Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Professional Masochist

 I never hail Uber or those rideshare services. Because I know what’s gonna happen. Chances are great that I won’t be able to get a ride because there aren’t any cripple accessible vehicles on the street. And that’s because Uber drivers use their own private vehicles and most people’s own private vehicles aren’t cripple accessible.

And I don’t know about you but for me, hailing a ride isn’t a theoretical exercise. When I decide I need to go someplace, it’s because I need to go someplace. Why would I hail a ride to get me there if I didn’t care whether or not they show up?

And so I don’t bother to even consider Uber because it seems masochistic. I feel it’s as pointless as sitting on a buzzsaw. I know what gonna happen so why not just spare myself the pain?

But now I’m thinking maybe I should rethink that strategy. It seems there actually are some cripples who actually hailed Uber and actually got picked up. I know such people exist because the U.S.  Department of Justice sued Uber on behalf of these cripples. DoJ sued Uber because after these cripples got picked up they were charged extra because they took more than two minutes to get loaded into the vehicle. DoJ said that was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Apparently Uber hits riders with an extra fee if they keep a driver waiting more than two minutes. If so, if I ever managed to somehow land Uber rides then I’d probably get hit with that fee every time. I don’t just open the car door and hop in like your average vert (which is what I call people who walk because it’s short for vertical.) If it’s a cripple accessible van, the driver has to get out and come around and deploy the wheelchair ramp. Then I roll in and maneuver into place. Then the driver has to strap down my wheelchair so I don’t ricochet around the van like a pinball when they hit the brakes. It’s gonna take at least two minutes to do all that, if we’re lucky.

Well, DoJ recently announced a settlement of the lawsuit, in which Uber agreed to pay $1.8 million to more than a thousand cripples who reported being stung by those fees.

I’m jealous. If I’d have just gone out there an taken my lumps instead of avoiding Uber altogether, some of that cash could’ve been mine. But that’s what I get for not trying to go places where I'm not welcome.

But maybe it’s not too late for me. Maybe I can become a professional masochist.  I’ll take my shot, even when I know damn well I’ll be rebuffed, and then I'll sue the hell out of people. It’s probably a painful way to make a living, but what isn’t?

Maybe I should start today by trying to hail an Uber. But I’m afraid that, just my luck, everything will go smooth and I’ll get to where I’m going. 

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