Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Hells Bells A Ringing, Angels And Devils Are Singing A New Song Or Is It Old? Out With The Crap, In With The Bold, The New Taxi Year 2022 Is Here: Do I Hear A Cheer? & The Most Amazing Sunday Comic Strip 01/02/2021 & Seattle Fire Department Lets Man Sit In Sub-Freezing Temperature & A Most Costly Wait

Out of the Taxi Blue, is there Anything New for the Coming Year?

Well, there could be a few surprises in 2022, especially from the City and County if they do follow up upon some initiatives that have been tossed about the past year or so, specifically combining the separate city and county medallions into one regional medallion or plate; and their other idea, one I don't support, is  allowing associations to set variable rates to better compete with Uber and Lyft.  As the local bureaucrats move at sloth-like speed, taking weeks and months to reach the next branch, there is no predicting when or if ever we in the industry will see changes needed or not.  

The crap I wish we would rid ourselves this year in our local industry is the overwhelming lack of professionalism by too many of our cabbies---rolling their meters and leaving untold numbers of passengers waiting for a cab that never arrives.  Given our unusual frigid weather this early winter, I have come upon too many passengers in real danger of freezing to death.  

So will we be bold, will we all be able to cheer, or in the coming year will our customers face each request for a cab with palpable fear, our service insipid, tasting like watered down beer?  I do hate to say it but I will, already knowing the answer, nothing changing one. bit with these imitation cabbies masquerading as real taxi drivers, something they are not interested in becoming. 

The cartoon/comic strip "For Better or For Worse by Lynn Johnson: Topical on a January 2nd Sunday

Unbelievable was my first response when looking at the Seattle Times Sunday Comic pages this past Sunday, on the first page seeing the drawing of a man attempting to hail a cab in a snow storm.  What was even more amazing is that the storyline featured an Ethiopian cab driver and something like a "real life" story.  Most Americans I will guess have no idea that Ethiopia is currently involved in a terrible civil war, with many thousands dead and millions facing starvation, and here it was, front and center, for all the world to know about.  The strip was divided into ten boxes or captions, so I will repeat each one by numbering them 1-10.  If you can, look it up and view and read it for yourself.  I find this history making, which is why I am presenting it here as well as I can.

#1---A man is standing in the middle of a whirling blizzard and yelling "TAXI!"

#2---The man see headlights ahead and yells "TAXI!!"

#3---The man is now in the back seat of a cab, the driver's for-hire license in view, and the man says to the cabbie, "Boy, Am I glad I'm not driving! What a rotten day!"

#4---The cab is driving forward and it is a Yellow Cab, and the driver responds to the passenger, "It's a very good day to me, Sir." receiving the reply "That's because you drive a cab!"

#5---"No," the cabbie responds, "It's because I'm Ethiopian.  It can rain or snow or freeze or fry....It's always a good day to me."

#6---"In my homeland, I have seen my friends and my family shot.  If I had not escaped I'd have been killed, too."

#7---I have a wife I have not seen for 3 years---and a child I have never seen!  But here I am safe.  I can provide for them, and soon, I will bring them here."

#8---The cab is now stopped and the passenger is paying the fare. "So you see, Sir, the weather doesn't matter.  Every day is a good day to me!"

#9---The man is now in his house hanging up his coat, the wife enters the room holding their child and says, "Hi Honey! Horrible day-isn't it?" and he responds "Actually..."

#10---"---It's a very good day to me!! while hugging her.


I have friends on opposite sides of the war, of the internal conflict raging hell in their country.   It is something dividing at least parts of the local cabbie community.  The cartoonist Lynn Johnson has done a great public service.  Thank you very much for the humanity expressed !

Yes, the Seattle Fire Department  left him sitting on the sidewalk

Cruel it was to find the man, unable to walk, sitting in 20 degree F. cold, on the corner of 3rd and South Washington, waiting for help.  I had accepted a Fire Dept generated call and thankfully I was only five block away and got to the guy quickly.  He was a Vietnam-era veteran drafted in 1970 and needed to go to the VA Hospital.  He was very ill.  Why the medics didn't transport him is beyond me.  Easily he could have sat there for hours and died. F_ _ked up is all I can say!

A Costly Wait: $800.00 up then $700.00 down

When he first called at the casino for the cab he had won $800.00.  By the time I arrived 4 hours later he had lost all that money and more.  He was half drunk and said, since he was there, he kept gambling.  Bad choice and worse service. Crazy!

 Taxi Article in  The Nation, Dec 27-Jan 3rd 2022 Issue

"How The Taxi Workers Won---The 45 days of fierce protest, shrewd organizing, and ferocious solidarity that made New York City history."  By Molly Crabapple

Written by someone unfamiliar with the taxi industry but a good read nonetheless.  Good to see the NYC cabbies get some positive press.


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