Sunday, September 13, 2020

Address Illiteracy Up The Yin Yang & What's In A Name According To PSD & What To Do When Psychotic Passenger Wants To Leap Out On The Freeway & What The Average Cabbie Really Wants & Metro Script Is A Real Account? I Don't Think So

 Passenger Relations 101

This week's report concerns that all important individual, the taxi passenger, who they are and what they do.  The alert cabbie understands, if deciding to, that they are observational anthropologist, sociologist, historian all rolled into one.  Add psychologist and psychiatrist to the mix and you see how multi-dimensional the cabbie's position is, having a front row seat upon life and human interaction as we know it.  A Saturday afternoon fare yesterday is a good example, pulling up to a Beacon Hill address, stuffing every inch of the cab with their belongings, including the distressed, ten-year old daughter crawling over boxes and bags tucking herself into the left passenger-side rear seat corner.  "We're Filipino," the father said, "were from the Philippines."  With fall approaching, his landscaping work is falling off, and the wife was laid off from her hotel job. "The Pandemic has changed everything."  I took them to one of the cheaper Sea-Tac area motels.  The fare was $35.00 but the husband insisted on giving me $50.00.  "Thank you, thank you, thanks so much for helping!" 

Not Knowing How to Read Your Own Address

Picking up the older "life-worn" African-American couple at the Ballard Safeway, the gentleman was instantly aggressive, giving me the an address of 2208 West Boston, placing it on the east-side of Magnolia and just off of Thorndyke West.  Obviously concerned about the fare, I told him I knew where it was but, as it turned out, they didn't though it was their residence.  As I turned west off of 15th West, he excitedly said, "No, no, no, you're going the wrong way, you have to go straight ahead."  Suddenly I understood they were going the DESC building at the corner of 15th West & West Boston, the address being 2208 West 15th Avenue. Pulling up, he pointed to the address, and yes, I told him, that's 15th West, not West Boston. All the guy had to do was walk up Boston and the read 1400 numbered addresses. 

After some back and forth, I think he finally understood what I was saying.  I also told him to just "Give me five!" which he liked.  I almost lost my temper but moans coming from the female customer told me to "cool it," this couple "broken," clearly trampled by life, realizing the last anything I wanted to do was add to damage already done.  To anyone believing that life in these United States is fair, equal opportunity available to all who seeks it don't know what they are talking about, invisible hands slamming and locking those theoretical open doors good and tight.  

Clearly, Names mean little to nothing to Seattle Yellow Cab

I'm telling you, I'm sick of it, going to an address and asking, "Are you ______?" and they respond, "No, I'm ________." It happens all of the time.  Friday I asked "I'm here for Larry." And where was Larry?  In the hospital, my passenger instead a woman going to a hospital.  Why should I care?  No one else cares.  I don't care.

This Falls into the Category of "Passing on the Problem"

Any time staff are too eager to help I know I'm in trouble because that's exactly it, making their trouble my trouble.  Bartenders do it all the time, having learnt to beware when the barkeep escorts the drunk to the cab.  Now when I see that, I drive away, fully knowing what I am in for, the displeasure of this particular someone's company.  But picking up an account fare is different, and the gentleman in question was worth $50.00 point A to B, making him worth the hassle getting him there but one quick look telling me it wouldn't be easy, no, not at all.  

He was crazy but the source or reason for his condition I couldn't tell you nor did I need to know.  He was whatever version of bonkers and was capable of nearly anything.  That was obvious.  I get going on the freeway, and seeing another Yellow cab, he starts saying "That's my cab!" and then says "What's in the trunk?  I want to you to open the trunk."

Further town the road he starts yelling, "Pull over, pull over, I'm going to vomit!" but having seen this story before in real time,I know when someone is on the verge of vomiting, and this guy was only faking it.  With the guy becoming considerably more agitated, with his volume increasing, I slide over to the side, all the while telling him he can't get out.  When I stopped, he half smiled and said, "I was only testing you."

Continuing on, I took the closest freeway route to our destination, knowing he could jump out at any time. Coming off the exit ramp, perhaps four blocks away from the detox center, he jumps out while asking me if wanted some peanuts?  Now walking parallel to my slow moving cab, I say, sure, I'll take some peanuts in the hope of having him reenter the car.  Reaching out my hand, he smiles, giving me a handful of salted nuts, seemingly appreciative of some real human to human contact.  Nuts I say and nuts it was, peanuts to almonds to cashews it was a crazy ride!

The Taxi Customer as Abstract Concept

One significant problem with taxi is that since there is no guaranteed wage, too many cabbies treat the taxi customer and passenger as kind of commodity, and the fact that this "commodity" is a living and breathing fellow human completely unimportant.  What then is important?  How far this commodity is going, equalling how much the cabbie will earn.  For most, nothing else is important.  You don't think it's true? Then I call you naive, or worse. 

How Can PSD Treat Metro Script like a Real PSD Account?

This is another "the people in charge don't know the reality" of what is occurring in real time.  Mere minutes ago an out-of-town passenger gave me Metro Taxi Script provided to her by a local senior center, those folks telling her to give them to any Seattle Cab Company.  This woman doesn't live here, is not registered with Metro, doesn't have a Metro Card or number but still, she is given the script to use like any Seattle or King County resident.  More shocking, she called the Metro Office and the fools there said that was okay.  I told her what she was doing was technically illegal.

And now Puget Sound Dispatch is forcing all us Yellow cabbies to treat Metro script like a PSD/Yellow-specific account, which it isn't.  No one, not even Metro, treats it like that.   If Metro is demanding that PSD process the script in a particular manner, then why is it that Metro is telling everyone to treat the script like real cash, which is exactly what they are doing.  

How can any sane person take this seriously?  Because, fool, you have to minus all argument or commonsense.  Wonderful!

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