I will forever find it irritating that those who are making decisions for our local taxi industry have no clue concerning our pervasive reality. Insult to injury is that they do not consider it necessary to know while expecting us to both respect and follow their instructions. Amazing, isn't it?
It is clear it comes down to one dimension only and beyond any doubt local administrators and regulators have little to no respect for us. They will deny that but the proof rests in their actions. Unless they are stopped, they will be decapitating our industry locally, leaving it to us to mop up our own blood and bury the dead. Anyone close to this story knows this is true.
While the City of Seattle contemplates our destruction, our story, our reality continues. Sometimes one example says it all, clearly illustrating what all of us endure. A conversation overheard late Thanksgiving paints the too typical taxi picture, saying it might not be wise subjecting the innocent to this kind of garbage.
Purposely picking my taxi up late Thanksgiving evening, thus allowing an early 4 AM start in the north end, I accept a South Park fare I saw sitting far too long in Zone 505. Going to a house shrouded in deep fog on the 800 block of South Sullivan Street I pick up a gay couple, two guys going home to Capital Hill from a Thanksgiving feast. Unfortunately they had much to comment upon, and unless I tell them to shut up, I was going to hear it regardless of choice.
Professional discretion aside, there are very few instances where the driver can tell the passengers to end a particular conversation. Certainly profanity and any threatening talk allows for intervention. Beyond that, you just have to bear with it, no matter how obnoxious your passengers are. In this instance, one of the two gentlemen was beyond the pale. He was simply a fool, dinner wine loosening his wagging tongue. God help the cabbie!
It was this "dinner guest that" and "those lesbians were so ugly" and she said she "hadn't taken a bath in three years!" On and on for the more or less eight miles to Denny and Melrose. Everyone at the party, over 20 guests, were targeted for their venom, no one escaping their scurrilous scrutiny, the couple commenting upon haircuts and mental stability and fashion decisions. The idiot was also a backseat driver, not respecting me or anyone else.
Finally pulling up to their apartment building Mr Gossip makes one last comment, saying those lesbians were so ________ but at least (meaning me) you are "easy to look at." Wonderful! Every part of him speaks, including his penis. Why do I have to hear his penis talking, his distorted brain being quite bad enough for one Holiday evening.
Welcome to taxi my friends. It is a fun world where you learn everything you never wanted to know concerning demented humanity. And of course all those City Of Seattle folks know all about this. Ask them and they will tell you, reassuring you to the bloody end!