Ride sharing apps such as Uber and Ola have destroyed the art of the goodbye. Given that we can’t be sure how long our ride takes to arrive, and that we better ‘catch’ the ride as soon as it arrives, the use of the apps means that most of the time goodbyes are either abrupt or too prolonged.
Back in the day before we had these apps once the guests told the hosts they were leaving, they could be reliably expected to leave in a certain amount of time. And they would leave, take out their car or scooter or walk to get an auto, and after a nice goodbye, off they would go.
Ride sharing apps have changed the workflow here. It can work two ways. One way is that you say that you’re leaving, and then take out your phone to hail an Uber or Ola. And then you find that a cab is 20 minutes away. And so after having said all the goodbyes you sit down again. The host who was waiting to clean up and get on with life sits down with you. And then your cab arrives presently and you pack up and dash off.
And the opposite can happen as well. You might think it might take a while before the cab arrives and so you book the cab before you start the goodbye process. And then as your luck (good or bad I don’t know) would have it, there is a cab right round the corner, and it is just a minute or two away. And then you say goodbye hurriedly, maybe leave behind an item or two, and dash off.
A combination of the two happened at a party last night. A friend and I decided to leave around the same time. And we took out our phones to book our respective rides home before we informed the hosts. I made a mental note at that time that we should take a picture with the hosts before we leave.
Then as it happened, I tried Uber and it was some 20 minutes away (my friend got one that was only 5 minutes away). I first thought I’ll get another drink but then I got bugged and decided to try Ola Auto, and I found one right outside (1 minute away). And I didn’t want to miss that, and so that meant a quick goodbye. And I forgot to take that photo that I wanted to take.
So it goes.