Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Imagine You Are Reading This A Week Ago!

The following post was written over a week ago, and I just spaced on posting it.  So pretend you are reading this a week ago.  There will be a newer post coming too.

I have been driving the past few weeks, but getting a cab has not been easy.  My first week back, I got a cab two days in a row, no problem.  The next week, i showed up to work several time only to be told that there was no cab for me those days.  The next week, I showed up on Monday and got a car, but then Tuesday it was the same story and then Wednesday.  Sometimes our dispatch guy would give me the courtesy of telling me flat out when I showed up that I wouldn't be getting a car, but sometimes I would sit there for hours hoping to get a cab only to be waiting for nothing.  This week again, I showed up on Monday and got a cab, but Tuesday it wasn't looking promising.  But after the usual dispatch guy went home for the day, I was about to give up when one of the other guys who works dispatch found a car for me to use.

It is frustrating.  You show up and want to work, and waste a good chunk of your day waiting around for a car that you never get, and don't get to work.  It took a lot of kicking myself in the ass to get back to work, and now that I am trying, its really disappointing to get told I can't.  And it seems more like it is a game that the dispatch guy plays for his own amusement.  Like he gets to show you who is in charge by giving out and not giving out cars.  The last day when the other guy got me a car, a whole bunch of drivers were waiting for hours, and when he left for the day, there were still 10-15 cars he just didn't give out.  Because he does what he wants and tough shit if you don't like it.

Now that little rant is over.  Not anything much happened on the few shifts i was able to work.  I did see something really cool, for me anyways.  I was driving last week around the East Village later at night. I was about to make a turn when I noticed the car in front of me.  It was a KISS Mini Cooper.  For people who know me, this is a big deal for me.  I am a pretty big KISS fan, so I had to get a closer look.  I followed the car down the next block when they pulled into a space.  I pulled up next to them to tell them how much i loved their car.  I ended up taking a few photos of the car and thanked the two guys before getting back in my cab and heading off on my way.
This past Monday was a mixed bag.  It was busy and i was picking people up left and right, but it wasn't an easy shift.  It was one of those nights that even if the city doesn't have much traffic, no matter what, every time you turn a corner you hit traffic.  It was frustrating.  But overall, I was making money and people were decent.  Until I picked up this one man.

I picked up a man who hailed me, and he told me we were heading to Brooklyn.  It was getting closer to the time when Brooklyn Bridge construction begins, and I know that leads to nothing good.  He asked me what route I was taking, so I told him Manhattan Bridge, unless he would prefer a different route which i would be happy to take.  But he told me that was fine, and then got on his phone which he was on for a good part of the way.  I headed towards the bridge in a similar route to what i normally take.  Normally, it its a pretty quick way, especially at this time of the night.  But on this night, there was new construction at a big intersection.  And this caused us to get stuck for a few minutes.  At this point he started to huff and puff about which way I was going,and I did also at this point apologize for the traffic, as it wasn't there when i had passed by the same spot about 30 minutes prior.  We were only stuck for a few minutes before we were on our way, and flew the rest of the way to his destination.

When we arrived, he berates me, telling me that this was the most expensive trip to there he had ever had and didn't understand why on earth I would take that way.  I, at this point, pointed out to him I did tell him before hand which way I was going to take and he said okay.  In a huff he gave me a "yeah, but still".  He gave me exactly the fare and DEMANDED a receipt, which i happily gave him and being as sickeningly nice as I could be, told him again how sorry I was that he was displeased with his service and told him to have a fantastic night.  Based on his phone conversation where all he did was complain about some other service he had that he was displeased with, i realized he is one of those people who wants to complain about everything.  But I am sorry.  You don't get to agree to a route at the beginning of a trip and then complain about it at the end of the trip because we hit traffic.  This is New  York.  Sometimes you hit traffic you weren't expecting.  Get over it!  He put me in a pretty bad mood after that, but at least i was able to get a fare back into the city.

Tuesday was unexpected.  It was the day I was waiting for a car forever, and was about to give up when I got a car.  I ended up leaving the garage over an hour later than usual, though, so I was sure the night would be awful.  The beginning of a night shift is where you will make most of your money, and if you miss out on it, it can sometimes be hard to recover.  But I got into the city and things stayed busy for a while.  

Just when I thought things were slowing down, I pick up a nice woman with two little white fluffy dogs.  I am always excited to have dogs in the cab, so i was talking with her about the dogs as we were headed to her destination, which wasn't very far.  She asked if I ever went to the Bronx, which i figured she was just making conversation, but then she asked if I would wait for her while she dropped off one of the dogs and then take her and the other dog up to the Bronx.  I told her no problem.  She was so nice.  We chatted the whole way up and the dog was very well behaved.  And super cute.  turns out she was taking care of the dog after the original owner passed away.  So sweet.  She was so great as a passenger, and gave a very nice tip as well.  And after dropping her off, i even had another fare up in the Bronx with two little old ladies who had been working the polls all day for the election.  So picking up this lady and taking her to the Bronx ended up making my night!  seriously, without that fare I don't think my night would have been that good, but it turned it around.

By the end of Tuesday, I had been to 4 out of the 5 Boroughs, and had nice people the whole evening.  And even after getting a late start, I made more than the night before.  So it all worked out.  Why can't every night be like that?

KISS Mini from the back.

1 comment:

  1. Erwin,

    After driving for 43 years, I have not driven for one. It's a relief! The people that complain no matter how hard you try to accommodate them, aren't worth a second thought. But, one rule I always followed was always agree with what they say. If they say the route was horrible, say you're right! Tell them you should have known better and are sorry for the mistake. If they complain about the cost of the ride, offer them a partial refund. they will like that and usually pay the fare anyway. Keep them happy, you never know who will make a complaint and really give you headaches!