Uber Mario and the 6 Foot Bear

So, as promised, this is the story of the Stoner Gamer Dude and the Man in the Bear Suit.  Since, both of these stories deal the conversations I had with these individuals, I am going to write it as dialogue in a play.  Stoner Gamer Dude will play the part of Uber Mario, Man in Bear suit will play the part of 6 Foot Bear and I will play the part of Super Awesome Driver (hey, its my play and I will name my characters however I see fit – don’t judge).

Scene 1:

Super Awesome Driver (S.A.D) is riding along looking for his next ride, when all of a sudden – “Ping, Ping, Ping”, a rider has requested a pick-up.

S.A.D arrives at pick-up

S.A.D:  Hey, whose it going?

Uber Mario:  Hey, what’s up man?

S.A.D: Not Mu……. (S.A.D gets cut off in mid sentence)

Uber Mario:  My best friend just tried to kick my ass.

S.A.D: Really what hap……. (cut off again)

Uber Mario:  Well, you know how it goes (S.A.D shows confused look, as if “No I Dont”).  Hey, take a guess at what I do for a living.

S.A.D: (Again with confused look), No, idea, what do you …… (yes you guessed it, cut off again)

Without going into the rest of the back an forth, basically it comes out that the guy is a 20 something professional gamer. He was even sponsored by a major soft drink company.  He goes on to say that he lives at home with his mom (yes, really), his dad is not around.  S.A.D tries to ask what happened since it seemed like this guy wanted to talk, but then the subject changes back to gaming.  He tells S.A.D that he enters tournaments where the top prize is $300K.  He enters with 4 other players and the split the pot. Funny thing though, he never says if he ever won, just what the potential prize money is.

We arrive at Uber Mario destination, which took all of about 5 mins.  Uber Mario had a lot to say in a very short period of time.

Uber Mario:  Thanks for the ride

S.A.D:  You’re Wel…..(door slams)

Scene 2:

S.A.D once again riding along, when “Ping, ping, ping”; next ride.  S.A.D proceeds to pick-up location and sees a furry 6 foot figure with a hood that has a top hat attached to it talking with a women.  He stops and said furry creature, gets into the car.

S.A.D:  (thinks to himself, this could be interesting) Hey, how’s it going?

6 Foot Bear: Grrrr (not really but he grumbled something that S.A.D couldn’t make out – it could have been a Grrrr or Growl, who knows.)

That was pretty much the extent of the conversation. They rode in silence until they reach 6 Foot Bear’s destination – one of the local bars.  6 Foot Bear gets out of the car, says Thank You (that was clearly audible) and tips S.A.D.

S.A.D:  (thinks to himself) What a nice Bear.

IMG_3093-001(1)

Annnnnd Scene.

So there you have it.  I really think this should be a new reality show – Uber Mario and the 6 Foot Bear.  Just think of the stimulating conversations they could have. Cant be any worse than some of the other shows on TV right now.

Photography by Suzanne Drake Photography

 

 

 

Advertisements

Uber Me This, Batman

IMG_5358-002

So you would think, working for an insurance company, that when I started driving I would have thought about how I am covered.  Well turns out after the first week of driving, it never crossed my mind.  I was just glad to finally get approved to try it out.  It was actually my wife, the brains in the family, who said, “what happens if you are in an accident or something, how does the insurance work?”  At first, I was like, “That’s a really good question”, then I thought, crap, why didn’t I think of that – like I said, she is the smart one.  Then the questions started coming in waves.  How does it work in paying taxes, do I even have to declare any of it since I just started and wasn’t really making that much, if I do declare it, what expenses can I write off?  All good questions.

I figured since there was still plenty of time to think about the taxes, I started to call around about insurance.  First, I called my current carrier at the time, let’s just call them the little lizard or Killer Croc for you DC fans.  First they tell me that they have a hybrid policy that could cover me for both personal use and for Uber.  I thought, great, that was pretty easy, how much?  They said they needed to ask a few more questions.  When they got to the part about other licensed drivers in the house, I tell them I have a 16 year old driver in the house.  At which point, they tell me, never-mind, we cant cover you under the hybrid since all household drivers must have 3 years experience.  They then say, but wait, you could try a commercial policy.   I ask, how much is that roughly and was told it would likely run over $1,000 and that was just for my car and no one else in the household would be able to drive it.  Well, that was not an option so onto insurance company #2.

Seeing that I work for an insurance company, why not try them next.  Let’s just call this company Snoopy’s former employer.  Well, they pretty much tell me the same thing.  They have policy, but cant cover me because of the youthful driver. Strike 2.   Next – Onto the next company – This was the company that covered Merr-Mutts, why wouldn’t they cover me for Uber driving?  Well, sure enough, no luck there. Strike 3.  Next was the “Kiss my Grits” company, the one where Flo works, and once again, denied. Strike 4??

At this point, I started to lose hope that My Uber Life was coming to an end before it even really got a chance to start.  But, not one to give up I tried a few more companies before I came to “Brad”.  Brad, said that they’d be more than happy to write me a policy and if I moved my home and Auto to them it was only about $200 more a year, which I could easily make driving.  SOLD – Brad it is – He’s my hero 🙂

So, the moral of the post today is if you do decide to drive, remember – “Uber Me This” and try and think through all of the questions first before you start driving.  Definitely helps to have that planned out ahead of time.

OK, so enough about how I got started.  Next time, I will get into some of the more interesting people I have met along they way so far – Like Bear suit guy or Stoner Gamer dude.  Thanks

Photo By Suzanne Drake Photography

Uberring Right Along

OK, so where did I leave off?  Oh yeah, after my first ride the rest of Musikfest would be a breeze, or at least I thought it would be.  At first, it was going great and it was where I first learned about “Surge” pricing. Surge pricing is your friend, at least from a drivers standpoint.

For those that dont know, Surge pricing is when there is a greater demand for rides than there are drivers in a certain area.  When this happens, they increase the rates.  Great if you are driving, but not so great if you are a rider.  At one point, I was actually looking to end my night and head home when I got pinged to pick someone up right by my house.  Turns out they were heading to the festival and I guessed they planned on having a few beverages, so they didn’t want to drive.  Well, I picked them up and the drive of about 4-5 blocks, normally about $4, but with the Surge pricing that night, the fair was $15.  Total trip time was about 3 mins.  At that point, I figured I could get use to this and decided I would stay out for a while longer.

My next ride was a couple, who had enough “festing” and just need a ride home. Turns out they were the Aunt (Uma) and Uncle (John) of a younger couple, who were staying behind to enjoy the festival a little longer.  I drop them off and then head back towards the festival.  I got a few more rides before getting pinged to pick up a man and his wife.  We got to talking a little during the ride and they tell me, that they were down there with his wife’s Aunt.  At that point, I ask, is our Aunt’s name Uma, and sure enough, it was. Turns out, it was the younger couple of the Aunt and Uncle that I had picked up earlier.  So I drop them off and decided I will see if I can get 1 more rider, before I head home – big mistake on my part.

There is a local music venue by us and I guess a concert had just ended.  I get pinged to pick up a couple who were heading home for the night.  Now, I don’t think I have mentioned this before, but with Uber, as a driver, you don’t know where the rider wants to go until they get in the car.  Turns out they live about 35miles away and it is already close to midnight.  At this point, I really wished I hadn’t decided to take one more ride.  So they get in the car and I start to head out on our way.  After a little conversions, they both got quiet. Turns out they both had fallen asleep in the backseat of the car.  Thank god they woke up when I pulled into the driveway.  I really didn’t want to have to be the one to wake them.  At that point, they got out of the car, I backed out of the driveway, turned the app off and went Uberring Right Along, all they way home.

13431167924

Photo by Suzanne Drake Photography

*Names of the riders were changed to protect the innocent

  • On a side note, if you are looking to try Uber for the first time as a rider, feel free to use this promotion code – 5vfz542wue and your first ride will be on me.

My Uber Life

IMG_3123

I always thought it would be fun to start a blog, but never really had anything all that interesting to write about, Then I started to Uber and wow, there are some interesting people out there. So, this blog is going to be based on “My Uber Life”. My experiences in getting started and some of the more colorful passengers that I have had.  Like the grown man dressed in a full body bear costume or the 20 something professional gamer who smelled like a used bong to name a few.

 

Now I work for an insurance company as my full time job so you can see why I didn’t have too many interesting things to write about. But like thousands of other people, when I first heard about Uber, I was like, this could be an easy way to earn some extra money and hell, it could be fun.  I had debated about it for a few months, but then, the local music festival (Musikfest) was coming up and I thought, no time like the present. This festival is a 10 day event & I knew it would take a while to get approved so about a month before the festival I decided it was time to give it a try.  I got all my information together and submitted my application.  They said it would take about 2 weeks to get approved so I thought I had plenty of time before the festival started.  Well 2 weeks go by and then 3 and I still have not heard back.  I reach out to Uber a few times and never heard anything back.  At this point Musikfest had started and I figured that was it, I was rejected and that was the end of it.  Sure enough, with 3 days left of the festival, I was approved.

 

So, my first day out, it didn’t take too long to get my first ride.  Although, it turns out the people I had to pick up were about a 15 miles away, just to get to them.  So, I start on my way to pick up my first ride – YAY.  After driving down these narrow roads for most of the trip, I hear the navigation say “You have arrived”.  Problem is, I am looking around and I don’t see the address.  I waited on the street for a little bit and finally realize there was a hidden driveway – A LONG AND DARK driveway.  So, as I make the turn down the driveway, I am thinking, this is it – my first ride and I am being lured down a dark driveway, far from the road so someone can rob/mug me.  Well, turns out, I couldn’t be more wrong.  It ends up being a husband and wife with their son and his girlfriend who were really nice.  From that point on, I figured, I could get used to “My Uber Life”

 

Photo by Suzanne Drake Photography