Day 29

Tuesday. Michelle was an older sheila. She knew I was Australian. How you ask? Well simple. Her client is an Australian boat building company. Well played non sir. She told me about the intricacies of the boats that they get in. I asked her about catamarans. Nope they don’t build those. Okay sorry my apologies. I like the word catamaran. It just roles off the tongue. If I can find an opportunity to say that bloody word I will. “What are you doing today Paul?” “I’m reading about catamarans”. Ah yes words can be absolutely delightful, but then they can be disgusting. Feel free to comment on this post your favorite or least favorite words.

Beth was next. She told me about an Aussie blog. Actually it was a vlog. Yes video blog. A family travels Australia in a campervan. Or something. Cool. I thought about my high school mate Eliott who rode a motorbike from Cape Town to Cairo. Then on to Germany. That’s a blog or should I say vlog I would have watched. Such a cool trip. I wanted to do that in a Jeep once.

Next customer was Isaiah. Couldn’t help but think Isaiah Yeo from my rugby league team the Penrith Panthers. I told him about this legend and he was stoked. I realized that his other half was the lady I dropped off about a week ago at Jack in the Box. He was the bf that worked there. Small world.

Final customer for the day was Inga. She was a Russian medical translator for the hospital. Hmmm… must be a lot of Russians to keep her busy.

Slowish day. Till Wednesday.

Racism Venting and Day 28

My first passenger, well what can I say? She was racist. She was catching a plane in the afternoon from Vancouver to Shanghai. I won’t go into too much detail about her stupid self, but just that she was a racist.

When I get racist customers in my car I often think what is the best way to approach the situation? In an ideal world, in my brain anyway, I think of a James Bond style ejector seat. It’s disgusting. Racism is a disease that filters down from parents and people of influence to finally an individual. This one particular lady said there’s too many black people in America and they’re dangerous. I said um white people shoot people all the time. So do Asians. She said “ah yes white people in America very dangerous.” I still sat driving, thinking keep digging that hole. She wasn’t the first racist person I’ve had in my car. I’m not going to mention backgrounds or ethnicities here because it’s been all races that have been racist in my bloody car. It’s the weirdest thing. Why are people so.candid with me? These kind of racist opinions should not be voiced to anyone. It shouldn’t even be thought about. The media doesn’t help with racism at all. Often a news reporter will say today a [insert ethnicity here] shot up a country music festival or [insert ethnicities here] raped and murdered a women in Central Park. Why don’t they say a person did horrific crime to [these names of people]? Many people have said the US president is racist. However the media is racist too. Not to mention some people’s ideals and morals can be ethnocentric.

Gone are the days of colonialism or should I say invasion. Inclusive action is now. I am a strong believer of not judging a book by its cover or jumping to conclusions too fast, unless it’s bloody weird. I remember Comcast man entered my house to fix the internet once and he was in favour of a wall, because an illegal immigrant, shot and killed his uncle back in the 90s. I said to him, a citizen could have done that too you know.

People must think I’m not going to respond to such comments. I do and in some cases a debate sparks, in other cases nothing is said afterwards. In the long run the key is education. Teach a child how to be a good person. Introduce them to culture. If they ask why another person is different to them. Tell them.

Having an understanding of culture and having an appreciation for different people is worth more than hatred, violence or racial discrimination. I learned a lot from reading, studying archaeology, visiting different countries and talking with my elders. When I was 4 years old I went to Fiji with my mum and dad. That was probably my first international cultural experience. I remember drums, fire walking, grass skirts and giant crabs oh and the word Bula. I have vague memories of freaking out when my parents weren’t there and the babysitter had to come and find my parents at a restaurant. Long story short I still remember bits and pieces from that trip, but what I remember most is that the Fijian culture was uniquely different to what I was observing and experiencing growing up. It possibly helped my views on the world.

My next customer wanted a lift to the border. Sure I’ll take it. Easy $50. She went to Vegas and had a blast. I told her of my Vegas exploits including my old mate Ed’s idea to go the Wet Republic. She chimed in and said she spent a load of money on a cabana. I responded my dear mate Zach threw some money at that and we had a blast.

This lady mentioned about the healthcare issue in the USA and that it can cost up to $10,000 to have a baby. I was shocked. Is that with or without insurance? I’m going to Australia to have babies.

This is a 40 minute drive we talked a lot. When we hit Lynden she told me about corn wars. Yes that’s right. Farmers growing crappy corn to counter the neighbors well established corn crop. Wow. Vindictive. Must be a Canadian thing. She said round up was a common issue that pops up and that her family tries to not use it. Australia banned roundup a few years ago. Must be a reason why they did it.

I found out that my passenger was allergic to the sun. Just like Bonnie. Crazy. Must be Pacific Northwest thing. She lives in Chilliwack. Yes sounds cold over there in British Columbia.

My final passenger was all the way down near Western Washington University. I wanted another passenger from the airport, but after giving up I did a lap of Bellingham. Then ping! About bloody time. Mondays! Seriously. Didn’t think Mondays would be so slow, but they are and I get it. To top it off my new passenger didn’t hear me when he sat in my car. I said G’day how’s it going? Silence. Okay awkward. He had earphones in. Ahhhhhh right probably listening to that new techno that’s going around. I’m there rocking out to Phil Collins, then his phone rang. It’s his father. About dropping off a key. Then I noticed he finished his convo and had an ear free. Mate there’s water and Nerds back there if you want them. Oh thanks. Boom an in! He’s a construction worker and knew what an archaeologist was. Then he mentioned mammoth. Okay maybe not…

After dropping him off I went and got a haircut at Sports Clips. They cut my hair too short now I’m bald. Okay no just my ears are sticking out gloriously. It’s the one thing that my eyes go to after my hair is cut, especially when it’s too bloody short.

After I sheepishly left the Barber of Fleet Street, it was time to go home.

Till tomorrow.

Dayeth 27th – Fruitful Fridays

6am my booking a cash in hand job thanks to the lady I had met two days prior. Geeze I hate mornings, but I’ll get up for money. I still had a long way to go for my quota, but I’ll do what it takes to get my weekly quota.

After I dropped the nice lady off at the airport I needed it coffee. Extremely early. I went to my new favorite place Cool Beans. I asked for my usual. White chocolate mocha please. Yes sweeter than the sweet and I’m sure a Colombian dies whenever I drink my sacrilecious and delicious beverage. I went to take my first sip. Lumps. Okay maybe that was just the first sip. Hmmm no. More lumps. Take a gulp. Okay yuck it’s not supposed to be lumpy. I immediately went back. The milk had certainly turned in the wrong direction. The coffee barista was super apologetic and made me a new one. Sip. Ahhhhhh much better cheers. Bloody hot though. As I took a big gulp I heard a Colombian jump off a roof in anger for my sweetening down of rich full bodied beans from the depths of the jungle.

Then ping. Thorkild. The Danish. Cool name. He was a thunderous man who was a nurse by trade but used to be a Commercial fisherman. He’d been to Melbourne for 6 months. He even got to see a Richmond Tigers game. He enjoyed footy. I thought that’s great news. Not many Americans know about Australian Football.

After dropping him off I went by the airport then ping. Crikey. Tom Cruise! Actually he was just a man called Tom who used to work for a cruise liner back in the day. Sorry peeps no real celebrities. Yet. His flight was canceled and wanted a bus to Seattle. I took him to the depot and he was super thankful.

I took another chance at the airport to pick up any passengers from the new flight coming in. Ping. Wow my luck has changed. G’day Amy how are you? She had a tiny suitcase and herself. I put her case in the trunk aka boot. Shut it and noticed the clock. That 16 minutes looks odd. Oh wait that’s 116 minutes. Where are we going? SeaTac. Awesome another Unicorn trip. Thanks Alaska Airlines for canceling your flights today. The other plane wasn’t supposed to come until 7pm. This poor Google HR manager didn’t want to wait. So she got me. Lucky her. She wasn’t too talkative. I managed to find out she had worked for Google for 9 years. I said do you get a cake at the 10 year mark? Nope you get a plaque with your name on it. I asked her what will she get at the 20 year mark? A cake and a new plaque? She didn’t know and didn’t seem to get my joke or I wasn’t funny. She slept for most of the drive to Seattle Tacoma Airport. I had no music going either so it was the quietest ride ever.

After dropping her off I went to Tacoma to try my other driving location. Only deliveries was showing so I called customer support. I hung out near the Tacoma dome. It took them 3 hrs of trouble shooting and turning my phone off and on again, that it still doesn’t work. Not sure why?

I eventually gave up on this glitch and went back home. I got back to Bellingham and then ping. Sarah got me she wanted to get her nails done. Sure I’ll take you there. Dropped her off. Then I realized I got pretty close to my quota after just one day.

Another fruitful Friday.

The 26th Day

After a much better Wednesday, my Thursday was pretty good too. My first passenger was Natasha, she works at a coffee shop near the hospital. I said in Australia our coffee tastes different to American coffee. We’re extremely snobby when it comes to coffee. Not sure when that happened, but the transition from tea to coffee must’ve happened when the European immigrants came over. I’m not entirely sure, but the quality is crazily different. I’m not sure what it is. I personally am a tea drinker and have never liked coffee unless it was full of sugar. There’s only one coffee chain I like to this day and that is Zarraffas in QLD. It’s awesome. Starbucks never really had a foothold in Australia because the local coffee shops were better than a chain. Do you want to support your friendly neighborhood barista or go for a chain? Support local businesses or a global corporation? Starbucks is located in specific tourist areas in Australia but not in the main areas where locals hang out.

Then there was Timmy. He was off the Democratic Republic. I said are you serious? I literally had a guy in my two weeks ago who was heading over there. Now this Timmy was assisting with water purification. Sounded like a rewarding job to be honest.

Next I had Alyssa who was from Orcas Island. I said do you know Chris Pratt or Oprah Winfrey? She said no, but she knew they were living out there. I was taking her to the DMV. Ahhhhhh yes the DMV. Department of Moronic Vipers. Okay Department of Motor Vehicles. Good luck with that slow place.

Next was Kenneth a native man married to a Canadian, who’s currently sueing the Canadian government for not recognizing his Cheyenne River Sioux background. I told him I was an archaeologist and that I hope he wins his case.

After dropping Ken off there was Jen who had a baby. I tried to assist, but she didn’t need me at all. To be honest I really have no experience with baby carriers at all. I think I’d be pretty lost. I can pretend to hurt myself and be a clown and teach a baby not to be too vindictive and teach the baby about morals. Anything else I would be learning as I go. Jen took a water. Nice one.

Then there was Cindy. She wouldn’t shut up. Just kidding she didn’t talk to me at all.

Next I had a minister and his wife who went to get there eyes stabbed to remedy their macular degeneration. Ouch. Sounded horrifying. No thanks. Then they said better that than not being able to see. Ah yeah very true.

Then there was Malik. He was getting a hair cut at a barber shop. His hair was shorter than mine. Every 3 weeks he goes. Crazy. I go every 2 months sometimes 3. He was a chef and hated the food on the west coast. He was from.the east coast and preferred the food there. He said the people in Whatcom County are all the same. Whatever dude you’re being extremely general here.

After I dropped him off. I was done. I had an oil change to do with my good mate Ari and then meet with an archaeologist about a thing.

This completes day 26.

Day 25 – halfway to fity.

The day started with Travis, from the airport. A cop from Vancouver. He deals with gang crime specifically. Gangs in Vancouver? Are they polite about stabbing or holding up a bank? “Scuse me do you mind filling these begs with gould and maple cream cookies?” “But of course fine sir”. Then the robbers ride off into the sunset on a moose. Actually no they have issues with race factions and bikies. Guess they’re not so polite. I said to him, in Australia and here we hardly hear anything about Canada. He said it’s probably a good thing. I dropped him off at the last Starbucks before the border. Good way to start my day $30 straight away.

On the way back down I got a ping in Custer. Cool. They took forever. Once the three young adults were ready. I realized I was going in a northern direction home. They were renovating the Birch Bay cafe. When they open they’ll have kayaks to rent and some have glass bottoms! Seals and fish can be seen whilst paddling. Awesome! Maybe a next weekend thing.

Went down to Lakeway Drive where a nice older lady pinged me. Excellent I’m already at $50 & I feel like I’ve barely started. She was from California, just visiting a friend. She asked me how to schedule an Uber for Friday morning at 6am. I said I can just be here for you if you want. She was pretty stoked. No worries. Just means I have to get up earlier for the pings.

Went back to the airport then Steven at the Holiday Inn needed to be picked up. Well so I thought anyway. I got to the front and there was no one present. I rang him. He answered. An old fella wanting an Uber for his stranded wife. Apparently her car broke down. He said she should be there. I said I would wait until she showed up. He tried calling her, but to no avail. He rang the hotel and the staff came and said they’ll try and locate her for me. That’d be excellent. After 15 minutes I rang him back and said she’s not here I can’t wait any longer I’m sorry. Honestly I waited way over the time threshold. Uber drivers are only supposed to wait 5 minutes and get back out there. I thought the charging wait time went to me. Nope that’s not the case. I only get the cancellation fee. Damn.

Deepak was the next customer. A truck driver with an intriguing name.

Then Frank flew in from Alaska. He said he met some Aussies on the plane and then now here’s another driving you around. We discussed kangaroos and how big of a pest they are. Told him about my accident from 2012. When the roo jumped out in front of me when I was driving home from work. I do think they’re cute, but not as a hood ornament.

A nurse by the name of Emily need an Uber to work. I dropped her off at the hospital. Told her that I appreciate what she does. I asked her as a healthcare professional is there medical covered? No. What? That should be a perk if you work for a hospital. Wow! I was dumbfounded. Flabbergasted. Perturbed. Taken aback. Shocked. Bewildered. Annoyed. So much for my perfect perception of the medical industry in the USA. You really are on your own.

Finally I picked up a pharmacist and cookie regional manager. Tates. Haven’t tried those cookies but many grocery stores have them they’re nationwide and have been around for 30 years. We chatted about Australia and cookies, and how my pa aka grandfather on my dad’s side was a pharmacist before he retired. I went to drop them off at a Brewery in Fairdinkumhaven when an elderly hairless sasquatch derro anomaly appeared on the side of my car wearing trackydacks and no shirt. The gents didn’t feel comfortable leaving my car, so I drove further down the road to escape the beast. It was finally safe the turmoil and ghastly event was over. Some say that if you look him in the eye you’ll become him at 65. Scary.

Day completed.

Day 24 – two days ago

The day started with me going to get my brakes done. Nazaar is a mechanic in Blaine. He does work for cheap because it’s just him. He occasionally gets help from a bunch of his mates kids. He was going to charge me $50 to put brakes on my car. I arrived and he thought I was going to be another Mitsubishi owner and thought I was going to leave my car there whilst he worked on it. Nope. I was going to hang out for a while you swapped them out. I told him I’d lost my job a few months ago and I need my car working efficiently. He received a rather important phone call regarding his business/homes internet service. Nazaar had been dealing with crappie interwebs for quite some time. Apparently 5 years. Finally it was the call he was hoping for. You better take it otherwise you may never hear from them again or you’ll be playing eternal phone tag. I sat and waited. I wrote and waited. Thought I’d do a business plan for the job I was interviewing for next week. After writing as much as I could, I checked my oil and water. Fair dinkum my oil is getting low! Coolant is fine. Then he came back. He apologized for making me wait. I said it was fine. He hoisted my car up in the air like a baby elephant or maybe just a cow. Hubs off, nuts unscrewed, tyres off, calipers unfastened, brakes out. Brakes are at 65%. What??? I really thought they were wearing out. Hmmm. He walked over to my new brakes and showed me the thickness. Oh damn. I honestly just wasted my time.

I left and turned the Uber app on ready for some action. Drove all the way to Bellingham with no pings. Waited at the airport. No pings. Drove around town no pings. Saw that jettystone again on the back of a truck. It’s haunting me. Saw cars with tennis balls on aerials and thought does this help amplify the AM/FM radio? I mean what’s the point? Does it protect the aerial?

Went back to the airport and finally a ping. Dawn and her son. The son is a huge rugby fan and used to play on the wing. Told me how he got concussed playing soccer and baseball, but not rugby. Even when he was tackled by a 300 pound prop, he didn’t get concussed. I told him I got concussed in high school from charging down a kick. I dropped on the ground like a sack of potatoes. Got back up and kept playing. Went to the Mrs Neal’s business class, she was South African (Afrikaans), a total ranga, red hair like you wouldn’t believe. I sat with a scenario in front of me and I couldn’t think straight. Trying to work through the problem, I was in a daze and had a headache. I approached the teacher and told her I just got hit in the head and probably need to be checked out. Was told to go to sick bay. They rang my mum and I went to the free public health doctor that the good Australian tax payers pay for. Told the doctor what happened and he shined a torch in my face. My pupils were dilated. He told me to not go to sleep for a few hours. It can really effect you. He scheduled me in for a cat scan to see if there was any other damage. No brain to be found, your good to go ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ.

Back to the Uber. An Amazon box was in the middle of the freeway. I swerved and hit some packaging which stayed on my bonnet (hood) for the rest of the trip. It’s the inflated packaging they put in the boxes. The wind flowing over the car made it comical. We all laughed at this piece of packaging flopping in the breeze. Looking like a small character hitting his head up and down on my car.

I dropped them off. That was all no one else. The app was malfunctioning again but even worse. I lost money that day, but gained it back due to not getting my brakes done.

Till yesterday.

Day 23 – The boogers! WARNING GROSS STUFF!

As I ventured out and waited patiently for my first customer I thought I’d restock the water and sweets. Front has been fine because people like to be chauffeur driven. I got to the back seat, oh look a taffy wrapper that someone didn’t chuck out, “plop” oh what was this hard object falling out of the wrapper? I picked it up. Yuck! Oh my lord it’s nose candy! Right in front of my eyes was an inch long nose nugget. Some bastard had been gold mining their nostrils and left me not one, but two pieces of green hardened mucus. Yuck! I quickly grabbed a tissue and a bag and deposited the grossness and contaminated lollies into it. It wasn’t pee, poo or vomit, but snot! That’s the first gross thing I get? Unbelievable. Who was it? Trying to think who it could’ve been! Who had the audacity to pick and plop their snot where food and drink sit? There’s bloody tissues on the floor! For Pete’s sake! I frantically washed my hand with my water and quickly grabbed an armor all wipe and wiped my hand and the cup holders. Nasty. I have handled so many gross things in archaeology and dealt with it, but this??? You’ve got to be kidding me!

After reeling over that little ordeal I went and got new brakes and fuel for my thirsty car. I contemplated whether I should put Additech into my car, then I read some reviews and realized fuel additives are a scam. Cool I won’t waste little money I have on superfluous crap. Then in all this time I realized no one had pinged me. I clicked the screen and this happened. A different kind of booger. This was the start of many headaches to come for the rest of the day. It was indeed a Monday.

I rang Uber and they told me to turn my phone off and on again in typical IT Crowd fashion. Really? I hadn’t thought of that. Come on! I had done that twice before I rang you. I troubleshooted with them until ping! Okay I gotta go.

Ben, he was a short trip from the airport. Meeting a mate at Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Can’t recall anything significant about him.

Amy she was from Tacoma. This was her first Uber ride, she asked how much would I charge her to go to Tacoma I said $100 cash. She said the bus is $30. I said well i can’t beat that, but she said I would have rather used you, because I hate buses. I understand, buses are uncomfortable and they stop a lot. By the way she was visiting an old friend from primary school called Chris, he wanted to be more than friends and organized her to leave via Uber and bus. Crazy. Poor girl she just wanted a friend after a nasty breakup. She asked if she could use my driving capabilities in Tacoma I said possibly.

Uber eats was next and I didn’t realise the promotions had stopped so I reluctantly said yes to it. I had to pick up food for Marko at the Village Pub and Grill. The App took me to the rear of the property and then it hit me. I’ve been here before with a few mates before Isaac and Andrea. I should have known not to trust the Uber App on this one. After picking up the food the guy lives 2 minutes away from the bloody place driving, he honestly could have walked there and sat down, but no he had to get me all the way down there. After attempting to find his so called apartment. He found me. Thank goodness. After he reached through my window to grab his mysterious meal, I clicked delivered in the app. $3.34! Are you kidding me? No more Uber Eats! No promotion? Not worth it.

Elizabeth was my next guest and she was telling me how she was going to see her bf at Jack off in the Box. On the way she also told me where she worked and how her new bosses wanted to reduce everyone’s pay. Wow must be an American thing. My former boss wanted to demote me, and then found out he wouldn’t be able to due to immigration. That would be unheard of in Australia reducing pay. All the staff at her work got together and went on strike. So their 13/hr could stay where it was. They ended up increasing it to 13.50/hr instead. Nice one! Archaeologists in the USA and UK take notes! Don’t accept anything less than what you’re worth ever.

More malfunctions and issues. A network error and my app wanted to know if I wanted to stay online. Of course! How else am I supposed to earn a living right now? Rang Uber again to notify them. They told me the same things I already did. Bugs! Bugs with the App.

Michael a navy vet that had been to Perth, Australia in 1993, was next to grace my vehicle an active border patrol employee. He had his two kids and wife with him and what appeared to be an endless amount of bags! Tetris here we go. He seemed nice and told me the media is exaggerating the border issue on both sides. I kinda knew that, but I didn’t raise any questions about the unlawful imprisonment of people without papers. He’s just a regular guy following orders and their instructions are subject to change no matter who’s in office. He said I should join them when I become a citizen. Great pay and benefits. Yeah mate sounds like a great gig after what I’ve had to deal with over the past few years. I told him about my situation and how hard it’s been. He said at least you’re doing it legally some people just don’t care and we have to pay for it. Moving on I said well I can’t get unemployment unless I become a citizen, guess my tax dollars is paying for you to keep people like me in check. Interesting cycle really. Right now if I leave the country I would most likely get stopped again by border patrol because they can’t read a piece of paper that says multiple entry permit. I’ve had two CBP officers say my piece of paper is a one time use only document. This is why I don’t dare leave again until I get something that’s easier for them to read. Like a green card. I kinda said that to him and he said he just drives around in a car all day. Fair enough, that’s probably better to be honest. I drove up to his house and wow! Massive! How much does this guy make? He gave me 5 stars. He was my 150th 5 star rating and my 250th passenger. Still only one 4 star rating and 99 people didn’t rate me. Better than a 1 star or another 4 star rating to be honest.

My next customer was by far the strangest coincidence I had ever had. Archaeology is officially haunting me. I picked up Scott, a civil engineer from Aslan Brewing. As I do I said G’day and we chatted about Australia etc. Then I asked him where we were going he said he wants to look at some of his jettystone at the Port of Bellingham. I misheard him and asked him what he said, he replied they’re big stones. I paused and said are you kidding me? Are you talking about the specific rock that they use for ballast for jettys? Yes. I told him I know what you are talking about. Really? What do you know he retorted. A few months ago I worked as an archaeologist and we did a survey for that specific material. There are only two locations in the entire country that have this stone type. It is an Army Corps of Engineers approved material. He was shocked that I knew so much. He said where was this stone? So I told him. He knew the company and said F them! We just took them to court. I’ll pay you $100, 000 to find Native American remains in that location. Wow, what is happening? My mind couldn’t work out what was happening. Then we rocked up to the security gate. I relayed to the guard exactly what Scott told me to say. He didn’t understand or follow. Scott got out of the car and said it all again that he wanted to see his stones. He opened the gate and we went to the giant gray stones. He wanted me as a scale and took photos of the stone. He then took a leak by one of the stones. Then he asked me more questions about archaeology and what I can do. I told him there’s nothing I can do without an LLC. I drove him back to Aslan, where he had to locate his rental mustang. This was very mysterious and odd. After dropping him off I thought hopefully those photos of me won’t come back to bite me. I needed him to get out of this enclosure.

After my confusing situation I headed back to the airport where two flights were coming in. I waited for some time when someone else went ahead of me. Wait a minute! It should have been me first. I was here before anyone. Oh what the heck? My app says I’m still south! Oh my last trips were 0 miles! What’s the meaning of this? Rang Uber and told me to do everything I have done multiple times and it seemed to fix it. Ping! I might have missed out on some customers on a flight I inadvertently missed due my dodgy app.

Alex my final customer. He was here for a construction project. He mentioned that when I picked him up I was 3 minutes away until boom I showed up. Thought I was still over there. Super glitchy day.

Anyway that’s it. Till tomorrow.

The Future of Uber Drivers

As I have experienced driving people around in the past few weeks I’ve noticed and loved the personal interaction I’ve had with many different people. Then it occurred to me that Uber is looking at self driving vehicles. Fully automated, no people behind the wheel. The question that burned deep in my brain the other evening was what will happen to all the drivers? The interpersonal nature of having a driver will be lost. Sure you can have an AI to talk to you and or listen, but it’s honestly not the same. Not to mention in Arizona an unfortunate accident happened when one of these so called self driving cars hit a pedestrian and killed her. Link below.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2018/03/19/technology/uber-driverless-fatality.amp.html

Accidents happen with humans behind the wheel all the time. Understandably Uber wants to put an end to fatalities linked with their company altogether. Fully automated vehicles might limit deaths and accidents. Unfortunately technology malfunctions from time to time, but it is fixable. At the end of the day technology is still created, controlled and serviced by humans. Human error is likely to occur.

So back to my question about what will happen to the drivers if automated cars become prevalent? Well they’ll probably get the flick and that means that a lot of people will be out of work and searching for another opportunity. The 21st century is being revolutionized into automated systems like self checkouts, automatic dump trucks, self driving vehicles, drones etc. Machines are going to be cheaper, cheaper than people, which is a shame. For instance corporations don’t need to worry about insuring people’s lives or putting money aside for retirements. Machines don’t back chat or sue you for what ever reason.

I personally don’t think Uber should entirely get rid of people altogether. Maybe people can have an option. If you want a person it might be more expensive, but you might have a wonderful interaction with a person. Other issues with AI is will they make them self cleaning or will you as a passenger have to endure little Timmy’s nose mucus from the previous trip?

Keep the people earning a living or have AutoUber in cities and towns where Uber isn’t available. Have both options available, because a robot isn’t going to restock the candy, water, and keep the vehicle clean. Not to mention the personal interaction. If something happens in an emergency I’d rather it be a person driving me than a robot. Plus people like to talk as I discovered ubering.

Day 22

My first passenger, her name was Marissa needed to be picked up at sports center where the AAA baseball field is located. I arrived and went to ring her, it was immediately hung up. “I’m deaf ” was the message I received in the Uber App. Oh my, where are you? I told her I put my hazards on and proceeded to drive around in the parking lot. She messaged me again, I’m by the white van. Okay there’s three. I slowly drove by two of them, then the people that were standing near the van didn’t say anything to me until I yelled her name. They looked and Marissa walked over with three bags. They said she’s very tired. Since my sign language is pretty rusty, I have her the okay symbol and smiled. She nodded her head, then I gave her a bottle of water and a packet of Nerds. She thanked me. We drove for 15 minutes. It was hard not to say anything. Found myself talking to myself when there were night works present. When we got close to her house I almost sailed passed it. She groaned at me and I thought oops must be down that street. I backed up. The area was pitch black with no street lights. I had no idea where I was. Felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. Looking at the map we were north of Suddenly there’s a valley. Sudden Valley. Felt like we went bush or something. As I backed up to the street I had missed, thought awesome no cars. I slowly drove closer to the pin on the map. I could see her hand in the corner of my left eye, yes she sat behind me. Then her hand moved rapidly when we got close. Thank goodness we’re here. She thanked me the best way she could. I helped her with her bags and said you’re welcome. There were two large dogs happy to see her. Dogs are the best. I restocked my cars interior with waters with my supplies from the boot aka trunk. Then looked at the sky. I love looking at the clear night sky it the pitch black night. Stars everywhere. Fantastic. I don’t mind the idea of having no street lights at all. It pollutes the earth visually and environmentally.

Once I got back to civilization. Uber Eats. Damn now I’m stuck at the road works again. I had some space ahead of me so I chucked a youi. Went a different route because time is of the essence. I started late to go see some mates and Bonnie at a camp ground. They all wanted me to come, but I’m worried about bills and survival right now. Remembered I got boxed in at the camp ground I couldn’t leave early. Anyway yet another customer wanted McDonald’s delivered. Crazy. Like lightning it was ready to go. I went all the way to the customers house with the strong aroma of chicken nuggets filling my car. As I pulled up to the house I sent him a message i have arrived. Then i rang him. It’s almost like he forgot he ordered the Maccas. Think he was plastered. It is Saturday night after all.

Once that was done and dusted Elyse over by the Bellingham County Club needed a ride. My first golfers I thought. Husband Mark was also present and smelling like chlorine, he put a towel down on my seat, I said “don’tworry my car is clean”, he replied “oh I jumped into the pool fully clothed”. “There’s a pool at the course?” “Yeah!” “Well that’s pretty sweet, speaking of sweet feel free to help yourselves to sweets and water”. They participated in a 4 day tournament at the club. Costing $400/person. It also costs that to be a member. Yeah I love golf but not that much. On the way they wanted to stop at Maccas. The same one that I just picked up Uber Eats from. Doesn’t matter how rich you are bad food will still pop up in your diet.

After dropping them off I wanted to go and use the loo and get an energy drink. Found a Haggens and like an oasis in the desert used their facilities. Walking out I desperately needed a pick me up. I was tired and irritable like over tired child on a plane or supermarket. Just no tears. No energy drink there I liked. Then ping. Okay guess I’ll drive tired for the rest of the evening. Getting a dependency on caffeine is a bad thing. Never used to care for energy drinks or coffee. Tea was my cuppa tea. That was what would kick start my engines in the morning now I search for decent American coffee with tons of sugar or a mango flavored Monster energy drink that tastes like juice instead of the medicine tasting Red Bull.

Next ping. Oh dear. I’m tired and my patience levels are running thin when the next person was picked up. Amanda and her bf. He guessed wrong with my accent. NZ. Again. Seriously listen and you’ll understand there’s a friggin difference. He said he likes accents. Then proceeded to try and do an Aussie accent. My sarcasm showed up and said yours doing so good right now, it’s like you’re Crocodile Dundee that smoked opium on a Chinese Junk. Keep going, because I don’t even try to do an American accent unless I’m on the phone and the person can’t understand me. Paul. PAAL! Finally I dropped them off. They were drunk, but thinking maybe I should just put an accent on and if they ask. I’m from the deep south.

My night got worse when I tried to find Matt from Vegas. He was supposed to be at the Horseshoe Cafe, which is on Holly Street. UBER! WHAT THE HELL!? It is telling me it’s on Railroad not Holly. I rang Matt to track him down. Couldn’t give me a straight answer. Where are you? What us near you??? Is there a Starbucks? I don’t know. Talk about 3 sheets to wind. I circled to try and find him. After 8 minutes I rang again and his mate answered and said we can see the Subway and Starbucks. ๐Ÿคจ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™‚๏ธ. Once they were in my car. The guy in the back asked me if AC/DC are royalty in Australia. I responded of course, but they’re royalty everywhere else too. Matt hit my dash and said I never thought about asking an Australian that before. Right on dude! ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿคจ

After dropping them off at Fat Shack. Yes that’s a restaurant. Alessandro pinged me. He used to own restaurants in Bham! Nice. Actually pretty easy going fella. After dropping him off my next customer was in bloody Ferndale. I wasn’t ready to go home after this trip, but I’m guessing Uber decided my fate. The customer rang me. I couldn’t hear a word she said, so I rang her back and could hear her clearer. She wanted to go to Jack in the Box. Yuck i really hate that place. I reluctantly said yes, because the customer is paying me one way or the other. I picked her up and her fellow.

We got to the establishment or should I say Jack off in the box. There were 8 cars in the drive thru. Great it’s going to take forever. The whole time we waited the guy said he wanted 6 bacon tacos and an oreo milkshake. Then the sheila said that’s gross why do you need that many? I just laughed at their bickering, because I’m being held hostage in this situation. We got to the speaker and she asked him what he wanted again? He changed his mind to 4 bacon tacos. Then the employee said can you hold for a moment. This seemed like a bloody eternity. Then my passenger started to order when he said to hold for a few minutes. The employee almost lost it. I said hold! Wow I thought I was irritated. Then after another 5 minutes he returned and apologized for the delay. My passenger asked me if I wanted anything and I said no thank you I hate Jack in the Box I retorted. She ordered 6 bacon tacos, even though her man changed his mind and wanted 4. Such a process. I think she ordered fries and ranch. Oh the milkshake machine was broken, so the bloke in the backseat said instead of an oreo milkshake, I will have a chocolate milkshake. Really? The guy just said the milkshake machine was busted. Life is hard for some people. No drink thank you. Anyone got a noose I can use to hang myself from my review mirror? After that ordeal they gave me a card to pay for their filth. Swipe. Done here’s ya bloody food, now can we go? Yes, okay good. Holy cow!! Lynden? Great I might as well go home after this. I wanted more money for the evening because it was Saturday. It is now 2.20 am. If I head back drunk hour will be over because it’ll take 30 minutes to get back. I gave the lady 4 stars instead of 5. She used to work for Uber and kinda screwed me over by making me wait. Probably would have been better pulling my teeth out. I rang Uber and apparently they do track my detours and time waiting in drive thrus. Good, because it was definitely worth another $10 me waiting.

Done for the night. Till tomorrow.

20+1 = 21 The Day of…

With a total of 19 trips it was an extremely busy night. The night started with me turning my app on at Fairdinkumhaven. Nothing in this area for a change, so I made my way to the north. Slowly to the airport. Two flights were coming in. One at 8.30pm and the other at 9.00pm. Nothing pinged me in Bellingham, but then the craziness started. Brenley pinged me passing Chuckanut Brewery. She had her kids with her and they loved my sweets. The banana and strawberry taffy packets apparently had bad jokes on them. We’re talking extremely bad jokes that. I’ll elaborate.

When is the best time to go the beach? Sunday.

Why is the ocean a friendly place to go to? It waves.

Yeah some real gold there. To be honest I was pretty stoked that the kids were excited about the lollies. It certainly made me smile. They even thanked me. It’s different compared to a slightly hammered adult thanking you for treats, but a child is something else. Super polite. Reminded me of simpler times when I didn’t have to pay bills or worry about my next paycheck. All you have to worry about as a child is if you’re going to get a new Transformer any time soon or if Thursday night takeout was going to happen.

Got to the airport and in no time Dolorian. I mean Dolores was waiting somewhere. I rang her and then as she answered her phone I saw her and said there you are! She came over to my car and as i do i went to pick up her case for her and out of nowhere she dropped her rose gold iPhone face down. It wasn’t my fault, but felt bad for her. I’m going to invent a foam cushion for mobile phones so when you drop them they’re cushioned. Instead of you having to buy a new screen protector or screen your phone is still intact. Anyway her phone was scratched, but not deeply. Thank goodness. She was in town for her nephew’s wedding. She mentioned she’d rather be in an exotic location like Australia after spending $2000 to be there. Fair enough that’s a lot of money to fly up from Palm Springs California to Bellingham Washington. She did mention that the hotel and flights were costly. On our way there I told her about all the cool hikes, breweries and places to see while she was in town. She tipped me in cash when I dropped her off. Cheers. I appreciate the cash tips more.

After dropping her off I went back to the airport. A short trip pinged me before the flight came in. A guy called Joey. A Native American from the Makah tribe over near Port Angeles. He was in town for Lummi Boat races. I told him I was an archaeologist. Super excited we discussed the Native American culture and that we have barely scratched the surface in regards to the archaeological evidence in this country. He said if I was ever over his way he’d show me some great Hiking places to go to and that he would introduce me to his tribe.

It dawned on me that most people I have encountered doing Uber wanted to talk to me about archaeology or have wondered if I’ll get back into it. It does seem like a shame after 10 years of working in this industry that I would quit it altogether. It was my passion for so long that one person would ultimately make me bitter towards it. I’m still interested in it, I still want to be apart of it. Still need to publish journal articles which I have always been scared to do. Motivation helps, but the criticism is the thing that scares me the most. In fact it is probably my greatest fear as I write a blog about my findings from an almost anthropological study. People are all the same we all have fears and doubts. We all have stories to tell. I am not sure what the universe has planned for me, but intriguing and unexpected doors are opening. This blog might turn into a book one day or my interview with Edward Jones a financial institution happens in a few weeks. Not to mention I have a face to face discussion with a fellow archaeologist in Bellingham next week. Ubering is paying the bills and opening up a door I’d never thought I’d open. The people you meet are incredible and I think I’d like to keep doing it on the side, only for pure enlightenment. Yes it’s deep, but people are fascinating and it changes your opinion by getting to know people. The one thing that is constant in human development and evolution is communication. The way people communicate is powerful. Words and how you interact with people can have a massive influence on someone. Whether it leads to a tip in your Uber app that’s entirely out of your control.

Something that is in my control is me being me. I’m Australian and I’m proud of it. The more authentic Australian I become the more people love it. Case in point a discussion to my next customer about eating different animals. Including kangaroo. I wanted to back to the airport because I got a short trip, which means you don’t lose your spot in the airport queue. Ellie a Bellinghamster all her life wanted to go to Australia. She wondered about what we ate and what we do over there. I told her we ate our national animals including the kangaroo and the emu. Only because they’re delicious. I said your native animals are delicious too. Including deer, bison, elk and turkey. She wondered how I liked living in the USA and I said your country is beautiful, there are so many wonderous locations here, the people are friendly, and your culture is immeasurable. I did say it’s not perfect, but nowhere is.

Robert was from Vancouver Canada. He was ready to party like it was 1995. Told me how good The Oxford Suites were, which is where I picked him up from. His friend wasn’t talkative at all until I started saying I recently went to Butchart gardens with my grandparents and mother. He launched himself full into the conversation when he found out his mate hadn’t even been to the gardens. He couldn’t believe it. I’m thinking Robert might go and see them now. I showed them my $5 souvenir water bottle which they were chuffed to see.

After dropping them off at a Brewery I realized I wasn’t going to make it back to the airport when Dylan pinged me. He was going home after a physical fight with his buddy. He was worried about his elbows because they had blood on them. I proceeded to give him a couple of tissues to stop the bleeding. He was very thankful. His dog was at home waiting for him a chihuahua peckinese mix. Interesting dog choice I thought. He went on about the dog like he was a person. I understood though because it made me thing of Bowie and how person like he is.

After I dropped him off I looked at the clock and thought there’s a flight coming in soon. Sweet. Went to put petrol in my car at Freddie Meyers. Then a gentleman on the other side of the pump asked me if I could scan my rewards card. I said hang on. Let me deal with mine first then I’ll punch in my number. It was a little strange to be honest, but he forgot his card. I punched in my number and he was ever so thankful to get 0.3c per gallon off.

I drove to another servo to get use the dunny and buy a monster energy drink. As I went to rest my drink down it fell over and spilled on my back seat. The one seat that doesn’t have a car seat cover. Bloody brilliant. I quickly got out and mopped up the mess with my orange scented car wipes.

Got another ping and it wasn’t the airport. I subsequently gave up on the airport after this because I was getting activity everywhere else. Juan. He needed groceries. Okay I’ll drop you off and head into town. By now it was getting close to drunk hour. Or should I say drunk 3 hours.

Gary or as I like to call him the surfy equivalent of Donald Trump aka GAZZA. As in he sounded like Donald Trump if he had a gnarly surfer dude accent. Hilarious. He told me he normally doesn’t give any ratings to Uber drivers, but he said my car was “next level” he was referring to my treats and waters. He was pretty hammered but he proceeded to tell me of two horror Uber stories. Gazza told me he took an Uber pool do a nightclub which had closed down and the driver left him there because the other passenger had to be dropped off. He was in a creepy carpark for 40 minutes until the next driver showed up. Next story was another Uber pool. Where the first customer was dropped off and then it was his turn. His driver could barely speak English and I said neither can I. Anyway his uber driver got lost and he was stuck in Washington DC in this car for 2.5 hours. I laughed hysterically at his situation. It was his voice and the way he described it. Surfer dude Donald Trump.

Had a newly engaged couple in the car. The future wifey was freaked out by Australian spiders. I said they’re fine. You leave them alone they won’t harm you.

Next was Nathan. He was probably one of my best customers. Made me second guess all the 5 star ratings I’ve been giving people. He told me what he was wearing and his exact location. Made it so much easier for me. He said he always tries to make it easier on the driver. I thanked him. As I dropped him off I found a googly eye on the front passenger seat where he was seated. I yelled out hey is this yours? He came back and said that must have had that on my forehead all night. I laughed. Kinda want to know how that eventuated.

Brandon was next he owns a construction company. He struggled to get in and out of my car. I immediately thought to myself I need to get fit again asap.

Anthony was picked up in Fairdinkumhaven. He went to Australia in 1995 and lived on Normar Place where started my archaeological nightmare. Two houses with an abundance and overwhelming amount of cultural material including human remains. He couldn’t believe that whole area where he grew up had so much history.

Quentin Tarantino followed and he was hammered. Okay his name was just Quentin. He was so excited that I was Australian. I pulled out all my party tricks. Told him all about the Land Down Under. He was also my surge pickup for the night. Got an extra $2 for picking him up because it was busy.

Other people I picked up were Vida and Savannah. She loved my accent by the way. He poor bf Adrian was there. Sorry mate. I can’t help my sexy speech impediment.

Finally I got the ping that took me home. Garrison. A 20 minute drive all the way to Lummi. We discussed archaeology and Australia. A bloody 2 minute train went through at 3am in the morning. Come on! I want to go home. 19 trips was tiring.

Till tonight.

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