Tuesday, May 19, 2015

good-god-almighty-taxi-is-completely-crazy-and insane-too-and-the-truth-is-there-is-nothing-you-can-do!

It Never Ends

I probably said it before but here it is again, and of course you can quote me.  Whatever taxi could be and is and will remain for the foreseeable future is a kind of organized anarchy that almost accidentally getting anything done.  Why be intentional when you can leave everything instead to happenstance?  While some might view that as an exaggeration, you probably haven't, like I just have  this past Saturday, waited in the early morning for an anxious hour wondering when your taxi would finally arrive back so you can damn well get started.  

What was all wrong about this story---not getting fully paid for the hour lost along with being "short-tanked" $8.50 in addition to an implausible explanation?  Well it is pretty simple.  If you are lying you might remember that your every block can be tracked as you are first seen near Volunteer Park on 15th Avenue East, then 30 minutes later somewhere downtown on 2nd Avenue, and finally, at 4:40 AM flying up I-5 north-bound to Shoreline.

Finally arriving back at 5:00 o'clock the "so-sincere" driver tells me he couldn't wake-up the drunk in the back seat which, according to him, explained everything.  The big problem with this type of "moth-eaten-cloth-of-a-story" is that someone had to be directing him on his cross-city journey.  Does he really want of us to believe that, 1), the drunk, got in the cab and gave him a specific address in Shoreline, Washington, then 2), passes out while the driver goes every which way until finally, 40 minutes later, starts heading in the correct direct, and 3), the passenger's wife had to help him get her husband out of the cab, and 4), and to make it worse, he was never paid, and 5), he had to short me $5.00 because he didn't make any money?  Like too many people I meet in this business, they keep mistaking me for some kind of social worker.  While it is true I have held similar positions in the past, now I am just another "ruff & tuff" cabbie more than prepared to knock you head off!

His credibility, as if he had any to start with, was furthered tarnished by my discovery he had repeated this trick with another driver.  But being the nice guy  I occasionally am I told him to call me sometime to receive a quick tutorial upon taxi methodology, namely how to deal with all those drunks passed out in the backseat.  Do I think he will be calling? No, but I can guarantee I will have him spoken to.  While both anarchy and accountability begin with the letter A, there can only be one of them applicable to this situation.  Can you guess which one it is?

 And if think I am cynical you are correct because realism, not fantasy is called for.  When I got to the cab lot that Saturday morning the last thing I was interested in was a poorly conceived fairytale told by a bad narrator.  If I have to have my time wasted, please let me do it myself.  I know all about driving round & round in circles!

And as if that fool wasn't enough......!

So I am already in a foul mood, it's past 5 AM, but again, being my usual accommodating self, I took a driver who needed a ride home up to Capital Hill.  Last weekend I had taken the same guy home on a early Monday in my own car, free-of-charge, so now the IDIOT has to GIVE ME DIRECTIONS because of the route previously taken, that is 99 north to Seneca to Second to a left turn on Cherry, then left onto 1-5 and getting off on Denny Way and boom! there we are at Belmont East & East Harrison.  I choice that route because the lot is about one long block off 99 and there is no traffic at 4 in the morning.  What does the ignoramus say to me (and he knows I have been driving taxi over 25 years)?  "Oh, I didn't think you knew the way."  Oh really, I don't know about I-5 which I have been on one billion times?  Anyway, I wasn't very nice and made sure he paid me the complimentary ten dollars.  As I told him, as we drove by, "I lived at 226 Belmont East in 1978 and I rented at a house at 614 Summit East in 1974."  In other words brother, I kind of know the territory and you are just another taxi cipher!  Give me a break or should I instead break your neck?

Taking Away a "Wenenatchie"

Both of us were sitting at the West Seattle ferry terminal waiting for our Sea-Tac fares when the nice Yellow van driver told me that Yellow dispatch had taken away his King Street Station to Wenenatchie, Washington ($400. plus) fare from him because they had belled it an hour early. Instead of just asking him whether he would be interested in waiting, they cancelled the fare, re-belling it a mere 45 minutes later.  That he was upset was an understatement.  I know the feeling because 26 years ago I lost a Wenenatchie fare when driving at Farwest Taxi.  Since I know everyone I took it upon myself to alert the head of dispatch concerning the situation, hopefully preventing any future incidents.  Anyone experienced knows that often the long fares are slow developing, meaning a 30-45 minute wait is not unusual.

I think he knew my name

Sunday I am dropping off this nice guy from Kansas in the University District, doing my best avoiding the mess that is the annual University Street Fair.  A big, black SUV honks, wanting to get by the corner but there is plenty of room so I just motion with my arm to go around.  The driver finally moves around, and as far as I could tell, cursing my name because he is none other than a fellow Yellow cabbie driving his own Uber X car.  I just laugh and tell him he should know how  to drive by this point.  Recently I have been getting lots of passenger comments that the Uber drivers don't know what they are doing and where they are going.  What a big surprise it isn't is my comment.

When I told "she-who-can't-be-named" this funny story she said it wasn't funny.  "Don't tell me any more cab stories!"  Hey that ain't nice!

You Definitely Want to Take Customers to Uncle Ike's

The customer came out of the Madison Renaissance hotel  on a mission.  He wanted to buy some legal marijuana and was told Uncle Ike's located at 23rd and East Union was the place to go.  Damn was I pleased to find out that the doorman checking IDs was handing out $12.00 car-wash cards, saying we give them to all the cabbies bringing customers our way.   You  better believe I will!

And that criminal defense lawyer from Alberta gave me a $29.00 tip.  Believe me I'll gladly take that too, along with the fresh carton of raspberries he bought me while waiting for him at the grocery, needing eye drops to conceal his now bloodshot eyes.

Sock in the Nose

Suddenly the past couple months young guys on a Capital Hill Saturday night have been trying to wash 478's windshield.  When objecting this time the kid said the service was free.  I responded by saying that "socking him in the nose" was also free.  He and his companion quickly left.

And all those waiting for the Uber insurance info

I'll have it for you in a week or two.  I'm both tired and very busy, a very poor combination.  Thanks for your  patience.

A Final Note

As you probably noticed, the posting this week is all about taxi as it really is, not talking about the many issues facing taxi and just why the City of Seattle isn't telling all those town-car drivers sitting at the north end of SafeCo Field to move along.  I can't imagine why not! 



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