One of my great dislikes concerning taxi is its seemingly dysfunctional nature. It is difficult if next to impossible to avoid the whirling vortex that is taxi as I know and certainly don't appreciate. Webster's II New Riverside Dictionary defines disservice as a harmful action: injury. The fifth edition of Webster's Collegiate Dictionary adds ill service to the definition. The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged Edition contributes an ill turn. All this and more occurred to me and more on an early Sunday afternoon when I brought the new 478 in for service, that is its monthly maintenance review. Every so often upon a weekend day I receive the dreaded message to bring the taxi in, dreaded because it takes away from my very finite hours. Since I am only out there two days every hour is precious, not to be abused or taken lightly. That I lost nearly three hours and was castigated and blamed to boot causes this commentary. When entirely innocent, one is rankled by unjust chastisement. It pisses me off is what it does.
Given that the new Crown Victoria is a wonderful car, performs well, and is just a terrific taxi, I didn't mind bringing the car in. I got the message late because I slept til nearly 10:30 AM and only turned on the computer just after eleven. Thankfully I got a fare to the Coleman Ferry Dock, $27.00 including tip which put me much closer to the lot. They were calling for cabs at the train so after a short trip I was there at the garage. Initially everything went well, telling me it would take a maximum of an hour, I sat down to finish last night's chicken chow foon with black bean sauce and read the paper. Normally I would be able to find a replacement cab but recently the weekends' superintendent's office has been chaotic, manned by folks who have never spent a second beneath the top-light. It appears their incompetence has even caught the jaundiced eye of Yellow management and soon there will be replacements. In other words, they can't figure anything out so sat I did munching away. I am still awaiting the return of an old colleague who is back home in Somalia. Last year he said he wished he could get rid of me but as I have been saying, who wants to be there?
Everything appeared fine and the car was done until a brake line blew and it apparently was all of my fault. Someone had apparently hit a curb who knows when, damaging the rim, with that somehow impacting the brake line. Since I was the one most recently in the taxi it was of course all my fault. So much for my positive and patient attitude. They blew that up. And to make it worse, the mechanic assigned to 478, after insulting me, said he was going to lunch. I yelled "Taki!", who of course is the big boss and Taki mumbled something, gave him a look and the mechanic got right back at it. When he pulled the car out of the shop I pointed out a blemish on the right-hand bumper that could have only been caused by the new night driver or perhaps one of the early replacements. I was attempting to make a point.
If anyone thinks I overreacted all I can say that once I got started again, I pulled in 50 bucks between 3 and 4 PM. But hey, 478 was again running well and with new rear brakes I was ready to go. Like I have been stating, I have reached a limit. This one tiny incident displays why.
Weather Lecture April 10th, 2012, 2:00 PM
Date and time is set, money for the banquet hall has been paid, and Professor Cliff Mass, our famous local weather guru and local NPR radio star, will be talking to hopefully hundreds of interested cabbies on the not so esoteric subject of black ice formation. It will be held at the Tukwila Community Center located next to the Duwamish River. Address and directions later. All drivers and owners of the various local taxi associations are welcome. I can still see those two airport Yellow taxis flying by me at 60 MPH on that snowy and icy January 15th evening. I was pedaling along at 40. I wonder why?