Since August, Eric Karas has called his Acura TSX car his office.
That's because Karas is a ride-share driver for Uber and Lyft. He drives about 20 hours a week, mostly at nightsa time that he affectionately calls "the drunk shift."
"Chicagoans are really nice people, or at least entertaining. I never tire of seeing our beautiful city," he said.
Karas recalls the drunk couple that he picked up for a ride on New Year's Eve. "He was saying all sorts of sexual stuff to her, and got out to buy some more liquor," Karas said. "She admitted they had met on Tinder and just met in person that night. I asked her if she wanted me to just drive away. She said she was divorced and it had 'been awhile.'"
When not driving, Karas has worked in sales and account management his whole career for tech companies, such as Cisco Webex, Intercall, Arkadin and SPSS. "I'm currently looking for a new opportunity," he said. "If you have a salaried job in sales or account management, hit me up on LinkedIN."
Karas since 1996 has sung with the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus, and he has volunteered for Mr. Friendly"an organization created by my friend Dave Watt [to help reduce] the stigma of HIV, [increase] PrEP education, encouraging people to get tested and being there for people regardless of their status."
Karas added, "I moved here in 1990 and the [LGBT] community in Chicago is so vibrant. Any interest you have, from singing to sports to board games to square dancing, there is a place to do it within the community. I have seen us come together, whether dealing with the AIDS crisis to marching for Matthew Shepard to fighting for equal marriage rights and more. I have been very proud to be a part of it all in my small way."
* Age: 46
* Orientation: Gay
* Relationship status: Single"Call me, [though] you have to love my dog, an Italian Greyhound named Coco."
* Neighborhood: Edgewater
* Favorite drink: Vodka soda with a splash of cranberryknown as a Rose Kennedy
* Favorite TV show: Dick Van Dyke Show
* Favorite movie: The Wizard of Oz, and he has an autographed picture from Margaret Hamilton, who played the Wicked Witch of the West.
* Little-known fact: "I'm a big guy [now], but I was a premature baby. I was 2 pounds, 10 ounces [at birth]."
* Little-known fact: "I passed the Chicago police officer's exam in the top percentage, but never went to the next step."