Friday afternoon after eating a fairly benign lunch of rice and vegetables I suddenly fell ill to the point that the tips of my fingers were growing numb, with my body quickly succumbing to aches and chills. What it truly was I will never know. Instant flu? Food poisoning? Regardless of the origin, it was clear that it would impact my upcoming working weekend. Sleeping early probably helped but I still awakened at 1:10 AM with a throbbing head. Dependent upon these weekends for my economic "bread and butter" meant, short of death, I was heading to the cab lot to again embrace yet another two wonderfully grueling days. The sour cherry on top was being greeted by the news that I had to pay $124.00 for running a camera-monitored intersection.
Totally bewildered, I asked Bill the night superintendent, "When did this happen?" as I am very attentive to these "red light" cameras. Nearly three weeks had passed and no one had told me about it, and making it worse, paying the damn thing meaning all options were taken from my control. Lucky I didn't faint dead away but of course I survived, having a great Saturday and an insanely horrible Sunday, finally waking up today at noon miraculously cured. Nothing like a fun taxi weekend to beat the hell out of whatever ails you. And no, I don't think it is cheaper than going to a doctor, unless they charge $400.00 dollars plus just for sticking out your tongue. Three separate 1/2 hour naps on Saturday certainly aided my recovery. Did I have any choice?
One Blessing I Can Accept
Last night picked up a HopeLink connected passenger who had been waiting over 1 1/2 hours in the rain and cold. Part of the wait had resulted from a driver having "dumped" the call. Madder than anything because the gentleman, coming from a late night doctor's appointment, had been unnecessarily and cruelly inconvenienced, I made a couple calls making sure that the cabbie in question would be appropriately addressed.
Though granted my Vietnam War-era CO status upon religious and moral grounds, I instinctively cringe when causally given a god or "God's" benediction but this time the passenger's "God bless you!,"given in appreciation for my intervention, was pleasing. "Thank you!" I replied and I meant it.
Something Good from the Bad
Unhappy that I had come down to the lot this afternoon to pay money owed only to find that Barbara in the financial office had already fled the royal confines, I was fortunate to discover, while talking to Tom, the new dispatch manager, that George Anderson, our new computer system's guru, was there, and there was time to talk. Amazingly, I got five precious minutes to impress home the urgency of our situation. He listened intently then got back to his reprogramming, understanding that the dysfunction must be quickly remedied. My initial assessment is that he is far from ordinary, not something I usually say, far too accustomed to the usual and mundane. There is hope then for swift and effective resolution. The faster the better is clearly the best answer.
Earlier in the morning drivers and owners met with the PSD GM and members of the PSD board. Displeasure was expressed in addition to the real threat of not paying lease fees. It appears a meeting with Mister Anderson will be arranged. When providing him with my blog/business card I said I have been "holding my tongue" and believe me, I have, only interested in constructive negotiations. Anybody can shout but more importantly, can you achieve your just and honorable aims? That is the question of the moment and the taxi hour. One month of this is enough. There is nothing left to comment about. The system has to work properly 24 hours a day minus flaws and errors. There is no other answer.