Diary of an Uber Driver: 5 Riders I Gave Less Than 5 Stars in 2015

I gave Marco, the cocaine injecting raver, five stars. I gave the insufferable Felicity and her gaggle of giggling private school girls, five stars. Hell, I even gave Holly five  stars after she called me ugly with a small dick (how on earth did she find out?) I gave these passengers five stars because they were wildly entertaining. They were harmless and gave me a story to tell. You are probably wondering what you would need to do to score less than five stars as a passenger in my Uber? Well, here are five passengers from 2015 I scored lower than five.

Passenger (1)

This really was a shame. I picked up a man in his mid-thirties, a journalist in fact, from Redfern in November last year. He was immaculately dressed for a day of debauchery out on Sydney harbour for a Buck’s party. He had perfectly gelled hair, a freshly ironed checkered shirt and a brand new pair of shiny, brown leather shoes. He was an excellent conversationalist and had me in stitches for most of the ride with stories about the group of friends he was going out with on the night. I noticed midway through the ride he was chewing his nails. Actually, he wasn’t just chewing them, he began gnawing at his fingernails furiously as we approached the destination. He bade me farewell and I reached for my phone to end the trip and give my new friend five stars…. when I saw it. My front seat and floor were littered with half chewed fingernails. He had been peeling back his nails and, with stealth, spitting them on my floor and car seat. I just sat there staring at the collection of nails for what must have been thirty seconds, willing them with all my might to just disappear. I had to pull over to a petrol station and vacuum the boneyard of fingernails from my car. Valuable time lost: 20 minutes

My rating: 3 Stars

Passenger (2)

I’m sure many of you reading this are guilty of this passengers sin. Well, maybe not to this extent but certainly to a degree.

It was a glorious thirty degree day in Sydney when the call came in to pick up a gentleman from Clovelly. The Eastern Suburbs in the summertime is divine. I’m particularly fond of the giant rock pool at Clovelly and the resident blue gropers that lurk beneath the cool, clear water. My new passenger was too. I pulled over and a man in his late twenties waddled toward my car, still wearing a pair of oversized flippers from a day exploring the rockpool. He had a bright green towel wrapped around his waist, actually it was wrapped far higher than his waist. It was right up to the bottom of his rib cage. He was wearing a black Rip Curl rash shirt and still had a snorkeling mask wrapped awkwardly around his head. Surely not, I thought as Scuba Steve approached. He’s not getting in sopping wet and dressed like that is he? Before I had a chance to object, the aqua-pest opened my door and plonked down beside me. He was absolutely soaked. “Alright pal, how are ya?” he asked in a strong British accent. “Day for it, isn’t it fella?” he asked, grinning broadly as a giant droplet of water rolled down his nose and landed on his chest. It was far too late to berate the wet mess sitting beside me so I drove him home to Bondi. He struggled from my car, still wearing those fucking flippers, and waddled off up Bondi Rd. It was game over for the next hour as I sponged the salty water from my seat.

My rating: 3 Stars

Passenger (3)

Many of you will be familiar with one of my earlier stories about Lydia and her intolerable four-year old son, Philippe. Here is a brief re-cap. Philippe is one of those inner-city, miniature menaces who drinks babycinos by the dozen and commandeers his parents iPad to play Bejewelled with the volume turned right up, much to the dismay of anyone within a ten metre radius. During a trip back in May, Philippe got bored with Bejewelled and invented a new game called “Kick the Uber drivers seat.” I ignored the onslaught from the backseat and informed his mother, Lydia, that South Dowling St was congested, before suggesting an alternate route. She disagreed, which is completely fine. What wasn’t the best was her comment a mere five minutes later of, “Why the hell did you go this way when you knew there was traffic?” The icing on the cake was a backseat full of popcorn from the mini, munching, monster.

My rating: 2 Stars

Passenger (4)

“If you try and talk to me I will give you one star.” These were the first words, spoken in monotone, from a middle-aged male passenger back in September of last year, as he sat down directly behind me. I wasn’t bothered by this request/threat. I can’t imagine this passenger would be much fun at parties. The problem was, he hadn’t entered his destination into the Uber app. I decided to have a bit of fun with him so I just sat there, waiting for him to speak. Seconds passed before he spoke again, “Are you going to go?” he demanded. I showed him my phone and pointed to the empty ‘enter destination’ search bar. “Oh, Sorry!” he replied, before entering the destination.

Yeah, me too mate.

My rating: 4 Stars

Passenger (5)

I heard it. It was unmistakable. The young man I just picked up from a pub in Newtown just broke wind violently on my backseat. You’ve got to be kidding me, he just did it again. “Ahhh sorry mate, haha! That Kebab has gone right through me!” he said dismissively, while thumbing through FaceBook on his mobile. I immediately lowered my windows. “Whoaaa! Bit cold for that isn’t it mate?” my passenger asked. “Yeah, but you just farted, twice!” I responded in absolute disbelief. “Don’t worry, doesn’t smell!” he replied.

It did smell.

My rating: 3 Stars

For those of you thinking of driving for Uber out there, don’t be dismayed by the few negative experiences I have endured. I would say 99% of my riders are fantastic, friendly, positive people.  For those riders with a low rating, be careful. You could find yourself stranded on a cold, Saturday night as Uber driver after  Driver reject your fare.

I’ll be back out on the road tonight in Sydney, getting riders home safely. When will this rain go away? So much for a sunny summer in Sydney.

Uber on!


  1. Great post Ben, like other commenters I’m really impressed by your blog, which I found after you were on The Drum this afternoon. I laughed at the story of the ‘high’ escort. Keep on blogging!

    LikeLiked by 1 person

  2. You’re far too generous with your ratings…

    Just curious, how do you handle people who just jump in with an open bottle/can of alcohol?

    I’m considering keeping the car doors locked until I can fully assess the pax. Any sign of drunkenness is a cancel and drive off.

    LikeLiked by 1 person

    • That’s a tough one Troy. I think if you let them in and then ask really politely if they would mind finishing their drinks before you started the trip they wouldn’t mind. Most passengers are reasonable people.


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