A neighbor tells me that summer is arriving early this year, though its only the first weekend in May, temperatures are in the mid-80s F., hinting its going to be hot until autumn arrives way off in September. Thankfully there often is a cooling breeze blowing through, and night temperatures are currently in the low 50s. Yes, very different from Seattle, where I am told it is raining but here I have miles of silence surrounding me, the high desert hills and mountains guaranteeing development remaining limited, with big city Silver City (population about 10,000) 24 miles away. Last night I noticed that the Big Dipper had shifted to the west of my rear north-facing door, changing its position from last October when it seemed that the constellation so near I could almost touch it. Such are the big thrills around here: sun, wind and crystal clear night skies. And who needs neon when the moon is a spotlight illuminating the desert night?
But getting back to taxi realities, this week I have to report more questionable shenanigans from that local sweetheart of a helping agency, Hopelink, and how it displayed its respect for Eastside Flat-Rate-for-Hire and its independent operators.
Be Careful When Hopelink Says It Loves You
This truly is a sad and short woe begotten tale, telling anyone interested to leave well enough alone when dealing with a quasi-governmental agency. The story begins with Hopelink telling Eastside how pleased they were with its performance during this coronavirus pandemic. Eastside responds back stating all appreciation goes to a small percentage of their drivers focusing upon serving the Hopelink account. Hopelink then audits Eastside's Hopelink paperwork, where upon they suspend a number of drivers from the account for improperly filled out vouchers. When Eastside responds to that indignity, Hopelink suspends the entire company from serving the account. And remember, this all started with Hopelink congratulating Eastside for a job well done. Ya gotta be kiddin'!?
This sorry tale tells me many things, of course about Hopelink but also how too many of my fellow for-hire operators just aren't completely prepared to be doing what they are doing, having in their minds simplified what cab driving is: picking people up and grabbing the money, end of story, and knowing how to fill out a voucher properly not important, not part of the job description.
From close observation, learning how to be professional is not everyone's first interest, again explaining why Uber and Lyft legacy of poor operator performance will be a permanent part of their history. If you can't be sincere, at least try to fake it. Most won't notice the different so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by pretending you care about your passengers. And you never know, they might even tip you, surprise, surprise!
Go Fund Me site for Dennis
I've set this up to provide Dennis Roberts a decent burial, and if the funds are available, a Seattle Times obituary. Once I found out that Dennis had died from COVID-19, I contacted a few Seattle media outlets but to this point no one seems interested in knowing that a cabbie died while working the novel coronavirus front lines. What is true is that Dennis was taking precautions, wiping down his cab and wearing a mask, doing what he could do protect both himself and his passengers. He was also in the process of contacting the City of Seattle in an attempt to lend better protection to the Seattle taxi community. Regardless, Dennis deserves better than an unmarked grave, and given that potential reality, I encourage all who knew him to contribute. I personally will be committing $100.00 but anything you can afford will be greatly appreciated. Any funds above and beyond funeral and obituary costs will be donated to Dennis's favorite cause, Seattle Children's Hospital.
A Grim Reminder from October 18th, 2005---HPV, the human papillomavirus
Yesterday, unpacking a box I came across a NY Times "Personal Health" column published on 10/18/2005 by Jane Brody entitled "Getting to Know a Virus, and When It Can Kill." HPV, and there being over 100 types of HPV, can be deadly, with about 15 HPV varieties identified as causing cervical cancer. I tell you this just to let everyone know that HPV and other viruses like COVID-19 are real and not some kind of fiction. Of course everyone is aware of the influenza virus but what about small pox, rabies, ebola, HIV, Dengue fever, measles, Lassa fever, killers all. Here in Southwest New Mexico, where everyone is fairly isolated from the current pandemic, I have certainly overheard some truly dumbbell comments; and unsolicited, I have responded back, ignorance and stupidity certainly grabbing my attention. If they think they're tough, perhaps I''ll squeeze on them. I know they will appreciate that! And yes, the virus is active in the state, with 131 reported deaths.
Iraqi War Dead---Roster of the Dead 10/26/2005
Yesterday I also found a NY Times roster of US military dead from the Iraqi War started by President George Bush Jr. Yes, 265 photos of dead soldiers, having given their lives up for what, the creation of ISIS?
War, especially unnecessary war is a crime, and just so people won't forget I will be randomly listing one name from the list of 15 rows. The majority of the killed are young, many aged 19. Reminds me when I walked in the Normandy, France German cemetery, noting the ages of the young men killed in the D-Day invasion. Some were as young as 15. Yes war, what is it good for?
John M. Smith, age 22, from WA DC
James D. Stewart, age 29, from Chattanooga, TN
Nathaniel Swindell, age 24, from the Bronx, NY
Tran Quoc Binh, age 26, from Mission Viejo, CA
Drew M. Uhles, age 20, DuQuoin, ILL
Ramon A. Villatoro, age 19, from Bakersfield, CA
Charles. G. Wells, Jr, age 32, from Montgomery, Alabama
Dion M. Whitley, age 21, from Los Angeles, CA
Luke Wullenwaber, age 24, from Lewiston, Idaho
Michael Campbell, age 34, from Marshfield, MO
Jonathan Falaniko, age 20, from Pago Pago, American Samoa
Richard Gottried, age 42, from Lake Ozark, MO
Nick R. Nygardbekowsky, age 21, from Concord, CA
Gregory A. Ratzlaff, age 36, from Olympia, WA
Dana N. Wilson, age 26, from Fountain, CO
The photographs are haunting, with many smiling, Dana Wilson for one. In the summer of 1966, I visited my sister JoAnn in Fountain where she was training horses at a race track.
The donation total for Dennis Roberts is currently $150.00. This includes $100.00 from me. I talked to the King County medical examiner's office today and, nearly a month later, they have failed to find any next of kin. This probably means that the onus is upon the Seattle/KC to come through for Dennis. Thanks.
Probably be worthwhile to put plexipartitions in cab, like in stores for time beingReplyDelete