I drive to other places for various events. I like to have a passenger because sometimes it gets late and a conversation is the best way to keep from falling asleep on the interstate.

Usually my passengers are grateful and make the trip very enjoyable. Not always. Which is why I’m writing this. I’d like to point some things out to people who are riding with others.

First, when asking (begging) for a ride, comply to the driver’s requests. “Meet me here at this time,” is a reasonable request. The response should be, “Okay, see you then,” or even, “Okay, but can you wait 5 minutes? I may be a little late.”

The incorrect response is “Can you pick me up?” If I wanted to pick you up, I would have said so. The reason I don’t want to drive across town to pick someone up has nothing to do with picking them up. It’s with dropping them off. When it’s 2:20a, I just want to get to my bed. I don’t want to spend another 15 minutes driving you to your location and then wishing I hadn’t picked you up in the first place.

Another incorrect response is, “Why not? Why the EFF can’t you come pick me up? It’s only a few blocks!”

This response is wrong for many reasons. First off, it’s MY CAR. I drive it where I want to drive it. If you want to be in it, you should be where it is. Second, swearing at me isn’t going to make me rethink the decision. It’s actually going to make it tougher for you to get into my car at all. EVER. Third, if it’s only a few blocks, then hop on a bike or walk on over. Unless you have some sort of handicap, I’m not going too far out of my way.

Once inside my car, you should really make the trip enjoyable. Demanding that we stop at certain places and not being forthcoming on where only serves to make me more upset. If you need to stop at a specific ATM, I’m cool with that – but let me know where. It’s not my job to keep you happy. It’s your job to keep me happy. I’m not going searching for your stupid ATM. Especially if you have internet on your phone. Click and find that ATM. Tell me where it is. I’m not driving around town searching for your stupid ATM.

And if you’re going to make me stop at a convenience store or whatever, how about you not ask me to pay for it? Actually, you should be paying for a drink for me, really. Requesting a specific store is even more absurd.

At this point, I’m looking for a place to drop you off. At this point, the hassle isn’t worth any conversation at 2am anyway. More than likely you’re going to be an the verge of passing out or vomiting in my car at that point. At which point I’ll be more than happy to dump your convulsing body on the side of the road. Especially if I have to clean your vomit up.

Also – don’t argue with me about religion. Don’t tell me that Jesus never existed. Tell me he’s not the messiah, I can respect that opinion. But tell me he never existed? There is indisputable scientific and historical evidence that there was a man that walked the earth in the role of Jesus. Never mind the fact that you cannot prove that something never existed.

Oh, and if you’re going to tell me how anti-socialism you are and how you don’t want to pay for other people’s stuff, then maybe you shouldn’t ask me for a ride and not offer up any sort of compensation whatsoever. Maybe you shouldn’t demand that I pick you up and drive on your terms? If you were really such a capitalist and anti-socialist, maybe you’d offer up a little compensation for my time and expenses. What you’re doing in my car when you ride for free is a perfect example of socialism – based on your definition of socialism. I’m paying for you to ride in my car – both financially and emotionally.

If I start looking for a place to drop you off, maybe you should rethink your attitude in my car. I don’t mind you disagreeing with me. I don’t mind you offering up different aspects and points of views, but allow me mine. Don’t cut me off and tell me I’m wrong. Don’t demand that I act a certain way in your presence. The walk home is dark and lonely, and most people won’t stop for you at 2 in the morning.

I’m not the bad guy here – I’m providing a service for you. That you are not compensating for.

I was under the assumption that most people knew how ‘bumming a ride’ worked. Maybe I’m still right, but this incident has made me wary about letting people into my car.

Bottom line – if you’re in someone else’s car, or house, you play by their rules. Usually the driver or homeowner isn’t going to be unreasonable with the requests – and if they are, then you’re better off not being there in the first place. Your job as a passenger is to make things as enjoyable for the driver as possible.

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