Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from April, 2018

Volume Is Always A Concern

Trip length: 8 (or 14) minutes. Trip distance: 1.4 miles. Fare: $9.02. Year: 2017 Song of the trip: “Dad I'm In Jail” by Was (Not Was)

Sometimes I make the wrong call on whether or not to pick up a fare. Every time I show up to a location, I have to make a snap judgment - is this safe, or is this going to be the kind of fare that gets me into serious trouble?

99% of the time, it's a very easy call to make. Some people going out for dinner in nice clothes, some people in clothes that used to be nice coming home from the bar late, people going to or from a concert, people with bags full of groceries to take home, people going to or from the airport... It's almost second nature that they're just people and the situation isn't going to be dicey.

And then there's the 1%.

It's a well-known fact I hate 1%. One percenters, 1% odds of failure, you name it... just the number and the symbol are enough to give me the jitters.

So I suppose I truly should've known bett…

A Beginner's Guide To Strip Club Etiquette

Trip length: 32 minutes. Trip distance: 16.3 miles. Fare: $19.48 Year: 2016 Song of the trip: “Hey Boy Hey Girl” by The Chemical Brothers
The Nissan rolls into a tiny space in front of one of the frat houses, and I'm already a little nervous about this fare. The San Jose State kids are a mixed bag at best. Sometimes they're fine, but they also have the potential to be hot messes. Still, it's early enough that I don't feel like I need to worry about it too much. I stab my finger at the big button on the dash board to turn the hazard lights on and glance at the clock. 11:35 pm. The five minute timer is on.
I turn it off almost immediately, though, as four guys move to the car with intent. They don't really look like the frat type, but then again, I wasn't in a frat, so who am I to judge? One guy opens the front passenger door and says, “You my Uber?”
“I dunno. You Arturo?”
“Ayup. C'mon boys, let's go.”
The four of them pile into the car as I swipe the…

The Spirit Of The Universe Doesn't Tip

Trip length: 18 minutes. Trip distance: 12 miles.
Fare: $13.07  Year: 2018. Song of the trip: “Ramblin' Man” by Lemon Jelly

I'd just dropped someone off at Oracle at 10:30 p.m. on a Friday, which meant I was on the border of Redwood City and Foster City, and I figured that no one would possibly call for a ride out there, so I was about to make my way back over to 101 when the phone pings and tells me there's a request only 5 minutes away. I figure why not, so I tap accept and see the request is northeast of me, to my surprise.
Foster City, for those of you not in the Bay Area, is definitively not cheap. A one-bedroom apartment out there can run you three grand a month, easy. It's not an area we get called into that much, at least not us common UberX drivers.
See, Uber offers a variety of levels when it comes to service. You have UberX, which is any ol' Tom, Dick or Harry who's driving for them, and makes up the majority of the fleet. Then you have UberXL, which a…

The Time Someone Tried To Scam Me

Trip length: 0 minutes. Trip distance: 0 miles.
Fare: $3.75  Year: 2016. Song of the trip: “Liar Liar (It Takes One To Know One)” by Taking Back Sunday


You can't cheat an honest man, they say. They say that, of course, because that's another lie someone trying to con you will tell you. It's better to believe the old proverb "A fool and his money are easily parted." Well, let me tell you, Old Man Billy's nobody's fool.

I am always suspicious.

The fare's name is Michael, and he's supposed to be over at 5th and Santa Clara, right in front of the San Jose City Hall. Stopping on Santa Clara street on a Friday night at 9 p.m. is a dangerous option, though, so I turn onto 5th St. and pull over on the side of the street just a little bit away from the corner, and flip my blinkers on.

It's not uncommon to have to wait a few minutes, so I'm about to get my book out when the phone rings. I answer it, fully expecting it to be some drunken passenger who&…