Monday, May 28, 2012

Taxi Birdbrains: Sparrow and the Hawk & Chickens Coming Home to Roost

I might be or I am certainly too tired to reflect coherently upon serous issues facing the local taxi industry.  Eight Saturday airport runs and drives to Auburn and Issaquah intermingled with everything else wore me out.  My week finished with a Monday 4-5 AM hour of NE 50th & 37th NE to Madison Park and First Hill to Sea-Tac.  I immediately got first up in the West Seattle zone 262 but after sitting 20 minutes enough was enough.  But I feel driving like this keeps me connected to the heart of the business, the literal finger upon the taxi pulse. The false full moon prompted the insane to run red  lights and drive down one-ways making it a barrel of privileged monkeys.  Where are the zoo keepers when they are needed? Now back to the subject at hand: Labor & Industry and how the hell did this mess! get started?

Coming back from Olympia last Friday I noticed a small songbird agitatedly harass a very large brown hawk who continued  to complacency fly due southwest.  An analogy was formed, the little sparrow representing Yellow and the state-wide industry and the lumbering hawk L&I and state government.  Currently the hawk is winning the argument. But with enough sparrows darting in and about the raptor might have to change course.  Now I am not calling the good folks I met with rapacious.  Not at all but to say the least they have a wider wingspan.  This is a story with legs and like an emu or ostrich it is running full out across the level plain.

As more details emerge, I truly question the wisdom of some of the prime operatives. That is I why I have been inspired by our native fowl to assist in explanation. Birdbrain is an interesting word, dating from 1933, meaning a person with confused ideas.  Sounds like the taxi industry.  Synonyms are addle-headed and loon.  That crazy John Burroughs wrote about trying to shoot a curious loon.  I am familiar with that marvelous bird from my northern Alberta days. The definition I perused also added  the term misfit to the mix, meaning someone unable to adapt to their circumstances. Now that really sounds like taxi but my advise is that they better move quickly because a very tangible tsunami in rising upon the horizon. Time to move to higher ground and regroup.

And the "chickens coming home to roost" dating from Chaucer in 1390 is highly appropriate when applied to the current situation.  Might be time to twist the tongue and bone up on Old English.  "Consequences of earlier actions are making themselves felt" is exactly what is happening.  The full, earlier idiom is "curses are like chickens; they always come home to roost."  Friday afternoon made it clear that L&I is watching the industry and gave assorted  and various examples of what they feel is an industry treating independent contractors as employees.  I gave examples countering that but they are convinced otherwise.  On some level it is difficult to dispute their interpretation of a heavy-handed dispatch and callous and punitive response to driver error and poor and faulty decisions.  That is where the chickens come in.  Like the deranged cabbies flying down I-5, doesn't the industry realize that those brightly painted yellow cars make them the center of attention?  Folks are paying attention and they don't like what they see.  The L&I hawk is a pious raptor.  It feels it is only coming to our rescue, that we are truly "good eggs" and just require the proper incubation.  Just remember good old FDR and his executive order 9066. Watch out for that liberal sentiment.  It too might be sightly addled.  Everybody knows about rotten eggs and the inevitable stench.  Continuing with that thought, the crazy cabbies may not be the only ones slightly cracked.  But of course a little adhesive should do the trick, everything suddenly intact and whole.  Believe that and you might believe anything.  All I know and believe is that this is a continuing saga, with much more to be written.

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