Stress. There is not a taxi driver in Seattle who doesn't battle it, confront it, and quite often is defeated by the unreasonable pressure associated with the sometimes nefarious craft of navigating a cab. Much earlier this morning a driver mournfully asked Jack the morning superintendent if there was an extra-board car available because his CNG (natural-gas powered) car would not start. He complained that this would make the third day he would miss work due to some mishap. Stress! Exhausted past commonsense I had a spasm of empathy and jump-started his car. Thinking that was the end of it I resumed my conversation with Jack when the driver came back and announced that his taxi (MDT) computer wasn't working. Jack said he would reset the computer. When I was walking out the door the fellow grabbed me because he still couldn't "log on." I jumped into his cab, getting him "signed in" and also booking his car into Zone 270. Turns out he has only been "out here" for nine months and is still learning the taxi ropes. Hearing that I felt compelled to give him an instant tutorial about where to work. Of course he knew very little. Even the smallest of input will increase his income and perhaps lessen his daily stress. And of course his wordless suffering.
And continuing upon a theme, the computer again crashed upon a Saturday morning. Fortunately the circumstances were not as dire, starting at about 7:30 AM instead of 4:00 AM. It must have been like wrestling with an alligator because the system would flicker on and off. What a battle it was, with Fred the dispatch supervisor finally winning at about 11:30 AM. I personally didn't receive a computer-generated bell for 4 hours and 20 minutes. Lessons were clearly learned from the last breakdown, as they had us call in to receive bells. The one call I got was gone by the time I arrived. I at least appreciated the effort made. Clearly this is a software problem, and Yellow is in transition towards a new system. It can't come soon enough. Losing those four hours put me under considerable pressure to make up the lost time. Stress! A $70.00 dollar (with tip) airport run in the early evening helped. And my first call Sunday morning was a $64.00 dollar (with tip) airport run from Zone 115.
Capping my rally was an airport time-call due at 9:00 PM Sunday night on Mercer Island, Zone 430. The only problem is that when I accepted the call at 8:56 PM I was at 3rd and Pine, DT Seattle! Amazingly I made it to a god-awful difficult address in 16 minutes, that after braving the notorious Mercer Island police. What happened is that the bell on the bid screen was listed as a 430-C fare which meant it was an account fare. All those inexperienced Sunday night drivers thought it was something that it wasn't. I certainly appreciated the seventy dollars but I think I deserved a "stress" surcharge. It is a wonder I don't need some kind of sedative. It just might help.