Behind the Wheel 3: From Uber/Lyft to Taxi – The Unexpurgated “I Drive SF” Columns
The third installment in the Behind the Wheel series is a ribald journey into the reality of driving a bonafide San Francisco taxicab. Gritty and raw, the view from a cab is not for the faint-hearted. From facilitating drug deals to abetting prostitution to just getting people home safely from the clubs… The job of a night cabbie isn’t over until the sun comes up.
half size (5.5×8.5)
wraparound color cover
illustrated with images from the behind the wheel
Includes “my other car is a taxicab” sticker.
From the trenches of San Francisco’s sharing economy: another rideshare confessional zine
Behind the Wheel 2 includes more insight into the day-to-day travails of a rideshare driver in San Francisco, more stories about driving drunks, switching from Lyft to Uber, a visit to Uber HQ, self-entitled douchebags, talk of gentrification and displacement, the tech boom, public debauchery, emotional breakdowns, police activity and the constant threat of pukers.
56pp. | Wraparound cover | Illustrated | Staple bound | $5.00 postpaid
(For PayPal, click here.)
Bookstores in San Francisco that carry Behind the Wheel:
Adobe Bookshop 3130 24th St
Alley Cat Books 3036 24th St
Bound Together 1369 Haight St
City Lights 261 Columbus Ave
Dog Eared Books 900 Valencia St
Modern Times 2919 24th St
Needles & Pens 1173 Valencia St
Press 3108 24th St
Table of Contents:
To Uber or Not to Uber
A Day in the Life of a Rideshare Driver (PDF)
The Wrong Bush and Mason
Gun on the Street
The Polk Gulch Vortex
Another Wasted Night
The Leather Man
A zine (/ˈziːn/ zeen; an abbreviation of fanzine, or magazine) is most commonly a small circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images usually reproduced via photocopier. — via Wikipedia
Behind the Wheel 2 debuted at the East Bay Alternative Book and Zine Fest:
I started driving for Lyft in March of 2014. From the beginning, since I fancy myself a writer and publish the occasional book and/or zine, I planned to keep a “driver’s log” of my experiences as a Lyft driver.
In July, I published a zine called Behind the Wheel: A Lyft Driver’s Log.
Some of the material I’d written for the zine didn’t make the cut. For whatever reason… perhaps it wasn’t good enough or maybe it was too technical… who knows. (Just don’t ask the Wife about it… she a brutal critic.)
Anyway, for the hell of it, I posted several outtakes on my Medium page, including a very ad hominem take on the fanaticism of Lyft drivers:
A few weeks later, in a late night, pot- and alcohol-induced flurry of impulsivity, I posted a link to the piece on a Facebook group for rideshare drivers called Uber, SideCar, Lyft Drivers Community. Not expecting much but a few page views (who doesn’t love clicks), I woke up the next morning to a shit storm. Somebody from the community forum had posted it on the official Lyft driver page, the Pacific Driver lounge.
Other drivers reposted it on the official Lounges for their cities.
Not only were Lyft drivers reposting the story, Uber drivers were propagating it as well.
The response was overwhelming. People laughed, people got upset, people talked smack, people did all the things people do on Facebook… I don’t think I’ve ever been insulted so much in such a short amount of time before, even though I used to start flame wars on the internet under the handle DiarrheaPunk.
It was hilarious that people would get so upset over a half-baked rant written on my iPhone as I was passing out from a hard night of Lyfting in the city (and a few stupefacients when I got home).
Some of the comments were pretty funny so I collected a bunch and posted them on my blog:
Since it seemed germane to the group, I posted a link on the Uber, SideCar, Lyft Drivers Community forum. I tweeted a link to it as well. Which isn’t saying much. I only have 190 followers.
Shortly after that, Matt Jensen, a community outreach person for Lyft, or something called a “Lounge mentor” (if anybody can clarify his position, please leave a comment), tweeted at me asking for suggestions to improve the Lyft experience.
I posted this constructive and very earnest — at least in my mind — response:
After posting links, I was no longer able to access the Pacific Driver Lounge.
Not that I was surprised. After all, I collected all the comments because I figured I would be kicked out. I knew, from being a member of the Lounge that people got expelled from the Lounge all the time. And not just for getting in an accident, but for the silliest of offenses, like talking bad about Lyft.
C’est la vie. No more Honey Boo Boo for me.
About two weeks later, I found a personal message from Matt Jensen about being removed from the Lounge in my “other” inbox on Facebook. (Why do we need an “other” inbox anyway?) It was rife with paranoia, suggesting I shared “lounge details” with Uber. As if I had some connection to Uber, besides taking $500 from them for that one ride deal they offered back in May. (More on that later…)
Even though I had been feeling a little offended that I never received a real email letting me know that I was banned from the Lounge, sending a Facebook message that he had to know would go to my “other” folder on Facebook since we weren’t friends was a little… unfriendly. Still, I was nice to get some communication about it. I took a screengrab and posted it on my blog:
So that about wraps it up.
Well, not exactly.
Recently, a lawyer contacted me about a case she was working on for another driver who was kicked out of the Lounge. Something about unlawful retaliation in the workplace or discrimination in the workplace… Wanted me to discuss my experience with Lyft and the Lounge… I wrote this blogpost instead.
I don’t know, man… lawsuits are a bit of a stretch. If you’re able to sift through all this social media/blogpost nonsense, it’s obvious I was toying with Lyft. They made a play, I countered and they cried foul.
The Lyft folks are a bunch of big babies. Somebody needs to call them a wahbulance.
The only downside to all this tomfoolery is that I got kicked out of the Lounge. Which sucks. Not only is the Lounge a place for drivers to get information about changes to Lyft policies and the driving experience in San Francisco, it’s also extremely entertaining. Is there anything better than gawking at a collective lack of self-awareness?
Lyft, please let back into the Pacific Driver Lounge.
I miss my Honey Boo Boo!
Behind the Wheel: A Lyft Driver’s Log
From the trenches of San Francisco’s sharing economy:
A Lyft confessional.
Ride shotgun with me as I cruise through San Francisco’s latest Tech Boom and divulge the stories, conversations and opinions of the passengers I pick up along the way.
Info on the print version is available here.
Kindle versions available here.
Nook version here.