Yello Yello - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

Wandering the information superhighway, he came upon the last refuge of civilization, PoFo, the only forum on the internet ...

Please introduce yourself here.
User avatar
By XDU
#15207261
Finally got through here. The activation process takes forever...

Anyway...

I'm a 3x seasonal Diamond Uber/Platinum Lyft driver from New York who moved down to North Carolina and said enough is enough after 10 months. My typical work week was over 80 hours long, and I've worked over 100 hours in a week three times. I used to do the 2+ hour trips across state two or three times per week, and my typical week saw me drive over 200 passengers around.

I've dealt with a death threat, explicit phone convos, defecation in the car, two hit and run accidents, one case of insurance fraud, half a dozen sorority chicks piling in tons of times, countless underage passengers, and passengers who twist the added/changed stop rule inside out in too many ways to count as well as passengers who give bad ratings when they break the rules and don't want to be held accountable for their antics.

To put it remarkably lightly, I think the ridesharing industry needs to be either heavily regulated, nationalized, or shut down. It's no wonder annual driver retention is in the single digits, and I'll find it a miracle if either company manages to ever become profitable. On one hand, they want to be excluded from paying taxes by treating drivers like contractors, but on the other, they treat the drivers like ordinary employees from allowing rampant abuse in customer service.

People have constantly told me I should write a coffeetable book about the reality of ridesharing. Don't get me wrong, I've had plenty of great experiences too. 95-99% of passengers are at least decent people, but it's that needle in the haystack which stabs and makes you bleed.

The other thing is living down here is... weird. North Carolina takes pride in being a "progressive" state, but it's really not. Its typical government department runs between $150m-300m to operate, but it spends over $2b on law enforcement and has some of the worst crime rates in the country whether in Greensboro, High Point, Winston Salem, Charlotte, or Fayetteville. Raleigh is one of the safest places in the country in contrast, and it has nothing to do with wealth, race, or urban density disparities. All of its cities are relatively homogeneous, but there are considerable attitude differences among them.

People here barely know how to drive since the state hardly tests people on anything; the insurance industry has lobbied the state legislature so if you make a claim, YOUR insurance rates go up; and communication skills leave a ton to be desired. Tons of people in NC will give you the silent treatment for literally no reason, and I've talked with plenty of passengers about this from out of state who confirm that there's something very snooty and nasty here. It's not a southern way of life thing either. People from Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia all confirm there's something uniquely sinister about this state.

Granted people can be nasty up in New York too, but at least they'll give you a piece of their mind if they have a problem with you so you know what's wrong. Down here, people just leave you guessing. It's like they sadistically enjoy seeing others bumble around in the dark.

Anyway, that's why I'm XDU. Ex-Diamond Uber.
User avatar
By noemon
#15207276
Welcome XDU and sorry for the activation delay, genuine users get buried under a sea of spam sometimes and there was a sea of spammers indeed that had to be truncated.

Nice reading about your experiences and other interesting places, however sinister. I've always wanted to explore the US and get a taste of its culture. I spent 2 months in 2019-20 in New York and Washington.

Came back just in the nick of time before Covid at the end of Jan 2020.

In my next visits I am hoping to explore California & Mexico and whatever interesting place I can manage.

I've always considered how taxi drivers might react to the various crazies out there.

You guys are heroes especially in dangerous areas.
User avatar
By Rancid
#15207278
@XDU

The avatar makes sense given your profession. Hopefully your mental faculties are in order though. :lol:

Welcome. Don't feed the animals.
User avatar
By XDU
#15207281
noemon wrote:Welcome XDU and sorry for the activation delay, genuine users get buried under a sea of spam sometimes and there was a sea of spammers indeed that had to be truncated.

Nice reading about your experiences and other interesting places, however sinister. I've always wanted to explore the US and get a taste of its culture. I spent 2 months in 2019-20 in New York and Washington.

Came back just in the nick of time before Covid at the end of Jan 2020.

In my next visits I am hoping to explore California & Mexico and whatever interesting place I can manage.

I've always considered how taxi drivers might react to the various crazies out there.

You guys are heroes especially in dangerous areas.


Yea, I've done the 120mph pregnancy run, tons of 100mph airport and bus station runs, pick someone up from domestic violence run, dodged tons of sideswipes and people coming up in my blindspots...

...as well as had women aggressively flirt, ask me if I'm seeing someone, had the drunk ladies night out, bachelorette party, etc.

Thing about this job is you're mostly a bartender or barber giving life advice or joking around for 15-20 minutes before you never see someone again. You might trade phone numbers, but I will easily tell you out of the 5000 trips I did last year, less than 15 passengers stayed in touch, and even that was just for a month or so.

The companies' insurance policies are brutal too. You'd think they'd appreciate those of us who make the biggest efforts at least, but the deductible is $2500 if you get in a crash, and no rental car is provided. They expect you to pay them for a rental if you get in a crash which isn't your fault while working for them.

For all the heroics, they don't treat us like heroes.
User avatar
By Thunderhawk
#15207294
Welcome.

Mind if I pick you brain on.. self driving cars?
They are getting better at following lanes, but Im wondering about the weird parking and driving situations Taxis/drivers have to do - how often did you have to park or drive or act in a weird way that the passenger couldn't help?
-> luggage because the passenger couldn't move it, driving on bad roads/back roads/farm roads/worse roads, letting persons out at weird spots/red lights because there was no opportunity to let them out normally, people giving cash to be taken somewhere not recorded, etc..
I figure those odd situations will the be economic base for drivers vs AI.
Do you think there is enough of those weird situations to make driving a taxi/Lyft/Uber viable?
Are my assumptions flawed?
User avatar
By XDU
#15207300
Thunderhawk wrote:Welcome.

Mind if I pick you brain on.. self driving cars?
They are getting better at following lanes, but Im wondering about the weird parking and driving situations Taxis/drivers have to do - how often did you have to park or drive or act in a weird way that the passenger couldn't help?
-> luggage because the passenger couldn't move it, driving on bad roads/back roads/farm roads/worse roads, letting persons out at weird spots/red lights because there was no opportunity to let them out normally, people giving cash to be taken somewhere not recorded, etc..
I figure those odd situations will the be economic base for drivers vs AI.
Do you think there is enough of those weird situations to make driving a taxi/Lyft/Uber viable?
Are my assumptions flawed?


...so my understanding is Uber sold off their self-driving car department because of a deadly accident. Lyft is still pursuing the project.

Admittedly, the overwhelming majority of my driving was in urban situations. Rural back roads weren't terribly common. I might have dealt with them 5% of the time while working. Lots of passengers prefer to load their own luggage as well so it doesn't get damaged although I preferred to load it so my subwoofer didn't get damaged nor my rear bumper or trunk door. Weird spot drop offs aren't so bad. You just flick your hazards on, tell the passengers to exit sidewalk side, and carry on after they get out which takes 10-15 seconds.

My honest belief though is the other way around. Driving licenses should have much higher standards since so many people either don't know how to drive or play chicken over egos. Also, I think if the companies have self-driving cars that they'll start to see how adding and editing stops mid-trip is a serious hassle which bears a serious cost. We only get paid 10 cents per minute to wait which isn't even minimum wage while at a stop. That would easily get jacked up if cars were automated since the companies wouldn't want to have their assets idling.

The real value of a personal driver though is handling the temperament of the passenger. A lot of passengers want someone to talk with. I talked with passengers about 95-99% of the time. Not talking makes the passengers seem lonely although I have heard from passengers that most drivers don't talk which they find strange.

-----

One system upgrade the companies do need to really do though is personality reviews. The current rating system is abysmal since the feedback is often either vague or faulty. Passengers often complain about things which they could have easily spoken up about. They just didn't because they know how some drivers are angry jerks who will throw a tantrum if you expect them to be accommodating.

If it was up to me, I'd eliminate the scoring system altogether and let drivers and riders pick a few positive personality attributes from a list kind of like what you see in office chemistry workshops. That would let people know the other side's temperament in advance of getting into the car to break the ice...

...and if you have nothing nice to say about someone, then don't say anything at all. People could look at the ratio of trips to comments as well to see if someone's a nasty jerk.

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