We Need More Drivers

Designated Drivers of Santa Clarita Needs More Drivers

Yes, we need two more sets of drivers! But before you get all excited and stuff, let me make it clear – I already hate you. I need you, but I don’t want you. Why, you may ask? I’ll tell you why – because my dispatcher will have to babysit your whiney tush all night like she does all my other drivers. (Except for driver Adam of course. Adam rocks flawlessly.) You won’t pay attention to your almost dead phone when we try to call or text you a customer pick up. You will forget to give dispatch the time stamps she needs so she can give accurate ETAs to waiting customers. You will ask for directions to places we have sent you to before because you didn’t make notes, even though we told you this was a frequent customer or stop. You will complain about the lack of tips, how far the call is, why we charge so little, why you have to pick up that customer again, how busy we are, how busy we aren’t, why Adam seems to be the favorite (because he is), and seems to get preferential calls, (because he does – many customers ask for him), why you don’t get TPC or Larsen’s call, (because you dress like you’re heading to a garage sale). You will inform us that you have to empty your peanut sized bladder for the third time tonight – just after dispatch gave the customer a 10 minute ETA. In the busiest time of the night you will tell us you are tired and want to go home because you have to get up early for your kid’s ball game. Your follow driver will get lost, get tired, get gas (Why didn’t you show up to work with a full tank of gas?) have to run home, stop for food, take a cigarette break, get pulled over for speeding, get into a parking lot brawl, or quit – again! Do you see why I hate you already?

What do we need?

We need teams of two who can make an iron-clad four night commitment every week for the rest of your lives or longer. We are not flipping burgers here, folks! We are a public safety service. People go out expecting us to be there when it is time to go home. We must have driver teams who are absolutely reliable. We do not put teams together. We tried that. Half the time when the phone rang is was a driver complaining about his partner. Find your own dang partner! Then when you fight or complain, we don’t have to listen – unless your follow driver pounds on the customer’s front door to ask how much he tipped the main driver. Yes, that really happened! No, that follow driver does not work for us anymore.

Who works out well?

If you are a starving Uber driver who is embarrassed and ashamed that your company gouges people when they need you the most, you may be right for us. If you are a night owl who has an unreasonable passion and desire to serve people, you may be right for us. If you are a taxi driver who is tired of apologizing for your rude dispatcher, you may be right for us. You will be severely caned though, if you drive a customer’s car like you drive your taxi. If you have no friends, no family, no relationship, no social life, no daytime responsibilities, you will be perfect for us. Our friends and friends of our current drivers also work out well because we have a sense of family among our workers.

Who does not work out well for us?

If you think this job is a great way to meet inebriated women, you will not only piss me off, they may have to mount a massive search in the river bed to find even a piece of your body. If a lady complains about you, I will side with her immediately and not even listen to your “side of the story” – unless, of course, I unknowingly sent you to pick up your ex. If you have lots of family obligations, how wonderful! We cannot use you. You will take off time from us for birthday parties, weddings, hockey games etc. We work while the world attends parties. If you “know everybody in town” you will not work out well because your friends will call you directly and pressure you to blow off dispatch and go get them now. If more than three people in the drinking public know your phone number, you will not work out. If you see dollar signs as your main reason to work for us, instead of determining to give the best service possible, you will fail.

We hire personalities.

We have zero tolerance for grumpiness, impatience, rudeness, or poor social skills. We do not rush customers. We do not complain about anything to them. We listen way more than we talk while driving folks home. We do not ask for, expect or suggest tips or gratuities. Why do I have to say this? Why? It happens, so bye-bye driver. We visit the bars and restaurants as often as possible to say “hi” and remind folks of our service. We do not, however, hound people to use us. That is tacky.

So if you are a cheerful hermit, or a single, childless orphan with great social skills and a flawless driving record, who loves watching the phases of the moon every night and gets a chuckle watching the angry type-A personalities rushing to their sucky day jobs that they hate – while you are on your way to your peaceful bed every morning, give us a call – way late in the day. Our business number is 661.313.8336. Do not call us in the morning. We are sleeping. Call after 3:00pm and before 7:00pm. If you call us in the morning we will know that you either did not read these instructions, or do not follow instructions. Either way, you disqualify yourself from consideration. See how we are?

Remember:

You must be a team of two with a history of trust between the two of you. You will handle a lot of cash.

You must be able to commit to four nights every week, Friday and Saturday plus two week nights. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are open right now.

You must have a reliable car, a real cell phone, a real cell provider, preferably not AT&T. AT&T sucks! T-Mobile is the most reliable service. Verizon is OK, if you don’t mind calling everybody twice, to get through once. AT&T texts often come through hours after they were sent. Sprint sucks too.

You must be willing to follow instructions and do things our way.

You must have excellent communication skills, and know how to use your GPS.

You must have excellent social skills, a cheerful attitude, and the patience of a tree.

You must have a reliable, late model, fuel efficient car without dents or in need of paint.

You must have a flawless DMV printout. A DUI or points on your record will not be acceptable.

We dress to impress and mingle with the folks who patronize the high end establishments in town. The fine folks in the dive bars quickly forgive us if we look over dressed.

So, if I have not deterred you from calling us, come check us out. Ride with us for a night and see what our world looks like. Please do not ask us to alter any of our requirements. We know what we need and we know what works.

Have a nice day!

Mark Elsebusch

President of Intuitive initiatives LLC

DBA Designated Drivers of Santa Clarita

661.313.8336

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My New Car Dashboard

Funny Car Dash

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If I Was In Charge of California’s Traffic Laws

If I was in charge of the traffic laws and consequences of traffic violations in the state of California, there would be about 42 cars left on the streets at any given time.

What I would change!

A traffic ticket for anything would send you back to a very expensive driving school for six months before you might just maybe get your license back.  We’ll have to see how I feel then.

A speeding ticket would cost you a hundred bucks for every mile over the posted speed limit, plus the installation of a governor on your car that would prevent you from driving over 62 MPH.

Cell phone tickets would cost you your phone, a restraining order against whoever you were talking to, plus a sizable fine. You would also be required to attend an English class because all that texting has cost you your ability to spell, construct a complete sentence, and use proper grammar.

Cause a crash, run a red light, get caught speeding or weaving while on your cell phone, you will be banned for life from owning a cell phone. Your driver license will be stamped with the words; “I am too stupid to be allowed to have a Smart Phone!”

Drunk drivers would lose their licenses forever, made to collect one thousand bottles and cans on the side of the road (because you are most likely a litter-bug too), hold AA meetings in your man cave or craft room, and be ordered to become a volunteer traffic school teacher.

If you get caught driving drunk as a Lyft, Uber or taxi driver, or any other supposedly sober driving ride share service, you can just walk the rest of your life. You will not even be allowed on public transportation you rat!

A rolling right turn against a stop sign or red light will require you to stand under said stop sign/light for a year of weekends with a hand held sign reading “I did not stop!”

Causing a car wreck would cost you your license for at least a year, (maybe seven years), a public flogging, plus you will attend that very expensive six month driving school – twice in a row.

Hit a fire hydrant, pay for the hydrant, plus pay the water bill.

Hit a parked tree, pole, car, gas station etc, pay for the damages plus sit in a stockade in the public square every weekend for a year.

Hit a pedestrian, or hurt anyone with your bad driving, lose your license forever. You will also be required to attend traffic school to be used as a bad example to the students who will eventually (maybe) get their licenses back.

A road rage incident will require amputation of your middle finger and a ten thousand dollar fine. You will also be required to attend two years of sensitivity training, six years of anger management training, and you will also be required to attend 12 Air Supply concerts. You may substitute 12 Yanni, Barry Manilow, or Justin Bieber concerts for Air Supply if Air Supply does not tour your closest County Fair. You may also substitute a ‘Tribute to Air Supply’ band; however, you will need to attend 24 concerts of the tribute band.

The money generated by these popular new rules and the hundreds of new driving schools would pay for all the new public transportation options available to the newly license-less hordes, (not to mention paying off the rest of California’s budget needs), because most of you DON’T DESERVE TO DRIVE!

Have a nice day!

What We Will Not Do!

A few weeks ago we told you about the stuff we do without charging any extra fees.

Now we will tell you the things we at Designated Drivers of Santa Clarita WILL NOT DO!

We will not tell anyone where/when/if we picked you up or where/when/if we took you anywhere; not your mother, not your friend, not your spouse, not your person to contact in case of emergency. If the cops question us, however, you can bet your last drink token we will sing like a canary!

We will not let you ride in our car.

We are not a taxi. Taxi cab licensing and insurance is a different animal than us. That is why cab drivers all look like animals. And we have to get along with them. If your car is miles away from where you ended up, we will come get your keys, go retrieve your car, and then come get you. We will, however …and it’s a big however, throw you in our car if it is an immediate safety issue. NOTE: A date gone bad does not count as a safety issue.

We will not write a book about our driving adventures.

We have great respect for our customers. We will not embarrass you with a tell-all book about the amazing things we see and hear every night. That is; at least until we move far away and are relatively sure you will never find out where we live. But that will be years from now. We promise!

We will not treat your car like a taxi or pretend it is a race car.

We will not ‘put your car through the paces’ no matter how much you tempt, beg or coerce us to do so. Safety and comfort is our number one responsibility. We made a commitment to you, the cops, and the general public to be courteous and respectful of all traffic laws at all times. Those rumors of driving a Maserati up Sierra Hwy at 120 miles per hour are just that …rumors! Don’t believe everything you hear.

We will not tell anyone what we talked about.

We will not spill the deep secrets you tell us, or reveal to anyone the specific activities that happen in your car. What happens in your car stays in your car, until you clean it up. …or we write that way-distant-in-the-future book. Sometimes, what happens in your car ends up at our house. But that is a different story altogether.

We will not expect you to (in fact we hope you won’t) take our advice.

We may offer our fabulous opinions about relationships, religion, sports, politics, music, car purchases, plumbing, stock market tips, health issues, movies, astrology, psychology, fashion, Girl Scout cookies, UFO sightings, and/or places to eat. Do not listen to us! You have enough problems. Do not let us add to them.

We will not set appointments.

To be blunt, nine times out of eight you will not keep the appointment. Here is what happens. You call at 6:00pm and want to be picked up at 10pm. We pencil you in and adjust other ETAs around that. We call you at 9:45 to tell you we are on the way. Then you say, “Oh, can we push it back to 10:30?” At which point the dispatcher punches another hole in the wall and you get mad because we tell you we have other ETAs to keep. Just call us when you are ready to go home and we will put you in line.

We will not give out phone numbers.

We will not tell you the phone number or any personal information of any of our passengers or our drivers, no matter how much you bribe us to do so. If you offer a huge amount of bribe money, we may give you a bogus number and tell you later, “They must have changed their number!’ We will not refund your bribe if the number is wrong. Briber Beware!

We will not refuse to pick you up.

It does not matter if you just got thrown out of the bar for fighting, or threatened to break the liver of the next person you see, or if you have in the past treated us more condescendingly than a Republican treats a Sanders fan. It is a safety issue for you and the general public. We will always come get you and take you home. Even if you are upper management of a major bank who threatens to put us out of business if we do not break the law as you demand us to. I am not saying that actually happened. I am also not saying it did not happen. Just sayin’!

Call us! We will get you and your car safely and respectfully home!

Designated Drivers of Santa Clarita

661.313.8336

 

Another Wise Decision Story

Joel, a long time customer and promoter of our DD service, called us Sunday night to come take three girls and their car home from a local watering hole – Schooners. We showed up to meet Rashelle, Brandy and Ashley who were glad Joel told them about our service. We also met an intoxicated macho-cheese brain who was belittling the girls for NOT accepting his drunken offer to take them home. He was insulting to them – and to me – for their wise choice to stay out of the car of an inebriated driver – not to mention his pig-like approach to ‘impressing’ pretty ladies. The girls and management asked him to leave and offered to call him a taxi. He refused.

As we left the building, he followed us out to the parking lot, still insulting us. Then he informed the girls he was “man enough” to drive himself home. The girls finally unleashed their frustrations at this numbskull. Brandy said, “If you want to kill yourself, that’s one thing, but you are likely to take an innocent person with you!” The other two girls made similar pointed, stinging criticisms, while still encouraging him to call a taxi. He was stunned and quiet for a few minutes as he listened to the results of the ‘impression’ he had made on them – obviously not exactly the one he thought his meager social skills were making. He finally wandered off, resuming his lame insults as he slithered into an alley. We respectfully drove the ladies safely home.

Rashelle, Brandy, and Ashley are our newest heroes! Joel is also a hero who encourages (and often pays for) many of his friends and acquaintances to use our service. The management and wonder-staff at Schooners are also very diligent in calling us for their customers.

Be a Hero! Don’t say please. Just take the keys!

Another – ‘Don’t Say Please, Just Take The Keys’ True Story

Crystal, an occasional customer of ours,  and her manager from work went out to dinner here in the SCV. The two ladies drove separate cars. The manager had a few drinks and Crystal thought it better that the lady not drive herself home. Crystal took the keys away from her inebriated friend and called us to come and get her boss safely home. Upon our arrival, Samantha and I introduced ourselves to the manager.

I (Mark) normally drive the customers home in their own cars. Samantha typically goes on ahead to the destination and waits for me.  As Crystal, her manager and I walked up the stairs of the parking structure, the two ladies whispered between themselves. I could feel an uneasy vibe developing. When we arrived at the manager’s car, Crystal informed me that the lady was not comfortable having me drive her home. I immediately called Samantha and had her return to the scene.

By the time Samantha arrived, Crystal’s manager friend had become quite indignant that Crystal had taken her keys and called these ‘strangers’. Now she did not even want Samantha to drive her car. She demanded her keys back, but Crystal refused. The inebriated lady walked away and hid behind a brick wall. Samantha asked Crystal if her manage would let Crystal drive her home. Crystal went behind the wall and asked the now hostile lady if that would be OK. Her manager agreed to this arrangement. We quickly shuffled the lady into her car before any more protests. We followed as Crystal drove her manager and her car home. By the time we all arrived at the manager’s house, the tension had subsided and everyone was all smiles and hugs. I told the lady that Crystal had shown character traits of a true friend, and the lady agreed. With the mission accomplished, we shuttled Crystal, the hero, back to her own car.

Crystal showed that her friend’s well being was more important to her than the relationship they have at work. She did not know whether her manager would heap some reprisal on her at work, be grateful, be angry, or even remember the events of this night. She did not care about any other consequences except those involving her boss trying to drive home when she should not. This is what is needed when and inebriated person starts making poor decisions.

It is ‘Cool to Care!” Don’t say Please, just take the keys!!!

 

Don’t Say Please, Just Take The Keys – A Text-Book-Perfect Example

We have orchestrated an educational program and campaign called ‘Don’t Say Please, Just Take the Keys’. We are part of a non-profit organization called ‘The Santa Clarita Zero DUI Alliance’. This group comprises the SCV taxi companies, the Newhall Signal newspaper, Santa Clarita Magazine, the local radio station KHTS, The SCV Chamber of Commerce, The SCV office of the LA County Sheriff Deptartment, The local ER staff, and the local CHP office.

This is a true story that happened in January, 2013.

We had just left an SCV Chamber of Commerce social gathering when we got a phone call. Someone named Darren saw the magnetic sign on our car as we passed and called us. He told us of a girl he had just met at Hot Wings Cafe who needed our services badly.  We were minutes away and returned quickly. We met Darren and his new friend outside. He explained she wanted to drive but was in no condition to do so. He handed me her keys and $20.00. He did not know where she lived, but her friend did. A pretty lady named Domarina joined us outside and gave me another $10.00. I asked her where her friend lived, but she didn’t know either. Domarina helped find her friend’s car in the parking lot. When we got to the car, the inebriated girl demanded her car keys and told me to leave. This kind of scenario is tricky. She does not know me and I would be overstepping my social bounds to deny her wishes. But, Domarina came to the rescue. She took her friend’s keys and told her she could sit in the parking garage all night, but that she was not going to be allowed to drive drunk. The inebriated friend got louder and more demanding. I whispered to Domarina, “Will she let you drive her car home?” Domarina asked her friend the same question. At first she refused that offer too. I told Domarina that if she succeeded in getting her friend to let her drive the car, we would follow them and bring her back to this location. After  more arguing, Domarina convinced her friend to let her drive her home. Samantha and I followed them to the San Fernando Valley. The friend settled down on the trip and thanked us for our service when we got there. We retrieved Domarina and took her back to where we met her. We also gave her the $10.00 back since she did the driving and saved her friend from an unknown fate.

Domarina is a hero. She put her foot down and would not let her friend drive drunk, no matter how mad her friend was at first. Darren is a hero too. He paid for a stranger to get home safely.

Be a hero! Don’t Say Please – Just Take the Keys!

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