BEHIND THE WHEEL: A LYFT DRIVER’S LOG #2: $5, 5 ½” x 8 ½”, copied, 56 pgs.

Feb 02, 2015

I don’t use ride shares. After growing up with a slightly paranoid Mexican grandmother who was fearful of me being murdered while at sleepovers with my school friends, I am wary of getting into even the most regulated cars with strangers. Through the drunken rants of my roommate’s boyfriend about the evils of Uber—“They steal your information! They can always see your location!”—unfortunately, after checking out the suggested online supplementary reading, it seems that Lyft life is less than sweet. The unfair wages for drivers and company silencing of differing opinions about these policies has only strengthened my initial distaste for ridesharing. Clocking in at fifty-six pages of pure text, Dessaint’s accounts offer a unique perspective to these rideshares that many people forget: the driver’s point of view. I found myself worried that overly drunk riders would vomit in his car; I cringed when a couple used his backseat as their own personal makeout haven; and I clenched my teeth while reading the conversations between tech bros and conservative republicans. I commend Dessaint for his ability to navigate the waters, as these situations all seemed like torture to me. Above all, Dessaint is inarguably enamored with the idea of San Francisco: the art, the culture, the history. Yet, his experiences tell tales more of frustration with what the city has become in recent years, rather than the happiness of being in the city he’s always loved. He and his wife live in nearby Oakland, as they cannot afford to live within San Francisco due to the influx of tech workers raising rent prices. The fact that his dream city is still a bridge away is a source of bitterness for Dessaint. I’ll drive myself around, thank you. –Ashley Ravelo (Kelly Dessaint, PO Box 22974, Oakland, CA94609, [email protected])