How my first ride with Uber turned out to be a huge cluster


(Photo courtesy Pixabay)

When you’re in a community with hundreds of miles of coastline, don’t expect to punch 1301 S. Ocean into Uber and necessarily expect to end up where you intend to go.

I learned that the hard way.

I had intended to attend the SMART Recovery meeting in Hollywood Beach Tuesday night. I had reached out to the facilitator and explained that I was interested in meeting with him before the meeting because I would like to start a SMART Recovery group in my community, the Quad-Cities. He agreed to meet with me before the meeting about that.

I had called him earlier in the week too, and had hoped to meet with him Monday. But as it turns out, that meeting no longer is active.

Before he even had called me back, I called and explained I was meeting with a friend and would not be able to go to the Monday meeting. He ended up calling a couple of days later, said that meeting no longer was active anyway, so we agreed we would meet tonight, Tuesday, before the Hollywood Beach meeting.

He told me the meeting was at 1301 S. Ocean, in Hollywood Beach, not far at all from my hotel, B Ocean Resort, up A1A.

So when I punched 1301 S. Ocean into Uber and it picked a spot three miles from the hotel, I assumed that was it.

No, it ended up being a coin laundry in Pompano Beach. The other 1301 S. Ocean, where I was supposed to go, would have been the other direction, just a bit further away from my hotel. The meeting is held at the Hollywood Community Center. Obviously, Uber just picked the closest one. I could not tell the difference on the Uber map.

Then, once I arrived at the coin laundry in Pompano Beach, because of the way Uber works, I had to get out and request a new Uber driver. By the time the next Uber driver came, it was too late to get to Hollywood Beach in time for the meeting.

I called the meeting facilitator and apologized, and I definitely think he thought I was a flake alcoholic, at least at first. Oh well, all of that’s out of my control. I could only control how I reacted to this cluster.

I explained the story to the second Uber driver, who simply drove me back to my hotel. He was very cool about it. He reminded me that I can’t always control what happens in life, but that I can control how I react to it.

Which is exactly the stuff that gets talked about in recovery meetings. So, mission accomplished.

I will say this about Uber. Both drivers were courteous and had very nice, clean automobiles. One had a Nissan Pathfinder; the other a Nissan Sentra. The roundtrip cost of my unintentional trip to the Laundromat was $25.