After I retired on December 31, 2016, I got extremely bored.
When I get bored, I get depressed.
I endeavored to find something to do with all the time I had available to me (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), so I decided to try to find something to do which I had never done before.
After several months of searching, I settled on driver.
I got positions delivering packages for Amazon Prime and people for Uber.
Both companies suck, but it took me six months with Uber and eight months with Amazon to finally call it quits.
Both were minimum wage jobs, which really didn’t bother me per sé, but neither Uber nor Amazon allowed tipping. Courtesy of Microsoft Excel, it was very easy for me to determine that neither of the two jobs could provide long-term income to put a roof over one’s head, food on the table, clothes in the closet, and feed Zoey the Cool Cat.
Once one added in gas, maintenance (brakes, tires, etc.), and special insurance for multi-stop professions, a long-term driving job like these two would put one into bankruptcy unless one had a spouse who also worked, or had a higher-than-minimum-wage job, or more than one job.
Uber, however, could provide short-term income, especially if one’s car was bought and paid for by mom & dad (high school graduation present), a situation that I found was quite common, and insurance and maintenance also was provided by mom & dad.
College students would drive for Uber but not on a daily basis. Usually just on weekends, especially Friday & Saturday nights in nightlife areas. By sticking to those areas, and with Uber paying every Monday, one could make a couple hundred dollars for the weekend. For someone with a family, not good pay. For a college student whose expenses are paid for by mom & dad, said college student could make a little money so that mom & dad weren’t always lecturing said college student on how much money said college student spent, as if mom & dad really cared anyways.
One day I had an Uber request from an 87-year-old man in a wealthy area of San Diego. He needed to go to Irvine, about a 60-mile drive. Sounds like good pay, but unless one can find someone in Irvine coming to San Diego, the pay for 60 miles turned into pay for 120 miles roundtrip. Now the pay doesn’t look so good.
I took the excursion because it would eat up some time in that 24-hour day.
He was a talkative man, and friends (husband, mostly) say that I like to hear myself talk, so we had quite a good conversation about many things.
About half-way through our journey, he said, “Your accent sounds like you might be from Australia or the southern United States.”
“Texas,” I replied.
We talked about Texas and how long I had been in San Diego.
After a few minutes, he asked me if I was a native San Diegan.
Well, in his defense, he was 87.
I told him again that I was from Texas.
“I know that,” he said, “but are you a native San Diegan?”
“I don’t understand.”
He said, “You are a native when you no longer go home because you are home.”
Well, then, by that definition, I became a native San Diegan on April 30, 1993, after having spent four days in San Diego. I never went “home” to Texas again, and only set foot in the state 4 or 5 times between 1993 and 2001.
And that’s how you become a native, regardless of where you were born!