Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Where Would You Be Taking A Cab From A Homeless Shelter On A Monday Morning 2 AM?

Okay, it was two in the morning and I was both done, and done in, ready to gas up 1092 and head home but, as cabbies are wont to do, and given that refusing a fare is against our religion, something akin to blasphemy, I accepted a call at the Pioneer Square Union Gospel Mission, thinking they couldn't be going much of anywhere at such an hour, more than likely to the Shell station down at 5th South & S. Dearborn for cigarettes and sodas. But where they actually wanted to go, and where I took them, was the Tulalip Casino in Maryville, Washington, a fare totaling $104.60, a lot of money for folks residing at an homeless shelter.

Who these people really were I couldn't truly tell you because I had almost zero conversation with the pair, a couple more intent upon themselves and their joint mission toward a successful gambling session.  The woman was heavy, approximately 350-400 pounds or more heavy, upsetting the usual expected equilibrium making for a safe and manageable ride.  She also left a strong fecal smell upon her departure, requiring a twice concerted wiping down of the rear seat.  The male version of the two was mostly quiet, only occasionally coughing.

Other than the unusual starting point, the ride was usual and mundane, no argument about payment or anything else.  As for me personally, I was exhausted but, as I said, I wasn't going to pass up $100.00 even if it meant an additional sixty minutes or so of suffering and fighting to get through, all too typical when it comes to taxi, driving cab just many versions and levels of hell-on-earth where guardian angels are too few and very far between.

"She-who-can't-be-named" comment upon the whole affair was "There is something wrong with this world!" Hard to disagree with that assessment, when the truly impoverished throw their money away, the good after the bad.  I can only hope they hit the jackpot and zoomed to a better and kinder universe.  I also can only wish and hope that indeed that was their early morning fate, winning a bunch of money and, in celebration, taking a much needed shower along with quickly heading to the nearest laundromat.

Uber Unleashed Upon the Unsuspecting

On the front page of the Monday, April 3rd, 2017 edition of the New York Times, there was a featured article by Noam Scheiber concerning Uber entitled "How Uber Pushes Drivers' Buttons,"  describing in detail how Uber, through its app, manipulates drivers to work longer hours, thus increasing Uber profitability. Two quotes from the article I find especially revealing, unmasking Uber's underlying motives.

""By mastering their workers' mental circuitry, Uber and the like may be taking the economy back toward a pre-New Deal era when businesses had enormous power over workers and few checks on their ability to exploit it."

Another is a quote from University of Washington law professor, Ryan Calo:

"Uber officials," he said, "are using what they know about drivers, their control over the interface and the terms of the transaction to channel the behavior of the driver in the direction they want it to go."

All I can say is that if you are an Uber driver, watch out! because Uber is out to manipulate the hell out of you!   And if you don't think it is true, well guess what, Uber has already won, taking over not just your brain but your entire physical body, you suddenly no longer human but robotic, responding favorably to every Uber command.  Scary, huh!?

Meanwhile, at the Airport

All along, the cabbies who transferred to Eastside to work Sea-Tac have been complaining that their dispatch system wasn't functional.  Finally, Eastside admitted that it is true, saying it is now finally up and running.  All I can say is, who if anyone amongst the Port Commissioners are overseeing Eastside operations?  If there is said person, they might be due for a new set of eyeglasses.

Objective Criteria?

Yellow it seems is forging ahead toward a change to a new DDS-based computer dispatch system.  My one question is why are so many owners interested in doing this?  Can they provide objective criteria proving this very expensive changeover is necessary?   And what about accountability?  Will anyone be held accountable if it proves too be a very bad decision?

In other words, as usual, will all the consequences be felt solely by the lease drivers while those who made the decision will go asleep each night totally unaffected?  If that is the plan, it is a poor one, one that should not be accepted.  Instead, can we please consider all consequences before proceeding forward?  That is all I request, little else.















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