Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

My last shift driving for 2012 sucked.  I drove the day after Christmas.  I got to my garage and I guess everyone else took the day off because most of the cabs were there waiting.  So I was out of the garage by 2:15.

I figured since i had a nice early start I would head over to JFK to pick up some of the post-xmas travelers.  I ended up picking up two women from Kew Gardens who had just gotten back from Japan.  We had a friendly ride, but the weather was crap and it was a busy traffic day to begin with, so it took forever.  And after our friendly ride and putting up with those crappy conditions and helping them with their bags, they gave me a whopping $1 tip.  Awesome.

After the excessively long ride of a very short distance, i figured going back to the airport wouldn't be worth it because i would just get stuck in traffic again, and the guy at the terminal forgot to give me a shorty ticket(allows you to cut the line if you don't get a fare to Manhattan the first time).  So i headed up Queens Blvd. to get back to Manhattan. 

As I am driving up Queens Blvd. the weather conditions are getting worse and it had started sleeting.  So I try to drive cautiously.  I see the light changing, so I come to a stop.  The van behind me did not see it changing as quickly so when he had to slam on his brakes to stop, he went skidding and slammed right into the back of my car.  I saw it coming, too, and braced myself for impact.  After the slam, I got out to check the damage.  Thankfully the van hit me fat, so there wasn't any damage.  Our bumpers met perfectly and did what they were supposed to.  This didn't stop me from yelling at the guy who gave me a dumbface shrug.  After this little impact though, I did have a sore neck and shoulders for a few days.  Nothing serious, but it did make my hooping class a little more difficult.

By the time I got into the city I had to pee so bad that I had to go off duty and find a place to park and a business establishment to use.  And this was unfortunate because there were people trying to hail me, but I was at critical mass and had to stop.  Also, it was sleeting really bad at this point so driving conditions sucked.

With all the traffic, weather and other holdups, but the time I had my second fare of the day it was almost 6pm(remember, i left my garage at 2:15).  After only a few little fares in the city, I get hailed about a block from the midtown tunnel and the guy wants to go all the way out to Kew Gardens.  Second time of the day headed out there.  Thankfully, as I was on my way back into the city, I was at a red light with my "off duty" lights on when a guy came up tot he car and asked if I could take him to the East Village.  So I was lucky and got a hard to get fare back into the city. 

The rest of the night was slow.  Slower than I thought it would be for there being so few cabs out, but I think with the weather being so bad and people recovering from Christmas the night before, people just didn't go out.  Except for people from Queens.  Because I went to Queens several more times over the course of the evening.

The worst trip to queens came a little later in the night.  I was taking a guy to Long Island City and we hopped on the bridge.  Of course once we got onto the bridge(which had been clear not long before), things stopped moving.  It took us about 30 minutes to get over the bridge, all because of an accident(one of many I saw that night) at the far end of the bridge blocking one of the two lanes completely.  Good times.

While all of this awful driving was going on, my rear defroster wasn't working.  It was very hard to see out of my back window most the night.  And there I was thinking I got a good car, but I didn't find out until much later after leaving the garage that it was not working.  Then there was traffic everywhere and the NYPD kept blocking off streets on me.  So on top of my crappy night I had that to deal with too.
Not the big tree.  Couldn't get a shot of it.  But got Radio City as we were headed towards Rockefeller.
The one and only redeeming thing that happened was actually really sweet.  I picked up what seemed like a woman, her son and his daughter.  The little girl was probably about 7 or 8 and was really cute.  They picked me up on 50th street and our route was going to take us right past Rockefeller Center.  The little girl had never seen the big tree and she was very excited that we were able to drive right by it.  She was so happy and excited.  Her father thanked me at the end of the ride for making her day.  That was nice, and a fun ride.  And to top it off, I got to see the tree too, which i hadn't seen lit up for years.

Despite a crappy last shift for the year, overall, this year has been great as far as this new career goes.  I mean, it was the first year, so I don;t have much else to compare it to.  But it was good enough that I will continue into this new year!  Lets hope my first shift of the new year is a better start than my last shift of the last year!

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