busblog

nothing in here is true

  1. Sunday, May 24, 2015

    have i mentioned im a huge whiner 

    doingi turn on the plus and drive down sunset blvd. its crowded because of memorial day weekend and i dont expect any dings for a mercedes at 6:30pm in hollywood and i dont get any. didnt get any in beverly hills either so i kept moving west. circled around the village a few times and nothing.

    then i get one from up near the freshman dorms at ucla.

    way up there.

    an asian guy and girl get in and i start the trip to see where we’re going and it says san gabriel, which is farrrr. i guess it will probably be $90.

    they speak chinese to each other, him way more than her. and every now and then he’ll lean over and kiss her.

    and then he goes off again. she listens.

    on plus rides i have jazz going on. it seems classy enough for the more than double fare theyre paying. and it is a benz, so go with it.

    and bonus: everyone loves it.

    sometimes the old people sing along.

    these two ignored it the whole time which was fine because some of it consisted of a 20 minute buddy rich solo.

    san gabriel is east on the 10, east of east LA, keep going then get off on san gabriel blvd and head north for a few miles.

    drop them off at a hot pot that doesnt look all that different than hot pots in ktown

    but bro just spent $90 to get there and even if he takes uberx back, it’ll cost another $30-50 to get back.

    something told me it was worth it.

    it got my night going and it was a good night after all.

    got home by 12:30 like a reasonable person. warmed up some boneless wings.

    called it a night.

  2. Saturday, May 23, 2015

    its becoming harder and harder to uber 

    rolling stones set list

    it’s their company so they can do what they want, but it’s weird to work for someone who

    straight up spends whatever time and money that they have to squeeze you

    and take as much as they can from you

    all while literally building robots to replace you so they can have All the money.

    i know this wont end well, which is sad because it started so nicely:

    they made billions, drivers made so much they upgraded their cars

    but now the demand for the higher priced rides are low

    and for some reason the company has flooded the market with drivers.

    i always knew the bottom would fall out but i never thought it would happen so quickly.

    and now ive got this big car payment and no real way to figure out a second side hustle.

    i always have wanted to make a magazine

    or write a real book

    or sell a screenplay.

    but all of that takes time and what i love about uber is if you have a good week,

    you get paid for it that Wednesday. right in your bank account.

    life is very weird. today i hit the road at noon

    got zero rides by three.

    here it is 6:15p and im gonna go out there again for a couple hours.

    lets see if some incredible magic happens.

  3. Friday, May 15, 2015

    even though im a devout Christian, i also tend to be a tad superstitious 

    adam and evemostly because i think the Lord has better things to do than answer my prayers about playoff basketball.

    so i decided to drive around ubering in the rain last night so i could listen to the Clips game on the AM radio.

    in the grand scheme of things, im sure the Almighty cares very much about sports, and is thrilled that the cathedrals of yore have been replaced by sports palaces in cities around the world. but still does he really want me saying

    thanks for letting the Cubs stay above .500, but could you make sure Lob City knocks out the Rockets tonight?

    mortal, please.

    one of my favorite spots has been blown up, the CAA building in Century City, theres uber plus dudes all over that place where there used to be just lil ol me. so you have to adapt.

    so lately ive been chilling in westwood near the condos hoping some of the richies want a ride to the airport.

    last night i ended up with a very jewish young lady with her traditional garb on who was visiting her mother in the UCLA hospital.

    as we were driving i asked her if she had lived in westwood her whole life. she said yes, that her dad was a rabbi at the big temple.

    she added that she was also married to a rabbi.

    so as we passed P’tit Soleil, the best place to eat poutine in LA, i asked her if it was cool for conservative jews to eat poutine.

    she asked what was in it? i said, french fries, cheese curds, and gravy.

    she said well we’re not supposed to mix meats with dairy and the gravy would violate that rule.

    as we kept talking about the Torah she told me that the forbidden fruit actually has a backstory. in the notes of that tale was some detail that Adam and Eve would have been allowed to eat it if they had waited an hour, but they were instructed not to eat it on the Sabbath.

    because the snake tempted them, they ate it too early and thus they were shunned from the Garden.

    it was raining cats and dogs as we drove down Westwood Blvd.

    i could talk about the bible with people all day, so i loved it.

  4. Monday, May 11, 2015

    with uber plus youve gotta find your spots, but its worth it 

    drugsthe good thing about uber plus is you make twice the amount of money per ride.

    the bad thing is theres a lot less rides.

    so youve gotta be patient and learn where the rides are gonna come from. which is a fun little game because when youre right you can make $50 for a 20 minute drive.

    the weird thing is i never know what music to play. these are well-heeled people requesting a mercedes or beamer and they probably dont wanna hear all the booty shaking music the ladies of uber x usually respond to,

    or the classic rock or grunge the fellas seem to prefer.

    so i usually put on sirius 67: Real Jazz. monk, coltrane, miles, etc.

    every single time i ask them “is jazz ok or would you like something different?” they say, omg this is perfect, thank you!

    and then we talk and barely hear the music.

    except for last night i picked up two russian dudes at mr chows and a beautiful young lady. they made me wait a whopping ten minutes which is 5 mins more than id wait on regular uber but whatevs, so i didnt even ask them if the music was ok.

    it was late at night, what else could they have wanted.

    but the 60ish year old guy next to me says “can you put on something with a beat? edm or rap or something?”

    so i turned the dial to BPM and he started singing along telling his friends in the back that he had just been to Ultra in Miami and it was fantastic.

    after a while the selena gomez / zedd tune came on and he said, hey can you turn it up and really got into it.

    this is why i dont do drugs. the world is a trip all by itself.

  5. Monday, April 13, 2015

    challenge accepted 

    11131733_10153192789388057_1476441833_n

    the more difficult things are, the better. it’s the only way to learn.

    last year i drove out to coachella weekend one and barely made $100. the place was swarming with uber drivers, all the most important roads were closed. i was staying in a beautiful house with cool people near the rock fest. and i went to sleep too early.

    and on top of it, i got there too late.

    so i left frustrated.

    11119372_10153197705588057_605944898_n

    this year i got a decent hotel the first night out in the boonies, and the lowest priced air bnb near palm springs (and, yep, you get what you pay for) for the other few days.

    i was completely focused on driving.

    no distractions.

    11091194_10153198700928057_1987528866_n

    because of the law of murphy, when you’re set on that path

    obstacles will come out of the woodwork

    for the sole purpose in which to distract you.

    11136921_10153201144648057_1087521290_n

    there was a time when i woulda jumped at the shiny flashy fun thing

    but you know what else is fun?

    science.

    creating a hypothesis, trying new things through experimentation

    and seeing it through to a conclusion

    11101545_10153202301323057_245994935_n

    one of my theories was that if you drove in the day and took a good nap around dinner time

    youd be able to drive until 5am, when most of the newbie drivers were sleeping.

    11079842_10153201143768057_1678440812_n

    that plan worked perfectly.

    11144861_10153199155423057_2040017630_o

    but because im human, i got cocky and thought i might give the picking up of the ppl at the show a shot

    and of course it didnt and i wasted three hours of what could have been a nice dinner followed by a peaceful sleep.

    lesson learned

    11127464_10153193401463057_495258593_n

    my hands hurt the first two days but i lathered them in icy hot and paid attention to how i was holding the wheel.

    just thumbs after a while on11128209_10153201144753057_1036196505_n the long stretches of the 10 freeway going back and forth

    back and forth

    from palm springs to indio and back.

    risky because if i just went half way i could possibly have gotten more rides or more rides west with passengers,

    but this year the experiment was to be ok with driving back empty.

    be patient.

    trust the system.

    because my air bnb was nothing to write home about, i was out of the bed early

    just the right time to pick up the people who were off to brunch

    or on their way to pick up makeup or hot dogs

    or chokers

    or flowers.

    i was there to pick them up. i was there to soak in their energy

    i was there to listen as they told me about their globetrotting lives which even if they werent from LA always seemed to have a story about LA, like this young lady who had never been there before so went to Venice and Beverly Hills and drank at the Chateau

    and then met me

    11129493_10153201145798057_2017121753_n

    it was a long drive from indio to the ace hotel, pretty much the most westerly part of palm springs

    but that meant if you got someone, there was a good chance that they wanted to go to the most easterly part of the valley, coachella

    making for a $60 or more fare.

    something, even in the uber plus, i rarely would get.

    there was no uber plus at coachella, but that was fine, the rates were higher and the runs were longer. even if they just wanted to go halfway to pre-party it was still a bigger fare than youd get on a friday in one ride in LA

    11139764_10153193402563057_236511085_n

    then on saturday night, my last night, i took a nap from 7pm to 11pm, way longer than you should they say, but i was so tired.

    i woke up groggy, dicked around on my phone for an hour and finally motivated.

    drove over to the ace and picked up a latino man with a british accent and two very hot black girls.

    i hoped they wanted to go to the neon carnival which had started at 11pm and went till 5am, and they did. a very long drive.

    i asked the ladies what kind of music they wanted to hear.

    11136888_10153202301363057_1568791118_n“urban”

    uh

    “hip hop!”

    ahhhh. old school or new school, i asked.

    new! they requested and i said, shade 45 and we were off.

    we talked about food, LA, how everything was behind gates in Palm Springs.

    it was a little difficult because the man was in the back with a very soft spoken woman

    and up front with me was the other woman who was less shy. or did the two in the back just want some alone time?

    it was hard to read.

    nearly an hour later we were there but the line to get in was long and the gentleman had received a text that the carnival was no longer fun.

    our plan was to pick up wristbands from them in the parking lot but the ladies were tired and just wanted to go back to palm springs. so we did. but first a stop at the del taco. and then to the AM/PM. and then back to their hotel where, to my surprise, he got the backseat girl’s number and asked me to drive him back to indio where his motel was.

    but first another stop at Del Taco because the fish tacos were so good.

    i knew the fare would be a record setter for me, so i bought the tacos for both of us.

    got to the bnb at 5am fully energized from breaking my record on such an interesting ride of mostly highway driving, packed my two bags, wrote a note on the fridge, and headed to LA.

    but first i pulled over about a half hour into the return, found a shady spot, and slept in the benz for the first time. for about three hours.

    right when it started to get hot.

  6. Saturday, April 4, 2015

    i am not a patient man. for that i blame the cubs. 

    books

    i know the patterns. i know the traps. i know the false flags.

    yet when one thing changes i panic and act like every other imbecile.

    right now in LA there are hundreds if not thousands of uber drivers ambling around for 90 cents a mile, which after taxes gas and wear and tear is about minimum wage.

    they’re doing it because theyre poor, uneducated, ignorant or all of the above. they might also love being out of the house, meeting cool people, and in a crazy hope that something magical may happen on their journey

    like getting a tip.

    i have doubled down on uber and i traded in my fuel efficient ford cmax for the little black dress of beverly hills: the mercedes c250.

    i did that so i could be paid over twice as much as my uberx brethren with the luxury uber plus platform.

    but because of surge prices an impatience often i find myself taking uberx passengers in hopes that the 2x fare will pay off thanks to a long ride across town.

    marie

    yesterday i had a few long rides but most of the night was spent shuttling ungrateful westsiders a mile or less from their homes to the abbot kinney first friday food truck convention which made my life hell because

    dudes on dates often find it fun to be pricks to the driver

    traffic around these events is usually horrible because either cops pretend that it doesnt exist or cops overreact and shut down streets in a foolish attempt at control

    and no one is going where they should be going: outside their safe boring wessside bubble

    OH LOOK KOGI IS HERE LETS STAND IN LINE FOR A HALF HOUR!

    i know that this point in my development i should be waiting patiently for Uber Plus rides where the passengers care more about the quality of car and driver than they do of the price, which is still cheaper than a cab.

    plus i give them water, i charge their phones, i have every style of music at their disposal, and a sunroof, and i give them the respect they suddenly deserve.

    pool

    i did zero uber plus rides last night because i was hoping that the trip request of Right Now would be just as good as waiting and waiting and waiting for the profitable trip request OF THE FUTURE.

    in sales you learn that a small percentage of Something is better than a huge percentage of Nothing.

    with that said, my stats don’t lie. In the last 7 days ive made $1,100 in 120 trips. That’s $9 a trip. If you grind it like I did yesterday that’s two trips an hour or $18 an hour.

    that’s terrible when you realize Uber gets about 21% of that, then theres gas, which was about $40 for last night’s adventures, which means i didnt make squat.

    i know where the traps were but i kept believing NOT EVERY ASSWIPE WANTS TO GO TO FIRST FRIDAYS but god was i wrong.

    the other problem is the hotels around LAX rarely surge. so if you take someone from there to hollywood it’ll take you 45 minutes for that $19 which is really $15 which is really saying “i’m going to waste this hour just so i can get out of LAX”.

    if i was uber id put a permanent 2x surge around LAX like a collar as good faith to the drivers who make those runs and to the cabbies who have a freakin $20 minimum to leave the airport – and we should too.

    but i digress.

    manson

    i was a bad, dumb, stupid man this week.

    i need to stop it.

    uber is helping me stop it.

    there is a thing called the heat map which tells us what parts of town are surging so that we can go there and help the passengers, of whom there are more of than drivers, thus the surge.

    this week the heat map was broken which is like a pilot not knowing what his altitude is.

    a good pilot could be told “oh just eyeball it, you’re a pro”, but, hi, thats ridiculous, you are a technology company, not a transportation company, I BET THE 20% COMMISSION CALCULATOR ISNT BROKEN FOR A WEEK, please fix the one feature that literally helps us make more money.

    there are tools that you can use to find out if driving one mile can put you in a far more profitable area, but those take time and HELLO IM DRIVING OVER HERE

    for a brief period the surge rates in Inglewood appeared on my screen informing me if i drove 10 minutes away i could make 2.6 times what i was getting where i was. so guess what: i drove to Inglewood to pick up pretty girls from the Maroon 5 concert.

    Thank you, Heat Map, you did your job!

    because i was having a bad day, they only wanted to go to nearby El Segundo, but still, it was a $20 fare that even with horrible traffic only took 26 minutes to complete. if i hadnt been exhausted i woulda gone to the airport and made 15 bucks driving someone from a hotel to town, but i couldnt risk that they would have wanted to go to first friday whereby i would have begun weeping right there behind the wheel.

    today is saturday. my favorite day. it is a tough day because everyones gonna wanna go to the beach and the beach traffic will be bad and the surge will go up because the drivers will avoid it and then the dumb drivers will flood it causing more traffic and lower rates

    and i swear i will not be one of those fools.

    i will sit patiently in beverly hills, with my engine off, reading a good book, waiting for a proper Uber Plus call to come in, take 7 of those at an average of $25 a ride and make just as much money in far less time,

    using way less gas.

    i will not be tempted by the shiny thing i can barely see.

  7. Saturday, March 28, 2015
  8. Thursday, March 26, 2015

    had a bad night last night 

    picasso

    screwed up and picked up a Plus customer after work on Pico. huge mistake that i wont make again.

    he was a high roller lawyer who had me drive him through some of the dumbest traffic (dumb because if he had just told me where he wanted to go instead of keeping it a secret I would have taken a faster route) to go to a liquor store.

    then he had me wait for him as he looked through every row. the booze he was looking for wasnt there. he wanted something specific and fancy.

    he didnt talk to me. he talked to a wide assortment of people on the phone. from the conversation i gathered where he wanted me to take him. so i drove there.

    $30 later he was gone but i was far from the fishing hole that i love at that hour so i slowly made my way there and when i did the fish were all gone.

    except for two guys who wanted to go to the nearest hotel which was literally half a mile away. thankfully that was a Plus ride too which has a minimum fare of $10. youd think that dudes going that short of a ride would want a simple Uber X car, but no, they wanted style for their 3 minute ride and i gave it to them.

    disappointed with life i went to the McDonalds drive-thru and called it a night. went to bed early which means i woke up early.

    at 6:30am i was back on the road looking for someone who wanted to go to the airport.

    instead i found a woman at the Chateau who wanted to go to DryBar and then i found a different woman who needed me to take she and her cute little son to his French school in West LA.

    she was a beautiful scandinavian who then needed me to take her to her work. it was a high fare because it was surging like crazy but she didnt care, which was a delight.

    the morning def made up for last night and best of all i was early for work so everyone was happy.

  9. Wednesday, March 25, 2015

    last night was a good night, all my schemes were working 

    tumblr_nl6982xwfB1up1nc2o1_540uber plus is like fishing, you gotta know where the spots are where no one else is fishing.

    and i think i found some good ones. the tricky part, just like in any part of your life is

    YOU HAVE TO BE PATIENT

    YOU CANNOT BE GREEDY

    YOU HAVE TO HAVE AN EMPTY BLADDER

    the first two are pretty simple but sometimes you end up in the skankiest public restrooms that it makes you consider peeing in a bottle and throwing that bottle in the trash

    but there are a few problems with that

    1) lots of poor people pick through the garbage looking for bottles and cans (clap yr hands)

    2) what if you spill on your way to the dumpster

    3) peeing in your car in a bottle? is that why you went to college?

    there really should be safe clean beautiful public restrooms where you tip the guy a buck and you can do your thing

    but sadly those places are called McDonalds and theyre not always as clean as i kept them back in the day

    however nothing is as terrible as the Del Taco i found myself at in Venice

    holy moses. and on top of that there were two guys selling/using/experimenting with heroin outside the door

    then i worried about the bottom of my shoes, then my hands, thank god for hand sanitizer

    once again THANK GOD FOR HAND SANITIZER

    learned a few more things about Marina Del Rey when i left, and also learned it isnt that profitable to drive people from LAX any more

    $17 LAX -> West Hollywood.

    I was all, what!?!?

    but i know how to fix that now so goal, imma hit you faster tonight, just wait.

  10. Sunday, March 15, 2015

    i had a great day yesterday, one of the best 

    lady in the window

    after several rides i said, “thank you Lord. THANK YOU!”

    i have a sunroof, so i looked up through it and said, “i see you loving me down here!”

    the weather was perfect, the aromas from the trees, the good vibes from every single person.

    wow.

    WOW!

    im so lucky to be doing the two jobs that i get to do. and drive this magical car

    and be healthy and get to drive around this city that ive known for over 30(!) years.

    so lucky.

    so blessed.