Life After Uber

by , under Flash Fiction, Friday Fictioneers

I heard Jazad come in around 4:30, a full hour before usual. I got out of bed and found him sitting in our tiny kitchen, head in his hands. In the stark glare of the hanging lamp his hair was almost pure white.

“I can’t do it, Fatima.” His voice was almost a whisper. “Three of us share the medallion. For us to make rent I need to clear at least a hundred a night. Guess what I make tonight? Thirty-five dollars for ten hours of driving my cab.”

“Would you like coffee?”

“It won’t help.”

“It can’t hurt.”

He smiled.

 

Friday Fictioneers

  1. Iain Kelly

    I remember our hotel room in the New Yorker when we visited. We were upgraded to a better room as we were on honeymoon. There was just enough room to slide the suitcase between wall and bed. Goodness knows what the cheap rooms were like. A shame when prices force locals out.

    Reply
  2. Dale

    I can well imagine the difficulties these cabbies – especially those who must share said cab – face with Über coming in and stealing their jobs…
    Well written, Josh.

    Reply
  3. James Pyles

    I was hoping for a little light at the end of the tunnel, but coffee aside, I don’t know how they’ll survive in such a place.

    Reply
  4. rochellewisoff

    Dear Josh,

    That would be a rough life. You captured it well. And I like the smiles at the end. At least he still has a sense of humor. I also thought about the wonderful Uber driver I had a couple of years ago named Kareem. Although I’ve heard horror stories, mine, fortunately was not one of them.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Reply
  5. Rowena

    A sad story well told, Josh. I have never booked an Uber and can’t see myself doing it. I like the security of a taxi.
    There are so many people scratching to make a living. I don’t know how they survive because we struggle on a good income and are running out by the end of the fortnight. Admittedly, I’m not the best at budgeting. That hasn’t helped.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Reply
  6. Lynn Love

    Such a struggle making any decent living in a big city, and added to that the feeling of being out of your own culture, your own country. Well done Josh

    Reply
  7. Varad

    Life has indeed become difficult for the cabbies and the autorickshaw (tuk-tuk) drivers in India after Uber. But lot of the Uber drivers themselves are complaining that they have to hand over nearly 30% (including taxes) of their earnings to Uber now, where the corresponding rate was only 8% just a couple of years ago. Excellent story, J Hardy. You’ve captured their plight really well.

    Reply
  8. Liz Young

    Brighton, England, has rescinded Uber’s licence in favour of the local cabbies who actually know the area, speak the language, and must abide by a set of rules.

    Reply
  9. Jan Vanek

    I’ve often thought of the benefits of Uber. Now, you’re story brings to light the difficulties the success of Uber has brought to cabbies. Same thing can be said about Amazon’s success destroying book stores. :(

    Reply
  10. jillyfunnell

    Your tender portrait of Fatima is affecting. She is comforting him in a small way when the stress could have got to her and she could have gone into despair with him. Our black cab drivers in London not only have Uber to contend with, a whole bunch of them have just found out they are not insured because the company they were insured with has gone bankrupt. What they weren’t told at the outset was that the insurance company is Danish, so the cabbies aren’t protected by the Financial Services Authority in the UK. I personally am looking at the origins of my insurance companies more carefully now. I want to echo Joni Mitchell “You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.” I am going to Seattle and on to New York in a few months and I will only use regular cabs.

    Reply

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