Alaboutnothing Official Blog

December 24, 2016

My Uber Journey Journal Entry – Christmas 2016

Filed under: UBER Journey — alaboutnothing @ 8:44 pm
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uber_chopperIt’s finally here, Christmas 2016 and we would like to send out holiday greetings and many blessings to all of our friends and we are happy to include all the Uber riders we have had the honor to serve in the last few months.  It sure has been a journey and we are enjoying every moment and we hope they are also enjoying.

It’s been busy the last few weeks with the holiday parties and travel to places all over the world.

UBER News Flash —  A Toyota Prius was seen and tracked doing 67 MPH in a 65 MPH speed zone!  Yes, I could hardly believe my eyes when I look at me odometer and saw the Prius was 2 MPH faster than the speed limit.  I then checked the plates and found them to be from Canada.  Aha!  I waved as I passed them and thought “Maybe 60 liters per kilometer is doable by Canadians.”

We are still surprised by the riders we pick up and how up-beat everyone is.  The conversations are always a learning experience and no matter what age, it’s always an exchange of ideas and culture.  One common subject of conversation lately has been the “Driver-less” cars.  Since California is demanding Uber get the proper permits and such, Uber has decided to go elsewhere for testing.  We still see the Google cars on the roadways, so they must have complied.  So far the common agreement by many passengers is that they would not want to ride in one yet, even with a driver along just in case.  Most do agree that using “Driverless” semi-trucks across the countries roadways is a great ides, but cars not yet.  The conflict is mainly that mixing driverless cars and cars with drivers is like mixing oil and water.

Uber Newbie Alert — Recently we have heard rumors that there are actually people who don’t understand how the Uber experience works.  Yes, I was shocked too, and then I experienced a call for a ride by an Uber “Newbie”.  Here is what happened – I received a pick up alert and when I accepted I saw that the pick was at Rosewood Hotel a place we pick up riders often.  So I was about 5 miles away at the Stanford Mall and we headed toward Sand Hill road on my way for the pickup, when my phone rang.  I pulled over to answer and when I said “Hello”, I immediately heard “Where are you?” No identification, but the voice sounded like a friend of mine so I said, “At the Stanford Mall on my way to a pick up”.  Then I heard, “How come you are not here and when will you be here?”  I was now confused so I said, “Who is this?”.  The answer was, “Ms Chou and I am waiting at the Rosewood Hotel and you should have been here by now!”  Then she asked “How long until you get here?” I said, “About 10 to 15 minutes depending on the traffic.”  I added that I just received the pickup notice about 20 seconds ago and I was now on my way.  Then she said again, “You should be here now and I don’t want to wait that long so I am going to cancel and call someone else.”  I said, “Okay, that is your choice and the only way I can get there now is to call Scottie from Star-Trek” and have him beam over, but that is an extra fee.” (DUH).  15 minutes later I get another pickup alert for Ms Chou and accept it, knowing that a phone call was imminent and sure enough here she was again.  She said, “Why did you accept this ride request?”  I said, because if I did not it would go on my Uber record as a cancellation and I did not want that to happen.”  She then said, “Just turn off your phone.”  I said, “You should know that you are not the only person in the universe using Uber and I was waiting for the next trip.” She then hung up.  (Probably called Lyft or a cab)

** Uber-Up  — So to Ms Chou (And any other Uber newbie) I dedicate how to Use the Uber APP instructions once you send the request.  Just know that an Uber driver will be receiving the request for pick up and you can see at the lower right of your screen how  many minutes away the driver is and this will update as the driver get closer.  Also when the drive arrives you will be notified that he/she/it has arrived and is waiting.  You have 2 minutes to confirm, and if you don’t the driver has the option to cancel.  That’s it!  You don’t need to be a rocket scientist and 99.9999% of the population has figured this out, and now you know also.

Something I have on order is a dash-cam.  I want to capture the “I own that real-estate lane changers” on video and then post on here.  I have also seen a few close call accidents and figured that if I had one on video it might help the police is solving the case.  Once I was stopped at a red light and a car from behind me swerved around me and sped away through a busy intersection.  I was amazed no one hit him/her/it as they went through and down the street.  So when I get it installed I will be posting some test videos.

We have nothing at add except “Happy Holidays to all and to all a good night!”

** Update – Our new catch phrase will be “Uber-Up” for people who have not used Uber.

December 5, 2016

My Uber Journey — The Start

uber_logoWe are back and loaded with about a thousand pounds (hash tags) of notes starting a new phase of AAN posts.

About three months ago we started driving for Uber.  At first we were a bit fearful about it because throughout entire career (50+ years) we were software developers and manual labor was not part of the job description, so we researched it until we found everything we needed.  One of our limitations was we did not own car that could be used, but then we found a way to lease a car from Uber, and overall it’s a great deal.  (Limitation eliminated).  We won’t go into details because we don’t know if this option is in all the cities across the US.  You need to check in your area.

Once we decided to go ahead everything simply fell in place in just a few days.  When it came time to go get the car, we did an Uber ride and the guy (Old friend) who picked me up had been doing Uber for 3 years so we chatted the entire way and he gave me some great tips.  We used his driver id as a referral so when I hit me 100 ride we both got a great bonus.  It was funny, because just when I completed my 100th passenger ride within a few minutes he called me.  We weren’t keeping count so it was a surprise.  The 1st words we heard were “I am dancing around my chair because you just completed 100 rides!”  I laughed and said “Wow, already!” Sure enough my bonus had been deposited.  I said, “We need to meet and celebrate at Starbuck’s in a few days.” (We did).

Once we picked the car and signed the paperwork we were on our way to an awesome experience.  We call it a journey because this feels like a new part of our life, a life extension so to say.  One of the parts of being a software developer the last 10 years was that we mainly worked from home over the web.  It is convenient, but the part of doing software for me is the people contact not only solving issues by coding.  (The phone is not the same a face to face).

So this was the main reason that got us past our fear, and when we completed the 1st pick-up and drop-off, the fear disappeared in a heart beat.  We knew this is exactly what I will be doing for a long time to come.

Here we are in the San Francisco Bay area where Facebook HQ, Google HQ, Apple HQ, Uber HQ, and about a zillion other “.com” companies reside and of course Stanford University.  Then there is the diversity of people from all over the world coming to visit and to live or go to school.  Yes folks, this is an awesome journey.  I can only quote Emma from New Zealand who was visiting her daughter on her way back home.  She said “This is an exchange in cultures and a sharing of ideas between people of the world.”  (She nailed it)  It’s a matter of talking directly to another human, not via text, but with eye contact and feeling and sharing our energy.  Of course many things we share are common, but the uniqueness is the icing on the cake.

We plan to document my Uber journey with observations I make along the way.  For example Uber does not push for rider’s tips on a completed ride, but we once picked up a Stanford Student at Trader Joe’s and when we dropped her off she gave me a banana as a tip.  Know what?  We were hungry so we peeled it right there and started eating it as we thanked her.

So now when we start my day we get in the car and take a few deep breaths and think. “Who are we going to meet today and what new places will we be discovering?”  It is always a surprise we must say.

We would suggest to you all out there in cyberland that if you enjoy people, have some rime on your hands, that instead of becoming a couch potato try out Uber or at least research it and see if it fits you.  If you decide to do it please use my driver Id. as a reference (5ZZEQH3UUE) when you fill out the online application.  We will both share a nice bonus when you complete your 100 trips.

We have read some “bad” things about Uber, but in my opinion it’s great.  Not perfect, but they always updating the driver application, and their support has been very good.  What they do need is some formal online training.  There are some U-Tube video’s that are okay, but we would suggest maybe in the major cities a one day seminar covering how the “ap” works and answering questions.  We am still finding new stuff.

We have nothing to ad at this time but maybe someday you will visit the Bay are and when you do an Uber ride we will pick you up.  If any of you have a question please leaves a comment and we will get back to you.

 

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