When Gabrielle Canales and her two close friends got into their Uber, which was being driven by a working class man named Mohammed Bhuiyan, it seemed like it was going to be a day just like any other… or at least, that’s what Mohammed thought. Gabrielle seemed like a sweet girl, incapable of doing anything unsavory. Either way, you don’t normally expect theiverous activity from the likes of 18-year-olds, which was around how old the riders were. But alas, that is exactly what happened.
An Uber is a place where people are supposed to feel safe. The driver is supposed to provide his or her riders with a positive feeling, the kind that lets them know he’ll take them where they need to go. But what happens when the Uber driver doesn’t feel safe? What happens when the rider does something that gives the driver discomfort, the kind that will make him unsure whether he wants to drive other people to their destinations ever again? We’re not sure, but something tells us he’ll be a bit more careful about where he puts his tip jar from now on…
Gotta love Uber
Imagine you’re in great need to get somewhere. You don’t have access to a car, and you don’t have time to take public transportation. You can always take a taxi, but in the last few years there has been another method of transportation that has usurped the likes of taxis – Uber. We are talking about a state of the art mobile system that has made the prospect of getting somewhere without a car easier than it ever has in human history.
Now, Uber may be one of the most convenient ways to get from point A to point B, but that doesn’t mean that everyone will treat is with respect. There are some people in this world who will take things for granted even when it’s providing you with a service you need almost every day. It’s unclear why there are some people that would be willing to do such a thing, when they really should be thanking their lucky stars that Uber exists.
Our main characters
This is a story with a lot of different characters involved, but there are two main characters that are most important. One of them is Gabrielle Canales, an 18-year-old girl from Long Island, New York. Another is Mohammed Bhuiyan, an Uber driver in New York City who was unlucky enough to be the victim of a merciless crime. The relationship between these two individuals may seem redundant right now, but you’ll soon see that it means everything in our story.
Uber’s secret to success
The relationship between Uber driver Mohammed and teenager Gabrielle may seem inconsequential, but that will have made all the difference in this story. Because there is a reason that Uber is so successful – and it’s not just because it helps people get places. It’s because it’s based around a common ideal. Something that we all look for in everything we do in life. Uber is based around the idea of trust. When you don’t have it, everything falls apart.
Who’s your driver?
The first time you come into contact with your Uber driver, it is on your application. You signal on your phone that you need a car, and an Uber driver in the area will then respond to your call. Once he or she responds, you can see who that person is, what their name is, what they look like, and what kind of car they’re driving. Uber understands that you want to know who will be driving you, in case you’re worried about any funny business happening later on.
The tip jar
So you jump into the car once your driver pulls up, happy to get on your way. You look at each other, acknowledge that you’re both who you’re supposed to be, and the driver sets out. Even though the relationship is rooted purely in business, there are times when you can sometimes get to know your Uber driver, especially if he or she is a talker. Sometimes you might like your driver so much that you give them a tip – and that’s where this story gets interesting.
Let’s go back to that idea we mentioned before – trust. When you give your hard earned cash to an Uber driver as a tip, it’s an addition to the money you’re already spending on the trip itself. If you’re putting cash into their tip jar, it’s because you want them to know they did a good job. But it’s more than just that. It’s the fact that you put your trust into them, and they trusted you right back. But what happens when that trust is broken?
Gabrielle meets Mohammed
When Gabrielle Canales hopped into her Uber with her two buddies, it’s unclear what was on her mind at the time. She might’ve had a bad day, or maybe she was just feeling devilish. She might not have realized that there was a camera in her Uber – but of course that’s not the point. The point is that her Uber driver Mohammed put his trust in her, thinking that they could embark on a respectful, businesslike, temporary relationship. Boy, how wrong he was…
Just another ride
The entire ride was filmed on an Uber camera. Miss Canales and her two friends told Mohammed where they needed to go, buckled their seatbelts, and began to chat up a storm. This was all regular behavior, so Mohammed had no reason to believe that anything crazy was about to go down. It was just a typical ride on a typical day. Of course, he didn’t really see what Gabrielle had her eyes on from the moment she got in the car.
Eyes on the prize
It’s subtle, but if you watch the Uber video, you can see Gabrielle veering her eyes periodically over Mohammed’s tip jar. His tip jar is there for folks who appreciate his service to add to it, not take from it, and he certainly didn’t expect Gabrielle to be a part of the latter. The crazy thing about the video is that she may have been planning on what she was about to do throughout the whole ride. Still, she didn’t make her move until the very end…
The end is near
Finally, as the ride was coming to a fateful close, Gabrielle knew that the moment was coming soon. Her eyes flitted toward the jar ever so frequently, and you could tell that action was mere moments away. The car finally came to an abrupt stop and her hand moved towards the jar. Her hand started to fiddle around, and the driver said, “Thank you and have a nice day.” He had absolutely no idea what was happening behind him.
As her hand started grasping for the cash in the jar, there was a brief moment’s hesitation. She finally realized that there was a camera, and she looked straight at it. In that moment, it’s clear that she debated taking the money. Her friends had already left the Uber, and she had mere milliseconds to decide. Finally, with one final swoop she grabbed all the cash in the jar and quickly left the Uber. The deed had been done.
After she left the Uber, Mohammed figured it was time to go. But something about the commotion that had taken place behind him made him look around. The group of kids were gone, but there was something else that was gone too – the money in his tip jar. He immediately looked out his window and honked his horn at Gabrielle, but to no avail. She and her friends had gone splitsies from the scene, and his tips were gone.
No help from the authorities
After that day, a number of things happened. Mohammed, obviously upset about what happened, tried to get reimbursed for the money that was taken from him. He got in contact with Uber authorities and told them the story, but they weren’t of much help. Although they understood his “frustration with this experience,” they were having trouble getting in contact with the girl, and were still incapable of resolving the issue. But that would change soon enough.
A little dishonesty
After a short while, Gabrielle responded to Uber and said that she didn’t steal the cash from the tip jar. Uber relayed this much to Mohammed, who obviously knew that she was lying. Uber told Mohammed that if he truly believes that she stole his money, that he should take it up with the police. They advised him to turn it into a formal investigation. But very soon, all of that wouldn’t be necessary at all, and Gabrielle would soon get everything she deserved and more.
Although Uber didn’t reimburse Mohammed with the money, they did help him with one thing. They deactivated Gabrielle’s Uber account. This at least shows that they believed him, and we’re guessing that Mohammed sent them the video as proof. Speaking of the video… it was soon that Mohammed realized how to get the ultimate revenge on the girl that had scorned him. He was going to show the world the unsavory deed that she had done.
The people’s outrage
The beauty of social media is that people are constantly on the lookout for the next cool viral story. It wasn’t so long before the video of Gabrielle stealing Mohammed’s tip money became an internet sensation, and people were outraged over the the idea that someone could do such a thing. Mohammed was an honest working class man giving a girl and her friends a ride – how could she possibly justify stealing his tip money?
People were so mad at Gabrielle’s actions that they sought her out on social media. Soon, she became the subject of mass hate mail, negative Instagram comments, and much more. People said all kinds of mean things to her online such as calling her an “ugly person,” “disgusting,” and many other names. That type of exposure to online hate can have a pretty rough effect on someone, but wait till you hear how she responded.
Gabrielle’s initial response
The interesting thing was observing how Gabrielle reacted to all of these negative comments. Her first responses to all of these comments were pretty defensive. She retorted to people by saying things such as “his little $5 was returned,” and that she didn’t need a bunch of people on social media to teach her a lesson. We have no evidence that his money was returned, and poking a jab at the small amount of cash he had in the jar was unnecessary as well.
However, a few months later he reaction to the whole thing changed. Instead of heatedly interacting with people online, trying to make it seem like she did nothing wrong, she began to change her approach to the whole thing. She publicly offered her “sincere apologies” to her Uber driver, and she also said that she hopes people understand that stealing isn’t an inherent part of her character. She admitted it was just her “being childish.”
Learning your lesson
On the note of her expressing her apologies and acknowledging the childishness of it all, it does reflect appropriately on the fact that she is still only 18 years old. That isn’t to defend her actions, and we’re certainly glad she apologized, but we believe there is at least some light at the end of the tunnel for her. Maybe the intense social media backlash she received as a result of her actions will cause her to think twice next time she considers stealing from anyone else.