What is a Langkah?

Langkah (Indonesian) - noun: literally step, move, pace, action, measure, stride, leap, foot, footstep, gesture, tread, footpace

In Indonesian martial arts, Pencak Silat, it commonly refers to geometric patterns on the floor used to train footwork and develop an understanding of the role of the lower body in maintaining balance and a base from which to generate power.

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Saturday, January 6, 2018

Uber Stories

Uber Story #1: Poor Planning on Your Part Does Not Constitute an Emergency on My Part

I got a ride request at 5:48 AM. I arrived to pick the young woman up at 5:59 AM. She got into the car and said, "Man, I'm running late."

"Going to work?"

"No. It's a federal halfway house. I just got out of prison."

"Oh. Oops."

"Yeah. I'm supposed to be there by 6:00 AM, but I have a fifteen-minute window."

"So," I think, "you planned to get there at 6:15. You left yourself zero room for Murphy factors. Now, Murphy has tripped you up."

"GPS estimates 25 minutes."

"What? It should only take 15 minutes."

"There's something happening on the freeway. I don't know what it is, but I saw a bunch of emergency vehicles in the southbound lane when I came to pick you up." We had to head south to get her to her location.

"Damn. I'll throw in ten dollars, cash, if you get me there before 6:15."

I laughed. "That won't even put a dent in the speeding ticket if I get pulled over. Never mind that I could lose my job."

"A Lyft driver told me you guys, Lyft, Uber, taxi, and bus drivers, can't get pulled over. The cops ignore you."

More laughter from me. "I don't know if he was misinformed, joking, or lying, but ... no."

I dropped her off at 6:24 AM.

Uber Story #2: Good Guys Finish Fine

I got a ride request from a woman I'll call GG. GG has osteoporosis and, last night, while walking her dog, her dog took off after a squirrel, caught GG off guard, and caused her to fall. She shattered her elbow on the sidewalk.

With her husband in Denver for work, GG was stranded because she couldn't drive due to the broken elbow and the pain it caused. She needed to go to the doctor, get a prescription for pain meds, and get back home. She called Uber, and I got the request.

I picked her up and drove her to her doctor, which was a 30-minute drive to a town called Black Canyon City. I waited 1.5 hours while she was in the doctor's office and went to pick up her prescription. When she requested an Uber ride, I accepted.

She was surprised she got me again. I explained, "There are no Uber drivers in Black Canyon City, so I waited for you because I knew you needed a ride back home."

She asked if we could hit a drive-thru on the way so she could get some food to take her pain meds with. We did.

When I dropped her off, she called her daughter (who had actually requested the Uber drive for her) and asked the daughter to add a large tip. I didn't overhear the conversation, so I didn't know how much of a tip she requested. Then GG came to the car and said, "My daughter can't afford the tip I want to give you on her card. Can I write you a check?"

I said, "Sure."

I hoped for $50. I would have been satisfied with $20. Hell, I would have been satisfied with whatever she gave me. Her situation sucked, and I was glad I could help. When she gave me the check ... I won't say how much it was for, but it was more than $50. In fact, $50 had to go hide in a corner out of embarrassment.

Honestly, I wouldn't have been upset if she'd decided not to tip me, but I'm not complaining about the extra money. It's nice when "above and beyond" gets recognized and compensated.

In the end, it pays to be a decent human being. In this case, it paid financially but, even when there's no financial compensation, it's worth the time and effort.

The Wandering Guru

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