That’s another two weeks in the bag. Let’s see what we have to show for it. During the day on Halloween, the forces of coincidence decided to play a cruel joke on me when I picked up a student at a school where there had been a shooting two days prior and it is at that moment that “Another One Bites the Dust” cues up on the radio. The powers that be can be pretty sick at times. That night I had dinner at Tacos 4 Life and really enjoyed it so I want to take this opportunity to plug them. This past Thursday I had a minor disagreement with a rider about what qualifies as quality music but in a diplomatic way that didn’t put my rating at risk. Finally, last night I spent a good 10 minutes trying to detour my way through and around all the lane closures on 77. Fortunately, my riders were understanding/too tired to notice. That does it for this round. Stay gold.
I’m not going to lie; these weeks have been good to me. In general news, I got $20 worth of credit towards UberEats because I was psychotic enough to drive people around while Florence was rolling through so that’s pretty neat. On Monday night 9/15, I passed through a neighborhood where the electricity was knocked out because someone had taken out a power pole so that was a little hairy. The next night I took a guy on a fruitless hunt for a bar that was open late on a weekday night before taking him home. Come the following night, I had to redirect a young woman who wanted to go to the Spectrum Center but had selected the first thing that had Spectrum in the name which happened to be her local service center. That Friday, I listened to one of my riders tell the tale of a feud he had with his neighbor that ended up coming to blows and both parties getting kicked out of the apartment complex. Finally, last night proved to be quite the adventure given it was Halloween weekend beginning with the drunken cow I picked up at 6 pm that left his phone in my car and the journey to return it which ended with me giving him and his friend a ride back into town for $20. It ended with me cancelling on my rider because he got into the wrong car but we were both good sports about it and I told him what to tell his new driver to do so he would get to his destination okay. I can’t imagine things will outshone Halloween times in the coming weeks but who can really tell.
It’s been another two weeks and the trips have definitely gotten more interesting than last time. Last Monday, a guy forgot to change the delivery address from the hotel he stayed at so I got a free McFlurry. On Friday, I took a middle-age couple to a concert at the PNC Pavilion and they showed their gratitude to the tune of $67.34. This past Monday, my longest trip took me to the far reaches of Mooresville with all the joy of I-77 at rush hour. I had one of the most bourgeois encounters I’ve experienced on Wednesday. I picked up a guy and his golf clubs from the airport for private planes in Gastonia who had been brought there from SC on his friend’s plane and I brought him to a country club in NW Charlotte where he was meeting with another friend who was going to give him a room for the night while Hurricane Michael went through. Finally, last night surges were ridiculous with some areas going as high as $13. My last trip brought me to the boonies of Clover, SC so it was certainly an adventure driving all the way back home at 2:30 am. Despite all that, I live to drive another day.
I spent most of yesterday moving heavy objects so I’m just glad to have the opportunity to sit. The majority of trips these weeks were pretty mundane to be honest. The only one really worth mentioning was an earlier one last night wherein the boyfriend of my rider cancelled the trip after I had already picked her up. I asked her to kick him in the shins on my behalf. Maybe next time will be better.
If you are reading this, you survived Florence. Congratulations. I did too, want to hear about it? Uber did a major overhaul on their driver app. I like the new sound cues but I’m not fond of the fact they took away Pandora. As a result, I’ve been listening to audio-books. Garrison Keillor is possibly the whitest human being alive but David Sedaris is fun. Last Wednesday, I was called upon to deliver a bunch of flowers from one florist to another and on my way witnessed a car that had flipped over on the highway. The following day might have been more productive if my alternator had not died in the middle of a trip. Luckily, the rider was cool about it and we were in a populated area. Trying to compensate for lost time on Friday found me in the Davidson area for most of the night trying to work around the fact that the main highway exit I needed to be at was closed for construction all night. Saturday, I couldn’t help but overhear the conversation between the two women in my backseat wherein one of them was confessing her desire to become a mother, not in a take-the-next-step-with-my-partner way but in a way that includes the words “turkey baster.” Strangely, I’m not sure if this even cracks the top 10 of wackiest encounters in my car. This past Friday when the hurricane was beginning to make its presence known, I had a group call to warn me about a tree being down a block from their home and then tip me $5 for my time when they flaked. Finally last night was devoted to driving through the rain doing long trips around Gastonia fueled heavily by long pickup fees. Hopefully, we’ll still have functional roads by next week. Stay gold.
The schedule of things has been pretty chaotic these past couple weeks and so it’s all kind of a blur. Let’s see if I can sort it out. I would like to open with a public service announcement to dispel the rumors that Jews don’t tip. To that end, I present my counterexample of my pizza delivery to the local temple last Wednesday where I was tipped 128%. Post-football game pickups on Friday night were a delight with people wanting to get picked up two blocks from the stadium and asking me to find vague landmarks in the dark. I also had a guy who wanted to go to Black Finn in the Epicentre but accidentally selected the restaurant of the same name in Alabama. On Saturday, I went to a local anime con and was greatly disappointed so I tried to drive away my sorrows and ended up having a 20 minute conversation with a rider about Overwatch that was way more fun than that damn con. This past Monday, I had two airport pickups that took me to Belmont which is not a common occurrence much less twice on the same day. On Wednesday night, I accompanied my rider into a convenience store because he was treating me and it was there at an Exxon quik-e-mart in the middle of the night that a former student recognized me from my days as a tutor. Existence is fucking weird. Come back next time for the random happenstances I find myself in.
I am convinced the Russians are fucking with Uber’s systems. There has to be a reason for the frequency at which McDonalds’ are not having their delivery orders come through. It’s frustrating wasting 10-15 minutes waiting to find out you’re not getting paid for your time. I also have to reboot the location finder sometimes just to get up-to-date directions but maybe the upcoming app update may fix this. We can only dream.
Last Monday, I listened to an employee’s advice and got in the regular line at Moe’s to pick up my delivery order rather than the designated pick-up register and got my food much sooner. My last ride Thursday night left his whisky bottle behind which I did not realize until my first Friday ride found it. The following Sunday, I delivered some McD’s in the middle of the night to a nursing home. There wasn’t any hoops to jump through or anything; I just walked in and found the room. However, last night proved to be the main event. On the positive side, I had a pleasant cultural exchange with a Turkish immigrant going home after a late night of work as well as a pop-punk jam session with a lovely young miss. However, they pale in comparison to my last-call ride where I was basically a Jerry Springer episode on wheels with two drunken 20-something girls screaming at each other for most of the 30 minute trip while a third struggled to keep them from ripping each other’s hair out. In short, it was the kind of trip that inspires this blog. Stay gold.
Blah, blah, Book of Mormon was great. Moving on to the juicy bits. Last Friday, I exchanged ideas with a rider about fun things to do in Charlotte wherein she sold me on giving TopGolf a try and I told her about House of Purge. I got shafted this past Wednesday night because a food delivery order called to have the delivery address changed which wouldn’t be a problem except the amount I earn is set the moment the order is put in and the new address was much farther than the one the app had. Still, they did tip. On the subject of earnings, my timing was perfect last night as I made serious change from surges bouncing around Uptown as the bars were closing. Finally, I discovered what I believe to be my ideal Pandora station for rainy weather and that is the one dedicated to jazz guitar. Not much to talk about this week so I will see you again in the next entry.
I’m seeing The Book of Mormon this week, hence the title, but you don’t want to hear about that. You want to hear about the weirdos in my backseat. I took two girls to a concert at the PNC Pavilion last Monday where the traffic was so bad one of them left the car to pee in the woods and came back and found us with no trouble at all. Last Friday, I took a drag performer to work which led to some fun conversations on what ended up being a 45-minute trip. I also made a food delivery that night to a hotel in possibly the most sketchy location it could be on a highway access road. Furthermore, I had a rider cancel on me because of trouble with the police. I wish I had more to add to that story but all I can say is there was about 3 minutes between when they ordered me and when I arrived and the police were there when I showed up. Jumping to this past Friday, I had my time wasted by an Indian restaurant who left me waiting by the register for a half hour before realizing they never sent the order to the kitchen. Finally, last night, half my trips were deliveries and half of those didn’t answer the door or their phones when I arrived with their food. I’m convinced people are drunkenly ordering food and then passing out. Either way, I’m free to do with the food as I please after I wait long enough with no answer so I’m good for lunches this week. Until next time, stay gold.
July 4th week turned out to have a drop in requests rather than more of them. Go figure. Last Thursday night, I picked up a gentleman that, based on some subtle nuances in how he spoke and the flow of our conversation, I believe was on the higher functioning end of the autism spectrum but I also believe he tipped me because I didn’t treat him any differently after I got this idea in my head. On Friday, I picked up a guy who worked in construction and he was determined to have me use the pickup/dropoff area outside of his destination that he had a hand in making. Also that night I had a food delivery debacle. I won’t call out the restaurant out of professional courtesy but I’m probably going to be a bit snippy if I ever return. What happened was I went there to pick up the food, saw a table in the dining area with various pick-up orders all bagged up and marked with the names and list of contents, found the one matching my manifest, grabbed it, and went on my merry way. As it turns out, that was not the full order but I put it to you, dear reader: why would you put half an order in the pick-up area? At least the recipient didn’t give me any major grief for it but it’s still enormously irritating. The next day I had a rider who had Uber stories that beat some of mine. She opened with asking me about the quality standards for Uber cars as she had a past driver whose car was crumpled up in the front. She also mentioned another driver who had to have his wife riding with him so he could pick up female passengers. I never realized I was such a paragon of virtue among Charlotte drivers. This past Wednesday, I chatted with a guy who was comparing Uber rates in Charlotte to those in LA as he had been there in the past as a witness on Judge Judy. Finally, last night I had to deal with the outer loop of highway surrounding downtown being completely blocked off by emergency vehicles while I had riders so that was certainly a treat. All and all, it was a pretty compelling session this time. Stay gold.