Chats with pax: The rider conversations that have stayed with drivers
Some riders are keen to strike up a conversation as soon as they get in the car, while some make it clear from the start they’re in no mood to talk. But every now and then, you find yourself having a great chat with a passenger.
These might be silly or funny, or it might be something deep and meaningful. For whatever reason, some chats just stick in the memory.
Lockdowns have shown us what we miss by not being able to interact with other people outside our own home. And with more people starting to head back to offices and going out socially again, there’s more opportunity to practice our social skills, especially when they’ve gone unused for so long.
We recently asked how you were feeling about chats with pax, and whether the pandemic has changed things.
Here’s what you told us:
- 38% of drivers said they like a good conversation with their passengers
- 38% said small talk is nice, but that’s all you need
- And 24% said they’d rather not speak much, what with the need for face masks.
So what about the conversations themselves?
We also asked drivers to share their memorable rider stories – here’s a selection of what you came back with.
The broken heart
“A girl got into my car who was in tears. To try and console her I started talking to her, and after some time she told me why she was crying.
“She said she had caught her boyfriend cheating on her with her best friend. I told her this was the best thing that could have happened, and of course she asked me why. I asked would she rather catch him cheating now, or in the future when they were married with kids? As for the best friend, I said: ‘She’s not your best friend, she’s your worst enemy because she betrayed you.’ With that, the girl stopped crying.
“She looked at me and said: ‘You’re right, none of them deserve me and it was better this way.’ She then thanked me and said I had given the best advice anyone could give. She said: ‘You’ve turned my day around. Thank you very much, I’m very happy I got in your car.”
“My most memorable and enjoyable trip was actually a pool trip. I picked up a guy first, who was quite nice, and shortly after that a girl joined. Then I had a ping for another two passengers. I had to drive through a very narrow street to pick them up, and I said to the two passengers in the car that it felt like driving through Venice. We had a bit of laugh.
“As it turned out, the couple we were picking up were Italian tourists. One of the passengers asked where they are from, and I kid you not, they were from Venice! We all burst out laughing.
“The Italian guy was pretty drunk, but very decent at the same time, and just kept on repeating how happy and how drunk he was. It was just a general conversation, but it felt like I was with very good friends.”
The witches suitcase
“I picked up a lady carrying a 30-year-old leather suitcase. I asked her about the case, because it was so old, and asked if she’d collected it from her grandmother. She said: ‘No, my grandmother was a (word that rhymes with ‘witch’). I collected it from my sister.” I was shocked that someone would say that about their own grandmother!”
“One night I picked up a guy who told me he was 45 years of age. He had been drinking, and said his best friend had been killed on Tuesday. He was subdued. At one point, his son called and they spoke for a few minutes.
“I was really touched by his situation. As he got out of the car, I handed him an unopened bag of peanuts, and said: ‘We’ve got to continue taking care of each other.’ He took them from me, saying: ‘Please keep your kind heart.’ It was a small gesture, but he and I were both very moved by the encounter.”
If these stories have inspired you to get talking, check out our blog on how to have great conversations with your riders.
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