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Social Experiment - Transportation Service App

theminx

Your Friendly Neighborhood Minx. Grr! Meow.
Greetings & Salutations Everyone!

I was chatting with the lovely Cali Cat last night, and I was telling her something I noticed a few months ago...

I don't know if any of you use that popular transportation service via an app on your telephone (I was told I probably shouldn't publicly post their name), but if you do you might already be aware of their rating service. Basically, after a ride using said service, you rate the drive...

...but the driver also rates you.

Yes! Exactly! The drivers rate the passengers!

And if you fall below a certain rating average, you are limited to lower rated drivers.

There's the rub.

I pay for the service, then get rated for my passenger conduct, which I was fine with...

...until I noticed my rating was consistently decreasing over this past year. From a 5.00...

...to a 4.45!

I was getting frustrated, cuz I know I'm a good passenger. I don't make trouble. I'm not rude or loud...

...then it hit me! Eureka!

I don't talk!

These drivers are often extremely chatty. In fact, some have gone out of their way to let me know a huge reason they like doing this (as a side job, of course) is the fact it allows them to be "social" and get paid for it!

So, I started wondering if some of these drivers were taking umbrage to my reticence....

....especially when they ask questions which I'm sure THEY think are innocuous, but feel terribly invasive and private to me.

For instance:

Where are you coming from?

Do you work at the hospital or do volunteer work for the mentally ill (when I'm taking the service to or from a support group)?

Is this where you live?


These sorts of questions drive me batty, so...I usually try to deflect evasively and keep to myself.

That's when it occurred to me they were likely taking my reticence...

...to me being a standoffish b**ch!

So, rather than get frustrated, I decided to use this as an opportunity for a social experiment.

I decided to get chatty with my drivers. But not just chatty. I decided I was gonna flat out lie...and fabricate stories when asked uncomfortable questions...to see if it would influence my rating.

And that's exactly how that sh*t went down!

A few days later, I noticed my rating was at 4.47. So, I got even chattier.

I actually had my driver in stitches a few days back with the ridiculousness I was telling him.

He thought I was hilarious!

Well, now my rating is now up to 4.56.

In a bit less than two months! My rating went from 4.45 to 4.56 just from talking more!

Crazy, right? And it keeps going up.

Like I said, instead of getting frustrated, I decided to think of it as a nifty social experiment. And now I just think of it as a role...

...and using this service doesn't stress me out so much. I go into each ride deciding I'm going to play off my estimation of who they are.

I might not have that "social antenna" like NTs do, but I am perceptive. After years of practice, I'm able to use what I dub my "environmental antenna" to do what my lack of "social antenna" cannot.

I sum up the person via...

Like the other day, my driver was a woman...very sexy. With a BMW and a pink steering wheel.

This told me all I needed to know.

I started chatting about perfumes...and which scents are best for intimacy...and how important it is to be sexy.

She ate it up.

Sigh... ;)

With the driver who found me hilarious, I guessed tradition was important to him, cuz he had an older vehicle, a Toyota Camry...so, thought he was likely pragmatic, yet traditional. So, I pretended I was my sister...and told him about my family (parents and siblings), but from my sister's perspective...then lied about me and my boyfriend...and tokd him we were planning on getting married and having children...but our careers have had us too busy right now.

I told him that when I realized he got upset when he asked how long we'd been together...and why we were together so long and he hadn't yet put a ring on my finger...and why was I waiting around so long for a man like that.

I panicked...

I should've just pretended I was married from the get go...cuz knowing I wasn't definitely threw him off a bit...and it took me awhile to get us back on track.

People are so weird.

But if it keeps my rating from dropping, then I guess it's worth it. And lying is less stressful than either not talking or telling them the truth, which seems to make them even more uncomfortable than silence...and having them get weird, then give me a lower rating.

Pure silliness! Rawr
 
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This is quite disturbing. In a nutshell, drivers can subjectively rate a customer based on things beyond comfort and safety considerations. In the few times I've ever had to take such forms of transportation, I say next to nothing to any drivers. I am also quite courteous, otherwise.

I can see a point of screening out those customers who exhibit hostility. But for those of us who mind our own business ? I want to go from point A to point B. Not pay for unnecessary conversations, regardless of my neurological profile.

So this could potentially merit me a bad rating to the point where drivers won't choose me as a customer? What kind of business is this? WTFWTFWTF ?

http://www.businessinsider.com/ther...ill-reveal-if-drivers-love-or-hate-you-2015-9
 
This is quite disturbing. In a nutshell, drivers can subjectively rate a customer based on things beyond comfort and safety considerations. In the few times I've ever had to take such forms of transportation, I say next to nothing to any drivers. I am also quite courteous, otherwise.

I can see a point of screening out those customers who exhibit hostility. But for those of us who mind our own business ? I want to go from point A to point B. Not pay for unnecessary conversations, regardless of my neurological profile.

So this could potentially merit me a bad rating to the point where drivers won't choose me as a customer? What kind of business is this? WTFWTFWTF ?

http://www.businessinsider.com/ther...ill-reveal-if-drivers-love-or-hate-you-2015-9

Exactly! At first I was very upset, but then when I decided to look at it as an interesting social experiment...it helped me look at it from a different perspective.

I'm definitely going to write them about this...maybe even blog about it on my site. But I want to wait until my rating is high enough, so I feel have enough empirical evidence to state their real name without worrying about backlash.

Cuz they're able to track and trend my rating the same way I do.

I've also been thinking about recording my rides. You know? See what my rating is after I've been quiet...and record that ride...then record a session when I'm chatty...and see my rating.

But I don't know if there are laws prohibiting such things.

It is infinitely frustrating. I do want to be able to take a ride and not talk.

That's why I wanted to post it here before anything else. I figured everyone here would likely understand my situation.
 
But I don't know if there are laws prohibiting such things.

Laws preventing it? No. But litigation to fight it? Perhaps.

Autistic people should not be discriminated against in such a manner. It would make a lovely lawsuit brought by the ACLU all the way to the Supreme Court. Even if we do only reflect two percent of the population.
 
Laws preventing it? No. But litigation to fight it? Perhaps.

Autistic people should not be discriminated against in such a manner. It would make a lovely lawsuit brought by the ACLU all the way to the Supreme Court. Even if we do only reflect two percent of the population.

This is exactly why I'm doing it.

If my rating consistently decreased over a year's span due to my reticence...

...and then is brought up to a high rating in even less time....because I decided to be chatty...

Like I said, they have access to the data I'm tracking the same way I do...as it's their system and their data I'm tracking...

Are you saying when I do get my rating high enough...I should take that route? Use the data I'm collecting to show the world how readily we're discriminated against?
 
Are you saying when I do get my rating high enough...I should take that route? Use the data I'm collecting to show the world how readily we're discriminated against?

If I were going to set up such a system for a lawsuit, I'd be my autistic self and say virtually nothing with each ride other than what it takes to complete the business transaction with courtesy.
 
If I were going to set up such a system for a lawsuit, I'd be my autistic self and say virtually nothing with each ride other than what it takes to complete the business transaction with courtesy.

But how would I prove that my rating was being affected accordingly without showing what happens when I don't own my Autistic self and kowtow to their NT absurdity?

I was always courteous before starting my social experiment, but it seemed to me the only way to prove that my Autistic related reticence was impacting my rating...was to act against my nature and see what happened.

And, like I said, it impacted my rating exactly as I thought it would...

...but didn't have the empirical data at that juncture to prove.

Which now I do.
 
But how would I prove that my rating was being affected accordingly without showing what happens when I don't own my Autistic self and kowtow to their NT absurdity?

IMO, you don't. The last thing you want to do in a civil court is bring up the difference between NT and Autistic people. Assuming any civil jury would clearly understand...you already know the answer to that. Right? You don't want to go there in a court of law. You have to keep such a case simple, as well as objective. Whatever inferences to autism there are should be done in a very low key manner, IMO. Instead stick to the logic of a pure, yet compelling argument, without the complexities of understanding neurological implications which could well be used against you.

In a civil court of law rules of evidence are very different and muted in comparison with a criminal case. As a plaintiff, you want to keep your case against such a defendant as objective as possible. Arguing the difference between when you are chatty and when you are not becomes dependent on scores which could potentially obscure your case if they don't quantitatively pan out with numbers that could compel a civil jury in your favor.

Keep it simple for two reasons:

* From a perspective of logic, that it's patently unfair to subjectively judge a customer for not being chatty. Period.

* In the process make it abundantly clear that the overall low scores are exclusively attributed to a lack of conversation.

Don't just build a case. Build a strong case that isn't particularly complicated. And keep the focus on quiet, polite people as plaintiffs. In the possibility of a class action, most any jury may well relate to quiet, polite people far more than autistic ones. Something to consider, anyways.
 
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IMO, you don't. The last thing you want to do in a civil court is bring up the difference between NT and Autistic people. Assuming any civil jury would clearly understand...you already know the answer to that. Right? You don't want to go there in a court of law. You have to keep such a case simple, as well as objective. Whatever inferences to autism there are should be done in a very low key manner, IMO. Instead stick to the logic of a pure, yet compelling argument, without the complexities of understanding neurological implications which could well be used against you.

In a civil court of law rules of evidence are very different and muted in comparison with a criminal case. As a plaintiff, you want to keep your case against such a defendant as objective as possible. Arguing the difference between when you are chatty and when you are not becomes dependent on scores which could potentially obscure your case if they don't quantitatively pan out with numbers that could compel a civil jury in your favor.

Keep it simple for two reasons:

* From a perspective of logic, that it's patently unfair to subjectively judge a customer for not being chatty. Period.

* In the process make it abundantly clear that the overall low scores are exclusively attributed to a lack of conversation.

Don't just build a case. Build a strong case that isn't particularly complicated. And keep the focus on quiet, polite people as plaintiffs. In the possibility of a class action, most any jury may well relate to quiet, polite people far more than autistic ones. Something to consider, anyways.

But there was no way to prove what was causing my rating to be poor. I wasn't sure why my rating was poor, until I decided to try my social experiment and determined that chatting with the drivers caused my score to increase.

Before that...it was merely speculation on my part as to why I my score was consistently decreasing without objective evidence to prove otherwise.

Without this evidence, it would just be my word against theirs.

How could I prove I wasn't a bad customer this past year without evidence to the contrary?

How could I prove it was my Autism that was being discriminated against when the drivers didn't know I was Autistic?

How can I prove that I was good passenger without any proof that I was?

Now I have evidence the only behavior change that was made, was me being more chatty.
 
Plus, my plan was never to take this to court. I was merely asking if that was what you were suggesting I do, Judge, not for advice...but to better understand what you were conveying to me.

I have a blog.

My plan is to post my findings there...once my rating has gone high enough...to make the public aware what is happening.

Perhaps I'll actually blog about it as I go. Write about what I'm doing...and the effect each ride has on my overall rating.
 
But there was no way to prove why my rating was poor.


Of course not. It's a subjective rating. There is no "proof". That's part of your argument in a civil action. The party with the best argument wins...whether they have perceived "proof" or not. A key difference between civil and criminal actions and rules of evidence. But getting them to testify over it is a very different- and more effective dynamic than merely calling them out on the Internet.

Then again there's a rather large lawsuit being settled at the moment. It doesn't have anything to do with this...but a $100 million class action is bound to impact how they do business in the future. Unfortunately with a few more lawsuits of that scale such criticisms may amount to a moot point. Behind the scenes I can only wonder what their competition is doing to put them completely out of business.

Anyways they're just my thoughts...take them or leave them. But yes, what they're doing sucks. Whether litigated or not, it seems fundamentally discriminatory to arbitrarily rate customers whether they're distributing high marks, low marks or everything in between. If they want to protect drivers from violent customers...they should keep track in accordance with police reports filed. Not what amounts to an incredibly subjective "beauty contest" or psychological profile. IMO it opens the door to countless forms of premeditated discrimination.

It would be amusing though, if you "padded" such a case having used a discreet camera to account for your deliberate and consistent demeanor as well as the driver. No differently than the media does on occasion. Ambush journalism.
 
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