Monday, August 26, 2013

Andrew, a Lyft Driver Who Happens to be Hearing Impaired

Last week I had the pleasure of catching a Lyft with Andrew. At first it was the usual drill. I used the app to page him and he was there almost immediately. That's when things got awesome.

As I walked over to the car, Andrew waived hello. [sidenote: when was the last time a cab driver waived to you? Never?]

I get in the car and say hello. Andrew smiles and says, "I'm Andrew and I'm deaf." He then points to his phone with Google Now open and says, "Where are you going?"

At this point I'm blown away. I tell the phone, "Take me to Hotel Nikko" and up pops the directions to Hotel Nikko. Andrew gives me a thumbs up, another smile and we drive away. I can already tell Andrew is a special guy so I snap this photo of him.

At the first red light, Andrew reaches over to the passenger seat, grabs a yellow note pad and writes something on it. No big deal I think, he's probably tracking all of his fares today. But then he hands me the notepad and his blue ballpoint pen. Andrew had written, "How is your day going?"

From that point on we begin to trade notes about our day, our career and our life. I find out that Andrew is from New York and moved to San Francisco to pursue a career in the energy industry. It turns out that California just deregulated a chunk of the energy business and Andrew thinks it has huge potential. He's an entrepreneur and drives for Lyft on the side to make a few bucks.

Andrew dropped me off at Hotel Nikko and I was sad to get out of the car. He's such a warm person. I enjoyed every second of our conversation via a yellow note pad. We filled up three pages and shared a lot of laughs and head nods. I got out of the car and knew I had made a new friend.

Cheers to you Andrew, the best damn driver I've ever had. And cheers to San Francisco, where technology, entrepreneurship and incredible people converge to make life so special.