Down south in Arcata, California "she-who-can't-be-named" assists Dave who assigns all blame upon "the goons," they somehow responsible when he loses his wallet or having his car stolen after leaving it unlocked and the keys left unattended in the ignition. The goons, the goons, it is always the goon's fault, and maybe it is but perhaps not, given how easy it is blaming metaphysical or other mysterious influences instead of taking personal responsibility for ones' own incompetence.
Now I have never heard anyone in the local taxi industry mentioning "goons" but rare is the time anyone has said, "I take full responsibility!" for anything. Contrarily moderate to mild bedlam reigns, with few attempting to transform chaos to operational tranquility. Why I can't tell you but I am beginning to suspect neurological or cognitive damage stemming from unrelenting stress and disorder. While the 18th century colloquial term "mad-as-a-hatter" stems from using mercury when producing "felt" for hats derived from beaver and rabbit pelts, everyone knows that taxi drivers are insane, hence the usage, just another "crazy cabbie" which, as we in the business know too well, is sadly too often true.
Some recent events unfortunately back this contention, all of us toxic from the many years breathing in gasoline, diesel and other related fumes and toxins. On too many occasions passengers exclaim "that you don't look a day over forty!", prompting my joking response that what they are seeing is a kind "Botox" effect isolated to the taxi. Now for some recent behavioral examples of taxi behavior better left to the comic pages. Maybe one day they will come illustrated and the entire nation can join in on the screaming and shouting.
-----Monday, while on the way to the main Yellow taxi lot, the head of PSD/BYGs Sea-Tac operations had his van sideswiped by none other than a Sea-Tac Yellow taxi. "Unbelievable!" was the response from a long-time taxi superintendent.
-----As part of a new feature of PSD's new computer system, info announcing a fare's availability has been sent to the entire fleet, hoping someone would get close to the call. What did happen was a small army of taxis converging upon, let's say, the 700 block of Broadway East, honking their horns and in general causing a ruckus. There has now been a policy change in response.
-----Many readers know that Seattle and King County cabbies are independent contractors, or in other words, independent business owners. This known fact makes it all the puzzling, when, beginning next week, PSD says it is planning, similar to Uber, to electronically rate driver performance and punish driver's with "system time-outs" if an offered call is rejected.
The one major problem with this approach is that the driver and owner is "paying" for the dispatch services, which translated means they are being asked to finance their own punishment. How is this in any manner conceivable? I don't think it is something that can be done. While understanding PSD/BYG frustration with certain behaviors, one would think their response should be within the limits of known legal parameters and beyond challenge. This appears to be an approach that will be questioned.
While some of this might or could generate a chuckle, isn't the joke truly on us in the taxi industry? We should be the last ones laughing because if you think any of this is funny then it is truly time to schedule your neurological/psychological testing. I think it could be necessary.