True Confession Of The City App-Share Driver

I don’t even remeber my last post in here as I have been focused more a bit on my more “main stream” blog focusing on cryptocurrency. Check it out.

Aside from my adventures into the market of “fake internet money” (thats my favorite when people tell me I;m wasting time), I have become a driver for the populer app-share ride services Uber and Lyft. All I can say is it certainly keeps life interesting. I have had some interesting conversations with people, had some crazy rides, and been told some peoples life stories in a 15 min car ride. I have decided to highlight some of the best moment I’ve had and give you a general idea of the time of night/day it is so you get a sense of what this is like.

Friday night around 9:30 waiting by a nice resturant in the north end

Passenger come running to the door and hops in: “Hey man, Can you like step on it? or at least just get out of here? NOW? Worry about the GPS after 2 traffic lights, crazy bitch…”
Me: “You didn’t just do anything illegal did you? I don’t want to be an accessory to your crime. Plus I think Lyft has a policy against that….”
Passenger: “Nah, not illegal, a little crazy maybe. Just broke up with my 5 year girlfriend, and she thought i was proposing tonight.”
Me: “Wow thats a terrible mixup! Sorry to hear it didn’t work out.”
Passenger: “No trust me, I got out alive. I got my spare key from her when she went to bathroom and left me her purse. I was more concerned with her running out after me throwing shit and hitting your, wow, nice car.”
Me: “Much appreciated. GPS time, so headed home?”
Passenger: “Didn’t you just hear the story? I’m single after 5 years. Do you know how to get to Centerfold’s?” (strip club in Boston)

Sometimes when these people tell you their life stories in a 10 min car ride and you don’t know how to respond, ‘Do I say sorry? Congrats?’

Friday night around 11 @ The Whiskey Priest 

Call from passenger: “Umm Hi. I know the app is saying pick us up here but were out in front of the whiskey priest. How far are you? My friend isnt feeling well.”
Me already nervous since I know what “not feeling well” really means…
Me: “Yes, I just need to pull a u-turn up the road, should be there in 3 minutes.”
Pulling up to the bar, I see 2 girls stumble in my direction…
Sober girl 1: “Sorry. My friend isnt feeling all that well. Were going to the BU south dorms.”
Drunk girl 2: “Where are we going? Who’s that guy driving? I want another shot…”
Girl 1: “No, It’s time for us to go home. That nice guy is bringing us back home.”
Girl 2: “Are you sure he’s not kidnapping us? I think hes kidnapping us. We should scream for help!”
Girl 1: “No [Annonymous], We’re not screaming. This nice guy’s name is Cory and hes doing a great job at bringing us home.”
Girl 2: “Ok well I’ve read about Uber drivers raping their passengers. I don’t feel good. Where are we?”
Girl 1: “I know you don’t like Uber, this is Lyft, and I don’t think Cory wants to harm us. We will be home in 15 minutes I promise.”

We hit traffic

Girl 2: “I don’t feel good, I feel sick…”
Girl 1: “Do you feel like you need to throw up?”
Me: “If she gets that look, I’m dropping you guys off up here on the corner of Comm ave and Mass Ave. No one is getting sick in my car tonight.”
Girl 2: “No, but I will when we get home…”

I keep peeking in my rearview mirror looking for ‘the look’ 

Girl 1: “Do you have a bag just in case?”
Me: “Here, I’ve had this happen before. You are going to be very unhappy and possibly broke if she gets sick in this car. They will charge you a cleaning fee, and because my car is brand new, its usually $150-$200 and you ordered the Lyft so its your card.”
Girl 1: “I think she’ll be fine.”

4 Block from their dorm, I see ‘the look’

Girl 2: “I can’t find my phone! I lost it at the bar, we need to go ba…… *Cough and a heave* I need to be home!”
Me: “Get out.”
Girl 1: “No please it’s just up here a little further!”
Me: “Yes through Kenmore and 2 stop lights. Get the fuck out right now…”

Sober girl gets out and helps drunk girl

Girl 1: “You know you’re kind of an ass h….”

Before she can finish, her friend with 1 foot ouf of the car projectile vomits all over her sober friends legs and shoes just missing my car by 5″

Me: “See? I’m sure a load of laundry is cheaper then a $200 cleaning fee. Have a nice night.”

I could tell she was going to be a problem so I just beat her to the punch, called Lyft and told them i had to kick out someone becasue they were drunk and about to get sick in my car. The support person responded with: “Thats fair. I get a lot of these calls on weekend nights. Her rating won’t effect you and we will adjust your fare as if you completed the full trip, and not stopping 1/2 way.”

I have more, but those were this weekends highlights. That and the 2 girls I had to bring to Brockton at 2:30am when I already called last ride… Last ride took 44 mins and 30 miles. paid well but pain in the ass.

 

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The Confessions of an Uber Driver

Well, it has been quite interesting my first coupe weeks driving for Uber. Some people will literally tell you everything, their life story, and what the meaning of life is. Others can be stuck up and even when trying to be friendly and just make small talk, they respond with “Can we just get there without the chat?” But for the most part the people of Boston are cool.

What I find interesting is how much different some people treat you knowing your a local versus those that don’t think you know your way around because your using Waze to find their destination. There is a reason most drivers use Waze; traffic! Boston’s traffic patterns are more unpredictable then New England weather. I digress…

I have received a lot of comments on the fuzzy dice I have hinging in the mirror. Truth is they have sentimental value and have been in every car I have ever owned and given to me by a close friend when I just got my license.

I have also gotten some weird requests with directions, and drop off locations. What most people seem to forget is Uber is similar to a taxi service. You pay a base fare, and for distance and time. A ride from Stuart St (cross Arlington St) to the seaport hotel is only a 1.5 mile ride, but in Friday rush hour traffic will take 40-45 minutes. The rider was really nice and it was 12 degrees outside but it was a $31 ride for me (which means she paid like $36)

Not a bad part-time second job. Love being able to just do it whenever. Just watch out for the 10 million potholes…

The Mystery of Traffic

One thing I will never figure out is the traffic patters that surround the city. I travel a reverse commute of 18 miles out of Somerville to the middle of no-where Concord. If I leave at 7:30am it takes me an hour to get 18 miles. If I wait ’till 8:20 to leave, it generally takes me 35 mins. Same route.

On my way home, if I leave at 3pm (although rare THAT early), I get home in a brisk 25 minutes. If I wait ’till 4:45, that same commute takes about 45 minutes. If I wait till 6, forget it. Ill be in traffic for a solid hour.

Remember, this is all a “reverse commute” when I am going out of the city in the mornings, and back in the evenings.

I have used Waze in the past to help me learn and avoid traffic patterns which worked well until everyone else caught on and they started diverting traffic in Arlington. Now that I’m using an Android phone, today I tried Google drive. I must say I am very impressed. Yes, I know Google owns Waze and pulls a good amount of its data from Waze reports, but when driving it will show you alternate routes along the way and the estimated time difference (2 minutes slower, 1 minute faster, etc.).

I really need a new clutch in my car, the city driving is killing it quicker.

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Gruesome Accident

eisen_fatalbike7_100516Well I witnessed one of the most gruesome things in my life while getting my daily coffee.

I’ve included the article here: Accident @ Porter

I am still a bit shaken up after seeing a body split at the torso in two. I really don’t know how to react as I can still see the replay of the truck running over the cyclist 10 times in my head. There was so much carnage, it was something out of a video game. This is something no one should ever have to witness.

I foresee counseling and PTSD in my future…

Boston vs. Home

I moved to Boston unofficially in September 2009, and officially January 2010. My best friend had moved here to attend UMass Boston in Dorchester. Since UMass Boston is a commuter school, the “dorms” we’ll call them for the sake of context, were the surrounding housing communities of Harbor Point, and the Penninsula. Although these were regular housing communities, they were also treated like college dorms.

I had already dropped out and was working for AT&T full-time and managed a transfer to one of the highest grossing stores in the northeast. This meant I was able to move in with my friend and do what any 21 year old does, party. Party we did. Being the fact I was one of the only ones at the time who could legally buy booze, we bought a lot. These are what I consider my “college years.”

The types of spontaneous parties that would happen were something I wasn’t used to in my ‘western mass’ life. It was the city, you could literally do anything at any time. It was a dream for someone like me who lived a party lifestyle. That lifestyle that got me in trouble at home was accepted here!

Almost seven years later, and I have mellowed out compared to what I was like when I fist moved here. Now I live in a nice house in Somerville (which reminds me of home, and its almost creepy) and have a decent career. It is amazing how much shit you need to learn before you mature. Yes, I used to be a classic disaster case, but I have grounded and moved on with life and enjoy where I am now.

The thought of moving back home has come up a few times, but I can’t imagine leaving Boston. I have adapted to the city and it has become a part of me. Yes, winters suck, and parking is even worse, but I still love it for some odd reason. It is a happy middle ground.

Logan Airport & Uber

I just picked up one of my closest friends from Logan airport as he just got home from a month in Bangalore, India. I live exactly 5.8 miles to the airport. One might not think of time or toll constraints to make it just a mere 5 miles. In my short commute I encountered construction, an accident, and 2 speed traps (in areas where speeding is near impossible). There are 4 terminals; A,B,C, and E. E is all international arrivals.  My friend texted me to let me know he’s waiting for me at the E terminal arrival area. I follow all the correct signs, pass a state cop who then waves me off. So how the fuck am I supposed to park to pick my friend up?

Turns out he though I was an Uber driver, which happen to not legally (don’t ask why) able to pick passengers up at Logan. It was 10:30pm, so I was not about to ask questions and just moved along to a cab stand, where they had no problem. Cabbies looked at me like I was stealing business, it was almost comical.

Logan is pretty easy to figure out, just don’t drive for Uber.

Traffic

One thing we don’t deal with at home to nearly the same caliber here is traffic. I have an 18 mile REVERSE commute out of the city everyday and it can still take me anywhere between 45 minute to an hour. With apps such as Waze which help predict traffic patterns, the cities are catching on. I found a nice shortcut via Waze recently, only to have the Town of Arlington make one of the streets a ‘Do Not Enter Between 3pm-6pm’ just so you cant take that shortcut. I hate having to think of going places in time of commute and time of day, because a trip to the south shore at 5pm is probably almost triple the time it is to go at 8pm, yet it’s still only 15 miles.

My car is small, sporty, fast, easy to park, and fun to drive. If i am trying to make it anywhere between 3-6pm, I might as well drive an old Buick LeSabre and enjoy the comfort of watching red lights in front of me.