Smiley Sharing: White Lightning

Smiley Ridesharing: Pretrip Mental Checks and 5 Star Service (PMCS)

As Michael and I begin we are really starting find our groove here at One of our grooves is starting the post off with a PMCS. Many years ago, Michael was in the military, and PMCS stood for Preventative Maintenance Checks and Safety. As it applies to the blog, PMCS will be pre-trip mental checks and safety. These are the things that we do before putting the vehicle in motion and starting our day.

Within the mental checks category, we will also include a positivity outlook inventory and self reflection. Once we’ve completed that, we’ll go ahead and check the vehicle. Checking your vehicle before you drive helps ensure that you’ll be able to provide a safe ride to your passengers and may alert you to any new or ongoing vehicle issues that need to be addressed.

Michael installed his falcon dashboard camera, and he’s very pleased to have the extra level of safety and security that the camera provides for himself and his passengers. He has also completed his mental checks and vehicle safety checks, so we’re ready to get to work

Smiley Ridesharing: Tips and Common Practices for Rideshare riders

For our first trip of the day, Michael and I had a rider who was new to Uber. This reminded Michael that, beyond sharing the lighter side of ridesharing, he would like to provide information for both riders and drivers in the St. Louis area.

New riders especially may not be familiar with some of the common practices in ridesharing, so we’ll go over a few of them here. If you have an address for where you’d like the Uber driver to pick you up, go ahead and enter the specific address—don’t use the pin! Entering the pickup address is the most precise way to get your driver where you need them to be. If you don’t have an address, our phones have two modes of GPS: active and passive. Most phones are on passive GPS by default because it saves battery. In order to turn on your active GPS in Uber, tap the bullseye icon in the lower right-hand corner of your Uber screen. Using active GPS when you don’t have a specific access to give the app will give your Uber driver the best chance of finding you.

Our passenger also talked about timing. When you order an Uber, the time it gives you for the driver’s arrival is the time it will take for the driver to reach you, plus a few minutes to account for traffic. The Uber driver will gladly wait up until five minutes after the stated pickup time; anything longer than five minutes is keeping that driver from being able to do his job for other passengers. Michael likes to call his passengers before he arrives to verify their pickup address, and he also calls when he arrives to let the passengers know that he is there

Smiley Newsflash: Birthdays and Business

Michael has had a pretty quiet birthday morning—two trips is pretty slow for a Friday—but he’s happy to see how much Smiley Sharing has been growing. In addition to writing about our time on the road, we’re doing reviews of both products and places in and around St. Louis. When we do a review, we reach out to the people we’re reviewing and share with them what we’ve shared with you.

Surprisingly, Falcon, the company that made Michael’s new dash cam, reached out to Michael when he mentioned that we would be reviewing their product on Smiley Sharing. They have stated that they are excited for the review and are looking forward to sharing it with their customers.

No business can stand alone without customers, and word-of-mouth advertisement is priceless, especially when it comes to the positive reviews. For example, if a restaurant has a positive review on Yelp, people are encouraged to go there and try it themselves.

Michael created Smiley Sharing to help him in his efforts to work his way through grad school, but it is also a way for him to provide good, positive information to others. It is his hope that Smiley Sharing’s positive approach will help counter the constant negativity with which we are bombarded on a daily basis.

Smiley St. Louis: The Significance of the Other

Whatever job you’re doing, I pray each of you have a good partner, whether they be family, friends, or spouses. I have a whole team of brothers and sisters I can rely on, and Michael is thrilled to have his TC Rebecca. She knows he’s under a lot of pressure and does her best to relieve it. I hope that one of your pre-trip maintenance checks is a good partner. They don’t have to move mountains, have tremendous skill, or have Solomon’s wisdom, but a good partner will be there for you when you need them and be able to help in their own ways. While you might consider yourself 99% shipshape, there’s a little bit missing in each of us that can be filled in by the right partner. For example, Michael’s TC helped fill in a cosmetic blemish on White Lightning as part of her gift to Michael for his birthday. It may be just a little nameplate for the grill, but to Michael, it means a lot, and I know he’s grateful!

Smiley Ridesharing: To Insure Performance (TIPS)

We had two wonderful trips within an hour of being online. Both of those wonderful passengers worked in the service industry, and they both tipped. It’s always amazing to Michael when those who can least afford to do so tip, because he knows that they don’t really have that much to spare themselves, yet they think of others first.

Speaking of tips, did you know that has an area where you can leave a tip? You can tip us via the Paypal button in the Smiley Supporting secion, or you can help us continue our work by clicking on the affiliate links we share throughout the website. Smiley Sharing will always be free, but donations, sharing, and/or clicks on our links are always welcome. We appreciate your support!

Smiley Ridesharing: Redlight/Greenlight

Michael just used their services a few minutes ago. We had a great trip with a delightful passenger, but it completely disappeared from the app! Michael was able to stop in the Greenlight location at the Sprint Store in Sunset Hills off of Watson and talk to a helpful gentleman who was able to satisfactorily resolve the problem we were having. As a matter of fact, Michael wasn’t the only driver who had experienced the case of the disappearing trip, so the gentleman was already familiar with what was happening and was able to take the steps needed to help us. 

As a rideshare driver, Michael has found that the best way to get issues resolved, be they technical issues or system glitches, is to actually go in person and talk to someone at the nearest Greenlight hub. We’re very thankful that we have real, live people working in the St. Louis metro to help us when things go wonky with the system. If you didn’t know about the Greenlight hubs before, now you do!

When technical glitches happen, it’s best to come offline until they are resolved so that you can continue to provide five-star service to your customers and yourself. It’s not how you planned your day, but sometimes glitches happen, and just as you wouldn’t keep on driving on a flat tire, you wouldn’t want to keep on trying to work when something was going sideways in the system. The important thing is to get the problem resolved as soon as you can so that you can get up and running again.

Smiley Closing: Rideshare is cheaper than a DWI

While it took some time for the glitch to be resolved, everything got cleared up in the app and tested, and we got back on the road. Our next group of passengers was a group of young professionals who had known each other in high school and were looking forward to a night out at a popular downtown establishment called Oyster Bar. We enjoyed taking them there safely, and we would like to take this opportunity to remind our readers not to drink and drive—use a rideshare app to call for a ride instead! Your loved ones will thank you. 🙂

Smiley Ridesharing: Service

Orchid Etiquette: Return of the Bromeliad

Smiley needed a break to clean the car, so I’ll be filling in for this part of the blog. In case you missed my introduction, I’m Flora the orchid, and I keep Smiley the Emoji pillow and Michael the driver company on the road.

Michael picked up a family of six that included three little boys, and Michael was grateful that Rebecca gave him a booster seat that her daughter had outgrown to use for children who were too large for infant seats, but too small to safely ride with just a seat belt. Having the right equipment for each job is an important part of providing five-star service with every ride.

Another part of making sure everyone has a five-star ride is being considerate of the driver and future passengers who will be riding in his vehicle. Part of the EULA states that riders will not make a mess in the vehicle, because if they do, the driver must go offline and clean his vehicle before he can accept other passengers.

While we delight in taking riders of all ages wherever they need to go, we do ask that they clean up after themselves and their children before they exit the vehicle. If you don’t clean up your mess, the driver will have to do it, and Uber will charge you a cleaning fee. The fee will not only cover the cost of cleaning, but it will somewhat compensate the driver for having to go offline to clean up the mess.

For drivers who have never had to submit a cleanup fee, it’s a fairly simple process: Just select the trip that caused the mess, select “other issue,” request the cleanup fee, describe the mess, and take pictures of the mess to submit to Uber to back up your request.

Smiley Conclusion: Sometimes I feel like Somebody’s Watching Me!

Our final group of passengers were out on the town looking for an opportunity to let their hair down. They were an interesting group, and we had a pretty intelligent discussion about expectations of privacy and dash cams. In the Uber EULA, it states that there is no reasonable assumption of privacy. Even the CEO of Uber uses dash cams. Michael helped the passengers understand that the presence of a dash cam was as much for their safety as it was for his. The presence of a dash cam in a rideshare vehicle should not be a surprise to anybody, given the litigious nature of our society.

All of that being said, when you are in public, be it a city street, public transportation, or a rideshare vehicle, it is prudent to behave in a way that won’t cause embarrassment to yourself and/or your loved ones in the future, should video footage of it turn up somewhere.

Smiley Recommends: Falcon-F360

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