Written by Hannah Warman

In The News

Uber famous

When Hannah Warman fell asleep in an Uber, the driver took her on a 35-mile/£85 detour. She tweeted and her story went a bit bonkers. She tells Standard Issue exactly what happened.

driving view through windscreen
I’m not remotely famous. I’m less famous than Kim Kardashian’s daughter’s least favourite cuddly toy. We all are.

However, I am currently the most famous Hannah Warman in the world! Mainly because Warman is a very rare surname and the ones called Hannah that do exist happen to be either very untalented or painfully shy. There is a young blonde Hannah Warman who likes to sing on YouTube, but fingers crossed that innocent dreamer with her sweet angelic tones gets ground down by life like most gifted people do.

The most famous I’ve ever been was last week, when I tweeted an Uber receipt. Oh, the glamour! Something about the cab company Uber and the word ‘receipt’ just reeks of sexiness, doesn’t it.

The receipt (I’ve got tingles just saying that word again) detailed an Uber journey I’d taken the week before that amounted to £85, which is a lot considering the start and end points of the journey were a two-minute drive from each other and should’ve cost a fiver. But after I’d fallen asleep in the car, the Uber driver appeared to have taken me on an unconscious tour of London that had boasted all the exotic sights of Wembley, Ealing and beyond. I’m gutted I’d passed out; it sounds like a great night.

The route was clearly displayed in the map on the receipt (I must stop saying that word before it loses its loaded sexual power) and it looked kinda funny, plus I wanted my £85 back so… I tweeted about it.

Hannah's Uber receiptOver the next 24 hours, the tweet got nearly 2,000 retweets. For context, that is more than 2,000 times the retweets I usually get, so as you can imagine I was quite surprised. Metro, the Evening Standard, The Mirror, The Telegraph, The Sun, the Daily Mail, The Times, Mashable, BBC and ITV online news all covered the story.

All kinds of people on Twitter seemed to have an opinion on it. Several black cabbies on Twitter were delighted to tell me how lucky I was not to have been raped. Plenty of fellow Uber customers replied with similar stories to mine about drivers overcharging them. The majority of others simply thought it was four crying with laughter emoji faces worth of funny. It was educational.

I had several people tweeting that I’d been “finessed” by the driver, a term I hadn’t heard before, which has helped to add yet another word to my urban dictionary that already consisted of three words. I can’t wait to test out the new word with the man dem round my ends, although if man dem is actually one word and not two, then my urban dictionary still only consists of three words.

A few people on Twitter told me I was clearly making the whole thing up and a man called Walli called me an “attention seeking whore”.

You got me, Walli! I was attention seeking. But isn’t everyone who ever tweets seeking attention? I don’t think there are many people who tweet something, crossing their fingers that no one ever sees it and praying it’d result in them losing followers, maybe in an ideal world even leading to all trace of their very existence to be deleted, like in that Sandra Bullock film The Net.

However, prior to pressing send on my Uber tweet, I had no idea it would get anywhere near the response it got, so I actually didn’t really expect any attention. It also hadn’t crossed my mind anyone would think I’d bother to make it up. For one, I didn’t think it was interesting or worthwhile enough a thing to make up. I’d hope that had I been in the business of forgery, I would’ve come up with something a bit more exciting than a print screen of an expensive cab journey. It was hardly the heist of the century.

Even if I had made it up, I’m not sure how it made me a whore, but I found the absurdity of that particular tweet apparent enough that I retweeted it. I bet Walli wanted me to retweet it, too, the attention-seeking whore. Seriously, that guy is nowhere near as sweet as he seemed in the Pixar movie.

“I was told by several men how lazy I was for getting a cab such a short distance. It was 4am and I didn’t feel safe. And even if I was ill, drunk, tired or lazy, none of those things are a crime.”

What my fleeting brush with fame demonstrated to me, though, was how many people on the internet just love to bully strangers. They adore it. You barely have to have said 140 characters before the trolls show up to tell you how 139 of those characters are slags. No one knows or cares about who I am, yet even I managed to get enough haters to fill a bus. I think I’d rather get an Uber again than have to get on that particular bus.

But because no one cares about me, bothering to say, “Here’s my story…” feels a bit like when one of those Z-list reality stars goes on Big Brother because they just want the public to get to know the ‘real them’ when most of the public doesn’t even have a clue who the fake them is.

For anyone who is interested, the truth of the night/morning that I fell asleep for an hour and a half in the back of a cab was actually more scary than funny.

I have no memory of that entire hour-and-a-half journey because I was unconscious and that is worrying. The black cabbies on Twitter were right, albeit in a far too smug and insensitive way that clearly had a motive other than concern for my safety; maybe I WAS lucky worse things hadn’t happened to me.

I don’t usually fall unconscious on a night out. Of all my hopes and goals for a perfect night out, being unconscious is quite near the bottom of the list. The first and last time I had a blackout like that was in my freshers’ week at university more than 10 years ago. Like many young freshers off the boat, the first lesson I learned at uni was what my alcohol tolerance level was and I have avoided retaking that module ever since.

driver and sat-nav
But, for whatever reason, be it ill health, lack of sleep or consuming a drink I hadn’t prepared myself, last week I fell unconscious for a long time in an Uber cab. I didn’t do it on purpose. Several people on Twitter told me I shouldn’t have fallen asleep, as if it was a deliberate decision I’d made. I wish sleep were a deliberate decision because I often suffer from insomnia and, on a bad night, it seems like the more you will yourself to sleep, the less likely you will. I also was told by several men how lazy I was for getting a cab such a short distance. It was 4am and I didn’t feel safe. And even if I was ill, drunk, tired or lazy, none of those things are a crime.

And finally, the thing that surprised me the most on Twitter were the Islamophobic and racist comments that latched on to my tweet: ignorant hateful people using the fact that the driver in this particular Uber cab was named Mohammed as evidence that Muslims are bad.

The driver, who may or may not be Muslim, at worst tried to make a few extra bucks out of me when I was vulnerable. I don’t think his namesake prophet or any breed of god told him to do it. I’m not religious but I forgive Mohamed. Yes, he ‘took me for a ride’ but he probably isn’t even such a bad guy compared to some of the people I’ve encountered on the information superhighway.

Uber refunded my £85, but couldn’t tell me what action might’ve been taken against the driver due to confidentiality.

I probably will avoid Uber-ing for a while, but I wouldn’t necessarily warn anyone else to do the same. I’m just paranoid I’m Uber public enemy number one, with wanted posters of me in all their cars and they know where I live. If the worst happened and I was killed while in an Uber, Walli would just think I’m even more of an attention-seeking whore.

But it’s a tale as old as Facetime; people say these mean things online that they wouldn’t dream of saying to you in real life. In real life we’re all safe, right? Otherwise Walli could do a real-life version of Twitter and picket my funeral with ‘Attention Seeking Whore’ placards. Then I’ll know I’m famous.


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Written by Hannah Warman

Hannah is a writing, sleeping, singing food-loving doodler. She is also 50 per cent of comedy sketch group Warm and Ashdown and can often be heard on Resonance FM panel show The Other Woman.