4 out of 4 stars
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Q: Snippets from a Rideshare Driver by R.T. Otovic takes a look at one man’s job as a rideshare driver. It can be categorized as biographical fiction and is loosely based on the author’s experiences. After working in various jobs in the transportation industry, Boston native C.D. Howell becomes a rideshare driver at Tampa Bay International Airport. The story focuses on his reminiscences of quirky passengers and the downtime spent with other drivers in the cellphone parking lot. There are also recommendations for improvements, such as mandatory vehicle inspections every ninety days.
Ridesharing is similar to taking a taxi; the key difference is multiple people can share a ride to their respective destinations. The “Q” is an abbreviation for a queue. In this case, rideshare drivers “get in line” through a cellphone app and wait their turn for passengers. By ending each chapter with a random Q number, the author gives an effective reminder of what it’s like to wait in the parking lot between rides.
The parking lot becomes a living room of sorts, as the drivers relax between rides. The imagery is clear of the group playing cards on the back of a car while regaling each other with funny stories. Each driver’s backstory is fleshed out well. It’s interesting that some people prefer being a rideshare driver vs. working in an office. For example, attorney Mathieu quit his job at a law firm to become a rideshare driver, and he loves his new profession.
I thoroughly enjoyed this witty, well-written book. I laughed out loud when one passenger, Frank, called to ask if C.D. was driving a Toyota Corolla with an “f--ing piece of sh-- Red Sox sticker on the back.” When entering the vehicle, Frank admitted he was a New Yorker; it can be assumed he was a Yankees fan.
C.D.’s warm, down-to-earth personality is the heart of this story and gives it a special sparkle. I felt like he was an old friend telling me about his day at the “office.” There is a repetitive feel at times, with a frequent request to raise your hand if you can relate to the person or situation being described. Still, the stream of entertaining anecdotes gave me a clear sense of what it’s like to be a rideshare driver.
Each account of a passenger or fellow driver contains interesting details and realistic dialogue. Although the story is slow paced at times, the anecdotes are absorbing and humorous.
This book has earned a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. I giggled throughout this light-hearted story and learned a lot about this profession. It’s clear the book was carefully edited, as I spotted only two minor errors. I would recommend it to readers who enjoy memoirs and like getting an up-close view of an occupation. In particular, the story would likely appeal to frequent flyers and taxi/rideshare drivers. I look forward to reading future books by this talented author.
Q: Snippets From a Rideshare Driver
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