busblog

nothing in here is true

  1. Monday, June 27, 2016

    ten years ago today i was about two weeks into my reign at LAist 

    annai was up all night, i was trying new things, i was writing my booty off

    i was trying to recruit people to write for us for free

    i was trying to get photographers and even copy editors

    but one thing i was having no problem getting and that was bad reviews.

    on Wednesday, HBO debuted a new weekly series hosted by Bill Simmons where he talks to a sports person and an entertainment person. a few days later the LA Times ran a review about the first episode and was super harsh about it.

    i found it strange that they would go after a guy who had never hosted a show before and pounce on his first night out of the blocks.

    i remember how the Food Desk would never review a restaurant the day it opened. instead they would let it get the kinks out, and then go 3-4 times during different parts of the day. theyd go on a weekend and then a weekday. that way their findings would be, in a way, scientific.

    on this day ten years ago i was about ten days into my rule over LAist and i can tell you, things were far from ironed out

    but still i posted some of the harshest comments that were being left by people who did not like my style.

    behind the scenes i would write emails to the staff, sometimes daily, telling them that its ok, to hang in there.

    keep writing, i would say, it’s the only way we can make it to where we want to go.

    i felt like i was a captain of a ship that had to go through a huge terrible storm to get to the paradise on the other side, and there was no other route that could get us there quickly

    either the ship would be sunk trying or it would sink not trying so we had to try

    and i was going to yell at the storm as we did it and curse it out and give it the finger and moon it and dare it all along the way

    but i needed the writers sooooo sooooo badly. without them i couldnt do it alone. so i begged them to be patient

    and they were.

    and of course i put the negative comments on the world famous, because f the haters. if anything they are the hot air in our sails.

    blow, fuckers, blow.

    and i hope Bill Simmons and his crew do likewise.

    so thats what i was doing ten years ago today.

    today im walking down robertson in beverly hills about to eat some sushi with anna kournikova because she cant stop loving me. and maybe i feel the same.

  2. Sunday, June 26, 2016
  3. Saturday, June 25, 2016

    some of us were meant to stand out 

    stand outand when we dont we spit in the face of destiny

    some of us were meant to fit in

    ive never met any of those people.

    everyone ive ever met was unique and interesting and flawed and superb and

    just as fucked up as me.

    yesterday i met this beautiful young lady who grew up around people who were so different than she was

    that she never learned the beauty in herself

    because all of her friends growing up

    either didnt see the beauty in her or felt uncomfortable admitting how much they were into her.

    no one ever told her when she was a little girl

    that some of us were meant to stand out

    which is good and bad

    for one, you cant hide.

    for two, all eyes are on you

    for three all the girls are gonna stare and all the boys are gonna make fun.

    except for those who also stand out

    too.

    embrace your uniqueness

    it’s how the angels above can point you out

    from waaaaaaaaaay

    up there.

  4. Friday, June 24, 2016

    even though nothing in here is true, this is true 

    lindsay lohanas you know, on the side i drive a little for Uber, the ride sharing company who continually claims they are not a transportation company but instead they are a technology company.

    from time to time they have bonuses for the drivers if we hit certain goals.

    the most common bonus they have is one that says if a driver picks up 30 trips over a three day period of time the driver will get a $150 bonus. there is also a fare guarantee that says if you pick up 1 1/2 rides (on average) a day during peak hours of that day then you will be guaranteed $30/hr gross,

    which even for Uber Select drivers (those of us with luxury cars) is typically better than our regular hourly gross.

    three weeks ago i participated in the bonus and achieved the goals. i have done this several times and each time i have received my bonuses. every now and then i will hit a snag with the customer service email person who says i didnt hit my goal, but after emailing them back and asking them to check their records again they admit they were wrong and i got my bonuses.

    two weeks ago i hit my bonus but got an email saying i didn’t hit it. after a few back and forths they admitted they were wrong and gave me half of my bonus. i wrote back and said, dudes you admitted, properly, that you were wrong, wheres the other half. to that they did not respond AT ALL.

    so i wrote back the next day, and the next day and the next day. this has now been going on for 11 days.

    this technology company, valued at several tens of billions of dollars, seems hell bent on keeping the $135 that is owed to me. in a way they know they have me over a barrel because who sues for $135 and as a driver of a mercedes, i dont have any other ride sharing companies i can jump to very easily because Lyft doesnt offer the Select platform YET in LA.

    but they will. and i will never forget how uber has treated me, someone who has driven for them for years, who has maintained a 4.9 rating out of (the impossible) 5.0 score, signed up passengers AND fellow drivers.

    it makes me think if this is part of their profit plan: rip off 10,000 drivers on average of $150 and boom youve made $1.5 million dollars. and all you have to do is not answer their emails.

    it couldnt be more frustrating and going into another weekend with an identical bonus dangling in front of my face it makes me wonder if im a jackass for going for it again. (yes i am a jackass if i go for it again).

    yesterday i went to the LA office where they handle all sorts of Uber business. i dont know if they handle pay disputes. it was my lunch hour. i noticed how packed it was in there. when i signed in the machine told me the wait would be approximately one hour and twenty minutes. so obviously i didnt want to be late for my actual real job, so i stewed and wrote another letter to uber saying how unprofessional this is to freeze out a man who has driven for years for you.

    and of course, received zero response.

    today my real job is giving us a half day so i will venture into the HQ again. hopefully the line will be less than an hour’s wait.

  5. Thursday, June 23, 2016

    tony what would you do if you could do anything? 

    nikki minajyou mean like if i won the lottery? because if i won the lottery id buy mom mom a house with a giant garden

    in the garden would be incredible bubbling ponds and tiny volcanoes.

    the volcanoes would errupt right before winter so the soil would be the richest it could be right before the snow

    all around the garden would be peach trees and pecan trees and banana trees.

    no tony what would you do if you could do anything, not buy anything.

    i would be a fantastic photographer. but not one with a lot of equipment.

    i would want to be known as the guy who has like three lenses and one camera, who never uses flash

    but best of all, who never uses photoshop.

    maybe my assistants behind my back touch things up but im off to the next thing.

    i would go to school for it if i ever had any free time.

    dont you know great photographers?

    yes but i would never ask them.

    but arent some of your friends great photographers?

    yes but i would want to be – didnt you hear me – i would want to be the greatest photographer ever. which would mean that i would be better than they are. i dont wanna learn from them and then beat them. thats rude.

    is that what happened with writing? did you learn from your friends and then beat them?

    no. some of my friends are better writers than me.

    but theyre not better bloggers.

    ahahaha true. but only because they all grew up and got married and had kids and junk.

    its basically impossible to be a good parent and an everyday blogger. you gotta pick one.

    and for some reason the future of america is more important than the http

  6. shout out to the inventors of periscope 

    periscope founderswhen kayvon beykpour and joe bernstein invented periscope, the simple way to record and stream video through a mobile device,

    they probably never thought that their little app would find its way in the Well of the House of Representatives so lawmakers could document their peaceful protest after that brave Republican Paul Ryan shut down the C-SPAN cameras

    because he’s such a great leader

    and should probably be president of the united states.

    a few years ago periscope was acquired by Twitter which was a match made in digital Heaven because periscope piggybacks perfectly on twitter, alerting all of your twitter followers that you are broadcasting

    which is what happened yesterday when a few of the Congresspeople realized that they could bypass the Speaker Ryan bravery by simply broadcasting themselves

    from their phones.

    i dont know why kayvon beykpour and joe bernstein arent doing a victory lap around tv shows right now

    their invention helped make the #holdthefloor protest something that people around the world could see

    even the courageous Paul Ryan who probably watched it on CSPAN

    (who, once their cameras were shut off by the GOP, linked up to the periscope feed and broadcasted that).

    bros deserve some props today.

    the busblog salutes them.

  7. Tuesday, June 21, 2016

    im going to miss a deadline tomorrow at work 

    safe in hell

    it makes me sad because i always hit my deadlines.

    but this is a different type of assignment. it’s long and involved. and even though we knew about it a month ago, i had three other assignments between then and now, plus i had to work far longer on those than i expected.

    and worse of all, this one, like i said, is long and involved. and i know nothing about it.

    and my stomach was in knots all day today and a little yesterday because of it.

    sometimes a situation appears in front of you and you know how to work with it. 99% of the time i drive i know several different routes to where we need to go if disaster strikes. thats why im always cool behind the wheel.

    in this scenario, i knew everything was against me. most of all, time.

    with me, there is often a little spark of magic that strikes when i write things

    sometimes.

    from day one on this thing, a month ago, there was no magic, ever. it was all work.

    dig dig dig, polish, place.

    one sentence after another. it literally would take hours for a sentence.

    mostly because it has to be true. and accurate. and well written. and with proof.

    so you read read read. talk talk. google read google. then you have a sentence.

    i even talked to experts but they were on a different plane.

    our planes never intertwined.

    last week my plane and the other dudes planes were doing loop di loos together.

    any question i had there was an answer. anywhere i wanted to go, he was there too.

    it was different because he had little two sentence answers, which is quotable but i wanted to get deep.

    so i realized i needed several followups.

    this was harder. still is. i have tonight and i have tomorrow to see what last minute miracle happens.

    and hopefully i got over the tough transition today, but im still not sure.

    heres my biggest fear about it: i dont want kids looking at it while doing research if its not fucking great.

    as someone who dealt with less than fucking great materials when i was a kid,

    i dont wanna be that guy to them.

  8. Monday, June 20, 2016

    call me a princess but i dont drive if someone owes me money 

    king of the avefor most of last week i wrote Uber emails telling them that they shortchanged me about half of my paycheck from the week previous.

    they replied, as they usually do, with some dude from a foreign country, where English is a second language, that i was wrong and they were right.

    i replied, as i usually do, with, a stern but polite, you cray kanye, give me my money or i dont drive this week.

    they replied two days later, as they usually do, with an omg look at this it appears we do owe you some money, but of course it was not the entirety of what should have been remitted.

    and then two days after that i wrote them again to remind them that it was at that point Friday and if they were going to put their customer service to bed for the weekend that would be a bad idea because i was not going to drive unless i was fully paid

    and they didnt reply, because for some reason, this so called technology company valued at several tens of billions of dollars, do not employ customer service reps over the weekends, which means the correspondences pile up

    which means i will be writing them again today to tell them that they still owe me about $150 and im not going to drive this week unless it is given to me.

    it’s weird to work in partnership with someone who doesn’t want to give you their phone number, who is currently working on ways to have robots replace you, who pawns off all correspondences to people who are either mentally challenged or intentionally dragging their feet because others might either give up or assume that they were incorrect.

    but the thing is i am neither incorrect or worn down by emailing. emailing is simple. proving my point is even simpler. and because this customer service org is obviously not owned nor operated by Uber, it is clearly a cash grab based on multiplying the replies so as to triple and quadruple-charge the cash cow. thus a simple “omg we didnt pay you correctly, heres the money” turns into 8-10 emails of which the third party can charge Uber for each and every email.

    this is not how the so called technology company should be doing customer service.

    as someone who worked for an actual tech company who did actual customer service from 1998-2000 i know first hand how much money Uber is wasting by trying to do things the cheapo way.

    but it was relaxing having the weekend off.

    now its time for me to write another email.

  9. Sunday, June 19, 2016