Thursday, July 7, 2011

More Than Cheap Lions

I was planning to write about perhaps the oddest incident I've experienced in my nearly 24 years of taxi driving but given I am just slightly tired I will leave it to tomorrow morning.  All I can say is that I will need to be at my descriptive best when recounting this late July 4th incident.  Instead I will finish my commentary upon the Lion Club members that are currently gracing the streets of Seattle.

First though some comments upon tipping and what it means to the average taxi driver in Seattle and the USA in general.  Though never expected (at least I don't), tips are usually a reflection of the ride just completed.  It is a kind of instant applause for a fine performance.

 My biggest tip has been $200. and most recently I received a $90.00 tip.  People appear to appreciate what I bring to the ride, namely efficiency. I can also honestly say many don't like my sometimes gruff attitude but my flying down the roadway usually softens the experience.

I can say that generally there are three features to my usual service: 1) I am quicker to the pick-up address; 2) I am faster to the destination; and 3) I am cheaper than my taxi brethren.  My passengers confirm that by an average 30 per cent tip.  In other words, $30. dollars  of every $100. I bring in is by way of gratuity. Tips then truly can make or break a given taxi shift.  I think it was last year that the loonies who took the LA cabbie to Portland, Oregon gave the driver a $20,000 tip on top of the $3000. fare.  Yeah, we could all use that!

Now I find these Lions an interesting group, perhaps because they value a dime but more likely because they are so damn self-righteous.  These international Kings & Queens that paraded down Seattle's downtown avenues are the height of a self-proclaimed importance.  And why?  Well, "Hey everyone!" they shout, "are you not blind to see that we are the cream of our given cultures, and being such good little boys and girls for all of our charity work, we want you, that means YOU to know about our INDIVIDUAL GREATNESS! "

Yes, that more or less is the message conveyed. These Lions truly have an unusual smugness that is oblivious to their cultivated arrogance.   And why don't they tip? They have a simple explanation.  It just is not an IMPORTANT activity to them.  Tipping does not warrant their interest.  Excuse me, they don't say, we are on far more important missions than attending to petty and unnecessary traditions.  These Lions don't roar, they sneer instead!  Such nice people they are not!  And would you please kiss my shoes!  Ah yes, the commonplace plight of the average cabbie!

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