1. Saturday, December 31, 2016

    dear tony, im thinking about driving for uber and or lyft 

    omg sounds fun.

    heres a few things you should know.

    your car is gonna get dirty on the inside and outside.

    youre gonna use more gas than you expect.

    youre gonna put a bunch of miles on your car.

    repairs are going to be needed.

    not everyone is gonna be nice (but most will be).

    so the first tip i have for you, especially now that the new year is moments away: Get a small notepad, something that will fit in your glovebox. This will be by your side as you drive.

    What to write in it: every trip write down the time you got to the spot, what time you dropped them off, and how much you are supposed to get paid. (Sometimes the payouts are wrong and omg mysteriously they are never in favor of the driver.)

    Also write in it your odometer when you start driving for the day and when you have stopped. (There is software you can buy too, an app called Sherpa Share, which is good, but this is an analog log.)

    Also write in any time you do repairs, get gas, get a car wash, pay tolls or parking or buy water for the passengers or aux cords or anything for the car that you are using for ridesharing.

    Once a week take a picture of the pages for that week so you have this backed up digitally in case your notebook gets lost, stolen, burned up in a terrible fire.

    Yes this notebook is good for taxes, but it will also show  you if what youre doing is profitable. Which may be a goal of yours.

    Get SiriusXM and play either Metal or Jazz. 

    the majority of your passengers will say they don’t care when you ask them what music they wanna hear and thats exactly why this country is in the toilet.

    young people today can name a half dozen kardashians but not one ted nugent record. wtf is that?

    so basically if you’re under 60 i have the station on Ozzy’s Boneyard. if you’re older i’ll put on Real Jazz which is old school Monk, Trane, Bird…

    the ride can be and should be an education. and as with most things in life, it starts with the sweet tunes.

    best of all you can write off the subscription.

    sometimes people, particularly young people, will ask for the AUX cord.

    heres my question, if they asked for the steering wheel would you give it to them? of course not.

    never let anyone grab your aux cord because the first thing they want to do when they get it is ask you to crank it.

    trust me when i tell you, you do not want to crank their music.

    not even for the 15 minutes that the average drive consists of. of all the tips, this may be my best one.

    do not do it.

    they will pout, they will threaten your beautiful driver rating, but trust me. ignore the plea.

    instead, say: i have every channel on sirius, which one do you wanna hear.

    and then play ozzy when they say uhhhhhh.

    Babies are OK if they have a car seat.

    if they don’t have a car seat they don’t get a ride.

    if anyone complains just say, “look im on probation. i can’t go back.”

    they’ll understand

    dogs are ok if they can do a trick or if i can take a picture.

    most people who bring dogs are women. no one knows why. they usually smell a tiny bit because they’re dogs, but they magically bring joy to you and your ride and it lingers.

    have some air spray or some orange peels or something that can get that dog smell out of there once he leaves because i promise you it will smell like a dog a little no matter what their owner says.

    you will be hit on. resist.

    if one thing leads to another and your passenger wakes up with her uber driver next to her and doesnt remember how it all happened, her memory will never create a romance story. it will be a horror film. slow mo. you will go to jail. no one believes the uber driver about anything. no one. give her your number if she insists, but don’t call her back until the next day.

    if you must.

    the media is obsessed with uber drivers and i have yet to read the story about juliet meeting her romeo the uber driver.

    get a dash cam, preferably one that has two cameras, one that points forward and one that goes backwards. i have the Falcon. it costs about $140, sometimes you can find it as low as $100. i only have the camera pointing forward recording most of the time. but if trouble lurks i tap two buttons and the rear camera is on along with my announcement, “for your safety and mine, the dashcam is now recording audio and video and its being stored in the cloud.” shit mellows out quickly when they hear that. bad news: it’s not really being stored in the cloud. good news: it’s usually drunk people being verbally abusive that you have to say this to and they don’t know.

    why do i have the forward facing camera rolling at all times? because people cray and if someone hits me in the front of my car i have video of it. because, no one would believe the uber driver without it. you can write this off too.

    take a lot of pictures. youre gonna see some weird shit.

    only let people eat in your car in the daytime. people spill. if they spill at night you might not ever see it and sploosh theres some ketchup on the white jeans of your next passenger. no good for anyone.

    if its not busy i will take you through the drive thru. but you have to buy me a shake. and let me take a picture. and give me some fries.

    but only if its day time.

    you can try to be a nice guy who goes in the burger king drive thru at 2:15am on a friday night but one person is gonna barf which is gonna make everyone else barf.

    you are the boss of your life. my life has very little puke.

    you can cancel rides you know. sometimes you should.

    when the passenger orders the uber it tells them how far away you are. it tells them how many minutes it will be. rarely in LA are you further than 10 minutes away (btw don’t take rides where you have to drive more than 10 minutes to get to them).

    so when you show up, and you are waiting and waiting, what i like to do after waiting two minutes is i text them this: “hi this is uber, i am [in the driveway/in front of 1234 Boogie Woogie Ave/in valet] is that where I should be?”

    two things may happen. sometimes they never respond. hard to believe since they just used that very same phone to order the uber. or they will text back with “coming” or “be right there”.

    if after 5 minutes of waiting they are still not there (and you know the time because you have written it in your notebook) you can cancel and you will get $4.

    even if they say, “turn on the meter” do not. the meter on uber/lyft rolls slower than you would ever imagine. it’s pennies. not a lot of pennies. maybe 5 pennies. a day. for waiting. fuck that. cancel. the server took forever? no, YOU took forever. thanks for the money.

    drive at all hours of the day and night.

    but know the worst time is from 1:30am – 3:30am. why? it’s a vomitpalooza, no one gets to your car in a reasonable time, the roads are filled with drunks and cops, people are cold hungry and have to pee, some people are crying, some are trying to have sex in your car, some fall asleep, some try to get violent. nowadays it only surges for 20 minutes or so around when bars close – it’s not worth it. go home at 1am.

    and often the best time is at 6am. theres little traffic. often it’s rides to the airport. have a clean trunk at all times.

    Once you start driving you will get a referral code for new drivers. They will ask you questions. Answer them. The best way that they can thank you for your knowledge and ongoing tips is for them to sign up using your referral codes (yes you should drive for both Lyft and Uber)

    My Uber code is https://partners.uber.com/i/8q88tl

    My Lyft code is https://www.lyft.com/drivers/TONY3772

    The robots will take this away from us one day. Until then, enjoy the ride.