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As we head further into the holiday season, the job changes. At least it changes if you want to make any money.

Early morning hours at a gas station.
Gas station in the early morning hours.

The hours are going to be the odd hours that nobody else wants, but yet there are still enough riders. You have to figure that out for your own area. Much of your competition is people that lack the toughness and flexibility to work these early mornings and late nights. Sometimes you need to do both in the same day.

In Central Ohio, a very large number of students leave for winter break. This leave a huge hole in the customer base and an overage of drivers. Your job is to find enough customers to cover this glut. There are more drinkers, more travelers, and more people out and about for shopping and dining. There is still plenty of business, it’s just up to you to be there for it.

Think. Research. There are numerous holiday events listed. Not much of that happens during the hours that people want to work. Airport runs are often very early. Festivities take place in the evening. Shopping often fills the daytime weekend hours. Do you get the idea?

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My fascination with what other people do has grown. I used to mind my own business and at a personal level, I still do. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a trade-off for the low pay of the rideshare business to give me insight as to what others do on a non-persnal level. It’s low pay, but I’m getting a broad education of what people do that I never had before.

I wouldn’t say that I take riders to the casinos that often. It comes in waves for whatever reason. The truck driver I’m about to discuss was an interesting guy heading out for a night of fun with his girlfriend at the casino.

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The Scioto Downs Racino

I picked the rider up at a home that was in a short strip of homes amidst a lot of heavy industry. I struggled with traffic to get into his driveway and I struggled to get out. As we waited, I slipped and said, “Damn. How do you deal with this?”.

That was rude, but he took it ok. He agreed, but said that it was the late-night ground shaking operations that had started at a factory down the road rather than the traffic that was the big problem. And then, there was the litterbugs that he had to pick up after every morning. It reminded me of the old Bukowski poem, “The Shoelace Poem.”. The poem basically summed up that it’s not the major tragedies in life that get us, it’s the series of small ones that add up and drive people to madness.

This truck driver had recently been promoted and was tasked with telling a good employee that he needed a death certificate before the company would pay.  He complained because he knew that it could take some time before an official death certificate was available. He didn’t want to do the corporate dirty work and insult the man.

So he had all of these irritations in life and I’d learned them all in the first 5 minutes of meeting him. It wasn’t as if he was complaining. He was just discussing life’s problems. Complaining to me is where the problems are dumped and they  look to others for solutions. This guy was just discussing situations. I’d just call that venting.

He calls his girlfriend to let her know where to meet him. Excitement was in both of their voices. He said that he was all dressed up and with his “driver”. I loved this because he looked like he’d gotten his clothes from some a thrift store back in 1984. I also love that an average guy doesn’t have to say he’s “taking a taxi” now. He can say that he has a driver.

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Huge fuzzy dice on this gambler’s car.

I dropped him off at the grand entrance. He threw me some money for a tip ran inside happy as could be.

Casinos are what people make of them. If you want to go dump money you don’t have, that may well be a sickness. That victimization comes easier to some than others. The flip side is that the offer some excitement to dull lives. They give people suffering the drudgery of everyday life an escape with a side of hope.

There are passengers that regularly meet at the casinos with their families. They eat, enjoy live entertainment, and take their chances gambling. There are others who 8039480127 in the early morning hours. As much as I’m not a personal fan of casinos, it really is a matter of personal responsibility. Gambling problem? Simple, don’t go.

Rideshare Companies Killing Vlogs

I have to change my approach to vlogging. The usual how-to videos and discussing best practices in rideshare are a risk for deactivation. There have been reports of rideshare companies demanding the removal of videos too.

Rideshare companies are pressing the issues on the videos of passengers, the use of rideshare company logos, and the use of the rideshare codes directly in the videos on YouTube. I knew that this day would come because I have a basic understanding of trademarks and copyrights. The rideshare companies enjoyed drivers using them and getting the drivers and riders. The rideshare companies received free advertising. In many cases, the rideshare vloggers even trained drivers too! One even charged for the training.

I found all of this problematic, but at the same time, felt that the job is interesting enough to create content for. Not everyone is cut out for it, so I didn’t promote the codes. It felt like multi-level marketing. The riders thought they were agreeing to transportation and I didn’t feel right to even ask for permission to put them on YouTube. I didn’t want to give free advertising and I feared that I may have to take down a video if a rideshare company didn’t approve of their logo’s use in a video.

All of that kept me out of the trouble that other vloggers are having now, but it’s also handicapped what I do with my vlogging. I’m going to continue just discussing the job and sharing the video and photos as they happen.

One rideshare vlogger recently made a very important point though. All rideshare drivers will be “deactivated”(another term for being fired) at some point. It’s just a matter of when. AI and policies will drive every driver out at some point.

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One of the most common questions I get about rideshare driving is, “Has anyone got sick in your car?”. Of course they have! There is a percentage of people that are worse than disgusting children. And that’s not all.

Piss Bottle
The airport rideshare lot is full of piss bottles and trash of all sorts.

If you wait for rides in the rideshare lot, you’ll witness all sorts of disgusting acts and things. The restrooms are unusable as they fill them with trash and piss bottles. There is a religious sect that must take joy in bathing in parking lots, so there’s that.

People will get in your car with the flu, diseases, and bleeding. It’s the nature of the beast.

There are other jobs that are worse. Healthcare workers deal with far worse everyday. Soldiers, police, fireman, etc.  have to deal with it too. If you just can’t, don’t. Find something else to do.

If you can’t and you try, these little tragedies will add up. They’ll drive you crazy. Try to be prepared for them, but that’s all you can do. For example, baking soda is a must have because it will soak up vomit quickly and make the final cleaning easier. Get ready for anything that you can think of.

The Bicycle Preacher

This man was proselytizing from his bicycle as he road through The Short North. He was warning of the impending “all consuming fire” as he made motions to his reluctant congregation of cars and pedestrians.

Bicycle Preacher in The Short North
The Bicycle Preacher

Where does the crazy come from? Was he really crazy at all? I wondered about the facts behind him as he flawlessly road his bicycle in this strange trance.

Scioto Grove Park In The Morning

First, my rant. Always bitching I guess. The problem is city folks in the metro parks. To be fair, they are the ones paying for them, so this is just my problem to deal with. The problem is the screaming, squawking, squealing, and screaming. It’s as if these people don’t know how to act with a little nature and open space.

That’s right, they don’t know how to act. It is a foreign environment to them. One man stopped to talk to me(a rare gesture in these parts) and was complaining that he hadn’t seen any wildlife. Then he went on his way whistling and stomping. I had a little chuckle myself. No, I bet he doesn’t see much wildlife walking down the trail like he’s the Pride Parade Grand Marshall.

This break was taken at 2106024470 near Grove City.

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Fungus growing on a tree next to the trail.

It didn’t take long until I spotted ducks in a pond. I zoomed in and and observed them.

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Ducks at Scioto Grove Park

Stopping for quality breaks in nature is something I’m trying to do more. It is relief from a weary world of concrete, asphalt, and noise. The stop is free and I can work long after one of these breaks.

Rideshare Photo Series. Starting Now.

I was sitting in the airport parking lot when the idea struck to start a rideshare photo series. I’m attempting to let photos tell the stories along with video. Video can be problematic as it takes editing and work on my home computer.

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Columbus, Ohio Rideshare Lot

It will be a challenge as I edit nearly every photo. This will be forcing me to send them right from the camera most of the time.

Why sit at the airport? I’ve learned to use it when traffic’s terrible. If I can’t move, what’s the point. If I take some wait time at the airport, traffic may be clear after that hour wait. I try to avoid this.

The ride before this was a lady going to meet her husband after work. They were going to pick up 2 puppies after losing their beloved dog to cancer quite a while back. She was so excited and happy. We talked about lost dogs and their antics while we went across town. Good times.