It hasn't happened in a long time but the blog I was composing, about 59 million tourists visiting NYC versus 19.3 million in Seattle, has disappeared, and now I don't have the time to write it over. I have lost work before but is was a very long time ago. Since my day driver is going to Hawaii tomorrow, it will be a while before I have the spare and un-fatigued hours to rewrite what was lost. I do remember the bulk of the text and should be able to more or less duplicate it but time is required. I will instead give you a quick story from the weekend, telling everyone again what driving taxi is all about.
Sunday night I get a blood package from the central blood bank to University Hospital. Since it was after hours, I first had to check in with security. Having a new system where a "paper" badge is required, I checked in with the guard. Usually just providing your name is enough. In this case, it wasn't.
He asked for my name. "Blondo," I said, giving my last name. "No," he said, "you are not in the system.". Given I had been there recently, I knew I was, having my picture taken previously, etc. As he was preparing to again take my photo, two women started walking by his station, and shouting, got them to stop. Amazingly, he started processing them while, there I was, standing in front of him with the blood waiting to be delivered. Wasn't I there first? When I started to protest, he called for backup, saying he had "an uncooperative person."
This of course was all insane. During the daytime I would not have been stopped, and he knew full well I was a cabbie making a "rush" delivery, and nothing beyond that commonplace occurrence. Finally another security person appeared with some kind of sergeant patch on his shoulder, and he made what I feel is the the COMMENT of the new century, when, after again protesting, telling him I needed to get the blood delivered, he said, "It is only blood," entirely dismissive of any urgency that is usually called for.
I knew of course that often there is a patient waiting on the operating table for the blood, holding the possibility that this might be a true life and death situation, and no game whatsoever on any terms. None of this made any sense but when you are "power-tripping" it somehow does. I also knew that years ago a patient died when a cabbie failed to deliver the blood entrusted to him. Once you get the blood the rule is to move your "taxi butt" and get it to where it is going minus hesitation.
Finally, the first guard, now finished with the women, started the process all over again. "Oh, Blondo is not your first name?" he responded. Huh?! was my reaction, all of this nonsense avoidable if the fool had simply entered my full name. He had also begun the process by trying to direct me to NW 220. But I was heading to the blood bank. That he didn't know what he was doing was too obvious.
I told the blood bank personnel what had happened and they said they would look into it, not pleased I had been left standing up at the guard station for 10 useless minutes. When I have the time, I too will file a complaint.
As I came out of the stairwell, the troublemaker guard shouted out, "Have a good evening, Mister Blondo!" Obnoxious and unnecessary is no other way to both describe the incident and his cheeky goodbye.
And why did this all happen? Because I was driving a taxi, that's why. Amazing, isn't it? Welcome to taxi! Welcome to being treated like a last-class citizen, saying everything about bias and discrimination. It is stupid but that never stopped a bully, especially a bully like they both were, ersatz badges pinned to their chests!
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