George Ure is a talker. And he’s funny. He can also be crass and irreverent. Or, he’ll just shut the hell up. It all depends on what you order him to do when you step into the Seattle driver’s Uber.
Ure takes orders because he actually printed a menu listing them for his riders.
The “Ride Type Menu,” as he has called it, lists five different types of experiences for those who sit in the back of his 2014 Nissan Versa. There’s “The Stand Up,” in which he tells jokes ranging from prison stories to why you should never get a lover’s name tattooed on your body; “The Therapy Ride,” in which Ure will listen and help you get something off your mind; “The Creepy Ride,” where he says nothing and just looks at you in the rear view mirror occasionally; “The Rude Ride,” where he’s as rude as possible — an offering that dovetails with his comedy; and “The Silent Ride,” which has no description and speaks for itself, or rather, doesn’t speak.
The Seattle native, who has been driving for Uber for three months while juggling time as an emergency medical technician, said he would gauge the reactions of everybody he picked up.
“Pretty much everybody who left my car was laughing hysterically,” Ure told GeekWire. He thought the menu idea would play off of his sense of humor, so after a particularly busy week driving during Seattle’s February “snowpocalypse,” he used some down time to print his list of ride types.
After handing out about 20 menus, one rider found the idea worthy of sharing with the world on Twitter on Monday. Ure woke up Tuesday to word that he had gone “viral.” The tweet by Luis Arguijo has been liked more than 540,000 times and retweeted 116,000 times. Forbes picked it up and Arguijo said in a Tuesday story that it was “the best Uber my friends and I have ever had.”
last night my uber gave me a menu on what kind of ride i wanted , pic.twitter.com/SMBBV4kVpu
— Łuí (@LuisLovesGoats) February 25, 2019
The reaction prompted Ure to launch his own Twitter account so he could bask in the love, and he’s attracted several thousand followers in a couple days this week. He even started a GoFundMe campaign to try to raise money so he can get a new car because he can’t stand working a manual transmission in hilly Seattle.
“I use humor to add levity to life and laugh at sh*t. I’m good at making other people laugh most of the time,” Ure said. “When it snowed I saw people do amazing things — I gave people free rides to just get the hell home — just awesome stuff. I thought to myself, “‘How come we don’t just do this all the time? How come we don’t just be awesome to each other all the time?’ That just makes sense to me.”
It appears to be working for Ure. A screen shot of his driver profile shows how people are reacting to their interactions with him, and reveals more than 300 5-star-ride ratings from passengers.
Ure also said Uber has been great in reacting to his viral moment, and he said he’s 100 percent behind any company that would allow him to better himself. The job has allowed him to work whenever he wants, and he’s currently waiting on word about when he will start as a full-time EMT with a federal government agency.
In the meantime, he thinks his idea could be incorporated into the Uber app (something that riders can do via “Quiet Mode” with BMW’s ReachNow Ride service).
“I thought about that and I think that would be great if I had a heads up, like, “this passenger is a ‘code s'” or whatever, they don’t want to talk,” Ure said. “At the end of the day it’s a job that you are paid to do, so do it well, of course, but also give the person what they want.
“I just want to give you the best experience. Here’s a menu … this can help you decide.”