A few days ago, I shared my change in route the morning of race through a park and detour to visit my favorite polar bear. Since two of us changed plans but one was still running, we decided to Uber home to change clothes and begin the next part of our day. The person we’d leave behind parked his car close to the race route.
We secured a driver, but he struggled to find a route to us. We saw vehicles driving by us, so we weren’t sure of the problem, but we assumed some roads were blocked because of the race. The driver called and was frustrated, so we suggested he cancel the trip. He could take a closer fare, and we could schedule another driver.
Our second driver was just five minutes away, then three, then seven, then nine. Apparently, he was having a hard time getting to us also. He called and told us he couldn’t find us. I confirmed our location. He called back and was frustrated and said he couldn’t get to us. I kindly suggested he cancel the trip and assured him that was okay with us. It was not okay with him. It would somehow affect his points, so we should cancel. I did not want to incur a fee, and since we were where we were supposed to be, I asked him again to cancel the trip. Fifteen minutes had passed. We began to walk to meet the person who had now finished the race, so we could ride with him.
My phone rang again, and the driver insisted I cancel the trip. I asked him to stop calling me, assured him I would not give him a bad review but that he needed to move on and take another fare. He called back one more time, nearly 30 minutes after my original reservation, and he told me I MUST cancel the trip.
Deep breath.Sir, I have tried to be patient with you, but this is now bordering on harassment. Cancel the trip, or don’t cancel the trip, but you were not able to get to my location, and I have found an alternate plan. Do not call me again.
It was a frustrating situation. I don’t know the details of his day and life. I don’t know the challenges he was facing. He was obviously frustrated. I tried to be patient, and I think I was kind. But we can be patient and compassionate while also establishing a line and following reasonable, healthy boundaries.
Not just with Uber drivers but with anyone.
The decision to be patient and compassionate is ongoing. It requires constant reflection and choice. The decision to set and follow healthy boundaries is ongoing. It requires constant reflection and choice. The decision to be defensive and combative is ongoing. It requires constant reflection and choice.
What decisions are you making today? How consistent are you with your reflections and choices?