Dailyish Thoughts #87

I love random 20 year old single men who have never met me or talked to me throwing insults. It shows real character to download an image of someone, make an insulting meme out of it, and then send it to them without any other word. Is this what passes for rational discourse in this culture? I love a good meme, but really dude, this is amateur.

‘Twas a good night for Ubering. So many drunk people, so little time. Apparently I am THE BEST Uber driver ever. Sure drunk people, I’ll take it.

Sleeeeeeep

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Making Money Like A Millenial: DoorDash

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After my bad experience with PostMates, I was a bit hesitant to try DoorDash. But I am glad I did!

What it is:

DoorDash is a food delivery app which lets you use your own car and set your own hours.

Getting started:

DoorDash was super simple to sign up for. I gave them my address and some other info, they did the standard background check, and they sent me a handy little bag and a card to use for orders.

I then downloaded the app, activated my card, added a bank account and headed out the door for my first deliveries.

General experience:

The biggest difference between DoorDash and PostMates right out the door was the use of zones. DoorDash breaks up the area into zones, you select a zone to work in and you stay in that zone for the entire time you are running orders.

When you first begin your Dash you will notice that it’s already trying to direct you somewhere. This was a little confusing to me until I looked it up. This is DoorDash’s way of trying to help you find a busy spot. It’s a little less intuitive than the shading used by Uber and PostMates, but it was still helpful.

I began to drive towards the hotspot and before I could get there, I got an order.

It doesn’t just notify you in the app, it sends you texts! Which can be a little overwhelming honestly. If I have the app running, I’m going to know when an order comes in. I don’t need a dozen reminders!

One of the first things I noticed when the order came in was the “Amount Guarantee”. Like the other services I have run, DoorDash guarantees a minimum for each order you deliver, but unlike those other ones, DoorDash tells you up front what that amount is. Also unlike those others, it doesn’t just have a blanket minimum, the amount changes based on various factors like miles for the delivery, expected wait time, etc.

When you accept the order you just navigate to the restaurant and slide at the bottom of the app to show you have arrived.

The app pops up with a list of things in the order and tells you whether or not you are expected to place the order and pay, or just pick it up. In my limited experience it appears that fast food places like Steak ‘n Shake are the former, while places like Cracker Barrel are the latter.

Orders can get pretty complicated, thankfully these are usually the pick up only variety. I didn’t have to remember to ask for salsa!

Get your food and check the items. Swipe that you have done the pick up and the app will tell you where you need to go. It will also give you delivery instructions like these:

Deliveries are also easy, just navigate to the location, drop off the food, and swipe delivered. After that you just drive near another hot spot and wait for another delivery to roll in.

The only hard part of the whole thing was when two orders came in at the same time. I felt a little bad making the first person wait while I picked up the second order. The app had me drop them off in the order picked up, but it added several minutes to the delivery time.

The experience was great, I didn’t have to drive all over the world like some of the services. I was able to stay within a 10 mile radius of my house, which was a gas saver.

How Much Money Are We Talking Here?

In short: WAAAAAY more than PostMates.

I worked 11-1:15ish and then 4-6:30, made 6 deliveries, and was able to earn about $50.

General Tips:

Work the lunch and dinner hours.

Make sure you have enough gas.

Don’t be like me and find a beautiful piece of furniture, send a picture to your wife, have to stop work, go rent a truck, and bring it home. That really cuts into your bottom line.

Use the bag they give you, it keeps that food warm in bad traffic. And it alerts the restaurant who you are so you don’t have to keep saying “Hi, I’m a DoorDash driver!”

Be warned: they expect you to make 25 deliveries and work at least two weeks before you qualify for Fast Pay. So unlike the other money making schemes, you will have to wait a week for your money. That is the only pitfall to this app though.

Bottom Line:

$10/hr minus a little for gas isn’t great money, but it’s comparable to Uber and it’s still over minimum wage. Unlike Uber, you can use any old beater car, and even a motorcycle (or moped, for you hipster types) if you wanted. And you’re not dealing with drunk people. So for spare time money making this is an excellent choice.

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Dailyish Thoughts #84

First the good news: I got a tip! True to what some people have said, it did indeed take nearly 24 hours for Postmates to post my tip. For once “I’ll tip in the app” was actually true!

And a lady bought me $5 of gas as a tip. Which is pretty awesome.

And the bad: While that was good to see, I did spend nearly 45 minutes on that Chik-Fil-A order, in traffic. After gas it ends up being closer to $5. Which… yeah.

And Uber has been awful lately, the in-app navigation does not speak, so you have to stare at the screen the entire time. It has also been super laggy. And tonight it sent me 12 miles out of my way for a delivery from a closed restaurant, which meant I had to cancel it on arrival. Probably the only Denny’s in the world that is not 24/7. Did I get any money for driving way out of my way? Nope.

Lyft sent me to a completely wrong address after changing my passenger and destination twice. Thankfully the passenger the app finally settled on was able to call me and tell me exactly where she was.

And the truck is of course driving like crap. So gas mileage is abysmal.

Annnnd my kids broke my phone charger. For about the billionth time.

And my lovely wife has a migraine.

So I ended the day completely in the red.

Did I mention that job interview was a bust? I can’t drive 100 miles a day for $11/hr, loading a chipper all day. I thought he said on the phone $11-$21, what he really said was $11.21.

But tomorrow is a new day.

I have another interview for a part time job, which given it’s nature will probably at least give me the holidays off, unlike most of the other ones.

And I am going back to pizza delivery, which has always been fairly profitable.

It’s against my nature to be optimistic, but I know it will all work out.

Tomorrow’s going to be a good day.

 

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Dailyish Thoughts #79

As much as I love driving Uber, some nights you just have to quit while you are behind. When you get two deliveries in a row, one normal ride, and then you come across a wrecked car with no one in it which slows you down only to arrive at the next address where your passengers are being detained by the police, so you cancel the ride and calculate your earnings so far as $10 for nearly two hours (after gas), it might be time to go home. Thankfully, I ended up less than two miles from home. It could have been 20 miles!

I’m skipping town tomorrow. I need to stop staring at this place and see some people I love. Pray that the truck makes it!

Politics and religion. Two things they always say to avoid conversations about…. And yet over the past two days I have picked fights zealously on Facebook. Why do I exhaust myself so?

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Dailyish Thoughts #78

Got back on the Uber (and Lyft, but does that count?) wagon today. I definitely missed it. People are fascinating to me, from the Hispanic man with very slurred speech telling his kids over and over that they should never drink and drive and instead get an Uber like him (“Si Papi” ::audible eyeroll:: ) to the giant leather clad men in the Latin American motorcycle club, to the party animals who had no idea why they were heading to the Beaches (“The Beaches suck!”) to the single dudes who say literally nothing, to the couples who talk about everything like there is no other person in the car. I missed them all. There were a few sputters but the truck behaved, providentially. It darn well should, I had to put a new brake line on it!

Driving gave me way too much time to think. So if I am not too ridiculously busy this week I may actually have some interesting posts. Keep checking back!

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Making Money Like a Millennial: Miscellaneous Tips

Since my next few installments of this series are going to require some research I have decided to put them off until next year. Thankfully for you next year is next month…

For now, here are some miscellaneous tips that I may have missed in my first four:

Unemployment:

In New Mexico, one can make up to 20% of their unemployment in other money before it affects your unemployment. As in, you can make up to $85 driving Uber before they reduce your $425 unemployment check. 

Arizona deducts dollar for dollar. I don’t know about other states, check with your local office for information. 

Uber and Lyft:

Get used to many many smells. Between the food you pick up for deliveries and the potheads who obviously don’t realize how much that stench sticks, you are going to smell many unusual and strong smells. You may want to keep an odor neutralizer around for the lingering ones.

And that one. And that one…

Which brings me to my next point. If you should happen to be able to tell that your passenger is enebriated, drive extra carefully. You wouldn’t want them to create an extra long-lingering smell for you in your back seat. I have heard there is a substantial clean up fee that Uber will charge for this, but who wants the hassle to begin with?

Uber:

It looks like they have finally added a feature like the one Lyft has which allows you to go online from any screen. But I haven’t been able to figure it out. So I would stick to the plan as outlined in my previous post.

Pizza:

Take a pen. Two pens if you can. 

Wear a shirt with two pockets. One is to hold your wad of twenty ones (for change) and one is to put your tips. Pants pockets tend to get a bit more sweaty, particularly if you are running everywhere you go. 

Which you should. Not only is it good exercise, it shaves off precious seconds. 

Keep ten each of quarters, dimes, and nickels. And twenty pennies. This gives you plenty of change to give exact change. And if you dig enough your costumers often get impatient and say “nah, just keep it”. 

Keep it in a coin purse. There is nothing more annoying than dealing with loose change at the metal detector in the courthouse or town hall. Which reminds me… 

This is a deadly weapon… Leave it in your car.

Any sharp objects, including can openers, should be left in your vehicle. A lot of security guards are jerks that won’t hold something for you even if they can watch you walk in, deliver, and walk out. 

Don’t worry too much about non-tippers, eventually you figure out that most non-tippers are balanced out by good tippers. Two good tips can completely erase a non-tip. Besides, getting grumpy just makes you sloppy, and being sloppy is a great way to guarantee non-tips.

I hope these are helpful, keep checking back for more installments. If you haven’t read the rest of the series, please do. 

And if you have any tips or suggestions of your own, feel free to leave them in the comments section below!

Making Money the Millennial Way: Why Not Both?

So…. Uber…. or Lyft?

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This is the best discovery I made yet. Both apps can be run at the same time and with a bit of savvy you can easily make good money with both of them.

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Two apps, one screen.

How to:

Turn on your Lyft Driver Shortcut in your Lyft settings menu. Then open Uber. Go online with Uber, then drag the Lyft Driver Shortcut to the center of the screen to go online with Lyft. Then go back to the Uber map.

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This is what you’ll see, and both apps will be looking for passengers.

When you accept a ping for Uber, make sure you swipe that steering wheel to the center to go offline for Lyft.

It’s not as easy when getting a ping from Lyft. Accept the ping and then navigate back to the Uber app to go offline. This takes a bit of getting used to, but so far I have not had a ping from both at once, so the extra few seconds haven’t been much of an issue.

Drop off your passenger and turn back on whichever app you went off line with. It’s really that simple.

By doing this, I was able to increase my earnings by about 15%, which isn’t a lot, but every bit counts. My phone died last week and I had to borrow a phone and use only Uber this past Friday. A night that would usually net me $50 after gas ended up being a very slow night for less than $30. Running both apps keeps slow nights moving.

There are apps that automate the whole process, but from what I have read in reviews they are too buggy to be worth the price you pay for them. Plus you are already running several apps at once and of your phone is as finicky as mine it may end up costing you a few rides with screen freezes and other delays. So why risk it? It’s simple enough to do it manually and once you get the hang of it probably quicker than automation anyway.

Next up: Old fashioned pizza delivery.