Arriving at the Yellow lot early Friday afternoon I came upon a great tumult, a swelling of both owners and drivers having descended upon the office seeking answers, wanting to know why the new system wasn't working. The numbers gathered were to the point that the meeting door had to be locked and new comers effectively barred. Probably the best and only way to get a cabbie's full attention is to take money out of his or her pocket.
All this resulted in something very surprising, especially for those of us long accustomed to the usual inaction and delay. Sometime later that same Friday afternoon Jim O'Malley, the longstanding Dispatch General Manager, was dismissed. I have yet to hear official explanations but it is clear someone had to "fall upon the sword" and Jim took the full brunt of everyone's angry and disappointed eruptions.
And soon thereafter, Tom, a long-time dispatch veteran and currently in charge of the HopeLink accounts, was named as Jim's replacement. I know Tom fairly well and I respect his ability to get things done. For years he shared the same office with my late friend, Frank Morgan. I am looking forward to talking to him about immediate dispatch changes and adjustments. The opportunity for expansive new development appears to have unexpectedly arrived.
As soon as I know more I will fill everyone in. As the news spreads, the shock and amazement continues to grow. Whatever one personally felt concerning Jim, no one could argue that he wasn't faithful, having led dispatch for the past 15 plus years or more. Its too bad his long tenure went down in flames. One thing is sure about taxi, no escapes being "roasted" some time or the other. It is always just a matter of when, that's all, in that sense all of us sharing the same fate and legacy.