Happy New Year!!

On behalf of all Uber and Lyft drivers I wanted to thank all riders for your business on New Years Eve!

It was a crazy night but thankfully no one yacked in my car! A few of you I thought for sure would. Like my boy Malik, who I swear could’ve been DJ Khaled’s body double!

As I arrived at the pick up spot around 2am, I glanced in my rearview and noticed a couple approaching. Newlyweds. I judged, by the way they were walking arm in arm in that euphoric state. She stumbled. Nope. Not newlyweds, they weren’t hugging. He was holding her up! “Shit.

“I won’t throw up in your car I promise!” She said in a thick drunk accent. “And if she does, I got you.” Malik said. “I run a carpet cleaning business!” Oh goody! Do you guys have emergency roadside assistance? Cause if she yacks I can’t be waiting until Tuesday to be made whole!

“I’m not going to throw up! I swear!” She reiterates… (Did she just say that in Arabic?!) Even still, could you stick your face in this yak sak?

Now Malik was cool and he was a straight hustler. As we come up on his destination, (which turned out to be Mcdonalds) Malik turns to me and says “Hey are you hungry, let me buy you dinner.” As if the idea just popped into his head. Bro, you knew only the drive-thru was open after 2am. This n**ga.

Still. A free meal doesn’t sound bad. Then I looked at the line of cars in the drive thru. It went clear out the parking lot! Sorry bro. Appreciate the offer. but I gotta make that money. Skurt! Skurt!

The earlier it got the more interesting the rides became. Almost had a couple of Lyft line passengers get into a fight!see Lethal Lyft Line

My final ride was quite humorous though. This guy met a girl in a bar in San Francisco. They hit it off and she invited him back to her place… In Oakland!

To avoid surge pricing they hopped on BART yellow line which was offering free services from 8pm-5am. Well, evidently they fell asleep! They went all the way to the end of the line in Bay Pointe! To add insult to injury the train was shut down and they got locked in!

Frantically they went from car to car checking all the doors even passing by another fella who succomed to fatigue. (Oddly, they didn’t wake him up). Eventually they got out as luck would have it there were still some workers at the station. I asked him if his night ended on a good note. It did. Well then… All’s well that ends well! Happy New Year!

Lethal Lyft Line

Uber pool and Lyft Line have created a perfect recipe for interesting and odd situations to occur. When you throw total strangers into a car anything can happen. One one extreme I heard of a time where two people met and hooked up after meeting during a pool. On the other hand when you get a group of drunk strangers into a pool it can go in a completely different direction. This is memoir of one of those times.

So there was an Asian, an Israeli, and and an Irish guy (I know sounds like the beginning of a truly tasteless joke)

Let me explain. I accepted a Lyft line ride around 3am New Years Day. In hops Asian combo girl and Israeli drunken master. Conversation starts off normal like any ride. Asian combo girl was chatty. Israeli drunken master kinda faded out on the conversation after his initial pleasantries. Asian combo girl wanted to know if she could add a stop and drop Israeli drunken master off at his house. Nay nay.

I explained there is no way to update the destination on a pooled ride. She said it shouldn’t be a problem as it was “on the way”. Again.. Nay nay.

Besides I just got a ping to pick up another rider. We pick up Irish thug guy who also was sufficiently intoxicated judging by the fact he bumped into the car apparently trying to get in before he actually had the door opened!

Now this bloke had a can of something in his hand which I asked if it was beer and if so could he withhold from opening and/or drinking for the duration of the ride. He claimed it wasn’t beer. But as I was driving on his second swig, I side glanced and saw it was a can of Coors Light.

This muthafucka.

I immediately pulled over.

I don’t think so!

Homey don’t play that!

He relented and tossed the can out the window. Ok now, we’re cool.

Now Asian combo girl resumed her drunken Israeli guy detour campaign.

While she insisted the detour was “on the way” Irish thug guy saw it differently. He said the detour was in the opposite direction.

Then they started arguing about who knew the their way around the city better. Things started escalating so I quickly defused the situation by directing the conversation to current events.

Turns out, Asian combo girl was a current student at Stanford working on a combined degree in civil engineering. Combined? That’s when a student takes classes to obtain a bachelor’s and masters degree simultaneously. (Hence the Asian combo girl nickname)

She said she had a 10 year hiatus from college after dropping out of Stanford her freshman year. She traveled the world to engage in every nefarious activity a woman can do. Even porn? Ok, everything except porn.

She said she came from a “priveleged” family. Umm… Ok. Despite her family’s ridiculous wealth she like all of us had a troubled childhood. She used “no one raised her” as a metaphor to describe her parents lack of attention/interest to her, her education, and interests growing up. I guess it’s true, money can’t buy you happiness. Despite being rich, she was still neglected and robbed of her basic human needs to be loved, adored, and valued.

As she’s sharing her story I can hear Irish thug guy interjecting with unintelligible comments which were either some form of Galic or Irish ebonics.

Meanwhile drunken Israeli guy who up until that point I thought was dead, pipes in with words so slurred I couldn’t be sure if he was actually talking or gasping for air.

But when Irish thug guy started belittling Asian combo girl for her worldly ways he sprang to life to defend her honor. That’s when shit got real! Out of nowhere Irish thug guy says “If you fucking touch me again I’m going to thump you!”

Wait! What?

The poor guy was drunk out of his mind and probably touched Irish thug guy accidentally trying to catch his balance. Up until a moment ago he’d been leaning forward with his head on the back of the front seat in an apparent attempt to stop the world from spinning!

I’m like ok let’s all calm down! Can’t we all just get along? All of a sudden it hit me. This is just like being a normal day in the car with my kids! “Ok you sit back in your seat and keep your hands to yourself.”

“You. Move your seat forward, stop antagonizing and dammit watch your language!” Bout to put these grown folks in time out!

Luckily everyone got to their destination unscathed despite the snide remarks they occasionally made towards eachother. We tried dropping off Israeli drunken master a few blocks from his house but the tremendous incline of the San Francisco sidewalks proved too much for him so we brought him back into the car and he just went home with Asian combo girl. Truly this ride takes the cake as one of the most bizarre rides I’ve had to date!

Carma for short

Ever heard of car karma? It’s the essence of good will coming back to you on the road as a result of showing good will while on the road. Slowing down to let a car merge, letting a car turn in front of you even though you have the right of way, etc. As a driver for Uber and Lyft, it’s always my goal to provide an outstanding experience whether a rider is in my car for 2 min or 20. I always try and go that extra mile too. I’m a firm believer of paying it forward. It’s amazing how these things have a way of coming back around.

I’ll give you my most recent experience. Couple weeks back I received a request from a Roberto. I arrived at a hotel in Morgan Hill looking for a Roberto only find a Lisa. Roberto worked at the hotel and was kind enough to call an Uber on behalf of Lisa as she was dropped off to the wrong hotel by a taxi. Her reservation was at a hotel with the same name only in downtown San Jose! She had come down from Oakland to purchase a car from a local dealership.

As if that wasn’t enough, the purchase of the car went south at the dealership leaving her with no means to get home. Her destination was the Caltrain station which didn’t have northbound train arriving for another 45min.

At the time I arrived at the train station it was dark, cold, and creepy. This lady had already been down on her luck striking out at the dealership and then the hotel. She carried a can of wasp spray in her hand, indicating fear of someone or something I knew it would be a long 45min.

I don’t know what compelled me but I had compassion on her… She needed a win. So I offered her a ride to the correct hotel as it happened to be in the direction I was going to Uber for that night. After dropping her off, I went on about my night thinking nothing more about it.

A couple nights later, again in Morgan Hill, I responded to a call to pick up Bill from the GVA Cafe on Monterey and 2nd St, a waitress flagged me down and anxiously shoved a drunk couple into my car. Not 2 min later, my cell phone rings… It was Bill! Evidently he was having an out of body experience, as his app showed he had been picked up but somehow he was still standing on the curb!

Silently cursing the waitress, I apologized for the mix up and asked him to cancel the ride. And I would ensure he got credit for the charge. I then explained to the current passengers about the mix up. They asked if I would mind taking them home anyway since they were only a couple miles away. No problem. But understand that I wasn’t getting any credit for it. Tip love would be appreciated.

4 min later after driving up a mile long driveway I pull up to this enormous house, easily 20 sq ft shy of a mansion! As I’m helping them out of the car, the husband hands me a $100 bill! I said “This will get you up the stairs, into your pj’s, and tucked into bed, but your a little short if you’re looking for anything else!” He laughed. His wife frowned. I drove away.

Now these two situations viewed separately, seem to have nothing to do with one another. However if you look at them in parallel could they be a coincidence? Karma? Angels at work? Luck? You Decide…

Now lets look at it the other way… on Dec 7th, I got into 2 accidents on the same day! Both hit and runs! With no uninsured motorist coverage, my damages will have to come out of my collision coverage subject to a $1000 deductible. Plus I’ll get a point on my insurance raising my premiums for the next 3yrs! I got me to thinking back to cars I cut off, times that I sped up not allowing people to merge. Could this be karma working against me?Again you decide…


A good witch or a bad witch?

I would say one of my most interesting rides happened recently when I picked up a rider who needed a ride to an enchantment store in Campbell to grab some additional ingredients needed to complete a location spell. When I asked what she was locating, she said “My Nikes”.

Of course I needed the background, but she wanted to give me her whole lifes story and normally on a long ride would be okay but we only had 9 minutes so I needed her to get to the good stuff. After a 7min life story she finally got to the good stuff.

She said she’s been into it since she was 16 where she dabbled in Vampirism with her friends dad, drinking eachothers blood from wine glasses… Immediately I slowed down to 40 mph on the freeway; now we are getting somewhere!

Apparently things started getting weird with the dad as they got deeper into learning the craft. Apparitions appearing in the living room, curtains taking the shape of human figures. She discovered that the dad had been practicing dark magic

Eventually, she she stopped practicing witchcraft altogether when her friends father started catching feelings for her(go figure) and banned her friend from communicating with her. Apparently dad called “dibs”.

A few years later she started practicing witchcraft most recently by casting a love spell on a guy she was dating who evidently started something (sexually) but failed to finish. When I asked if the spell worked she said that it could take up to 21 days to work. I don’t know of a woman in this world who would have to wait that long for sex! Maybe this guy is special.

She did say that she was successful at casting a locator spell to find a pair of earmuffs she had lost. I hope she finds her Nikes!

Advice from a Luber – Safety First

Hey parents! I’m a “Luber” (someone that drives for Lyft and and Uber) and a father of 6 children. Listen up! I just had a rider yesterday that jumped in my car with their 2 yr old and had no car seat. I told the mom that her child needed to wear a seltbelt at least.

She complied but then her son started screaming once the seatbelt was fastened. We hadn’t even left the parking lot when she unbuckled his seatbelt so he would stop crying. This made me very uncomfortable as I was concerned for the child’s safety. I told her it was very risky and she explained that he doesn’t like seatbelts and screams everytime she tries to put one on him. Ironically he doesn’t scream when he’s in a carseat but she comes directly from work to pick him up from daycare which fortunately is only a 7 min ride from her home. Still, statistically the majority of accidents happen within 10 miles of a person’s home.

Luckily this time they got home safe, but if this is happening 5 days a week both to and from daycare you are putting your child at serious risk!

this got me to thinking about how many other parents are entrusting their childrens life in the hands of a complete stranger!

Yeah I may have a valid license and have passed a vehicle inspection to qualify to drive for Lyft or Uber. But I’m not the only one on the road and trust me… the road is filled with idiot drivers!

Before I became a Luber I commuted 50 miles a day and there was NOT a day that I didn’t pass by an accident. Many times there were accidents going both directions including passing by multiple ones on the same route! Eventually my time came and I was rear-ended myself!

My point parents is this: If you are taking your children in Lyft or Uber bring a car seat or at the very least buckle them up no matter how much they scream.

Accidents happen and I for 1 do not want your child’s injury or death on my conscience due to your incompetence as a parent! Let them scream! I may be on an island but I would much rather endure 7 min of screaming over a lifetime of shame and regret if something were to happen!

Be proactive. Plan ahead. I know it’s not convenient to lug a carseat to work with you so why not leave it at the daycare?!

Take it from a father of 6 whose made every mistake in the book as a parent. While there are some things you can bend on, your child’s safety should never be one of them!

Adult Piñata?!

I’ve been driving for Uber/Lyft for almost a year now and have had a lot of interesting experiences that I wanted to share. I try to have a conversation with everyone that I give rides too. For those that bite, many of the conversations have been informative, some comedy, others straight ludicrous!

I’ll start with a conversation with a rider I had on Saturday. For starters he was a white guy from Kenya named Gary, mid-thirties, no kids. Upon learning that I lived in Gilroy, Gary mentioned he was just in Gilroy during the 4th Annual Beer Crawl Festival in October. Evidently, he got drunk and bought one of those Mexican piñatas of all things!

At first, I was like whoa! Who buys a piñata with no kids?? See in my mind when he said “Mexican” piñata I was picturing one of those star shaped piñatas with the tassels on the ends that you can buy at Mi Pueblo. In actuality… he bought a Corona!

I told him a Corona piñata was more understandable for an adult but probably wouldn’t score at a child’s birthday party. He agreed and said he’d like to someday host an adult party and put that Corona to use! But instead of filling it with candy, he’d fill it up with mini bottles of booze!

Just then I got an image of that final strike on the piñata, mini bottles of Baileys, Jack Daniels, and Fireball, flying everywhere… grown men in business shirts and ties, woman in heels and skirts scrambling on the ground in a frenzy to stuff their little plastic bags with the bottles! Children standing by their parents directing them “Mommy grab the Hennessy!”

I told Gary his idea was brilliant and could be the start of a new tradition!