Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Worst No-Show & An Ignoble Accomplishment

What would taxi driving be without the no-show, that instant heartbreak sullying the taxi romance?  Well, it would be a hell of a lot sweeter.  Saturday I had two substantial (one an airport run) no-shows in a row but neither matched the Sunday late afternoon version.  Luckily 24 plus years has toughened me. This is also a good example that bad things happen to the most experienced of cabbies, no one immune from the taxi venom.

I got belled into Children's Hospital for an ASAP DSHS run to Yakima, WA, paying a wonderful $376.00. Arriving at the Giraffe entrance folks at the front desk called and said the child and mother would be down soon.  I got the call at 5:15 PM and was at the hospital in three minutes.  I have been to Yakima three times and was looking forward to the drive.  The pass over the Cascades was clear.  I was ready to go.

Soon it is 5:40 PM and no passengers.  Another call tells me to wait another ten minutes.  Slightly unusual but not completely.  Finally at 5:50 PM I find what the problem is.  The child has a special wheelchair/car seat and the concern is that it won't fit in my Crown Victoria.  I call dispatch who calls DSHS who eventually responds with the confounding "send a larger car" though the larger car, namely 478, was already there.  It is decided that a nurse would come down and inspect my car.

An extremely nice young woman finally makes it down to me in total tears explaining that she had requested a wheelchair van two hours previously.  Long and the sorry short of it is that I lost the fare and a full hour.  Whether I am compensated for my lost time is very questionable.  I put in my request already knowing the answer.  I was on call. I couldn't leave.  And what do I get?  You know what I got!  A swift kick in the old behind.  At least the nurse shed a few tears for me.  Sympathy is not a bad payment.   The cabbie will take empathy anywhere he/she can get it, as rare as a golden nugget hidden in a swift-flowing stream.

Who Was Insulted?

She who can't be named plowed through a month of postings and especially noted my mention about mild lunacy concerning picking up packages.  What I failed to mention was that a complaint was received saying I was rude and I was taken off bloods for at least a month.  Of course the responsibility falls completely upon the cabbie.  One mustn't object to being treated like a thief.  I call it an ignoble accomplishment because it is unusually the most rabid of taxi drivers that are penalized.  Me, why about three years ago I picked up a "hot" blood heading to Whidby Island and since the last ferry had departed I was compelled to drive all the way up to Deception Pass and then down the length of the island to the hospital and the waiting patient, all after I had been driving the entire day.  Was I rude then, or were they just not paying attention.  You know the answer.

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