If you live in Los Angeles, you may have noticed some odd traffic in the last few days. While Christmas traffic has been known to cause strange and unusually heavy conditions around the 405 and the 101, the seasonal congestion had nothing to do with the unusual traffic patterns observed last Saturday. An engineer responsible for maintaining the Waze app in the greater LA area has been caught writing messages to his former girlfriend in traffic patterns in between LAX and Long Beach.
According to sources and social media, the heartbroken engineer’s girlfriend broke up before the Thanksgiving-Christmas holidays to avoid fighting over which relatives to visit. “It’s already stressful planning the holidays around two families, but now we have to make plan around Covid restrictions,” Lucy said. “The chemistry was gone–it was for the better.” Text conversations shared by Lucy showed a string of one way texts from the lovesick engineer Tony who repeatedly attempted to win Lucy back with cutesy gifs from the Despicable Me ™ Minions (TM) films, which they bonded over since their love blossomed in high school.
Late last week, the strange traffic patterns changing throughout the day depicted personalized messages from Tony to Lucy which clogged up residential neighborhoods around Manhattan Beach, Compton, Hawthorn and other Southwestern LA neighborhoods. The heavy standstill traffic (drawn in red) around the traffic-congested streets reached out to Lucy when it was clear she had ghosted him, and maybe even blocked Tony’s number. She did not block his number but turned off read-receipts, so he had no way of knowing.
“I’ve been stuck trying to get into Jack-In-the-Box drive-thru for an hour!” one frustrated SoCal driver reported. “I thought there must have been some real problems with the Waze app when it brought me on The One to Aviation Blvd to The 405 to the 101 to get to Venice beach but it all makes sense now that I zoomed out on my app. As much as I kinda hate Tony right now, I kinda get what he’s feeling. I hope he gets back with Lucy soon, so I can get my Buttery Jack Classic and tacos!”
For those who haven’t driven through suburban neighborhoods to save five minutes driving to the airport, Waze is an Israeli-developed app which tracks traffic patterns to proactively disperse heavy traffic to optimize drive times in heavily congested areas. The app has gotten criticism in the past for pushing unwanted traffic into neighborhoods trapping cars in their own driveways during rush hour or telling drivers to navigate through wild fires. Unsurprisingly, this new scandal is business-as-usual for the adaptive navigation app.
Tony, the chief engineer for the app in the LA area, began using the algorithms to funnel as many cars as he could reasonably fit into side streets and highways so as to spell out words and symbols. Using his homemade street-writing navigation algorithm, he made sure the correct streets created heavy traffic sufficient to cause select roads to become reds (which is how the app depicts traffic at a standstill). With those red outlined streets, Tony was able to shout into the cold, digital void: “Lucy! Take me back!”
According to Tony (in between copious sobs), “it’s not as hard as you’d think street writing with all of the LA drivers blindly following this app. Traffic in this city is so random and terribly unpredictable, you can make the cars here drive just about anywhere. I just miss her so much.” Further in the interview, Tony revealed that: “Lucy delivers for Grubhub on weekends so that she can make rent every month. I hadn’t heard from her in a month and I knew she would see that I still think about her.”
Several attempts were made to get in touch with Lucy after our conversation with Tony. However, continuing to ghost both Tony and our investigative team, Lucy refused to comment on whether or not she saw the messages in the Waze map.
Tony was immediately put on administrative leave by the WAZE leadership upon the discovery of his new street-writing algorithm after they became notified of the subsequent public outcry. A Waze spokesman has revealed that they fired Tony over his “unacceptable abuse of company resources to double text an Ex and that his behavior is creepy and unprofessional. Waze vows to never again betray public trust in our company by double-texting an employee’s ex-girlfriend.”
While many agree, plenty of concerned individuals have gone to twitter to defend Tony’s romantic gesture calling it “Romantic” and “cute.” The hashtag, #GiveTonyAChance, has been trending on social media platforms since the firing was announced on Sunday.
It doesn’t look like there is any hope of Tony winning back Lucy with his creative use of the Israeli navigation app, but know that all of us here at Cranberry-Lemon are on #TeamTony!
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