Monday, August 13, 2012

How Not To Do It

Taxi is a world of various inefficiencies, intentional or not.  In all fairness, probably everything is like that.  The counselling/therapeutic profession was certainly lamentable given my very intimate  birds eye view dating from 1973 forward.  Unfortunately incompetence can have very tragic results.  Today's tales are at  their worse only sorry expressions of misdirected effort.  Tears may have been spilled but perhaps only out of laughter (almost a Bob Dylan quote).  The derailed taxi "strike" (referenced last posting) is particularly comedic given that anyone involved should have foreseen the obvious remedy.  But too often many in the taxi industry require sharp jabs or pokes to literally get the point.  As long as there is no external bleeding I suppose less than subtle suggestion not to mention minor retaliation  is an effective teacher.

How not to do a labor action is what happened when the Sea-Tac affiliated Yellow drivers decided that a labor slowdown was an effective strategy.  It also underlines my oft now repeated point that the Teamsters know little about the industry and how it functions.  When you decide to not serve the airport you should first remember that management could and did call in reinforcements essentially negating your protest.  That this occurs anytime there is a shortage of airport cabs (for whatever mundane reason) should have informed the Teamsters and their taxi allies that their symbolism was futile and bound for abject failure.  What in the world were they thinking?  Clearly very little though wisely the strike was called off.  Thankfully they saw that they were derailed and didn't push the issue.  And instantly the local media no longer cared.  How surprising!

How not to deliver a taxi to the waiting customer is what happened Sunday afternoon when the customer's deliverance was a napping cabbie.  After taking a VA account passenger to the West Valley Highway Extended Stay I had to nap despite there being business everywhere.  Nodding off in the shady parking lot I was awakened about twenty minutes later by a young woman wondering if I was her taxi.  Evidently she had been waiting for awhile and had just gotten the automated call out but all she found was this groggy driver.  What I believe happened was that the correct driver was belled into the OTHER Extended Stay sitting about 2 miles west from where I sat.  I told her "give me five!" and I got her up to the Tukwila Light-rail station.   I suppose you could say she paid for my nap.  I always enjoy getting paid for sleeping behind the stationary wheel.

How not to drive your car is when the young man (in broad sunshine) has his head sticking out of the passenger side window retching onto the forgiving street and you sit gaping in your vehicle bewildered to why the taxi isn't moving.  Kind of an "only in Seattle" moment.   How could she not see?  Call it one of those unanswerable questions which I won't even attempt to answer though if you really wish to know might want to ask someone at the Washington State Department of Motor Vehicles.  You might even receive an amusing response, something similar to something uttered or not in Iron Curtain Hungary circa 1984.  It is quite easy to decipher a blank stare.

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