It was truly a crazy weekend, amazing hailstorms and whatever else you want thrown into the mix. One major aspect of taxi is an "across the board" victimization. However innocently I approach this business I end up being tossed upon the "taxi seas." It is no fun whatsoever.
Trying to sign-in into my taxi computer this past Saturday morning I received the unwelcome message that "this ID is inactive." This is bad news because it means during the past week some issue had arisen and the driver superintendent needs to talk to me. I always dread this and besides, most importantly, it prevents me from booking in a zone and going to work, making myself available to whatever awaits me. You never know what prize sits behind the taxi curtain.
I go in and Jack sorts through a sheaf of papers, handing me a label pin providing notice for not having an accident in X number of years. While the recognition is nice, isn't there some other way to inform me and other drivers without preventing us from working? How about an email or a telephone call or perhaps most effective, a general message listing all of the honorees for-hire numbers? We see our number on the list and at our convenience pick up our pin. How simple that would be. This current practice of deactivating IDs to deliver the most mundane of messages is not reasonable. Need I say the obvious that I am not an employee? An alternative needs to be found.
And if you don't think this practice costs the driver money think again, because if I had lingered in the Supt's office I would have missed the "buzzed" (his terminology) gentleman who went from Georgetown to Federal Way, a sweet $57.00 dollars to start the day. He told me that he thought about "running out" of the cab but decided to pay me because he said that "I was a good guy!" He was drunk and his girlfriend arrested along with his car towed away. Only the finest in my taxi!
In addition to my deactivated ID I was greeted not with one but two flat tires. I saw the first tire in the trunk and the second nearly flattened spare on the left front side. With no "extra board car" available I had no choice but to keep filling up the tire while waiting for the shop to open at nine. Seven times I filled that tire, only to be yelled at, "it was destroyed and it would cost me." As I pointed out, I had no idea who damaged the tire, tactfully not saying it was the shop's responsibility that all of the spare tires are inflated and ready to go if needed. I am not the mechanic. Taki shouted, "I should have parked the car". Did that mean that he was going to gurantee me the $195.00 I made while waiting for him to open up the garage? I think not. I did mention about the two studded tires I put on and myself paid for a few years back. They disappeared along with my $200.00. Oh taxi!
Anyway, does anyone think it was fun monitoring that damn tire for nearly six hours, stopping seven separate times to keep it inflated? And what about all those quarters I kept putting into the "air" machines? Only one out of seven stations offered free "air" to their customers. Don't you think it is fun being a taxi driver? Sign up now and you too can suffer. Com'on, don't be shy! If you don't join up I'll know the reason why!