busblog

nothing in here is true

  1. Thursday, July 24, 2014

    because Obama is in town some of the roads are blocked 

    dolores del rio

    the whiners whine about it which is boring and predictable but the rest of us use Waze and manage just fine.

    it was hot yesterday and will get hotter today because it’s the summer, the season we’ve waited for

    and the whiners whine about it which is boring and unpredictable because omg its summer whattya want

    which is to say fewer uber drivers were out there yesterday because who wants to be out there in the heat

    and the traffic and the road closures and etc: the answer is i do.

    because when there are fewer drivers there are more chances that you’ll get beeped

    as soon as you drop off your passenger, which is the goal of five star customer service.

    for some reason i agreed to something impossible yesterday at my real job because

    at the root of five star customer service is this phrase: yes. of course.

    i may need to renegotiate later today but i would like to see how close i can get to the crazy goal.

    why? because we who are Cubs fans appreciate it when someone says, yes we can do this.

    even if all signs point to: are you crazy fool?

    accidentally called these beautiful Dominican girls Black yesterday.

    they were all, you hear us speaking Spanish don’t you!

  2. Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    every now and then a beautiful young lady with enormous fake 

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    will come into my uber, sit in the front seat and either take pictures the whole time

    or touch up some intricate and fascinating make up design while yapping it up with me.

    today her name was melody and she was a welcome relief because the previous passengers

    well, they werent my cup of tea lets say

    melody somehow picked up on that while she worked the pencil

    i bet you get a lot of jerks in here, huh?

    we were at a stop light. i said, all of my passengers

    are the most wonderful gentlemen and ladies

    and then turned to her when she laughed.

    you could probably write a book, she said, focusing into the compact mirror.

    i could but one should probably just work super hard to be great at their job.

    well youre doing that, arent you?

    part of the job is getting people where they wanna go, true, but part is doing it in a safe environment

    she was all, yeah, i guess so.

    and i said, i mean this isnt the nsa or nothin

  3. Sunday, July 20, 2014

    one reason driving around the city all night is addictive 

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    is because if youre doing it right, you learn every night.

    the biggest lesson i learned last night was patience young jedi.

    patience.

    at my real job we recently had reviews which made me think about

    what are my weaknesses there.

    so that made me think about my shortcomings on the road.

    and the most obvious one is chilling while waiting for the ride to start.

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    maybe people dont know that we’re going crazy inside when we rush

    to pick them up on a busy street or at their home

    and it drives some of us a little koo koo when they see us, wave

    and dilly dally on their way to the car.

    or worse, never appear until you call them

    and they act like youve interrupted something in their lives.

    this week i had one party who called me from the In N Out line

    and another from a big raging party.

    i was so mad waiting and waiting. i thought, why wouldnt you call me later?

    but when they finally got in the car, they were so wonderful.

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    the very last ride, though, tested my newfound enlightenment

    it was past 2am and the dude wanted to go home but first get drive thru.

    often at that hour the lines are loooooong

    and if i have patience problems waiting to get a ride going

    i have 99 problems waiting to get food from minimum wage workers who dgaf.

    but things lucked out and it was mellow but as we were halfway there

    he squeezed the drink too hard between his knees and it spilled

    all over my back seat, the same one i had just gotten detailed.

    in my head i was all, you cant blame him, hes drunk and you coulda said no.

    and he goes, wow, almost all of it spilled on your black floor mats.

    thank you Jesus.

    new rule: no open food after 1am.

    i did 15 rides on friday and 16 on saturday.

    everyone gave me 5 stars. everyone.

  4. Saturday, July 19, 2014

    a hot girl approached my car holding a soft serve ice cream cone 

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    she said can i eat my ice cream in the car?

    and thats how the day started.

    picked up a swedish second grade teacher on summer vacation with the prettiest eyes

    i was all, ive been to sweden. she was all, where? i said, in perfect swedish, Jönköping.

    she was like I’M FROM Jönköping!

    i said then you get a free half bottle of water.

    like new.

    we drove to the airport and i took her luggage out of the trunk and said Hej då! (which is adios in swedish) and her eyes got super big cuz apparently no one knows how to say caio in her tongue out here.

    she said the people of LA were super cool to her and i was all duh

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    picked up these sweet kids from a baptist church in santa monica. they had just eaten pizza and played pinball.

    on a friday night.

    i told them they were going straight to heaven.

    drove them to their aunt’s apartment near the 3rd street promenade.

    on the way i said, oh i shouldnt be playing this Eminem, how about some gospel?

    ive got elvis, hank sr., mahalia jackson

    the guy up front was all no no no, i hear gospel from the time my aunt wakes up till i go to sleep

    PUT BACK THE RAP.

    i laughed and said, see you in hell, piasan

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    got beeped in downtown from three young people over at the angel city brewery.

    they said it was so crowded in there that they never got a beer.

    i was like werent able to get drunk in a brewery? sad trombone! let me turn off this bob dylan.

    they were all oh no dylan is awesome.

    turned out they were Disney Imagineers. they make the theme parks cool.

    i told them as much as i love disneyland, ive never been to california adventure.

    and one of them told me id like it and i should try some of the adult drinks they serve there.

    i was all, lemme tell you about my buddy todd. and boy did i tell them some things.

    namely about the one time i was setting him up with a smokin hot babe but he had tickets to the disney convention

    and he told me, sorry tony the girl of my dreams does not know you, and she will be at this convention.

    they laughed silently but covered their mouths when they did it.

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    then there was this one.

    we had to go from santa monica to downtown LA.

    waitress actress and occasional lyft driver so she sat up front with me.

    it’s amazing how quickly you can cut through the bs with some people and immediately start having

    super not safe for work, detailed, funny, TMI conversations.

    none of which i can reveal here because i just screwed up and showed you her picture.

    her boyfriend ordered her the uber and i was near the beach and after a while i called him

    and said, does she know what my license plate is?

    he said, no. i said, does she know what my car looks like? he said no.

    i said, theres about ten cars out here, is she like me, psychic and can see into the future?

    he said Whaaaa? (it was loud where he was).

    i said, tell her my plate number is XBI666

    he was all SBI what?

    and then she just magically ran across the street waving at me and i was amazed.

  5. Friday, July 18, 2014

    I love my passengers 

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    But damn are they stoned when it’s time to get to my car.

    They will literally see me and keep talking with their friends like this whole thing is something to savor, or milk.

    No, when I arrive it’s time to come to me. It is time to start the trip.

    Right now some girl is at her trunk doing god knows what. I’ve been here 5 minutes. Maybe 6.

    Another pair called me when they were in line at the in n out. Of course I got there faster than they got their burger. I’m a pro. We are all pros.

    There should be a law.

  6. Tuesday, July 15, 2014

    a bit muggy in LA yesterday so i wanted to change after work 

    flag at the los feliz post office

    i have this theory about LACMA on the miracle mile: people around there loooove using uber.

    i have another theory about that area: because it’s central, you never know where people are going to ask you to take them.

    people on the wessside are in their beach bubble. same for those in weho.

    lots of drivers dont like going to DTLA because many of the rides are to other parts of DTLA.

    but right around Park La Brea the rides can shoot off into any part of town. which i love.

    got out of work, parked by the LACMA park, made sure i had water for the passengers, wrote down my mileage in my little book, replied to a personal email and boom got pinged.

    the rider ended up being a stand up comedian from Australia. from Brisbane.

    i was all, my favorite aussie band (other than AC/DC) is from Brisbane. ever hear of The Grates, i ask him?

    i’d say only about 1/3 of the aussies i talk to have heard of them, they’re a small band but they had some hits.

    because life is beautiful he had heard of them, he had done stand up at their Tea Room

    and best of all he wanted to go to a club about a mile from my house.

    so basically i was driving home with a good guy and getting paid $18 for the privilege.

    no ones getting rich being an uber driver, and it’s not making anyone quit their day job

    but that weird hippie dream of “one less car” is a possibility especially when i was hoping to go that way anyway.

    we listened to AC/DC and talked about Aussie Rules Football, a sport he played a few years back.

    he told me the NFL likes to recruit punters from Australia who have played Aussie Rules.

    got home, changed, ate a little, texted a pretty girl who texted me right back.

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    drove over to universal amphitheater and saw there was already an uber at the turnaround

    so i camped out by the hotels and continued texting her.

    ive never been bad at phone conversations but thank you al gore for texting.

    she sent me some pictures and said some things and whats this a beep.

    a gentleman from down the hill at the metro station was requesting a ride.

    we went to burbank. he works at a a high end department store, in the mens section.

    i said, i dont dont wanna buy a blazer, but im 187 years old, i probably need one at my age.

    he said yep, we have blazers startin at $550 going up to $5,000.

    i said, maybe i dont need a blazer. he said, you can get one at H&M for $99

    then get some good shoes, a white dress shirt, and some clean jeans and youre set.

    then i got a big guy who said today was his Sunday.

    i said you must love football season then because Sundays are your Saturdays.

    he said, well, i try to lay low and spend as little money as possible.

    which was a little confusing because why wasnt he taking the bus then?

    dropped him off near the 5 and didnt feel like driving any more.

    went home, met the new neighbors, swimsuit models, passed out with all the lights on.

  7. Monday, July 14, 2014

    saturday night in hermosa 

    usc quarterback

    didnt mean to be in hermosa again on saturday night but you learn not to fight the tides.

    veteran nfl linebacker had me go from downtown to marina del rey and then later that night picked up usc’s backup qb and his sorta drunk posse. and it was on.

    until i got beeped by a young lady in redondo. 16. quiet. at some point she asked me my name.

    george washington carver.

    she was sad so i asked her why. terrible question.

    turned out she is a high school student and she was over at a friends house because one of their friends died

    that morning.

    they had rented a double decker bus to celebrate something and the friend was on the top deck

    and got a little crazy and raised his arms up as they were going under and overpass

    and it hit him harder than he was expecting and he died.

    she said he was one of those magic special kids that everyone loved.

    i didnt know what to say. everything i said was the wrong thing.

    i said in my high school graduating class no one had died all four years and the final quarter we were all scared.

    and then when it never happened some of us said, do we even exist? are we ghosts?

    are we vampires?

    what ever i said seemed ok to her. she told me thank you when i dropped her off but i felt bad i couldnt help.

    then right away someone else beeped me. four people

    all with cups of mixed drinks. i said im sorry you’ll have to pound those before we get going.

    the dude said, thats ok i’m going to cancel this. im not going to rush my drink before we go to the bar.

    and thats exactly why so many drivers dont like to go to hermosa.

  8. Saturday, July 12, 2014

    why uber should allow tips 

    fun ride

    every month uber figures out ways to make more money for themselves.

    they’ve cut prices, increased their commissions fares, and soon they will charge drivers in LA ten bucks a week to rent the iphones used to connect passengers with available cars.

    that’s fine, a company should constantly be figuring out new revenue streams and then pumping some of those profits back into the business to make it stronger.

    one way uber could make uber stronger is to let the drivers make more money through bonuses provided by the passengers, otherwise known as tips.

    the idea that “tips are built in” may have been sorta true back when prices were higher and commissions were lower, but by definition a tip is something determined by the passenger after (and sometimes before) the service is rendered.

    santa monica place

    while the company continues to extract more money from the drivers, the drivers become resentful. surprise, surprise. they protest, they jump ship to the competitors, they provide less super-happy rides, and they bitch and whine on their world famous blogs.

    tips would ease a lot of those tensions, because unlike yours truly, many of these drivers are driving on nights and weekends solely for the money. you tell me: what’s an easier way to funnel more cash into the pockets of excellent drivers than in micro bonuses like what other service providers often get?

    last night i drove from 6-10:30p and then from 1am-3:30am. 15 rides. uber made $40 off me in commissions. i drove 100 miles, which in my beautifully fuel efficient car is 2.5 gallons of gas or $10.50.

    that means if i averaged $2 in tips from each trip, most of the dent from gas plus uber’s take would be relieved: thus drivers wouldn’t really ever have any reason to whine.

    therefore, if uber made it super easy to tip say $2 (like put suggested tips on the app based on distance and time of the trip), drivers would feel more like the Partners uber calls us and be more loyal and happier: which would show in more pleasant rides, cleaner and more pimped out cars, and encourage and retain more professional drivers.

    but what do i know. the busblog isn’t valued at 17 billion.

    any more.

  9. Thursday, July 10, 2014

    do you ever get the feeling youre being swindled? 

    dennis-hopper-easy-rideruber is an interesting company. recently they were valuated at like a gazillion dollars.

    all on the backs of normal people like you and me who drive around in their own cars dealing with traffic and people puking so they can make $20 an hour.

    here in LA uber jacked up their cut of the ride by a bunch while lowering the prices for the passengers.

    all of this hurt drivers.

    now they are introducing this thing where the drivers have to rent the iphones from uber for $10 a month.

    is there no end to the nickel and diming?

    sometimes i feel like uber hates success.

    we’ve seen this happen before, of course. we saw friendster own the market for a little while only to get leapfrogged by myspace, and then facebook. now facebook is doing everything they can to shoot themselves in the foot and piss off not just their users but the companies who try to connect with their audience.

    digg did the same thing. they were on top of the world so they decided to change the most important part. they tried to ruin the Digg Effect – and they succeeded. thus ruining Digg. now Reddit is the big cheese.

    uber has amazing lawyers that help them get into cities over the whines of the cab companies. thats impressive. they have deep pockets and will pay for drivers who have their cars impounded. thats also impressive.

    but whats not impressive is the way they show so much disdain for the face of the company, for the real product: the normal people driving in their own cars.

    if lyft was smart theyd just keep improving their game, they wouldnt panic, and theyd just wait for the moment to leapfrog. because all signs are pointing to uber doing one more dumb thing and then it’s over.

    which makes me sad, because as you know, i love uber.

  10. Sunday, July 6, 2014

    overdid it on the 4th and paid for it on the 5th 

    fireworks

    when i love something i do it till its physically painful.

    the xbi says pain is an illusion, it’s really pleasure in bad packaging. like a pretty girl in a white sox hat.

    it’s the one time they allude to buddhism. they say buddhists believe that there is the potential for enlightenment in everything, thus the illusion of pain shouldnt be avoided.

    thus after a 13 hour day of driving from the 818 to the 714 that ache in your arms and hands, and that feeling of nausea, and especially that day-long throbbing headache should be absorbed and turned into an opportunity for a breakthrough.

    jodie fosterso even though i started the day with a few uncomfortable rides, i went home put myself in time out. something i never do on a saturday night.

    watched a bunch of Louie’s, then as i was enjoying Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 i got involved in the most interesting and enjoyable text message conversation with the loveliest girl.

    we both overshared. but who cares. air signs do that with each other. its why we work well. she told me about her time in jail and i revealed some xbi secrets that they wouldnt appreciate one bit.

    even mentioned Lucho, which i never do. cuz you never know.

    earlier in the day i picked up a guy by the shadiest hotel in all of hollywood. he was bald, but like shaved bald, not old man bald, he had just been smoking, and seemed pissed. off.

    he kept looking around the back of my car like there was a catch.

    finally he said, “this is a cute car.” not really the adjective i would have predicted from him, and thats why people are amazing. the little surprises.

    i told him what it was, that it was Ford’s competitor to the Prius and he asked if i bought it or leased it.

    i said, i bought it.

    the catch apparently because he almost hissed “why do people buy cars any more?”

    the last thing i wanted to do was get into an argument with this gentleman who seemed irritated and connected, but im also one to answer questions when theyre posed at me.

    “i don’t like anyone, especially car manufacturers, to tell me how many miles i can drive,” i said. im not sure it pleased him but it shut him up for a while.

    until we passed an upstart tour van with its roof cut off.

    fucking tourists, he said.