Tuesday, April 14, 2015

She Can't Read It (Or Take It) Anymore

"She-who-can't-be-named," taking one glance at the posting mentioning five Uber pick-ups in five minutes, instantly gave up, unable to continue reading the bad news that's become our local taxi reality.  Her reaction is a good indicator of the consequences associated with what to many folks is just another non-captioned bureaucratic decision, something barely registering upon a greater list of important priorities. No one died or was imprisoned or even mildly censored in regards to the decision for totally disrupting Seattle's local taxi industry. No, nothing overtly dramatic occurred at all other than the upsetting of individual lives and their families. 

Instead all we have had is a thousand or more silent deaths, tiny incidents like sitting over two hours waiting for a fare, or the more sanguine worry of how will this month's rent or mortgage will get paid.  Any loud protests will come instead from worried spouses aimed at exhausted husbands, blaming them for not doing enough when 12 hours in the cab once sufficiently fulfilled requirements to pay all the bills, even leaving something left over for the annual visit home back to Ethiopia or Somalia.

No, you won't find any mention of any this anywhere save perhaps here in my postings, because obviously I too have been relying upon taxi for my bread and butter and short-term sustenance.  I also know what it means when the wife yells at you because "You aren't earning enough!"---blame tumbling upon your head and shoulders.  So when "she-who-can't-be-named" expresses outrage or woe about a situation artificially created, I not only know, I can guarantee that not one Seattle municipal official gives a damn about her anguish. Why would they have reason to care?  As I always say in these situations,the answer too obvious to say anything but that.  What else can be said?

Finally A Good Weekend

A stretch of nearly eight bad weekends ended this past weekend with a remarkable flourish.  As I told one interested fare, my income was down by about $1600.00 during both February and March but this second weekend in April was one for my personal record books, at least in terms of airport runs, that all important taxi barometer.  Combining Saturday and Sunday's totals, I had 16 runs to either the airport itself or a Sea-Tac area hotel.  My very last was a "hooker" run where the fare was paid by the waiting "john."  Like I keep saying, I am a cabbie, not a social worker.  Despite the too many hours and not enough sleep, it was great to see some kind of normalcy return.  Tomorrow I am rewarding myself with camping two nights in the Eastern Washington high desert.  Due to the moist Spring the desert flowers should be abundantly colorful.  And how many airport trips will I have next weekend?  Only the taxi gods know!

Why I Am Not Beating Up Yellow

More than once recently I have received comments asking why am I not more critical of Yellow taxi, either implying or actually accusing me of favoritism.  This is not the first nor I am sure the last time that I am seen as the "teacher's pet."  If I'm not, the saying goes, why aren't I barking and biting the evil association owners?   My response is twofold.

One, anyone truly interested in reading a "no-holds-barred" examination of the taxi industry will have to wait when I finally write my taxi novel project entitled "Zammit."  When you see that on the racks, buy it and you will see what you have wanted to hear or know or see all along.  Of course since it is a work of fiction I won't be naming actual individuals but those in the know will understand everything I will be writing about.  Is taxi crazy?  Of course it is.  I know it and so do you.

And two, all one needs to do is read my last posting and the list of taxi evils I might theoretically talk about at the Amsterdam conference to clearly comprehend the unspoken.  What the heck do people think I saying when I say "innate taxi inferiority? "  Of course that kind of attitude leads to the industry to depend on "taxi clueless" people like Don Stark who only advocates for a particular issue because he is being paid.  His next task might be what kind of cat food you should feed your hungry domestic felines.  And will the folks hiring him consider it necessary for him to have at least one Turkish Van Cat or Domestic Short hair at home?  Let's hope so.

And what  I implying about minor taxi criminality?  And what about "association mismanagement?"

My question to everyone out there in Seattle taxi-land is, are you paying attention?  Again, what do you think I am saying?  A taxi buddy sent me a paranoid text this morning.  When will it ever end?  Maybe, just maybe when we finally get enough sleep.

In short, I have been critical though perhaps not in the way desired.  But I can assure you that the majority of the "power structure" know my opinion of their operations because I have told them, more than once about  what I see needs to be done.  That they haven't responded tells me they like doing things their way, no matter how inefficient that may be.  Yes, much that occurs at Yellow appears to be nonsensical.  Is that really some startling revelation?  I don't think so.  I know everyone can agree to that, everyone already understanding the full and unwritten story.

Uber Insurance Bill Passed Yesterday 4/14/2015

HB 2231 was passed yesterday, doing two things.

One, it made the statement that ride-share providers like Uber, Lyft Sidecar must carry the minimum insurance required of all types of for-hire vehicles.

Two, relating to us in the cab world, that L&I insurance will be optional.  More on all this when I have the details.

The bill now awaits the governor's signature.

An Editorial Note 4/15/2015 4:42 PM

If you notice errors of any kind, I can assure you that they will be remedied sooner than later.  This particular posting had more mistakes than usual.  The simple explanation is that the coffee shop I was working at closed before I could thoroughly go over my text.  I regret any confusion caused.  Like "What the hell is that guy saying?"  God knows, maybe, or perhaps not, writing and taxi driving remaining profound metaphysical mysteries. 


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