DEAR MISS MANNERS: In today’s “sharing” economy, there seems to be a level of expected niceties. I frequently find myself in a car on the way to an airport, wondering how to escape a lengthy, forced discussion. I imagine that the driver is also tired of the same conversations and would enjoy a chance for a moment or two of silence.
At times, I am working. At other times, I am communicating with whoever will be expecting me at my destination, or am coordinating my ID, boarding pass, etc.
Earlier this week, I found myself forced to explain the medical details of why we were heading to a health care facility!
Is there any polite way to avoid the awkward and unnecessary conversations that come with the conveniences of today’s economy?
GENTLE READER: Unfortunately, conversation seems to be a commodity in these ride-sharing programs.
Miss Manners has found that most of them have a ratings system where you can express your opinion of the driver -- and it often includes rating your conversation. She urges you to share your opinion to the contrary with the company, but until the system is rectified, you may give its drivers polite, limited responses to their inquiries. If that does not work say, “I am so sorry, but I have to get some work done/take this call. Perhaps we can chat later.”