A quick message from me, Dave, before we dig into this episode of The Blind Spot:
I can’t lie, I’m not sorry to see 2020 disappear in the rearview mirror. However, the way my team, my family, and my industry have come together in sacrifice and solidarity this year has given me a new sense of resilience and confidence that we will come out the other side of all this stronger, and with more to offer our clients and each other.
Back in March, facing the newness of the pandemic, I said that we were digging in — putting down roots in a more solid way. In the midst of ‘distancing,’ I felt compelled to connect with my community and use our shared experiences as a foundation for building something bigger and better than before. This remains true. As the head of my company, and newly-elected NLA West Region Representative for the greater transportation industry, I have a vision for what 2021 could be. I hope to see you there.
THE BLIND SPOT PODCAST WITH DAVE UZIEL
(Intro music: percussion beats and cymbal)
As usual on The Blind Spot, Dave is sitting alone at his computer desk. He’s wearing a plain black beanie and a gray hooded sweatshirt with the logo of his company, Urban Logistix, across the chest. Across the bottom of the screen a banner is running from right to left in a continuous loop. It reads: WE MUST ACTIVELY LISTEN AND EXAMINE YOUR OWN HEART.
DAVE: Good morning. It’s Monday, January 4th, and we are BACK. This is Dave, with The Blind Spot, ready to reboot. You’ve been seeing a lot about Dave 2.0 … you know, there’s a lot of things in my life that I regret, and there’s a lot of personal stuff I’m going through right now that I caused myself and I’m making a decision to reboot myself. Get an update. You know, whatever you want to call it. But I realize that I’ve done some hurtful things in the past, and I am going to, um … create a better future for myself and my family and my businesses.
So, we’re back. Better than ever. Maybe not better than ever yet — we’re working towards it.
First things first: I want to invite anybody — I mean ANYONE in this limo industry — that wants to vent. Wants to talk about whatever they want to talk about when it comes to the industry and the limousine business. I’ve been fortunate to be voted onto the NLA West Coast as a board member. And I didn’t think I was going to win, honestly, because Charlie Grimm is a solid dude, with a solid background, with a solid business, with an amazing family. Athena is one of the brightest women I’ve met in this industry, and probably a lot of industries that I’ve been involved with. But I want to say thank you to Charlie for being a respectful partner in the process, and I will be tapping him for knowledge because he has a lot of it, and we’re friends. So that’s that.
But one of the things I really want to try to do is bring this industry together. I know a lot of people are like “Well, NLA this” and “NLA that” — well, I don’t know all about that because truthfully, I’m not involved with what the NLA did in the past. I’ve heard stories about, you know, maybe spending too much money, doing things that maybe didn’t need to be done — just as we all did when the businesses were good.
But our association needs to be a representation of every single person in this industry, and that’s all the way from one parked vehicle all the way to 100+. I can tell you right now that anybody above 20 cars is hurting more than somebody with one car. And I don’t mean that the one car’s not hurting, I’m just saying that there’s a lot more we have to deal with when it comes to the banks, you know, some of us have brand new vehicles, like I do. We don’t know what to do with them. We’ve diversified our vehicles, we’ve put ‘em on Turo — it’s covered our insurance and it’s covered our payment for each vehicle, so that’s been a plus. We’ve been doing that for probably about the last 5 months, and that’s been a really cool thing, so you guys may want to look into that.
Obviously that doesn’t work for Sprinters or — well, I don’t know if it works for Sprinters, because we’re testing that out with them — but it doesn’t work for mini coaches and motor coaches, so that’s still a problem I have. I mean, I posted the other day about having 2 mini coaches that I would love to maybe rent out to somebody (takes a sip of water) to get their willingness to at least cover the note and the insurance and they can make all the profit, I don’t really care. It’s not about that it’s just about making sure I have good standings with the banks.
I would love peoples opinions on the relationship with Wells Fargo and First Source. TCF has not been the nicest to me, but I’m also not nice so they’re getting it back. Wells Fargo and First Source have been the EASIEST to work with, but yet still, for being big banks that are gonna get funded by the government they’re really not being nice to us smaller companies and I think that it’s kind of a crock of shit. And if any representative of Wells Fargo or First Source wants to chat with me live on this, I’d be happy to.
The other person I would LOVE to call out is Samsara. We’ve been hearing a lot — I’m still having the problems, I have units sitting here, I’m not paying anybody money for something I can’t even use. I’ve offered to drop off all their stuff in San Francisco, they declined saying that “they’re not working in their offices” — I’m like, Ok, I’ll send it to your house, I don’t know, whatever you want. But I would love for somebody from Samsara to be willing to come chat with us live here. I promise I will be respectful, because at the end of the day Dave 2.0 is not about bashing, it’s about growing.
Some of the other things that I’m going to be doing on this podcast is inviting people who really, really had loud voices of negativity towards the industry, to the NLA. I’m going to give them a platform to preach what they want to say. But the hope is that once we do that, we can let it out, and find ways to bring everybody back into the industry. To grow the association, one, but also grow just the community.
You know, I think there’s a lot of chatter on who’s making what and blah blah blah — who gives a shit? I don’t care what anybody makes. Because that doesn’t go into my pocket (gesturing to self). If that person wants to say they’re 250% up, BLESS THEM. If that’s the truth, and that’s what their heart tells them, and that’s what’s in their pockets, bless ‘em. I think there needs to be an end to like, this hatred towards — you know, I’m going to call out people — Sam Rubin, Bill Faeth, uh, Charlie Horky — who gives a shit what they do? I mean, who gives a shit what they say? Not that — I should rephrase — I’m not saying Sam Rubin says anything or Bill or Charlie, I’m just saying in general, who cares? Why not let them do their thing, let them say what they want to say, and if you don’t like what they say, ignore it. It’s pretty easy.
But if you are willing to talk shit behind a screen, which is totally fine because that’s what everybody is doing right now because of COVID, then at least be prepared to hear the facts that that person thinks of you. And I think that’s something that I’ve had to learn, like … (laughs) the last couple weeks of my life I’ve been very humbled. And I realized that I need to make changes in myself in hopes that 2021 will be a better year. You know, I … to whoever gave me the opportunity with Amazon, I thank you. It’s probably my dad, and my grandma and grandpa, but, you know, at the end of the day it’s what’s making me survive. And I know some people are going to be “Well, you know you’re putting all your eggs in one basket” — well, we did the same thing in the limo business. It doesn’t matter how many customers you had, LOOK: we’re all at the same thing. All pandemic. Not one client or twenty clients are pandemic-proof.
So, for those that want to ridicule me, cool. That’s your opinion, and I respect that. But I’m willing to have a conversation about that. So I think that’s what I want to do. I want to open up The Blind Spot to ANYONE. I’ll give you the floor, you can talk, I won’t jump in unless I have a question for you. Say what you want to say, it won’t be censored, I promise. And then I’m going to post it everywhere. And I’m going to be telling people that this is the time to make changes. Let’s come together. Fuck this noise — you know, it’s all chatter, it’s all fucking distraction noise.
(Thinks for a second)
What is the …. ? OH: on Netflix, Leah Remini — she’s the lady who was on King of the Hill, she got out of Scientology. I’ve been watching it pretty intensely, not because I care about Scientology, but I’m trying to understand, you know, the way that Scientology has come at people regarding them leaving Scientology. And this is not like I’m saying the limo business is like that, but one of the things she says a lot is “noisy investigation” and “noisy chatter.” And I think what it is, for anybody who wants to post something, they want attention. They want some kind of attention — this is what social media does. It is what it is right now because we’re in a pandemic time, we’re not out conversing like adults, we’re using a computer and chatting. So it gives people a platform to just … preach. When maybe they’re doing it because they just want to be heard about what they’re feeling.
And you guys are seeing this thing scroll over and over: “WE MUST ACTIVELY LISTEN AND EXAMINE YOUR OWN HEART” — we gotta do it. We gotta start like, really figuring out: why are we attacking each other? What benefit are we getting out of it? We’re not. Let’s come together, let’s fucking build something bigger and better in 2021. The NLA has a lot of new faces, and some old faces that have been around and trying to make changes. If you want change, you gotta open your mouth and talk about it. But you gotta do it in a professional way. And that’s something I haven’t done.
I’m making this short and sweet. I want to bring everybody that I have ever disrespected in this industry on here, and we can talk it out, chat. And to me, if you’re willing to do that with me, I think that just shows that we can get past things, and move on. We don’t have to hold grudges. We don’t have to call each other’s friends and tell them not to work with each other, or this and that — we don’t need to do that anymore. Ok? You do you, I do me, hopefully we can build a relationship.
So, the three people I called out on Facebook today I’m going to call out again: Tammy, Jeff and Chris. I invite you three — single, all together — to come on this podcast with me and just chat. Talk about the struggles you’re going through, talk about the struggles I’m going through, talk about what happened between us so that we can move on from it. I’ve moved on from everything, and I think that part of it is that, you know, we always feel like we’re getting jabbed at. And I don’t want to feel that anymore. So I want to move on past that. So you three are welcome to join me if you want — I’ll put it out there, you do what you want.
The other people I want to invite here is Bill Faeth, Sam Rubin, Chris Vecchio, uh, Rob Corwin, whatever, Brian Riccio. Everybody has their opinion on each other, let’s get past it. Let’s figure out how we fucking work here. We don’t all have to be friends, it’s not going to work that way. But what we can be is business people that are trying to help each other grow. And at the end of the day, it’s time for 2021 to be a better year, and we start with a good foot forward.
And I’m going to learn how to crawl again before I start running. So, this is my first step. I hope you guys are willing to listen. You know, watch. The last thing I want to say is, I’m sorry if I was ever rude to you, or treated you with disrespect. That’s my bed that I have to lay in and try to clean up so that I don’t have that future anymore. To my family, I’m sorry for everything I’ve done. There’s a lot of things that I’m just not going to post that I feel that I need to apologize for. And I want to be a better Dave. And the way to do that is by opening up, and talking, and using this platform that was given to me to be able to grow.
So, alright, well it’s 8:04 Pacific Time. I’s not that cold outside, I’m just wearing a beanie because … I’m bald. My nose is really red because of these damn freaking masks we have to wear.
(Looks around the desk and grabs a stack of mail, waves it up in camera view)
I’ve got a lot of bills, like, you know, like everybody else — Doug. I don’t want to even look at ‘em, but, we’ll get through this. I promise. And I want to invite everybody on here. I don’t care who you are. From builders, to credit card processors, to … I don’t know, airflow people, or air freshener people. Get on this podcast with me, talk about what you do, how you want to help the industry in 2021, and let’s see if we can make some changes, alright?
Thanks for listening, love you guys. D 2.0 is out.
(Clicks mouse to end recording)
(Outro music: the same percussion beats and cymbal)