Somehow I too got caught up in the hype and hoopla of the Seahawk's first regular season game since their Super Bowl victory, thinking the money would be easy pickings. How could I imagine that Seattle would become a proverbial "ghost town" once the game started? There it was 6:00 PM and no one was on the streets, freeway or otherwise, Seattle's collective citizenry glued to the television tube watching their glorious champions bash the Green Bay Packers. I did okay, especially since my last hour was a combined two-fare ninety dollars, having already decided to quit but suddenly getting lucky and ending my evening with a $62.00 airport run. What struck me was the cost relating to making what money I did. Adding it all up is a bit frightening. While waiting for our cabs to return from the day-shift, I talked to two taxi buddies who work seven days a week, clearly evident they were both tired and dispirited, feeling trapped in a never-ending scenario. The following figures tells the story why my two friends had transformed into taxi zombies.
Getting to the cashier window I was facing a Thursday night lease of $75.00. While business was good post-game, I can tell you that in February that lease is much harder to come by. The car I drove for just over 8 hours cost me nearly $50.00 dollars in gasoline. My 160.00 in total debit/credit charges cost me a three percent processing charge, which was about $5.00, and adding to the grand total was the $4.00 tip I gave the cashier. Adding it all up, my total operating cost for the evening was $134.00, and dividing that by my 8 hours it ended up costing me nearly $19.00 per hour to run my little mobile business. Pretty depressing, don't you think? Or after too many months of this kind of pressure, no one is thinking, your brain dead and your body no longer functioning. As one of my favorite dispatchers used to say, "It's a true story!" And not a pretty one at that.