  

-> Get moving asap please

                                   <no response>

Finally, this all leads to the last potential outcome, which ultimately what occurred (did it?).  The no response, followed by subsequent compliance in rider pickup.  When I received the text “get moving asap please,” it felt like a single-direction message.  That is, the sender wasn’t intending for me to respond, except well, to get moving!  Whatever, message received and duty continues (can I have ‘nother glass of Kool-Aid please?)  

Along these lines, I couldn’t resist the temptation to openly discuss the text message with my subsequent pax pickup; as if she herself had been the message sender.  Despite wholly knowing that it came from a veiled operations team member; however, she (i.e., the pax) confirmed that she wasn’t the sender.  

And seemed a little defensive about it, as I was!  It sort of became a mini-connection in that sense.  Besides, I never like to cancel on the first trip of the day anyways.  Because it sets a negative tone for the rest of the shift.  Moral of the story?  Life is best taken with a grain of salt.  And btw, look how beautiful the Hudson River sunset is this time of year.

Happy Ridesharing!