Interesting people, places, conversations, experiences & insights brought to you by a guy, who took some time off from corporate enterprise sales to take an Uber sabbatical... and that sabbatical continues 4 years later! ...Please note: Unless a person of fame, I do change the names and all vital particulars that might identify the people I write about (for their privacy).
Insights

BERLIN INVASION

By
on
February 6, 2018
Sometimes things happen that are so coincidental, you think, Is it just the roll of the dice, or simply fate?  I would have to say that probably 50% of my rides are people from other countries.  People from China & India rank 1 & 2, followed by Europeans, South Americans, Mexicans and a sampling from too many countries to list.  On this particular day it felt more like fate as I picked up three consecutive rides… all women from Berlin, Germany.
 KAT:
Kat had to be standing at one of the worst intersections in Boston, heading to Cambridge.  Picking her up, I knew we would be honked at (which happens to be a favorite hobby of many Boston drivers), and yep, we were… Surprise, Surprise!
The first thing Kat said to me was, “Why are the people in Boston so mean?” I had to explain to her that it is a northeast thing.  People in greater Boston are really only “jerks” behind the wheel.  I have no explanation for this condition, but it’s just the way it is. I grew up driving in NYC and Jersey, so I know I can outdrive anyone in Boston, but I’ve learned to chill because I would go crazy reacting to this aggressive behavior.  I tell Kat, “It’s what you put out there that matters most.  People here are not like those friendly types from the Midwest or down south.  Here in Boston, you just need to be friendly and you will get the same response back… as long as you are out of your car, that is.” 
Kat laughed as we proceeded to her destination and of course as she got out we got honked at… ya gotta love it, right?
WILMA:
Wilma was my next pick-up, also from Berlin. She had just arrived in Boston after shooting a commercial in LA, and was staying with her American friend at an AirBnB. Wilma is half Portuguese so when were were driving through East Cambridge and she saw all the Portuguese signs on the store fronts, she became extremely excited.  So much excitement that I felt the need to roll down my window and yell out to” to pedestrians “HEY, Wilma is back in town!!!!” She laughed and so I had to ask, especially after Kat’s reaction to Boston people, “So, how do you like Boston?” Wilma replied, “I LOVE Boston, the people are so nice here!”
Say what?  I’m thinking… have you talked to Kat?  It was refreshing to get the polar opposite viewpoint from another person from Berlin.  We started chatting about her American friend, Mike, and I asked, “So are you guys dating?” Her face turned radish red and she exclaimed, “NO!” I replied, “So, you like him?”.She nodded her head yes, but said that Mike doesn’t know.
As we pulled up to WIlma’s destination, Mike walked out to greet her and I saw that he is a handsome guy with a rugged, hip look.  I mentioned that I think I need to have a little talk with Mike… he kinda needed to know how WIlma felt.  “No!” she yelled out as she laughed at the prospect of that happening.  “Don’t worry,” I tell her. “Your secret is safe with me… unless Mike reads this post!”
RACHEL:
I passed Rachel walking down a suburban street in Belmont and it looked like she put in the wrong address.
Rachel, also from Berlin.  Yes, I know what you are thinking… forget North Korea, we are having a Berlin invasion, right?  I mean, it is a bit odd to have three consecutive Berlin women pick-ups.  Like Wilma, Rachel said she loves being in the Boston area.  She’s an exchange student and was staying with a host family whom she likes, though they don’t do a lot with her and always ask her to watch their kids.  Rachel said they’re a bit controlling as well, and don’t like how much she goes out on her own little adventures around the city.  
I don’t know about you, but if I was hosting a foreign student I would be taking them all over the city and New England to show them all the great sites and things to do here.  Rachel seemed really happy and I gave her some ideas for places she might want to go see.  However, don’t you worry about Rachel. She had already created a network of other people in her same situation and in fact, that is where she was going for a meet-up.
Now I am pondering if perhaps there is a hidden message here for me, and fate is hinting that I might just need to go to Berlin and check that city out… anyone up for an adventure? 
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2 Comments
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Jim
Greater Boston, MA

Long story short: I started with Lyft (4) years ago as a sabbatical from enterprise B2B sales. I did not like Lyft for some of their policies and the way they ran their business so, I switched to Uber which I prefer for many reasons. I have found driving for Uber in Boston to be one of the most engaging gigs I have ever experienced.

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