The Curious Case of Percy Collins

Had a guy Percy Collins and his family giving them a ride to OAK If anyone was an expert at CP time it was them! For those unfamiliar with the term it stands for “colored people” time which is an adjective the describes black people’s stereotypical disregard for punctuality

15min it took them to get into the car! 10 min for them to bring out 3 suitcases another 5 for them to mosey on out to the car and then they pull out something from the trunk of their minivan. The daughter is dragging it with her back to me so I couldn’t see what she had. Turns out it was a foldable electric wheelchair!

Then my internal dialogue runs rabid “Maybe I should help her.” “Man fuck that bitch, they made me wait!” But emotion gives way to logic “Bro she could scratch the shit out of your car…” My baby! Immediately I’m out the car “Let me help you with that!” She swore up and down that it would fit in my trunk… It wouldn’t. She clearly did not want to squeezed in-between the scooter and her obese mother. She was. Funny how the universe has a way of working things out!

25 min later we are finally on the road. We go through the normal rigamarole about where they are flying to and what they do for work. Percy the patriarch was the most vocal. Got to telling me his name was Percy Collins and his son was also names Percy Collins Jr. When Jr had a son Percy Sr called and asked if he was going to carry on the naming tradition and his son responded with an emphatic NO! Percy said “See how bold he got over the phone!”

Now Percy was a retired shuttle driver from the veterans hospital. He said he had to retire because when he would show up to drop off a patient and the intake nurse would get confused as he couldn’t tell which one was the patient!

He would often drop off patients with dementia and find himself getting into arguments with the patients as they would believe that the cane he was walking with was there’s! I said you know it’s yours cause it had the initials PC for Percy Collins on it!

Hey if you can’t name the grandson at least you can name the cane!

Too much bullshitting!

Now before I jump into this story I want to preface that in no way am I trying to slander or disrespect any one culture or the way they talk. I’m giving you the story as I heard it. Nothing more.

Ok so the other day I stopped at a McDonalds in Oakland around 2am to use the restroom and recharge. I pulled up to another Uber driver, an Indian fella who introduced himself as Hari.

He asked me if I drive for Uber and Lyft(as if my decals didn’t give it away) I said… yeah. He said “I don’t drive for Lyft. They are no good. They are too much bullshitting.”

I was curious so I bit. “How so?”

Hari goes on to tell me that Lyft evidently deactivated him for too many customer complaints. “Lyft, they banned me. permanently, now I only drive for Uber. Uber they are different 3, 4 times already they deactivated me for too many customer complaints. ”

“But I drive for Uber for a long tine. Since 2015 I am driving . They say Hari we know you are good driver. Some complain some do not, the it’s all the same.”

“Uber, they understand. I am deactivated one month, 2mth, I re-register; they approve. no problem. But Lyft they deactivate me permanently. Fuck them they are too much bullshitting!”

Now I’m thinking Bro you are not seeing a trend here?! Both companies deactivated you for poor customer service! Instead of complaining about the company, why not look at the root of the problem! Apparently your customer service skills suck!

Too often I hear stories about drivers being rude to their riders, getting heated because a rider suggests a different route even to the point of kicking riders out of their car?!

The way I see it if a rider suggests a better route it’s probably faster which means you can get to your next ride faster. So why not take the guidance? It’s a win-win!

The only time I see this as a problem is when a rider opts for a Express POOL but then tries to beat the system by having you drop them off at their actual destination instead of the drop off point. I’ve only had that happen a couple times. Most people understand the game and are willing to play by the rules.

The other situation is when you pick up multiple passengers on a single UberPOOL or Lyft LINE and they want you to make multiple stops. That’s when you politely tell them that’s not how it works. Of course money is a powerful motivator and I might be persuaded to drive a couple of extra blocks if the tip is solid.

Bottom line there is no reason to be rude or impolite. Drivers are just trying to make that money and riders are just trying to get to their destinations. Why not make the best of the experience?

What does that spell?!

Gave a ride to a drunk lady and her 10 yr old daughter coming back from a baby shower. Asked what she did for a living she said she was a broker. I said what kind of broker? Stocks? Insurance? She spelled HOOKER!

Now the interesting thing was not only did she have a 10 yr old daughter, she also had a 5yr old son and a husband! I wonder how that works?

Now remember her daughter was in the 4th grade I’m pretty sure she knew what HOOKER spelled!

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!