Letter of Intent to Sue
Late last Saturday night while parked at a signal, a driver handed me a flyer entitled "Letter of Intent to Sue" that is being distributed by a group calling themselves the "Taxicab Drivers of Seattle King County, Washington." They can be contacted at the following addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org or POB 34523, Seattle, WA 98122. Briefly the letter states that if the City of Seattle does not begin following its own regulatory codes, enforcing the rules regarding for-hire and town-car "on-street" pickups, they can expect a class-action suit requesting thirty million dollars in damages. They give the City a sixty-day period to negotiate a settlement of some kind. If after that this group is not satisfied with the City response, a suit will go forward.
It might seem surprising, but I have only a vague idea who these folks are. I have emailed them requesting more information. I am extremely curious about their financial condition and whether they have lined up attorneys. In spirit I support their effort but I feel it is somewhat premature. By issuing their 60 day warning it is a clear expression that they want the mayor's office and the city council's attention. The one reason I feel it might not work is the attitude the industry has come up against, what I could describe as a parental injunction against the recalcitrant child.
This upcoming Friday the president of Yellow Cab and I are meeting with the demand study auditors, at their request. The major question I will be addressing is why do they think that they can know or do know something I or others in the industry don't. It is clear that the City Council regard all of us collectively as less than bright, certainly incapable of knowing our own business.
All of this is insulting, and on their part, very naive. Why does the City Council think that we will be accepting the results generated by the audit? Just because Mother and Father tell us to? If anything, it is this prevailing attitude that will bring litigation into being. In reality, the opposite is true, the immature party in this discussion is City government, not the taxi industry. Hopefully this threatening letter will wake Sally Clark and Mayor McGinn up. McGinn is asking for industry support for his reelection campaign. Well if he wants it he better clean up this mess and do it quickly. The time is now for the mayor to show real leadership. And that of course also applies to the City Council president. We in the industry have had enough. But since we are true refined ladies and gentlemen, we are providing you an additional sixty days to get your act together. It appears the clock is ticking. Start your engines, and GO!
Preparing For the Taxi Experience
One purpose of this blog all along has been to communicate to the secular public just what it means to be a taxi driver, to demystify myths and misconceptions. Most don't know that I live between Tacoma and Seattle, averaging about 3 nights in Seattle and four at my current home, a condominium a few minutes away from that great Tacoma city park, Point Defiance. Each Friday night and Saturday morning I prepare for my weekend taxi ordeal or shall I call it odyssey. Whatever it is I have found that it requires some preparation if I expect to survive. This then is a short narrative of my typical routine.
At about 6 or 7 PM Friday, I try to have my duffel bag stuffed with all of the necessary clothing, requisite white shirts, socks etc, along with anything else I might at the moment think reasonable as I won't be coming back until very late Monday or sometime Tuesday. Rushing around I take a shower and throw myself into bed by the latest 8 PM but often I find myself reading a few extra minutes just to calm my mind. Last Friday for instance I read a few Robert Frost poems, thinking a bit about his writing before falling asleep.
It at 1:00 AM that the real fun begins when the alarm blares and I rush to the next room to turn it off. "Oh no, here I go again!" or something else upon that theme I sometimes utter out loud. It is a gross understatement to say that all of this has gotten old. Or am I just a spoiled brat?
I have found that it is essential that I do everything correctly or the taxi routine I am demanding of myself quickly drags me down into a pit of my own making. If any of this seems excessive, it truly isn't. I am 59. I am asking much from my body let alone brain and soul and all other theoretical states. At one in the morning I am suddenly a frantic flurry of motion. Where is the video? This past Saturday morning will serve as normal example of the abnormal.
I immediately turn on the oven to bake two organic vegetable pot pies while simultaneously filling up a kettle and pot of water for tea. I measure out the soup I made earlier and add broth. I remember also to grab the apple sauce I made the week previous. I quickly peel grapefruit and lemons and lime for my fresh juice to wash down my handful of vitamins and supplements. I turn on the computer to check last minute emails. All of this turns into quick routine as I as fill preheated thermos' with fresh organic English Breakfast and fill a wide mouth thermos with bubbling soup. I make juice and gulp down the vitamins. I jump into the shower. Read my emails.
I take the pot pies out and allow a few minutes for cooling. I remake the bed. Brush my teeth and hair. Finally I dress while admonishing myself to "hurry up, hurry up!"
I put everything in boxes and bags and take four round-trips from my second floor apartment to the car and back, remembering the bananas but damn! forgetting the yogurt. The compost bucket is heavy!
Finally I am in the car and off. It is now just past 2:30 AM, 2:33 to be exact. For 1 1/2 hours it has been a personal marathon. I am in the cab by 3:20 AM. I head north and exactly at 4 AM my first bell to the Northwest Hospital ER. The nice guy who thought he was having a heart attack lives in Ballard. His fare is ten and he tips me ten. I then get a time-call to the airport. It isn't quite 5 AM and boom! bang! a $89.00 hour in total. I am started! The weekend is on! Just a few more hours to go. HA!