What would taxi driving be without the no-show, that instant heartbreak sullying the taxi romance? Well, it would be a hell of a lot sweeter. Saturday I had two substantial (one an airport run) no-shows in a row but neither matched the Sunday late afternoon version. Luckily 24 plus years has toughened me. This is also a good example that bad things happen to the most experienced of cabbies, no one immune from the taxi venom.
I got belled into Children's Hospital for an ASAP DSHS run to Yakima, WA, paying a wonderful $376.00. Arriving at the Giraffe entrance folks at the front desk called and said the child and mother would be down soon. I got the call at 5:15 PM and was at the hospital in three minutes. I have been to Yakima three times and was looking forward to the drive. The pass over the Cascades was clear. I was ready to go.
Soon it is 5:40 PM and no passengers. Another call tells me to wait another ten minutes. Slightly unusual but not completely. Finally at 5:50 PM I find what the problem is. The child has a special wheelchair/car seat and the concern is that it won't fit in my Crown Victoria. I call dispatch who calls DSHS who eventually responds with the confounding "send a larger car" though the larger car, namely 478, was already there. It is decided that a nurse would come down and inspect my car.
An extremely nice young woman finally makes it down to me in total tears explaining that she had requested a wheelchair van two hours previously. Long and the sorry short of it is that I lost the fare and a full hour. Whether I am compensated for my lost time is very questionable. I put in my request already knowing the answer. I was on call. I couldn't leave. And what do I get? You know what I got! A swift kick in the old behind. At least the nurse shed a few tears for me. Sympathy is not a bad payment. The cabbie will take empathy anywhere he/she can get it, as rare as a golden nugget hidden in a swift-flowing stream.
Who Was Insulted?
She who can't be named plowed through a month of postings and especially noted my mention about mild lunacy concerning picking up packages. What I failed to mention was that a complaint was received saying I was rude and I was taken off bloods for at least a month. Of course the responsibility falls completely upon the cabbie. One mustn't object to being treated like a thief. I call it an ignoble accomplishment because it is unusually the most rabid of taxi drivers that are penalized. Me, why about three years ago I picked up a "hot" blood heading to Whidby Island and since the last ferry had departed I was compelled to drive all the way up to Deception Pass and then down the length of the island to the hospital and the waiting patient, all after I had been driving the entire day. Was I rude then, or were they just not paying attention. You know the answer.