An Australian Uber driver has captured the heartbreaking moment a grieving mother was able to reconnect, in a way, with her dead son.
James Bade’s TikTok channel shows the good, the bad and the ugly sides of driving Ubers in Melbourne, from spews to free Portuguese tarts.
But one of his recent videos captured millions of Aussies’ hearts.
The video, uploaded in mid-September and captioned “This job makes me cry sometimes”, features an older couple breaking down into tears after catching a ride with the friendly, talkative 23-year-old.
“You know what? Look after yourself,” the female passenger tells Bade as her voice breaks.
“You’re a champion.”
The couple leave the car before the woman taps frantically on Bade’s window.
He winds it down.
“I lost my son last year,” she tells him through tears.
“And you remind me so much of my son.”
Bade unbuckles his seatbelt and hugs the woman through the window as she cries.
The woman, still sobbing, holds Bade for a moment, telling him to “take care”.
“The world will take you wherever you want to go,” she tells him.
“You can tell she has so much love and nowhere for it to go,” one wrote.
“Actually crying … how lovely,” said another.
Another added, “This is just beautiful … you can just tell in her voice that she needed that so much.”
Sadly, Bade made headlines earlier this month for also capturing the ugly side of Uber driving when an older woman berated him for his ATAR score.
Bade was driving the older woman as she grilled him with very judgmental questions about his intellect and life aspirations.
She begins by asking what his Year 12 ATAR rank was, which is a number that determines a school student’s academic positioning compared with their peers.
“Uhh, not great,” he responded.
The passenger pushed further and demanded an answer, asking if it was “70 or 80”, with Bade answering that is ATAR score was 65.
“You did s**t,” she bluntly told him.
“Yeah, but that’s okay,” he said.
The woman snapped, “No, it’s not okay. It’s s**t”.
Bade, stunned by his passenger’s brash assertion, told her that he gave his final tests “a good go”.
“You did not,” the woman, whose slurring suggested she was a few wines deep, continued.
As the drive goes on, she interrogates James about his career aspirations.
He told her that he had been “doing real estate for a few years” and that it gave him some “good opportunities”, but that he was ultimately happy being an Uber driver.
“Oh god, well you’ve got to sort of get it together!” she implores him.
“It’s together,” he smiled, trying to diffuse the situation.
“I’m always chatting to new people and they’re giving me new ideas for different things.”
He was praised for his patience, while the woman was criticised for her condescending attitude.
“Nothing like an elderly alcoholic telling another person to get it together,” said one.
“I’m so sorry you had to deal with that … she’s using your services and simultaneously looking down on it. It’s insane. A job is a job,” another wrote.
“You’re so patient and calm with her, I would have kicked her out. Who gives her the right to judge?” added a third.
“I would’ve absolutely gone off at her,” commented another.
“Someone’s Uber rating is about to drop.”
— with Jasmine Kazlauskas