Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Guide to BBI's Twitter log

Hey pedicab watchers.

I figured I would let you all in on what the various shorthand devices I use on Twitter mean.

Usually every night before I begin I'll tweet an announcement just to confirm the fact that I'll be uptown with a cab taking fares. These usually occur right around midnight and if you don't see one then I probably have other things going on. I try to announce it if I will NOT be pedicabbing on one of my regular nights (Thursday thru Saturday) but that doesn't always happen. These announcements are usually made from my home computer so they don't need any shorthand. Therefore they should be pretty self-explanatory.

Once I'm out and about and I collect a fare, I will drop them off and as soon as possible send a tweet from my smartphone with some basic details about that fare, and possibly some extra details about what happened with the customers. The most generic tweet will go something like this:

CSD to Milliron 1m 1f $

So that sums up the starting location where I picked up the passengers (in this case, CSD for Court Street Diner), the destination where I dropped them off (Milliron), the number and gender of the passengers on board (one male, one female), and the tip rating (one dollar sign for cumulative tip of less than $5). Note that the tip rating disregards the amount of work performed to earn that tip and simply reflects the amount of money collected. Sometimes I will take a single passenger less than a block and receive a few dollars. While it gets the lowest tip rating, it is still a good payment for the amount of effort put in. So don't get miffed if your ride was tweeted with one dollar sign, it shows you actually paid something, which is more than some passengers do.

Now for a more intricate situation:

( Bp to grovesnor 2m 1f $$ cc to palmer 1m fb* @somebodyontwitter @somebodyelse

The opening parenthesis at the start of a tweet means that I was called by the customer to make a pick-up. (The google voice number for BBI is 740-229-9719). Then we have 2 males and 1 female being carried from BP to grovesnor street, where one of the gents and the lady got out and paid an average tip ($5 to $9) via credit card using my Square up card swiper. From there, the remaining passenger was carried to palmer street, where his tip came in the form of some non-monetary donations. The "f" means food, the "b" means a beverage, and the "*" means a different sort of consumable (if you know what I mean). At the end of the tweet (though sometimes at the beginning) are some of my passenger's twitter handles if they consented to being tagged.

How about this one:

USD to Howies 1m 1d helpin out a friend

Looks like I took a dude and his dog to Hungry Howie's from the Union Street Diner and didn't get a tip. A comment after the basic details explains why: I felt like giving him a free ride 'cause he's my dude.

Here's the guide in list form:

Prefixes
(: means I got a call for that fare
@(username): tagging a twitter-using customer

Routes
f4: The front four on South Green, a pretty common destination
Mill (or any other street by itself): means the ride started and ended on that street
block: means we circled the block around whatever street or landmark mentioned
cruise: means we went back and forth somewhere just for entertainment

Payload
m: male passenger
f: female passenger
ma: mom passenger (generally some of the best tippers)
dad: dad passenger  (also some of the best tippers)
k: kid passenger (not so much, but I like carting kids around)
d: canine passenger
+: cargo carried with the passengers, like a case of beer (+case)

Tips
$: $1-$4 cash
$$: $5-$9 cash
$$$: $10-$25 cash
$$$$: anything over $25 (wow, thank you!)
cc: means the tip was paid in part or in full by credit
f: food (sometimes I can get really hungry cabbing and need it)
b: beverage (I might drink a single beer or shot if I plan to work some more and save the rest)
/: a cigarette (I don't smoke them that much anymore but I will take them, maybe re-gift em)
//: two cigarettes
///: three cigarettes
*: vapors, or something
**: a bit of stash to take home

Suffixes
(comment): a few words about interesting things that happened
"(comment)": quoting something somebody said
@(username): tagging a twitter-using customer
yuck: means somebody lost their cookies

 Note that because I'm using a smartphone when logging fares, not everything gets punched in right. (qm instead of 1m, wf instead of 2f). Also, sometimes my tweets fail to send when the network is spotty, so they might be out of order or missed entirely. My drafts folder often has a lot of tweets that got missed somehow.

That brings us to the closing statements. After I get home, I write one last tweet that starts with the total number of miles I logged that night, followed by some comments about what kind of night it was. I may even use a hashtag. (gasp!)

Well, that does it for the guide to Bikes Bring It's Twitter feed. Now you will know what it all means. Thanks for being a part of Athen's premier pedicab service and party on!

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