Saturday, May 9, 2015

Slow Saturday Special: Globe Giving You a Lyft

Just hailing this morning, that's all:

"Uber, Lyft drivers find chauffeuring comes with another role: therapist" by Beth Teitell Globe Staff  May 09, 2015

Since ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft arrived in Boston, thousands have signed up to ferry around residents and visitors. This new breed of drivers includes off-duty firefighters, social workers, real estate agents, and musicians. Lots of musicians.

They knew they would earn extra money, and, of course, sit in traffic. And many find that the job comes with an additional role: therapist.

How much are they charging for that?

Traditional taxis have long served as confessionals. But drivers for ride-hailing services, eager for stellar ratings from passengers — which future passengers see on the companies’ apps — are turning up the counseling a notch, or 10.

“Things get very personal,” said Amanda Carr, a real estate agent and musician who drives for Lyft. “You are basically a bartender without serving drinks. Passengers have kind of an anonymous permission to talk to you. They are never going to see you again, so they can say things they wouldn’t to someone they’re in a relationship with.”

Okay, first of all, ditch the gossip, how do I know I'm not going to see them again, let's stick to small talk, please, and I SURE HOPE DRINKS ARE NOT in the car! Or any other mind-altering substance. Makes me kind of nervous.

At 52, Carr has a lot of life experience, she said, and she doesn’t hesitate to pass her wisdom along, whether it’s about love or careers. She gets particularly serious with passengers who are considering a college or graduate degree in music.

(Blog editor nodding politely)

“I tell them to think about the student debt you will have,” she said. “Pretend it’s the last day of school, and you are the best guitar player in the world. What are you going to do now? Did you learn how to market yourself?”

Yup, that's you kids' concern fir$t and foremo$t.

Lyft driver Gabriel Gill-Austern is finishing up his final year at Boston College Law School, but the fact that he has yet to graduate doesn’t stop passengers from seeking legal guidance on landlord-tenant issues and sexual harassment in the workplace. 

Law degree, huh? And driving a cab, 'er.... well, you know.

“I preface it by saying I’m not a bar-admitted attorney,” he said, “but I do talk to them from a common-sense perspective. They seem to want advice along with their ride.”

What is this thing with bars and Ube.... oooooooooooh! Need a ride home! That's why they are pouring their heart out to you. 

The car-hailing companies have become controversial — drawing heat from cabbies, labor lawyers, and advocates for the disabled, among others — but are also very popular.

If you do the research it should be called JUber -- and here my pre$$ is pimping it.

In January, Uber reported that it had about 10,000 “driver-partners” in the Boston area, albeit some who drive as seldom as once a month.

Oh, I like the schedule. Must be government-type no-show work.

Most of them drive fewer than 15 hours per week, for the company’s lower-cost UberX service, and earn about $19.25 per hour, before expenses, including gas and insurance. 

Better get another job.

New drivers keep signing up, enticed by flexible schedules and the hope of big bucks.

Uh-oh. Another golden goose, huh? What if there are too many drivers and not enough.... taxi!

In January, Uber started a billboard campaign in Boston that said, “Drive with Uber. $1,600 every week. Guaranteed.”

Another came down.

In Chestnut Hill, Matthew Sisson, 60, a former steel fabricator and erector, recently started driving for Uber to supplement his other job as a companion for people with mental illness....

You can pull over right here. How much I owe you?


Don't want to ruin the ride but what about rape threat (although I guess it is safer than a cab)?

This will let you down even more:

"UMass law school struggles to find footing; Deficit is $3.8m, enrollment down" by Laura Krantz Globe Staff  May 09, 2015

DARTMOUTH — When UMass took over a tiny private law school in 2010, the controversial deal came with a promise to the public: Taxpayer money would not be used to pay for it, and the state would even earn a profit as enrollment was projected to more than double by 2017. 

I don't know if I like where this is going.

But with many law schools nationwide decimated by the recession, the state’s first public law school is struggling to gain its footing, according to a Globe review.

The whole thing is built on debt already!

The University of Massachusetts School of Law has a mounting deficit, which hit $3.8 million last fiscal year, a gap expected to widen next year. UMass Dartmouth is picking up the bill for now, that school said.

Welcome to the rest of us and our world.

The law school for now has scrapped plans to increase enrollment and instead decided to cut the size of its incoming class by a third, to 72 students. In addition, the school is not fully accredited by the American Bar Association, a generally accepted stamp of approval in the field. 

WHAT? Not a very good argument.

Incoming UMass president Martin T. Meehan pledged last week to improve the school and market it more effectively, and the school’s dean, Mary Lu Bilek, is confident it will succeed.

Last week seems so last week ago.

Bilek is passionate about the school’s mission to offer an affordable legal education to a diverse student body and to educate the next generation of public service lawyers....

Didn't someone once say kill 'em all?


There is $omething I keep missing about the clever eggs, but I can't seem to find it.

Where would you like to go now? To hear some celebrity $cienti$t

Then he does know those WTC towers -- all three of them -- couldn't fall that way due to jet fuel fires, right? 

Matter of fact, one wasn't even hit by a plane and went poof a little after 5 p.m. (even though the BBC called it a bit soon).

UPDATE: Carl Icahn makes $100 million investment in Lyft