Saturday, June 2, 2012

So, It Begins!

Me in my very first taxi ever!
Well, it has finally happened.  I took my very first taxi out today!  I won't lie.  I was scared as hell before.  I may or may not have had a mini-meltdown last night about how nervous I was.  Terrified.

Woke up early this morning after not nearly enough sleep(worked a closing shift at my other job and didn't get to sleep until very late).  Dragged myself out of bed, stuffed a donut in my face and we were on our way.  The boyfriend who hadnt worked a shift in a while also came out with me today.  One, just to drive, but also to show me the ropes.

We got to the garage, got our cars sorted and he gave me a quick tutorial on how to really work the meter.  Unfortunatly, the class never delved into that too much because you don't need to know that for the test.  Silly, but thats how it is.  Once I had a handle on that, we were off.

I didn't pick up a fare into the city, but got my first hail shortly after getting over the Manhattan Bridge.  I was headed up Bowery and a man waved me down.  I pulled over and he tells me he has a bunch of fruit he has to transport up to 14th street.  I get out to help him and then I see what he means.  He literally filled my trunk AND back seat with bananas, mangoes and strawberries.  I couldnt belive that THIS was my first fare.  Ever.  But he was very sweet and he didn't leave any mess from the fruit.

Caught a fare up to the west side and then had to drive around a little bit before I was hailed down by a woman and her very cute beagle.  She was a little out there, but she was nice and we had a good conversation about dogs.  And I got a little hand kiss from the pooch.  So cute.

Only other notable fare of the day was a gentleman I picked up by Central Park.  He got int he cab and we had a fantasitc ride.  He was totally digging that I had Van Halen on the radio when he got in.  Had a nice conversation about music, beaches, and the french toast at the Roscoe Diner upstate.  He was also one of the only people all day to comment on the fact that I am both female and a native New Yorker.  He asked how long I had been driving, and was surprised to learn that he was only my 5th passenger ever.  He was super sweet and gave me a good tip.  Very cool guy.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful.  It was slow.  But even though it wasn't a busy day, it was just what I needed to ease me into driving.  I feel much more confident behind the wheel.  I also learned a few things, like where I shouldnt stop to pee, I should have my own toilet paper, and Morningside Park is in the way.  Always.

After paying the lease and for gas, I made a whopping $16 for the day.  Slave labor.  But again, it was a learning day.  My feet are wet, and I am ready for the next day of driving, which hopefully will be soon. 

So, stay tuned for more GirlyCabbie adventures!  I hope to have some real gems to share!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

This be me and my fresh out the mail Hack License.

So just a little while after I had written my last post, the boyfriend and I were headed out and saw the mail had come early today.  And my shiny new Hack license was in there!  It is official!  Ha ha, I'm not just writing this blog to only not actually drive.  Nope, it's actually fer reals.  I am super excited.  Terrified, but excited.

Thankfully, my boyfriend is also a cabbie and I blame him for putting me through all this.  I kid,  of course.  It was all voluntary.  But thankfully, I have him for some rookie guidance.  We are gonna try and go on Saturday morning(a slow day, so he says) to get us both cabs so he can get me started.  They explained, sort of, how to actually use the technology in the cabs, but not in detail. So he is gonna show me the ropes and make sure I know what to do.  And also drive along with me for support. 

Exciting stuff, I tells ya!

Wow, a little delayed...

It is overdue, but I figure I should post my results from my exam.  So, I passed.  92% passed(and one wrong on my English proficiency... seriously...).  After the exam, there were a couple questions off the bat that I was a bit unsure of.  I had double checked some and eliminated some I did get right, but then there were one or two I knew were wrong.  Overall, 4 wrong out of 50.  Not too shabby, girlycabbie!  HA!

But seriously, I am super excited and pretty pleased with myself.  It was better than I had done on any of the practice tests I had taken.  So, better than I thought I was going to do.

Now I am still waiting for my actual license to arrive in the mail.  Cant start driving without it.  I won't have much time to drive right away though.  I work upstate for the summer, and I leave in a few weeks.  But I am hoping to get in at least a shift or two before I leave.  Just so I'm not totally green when I come back at the end of August.

So stay tuned, because once that little card actually arrives, there will be more posts!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

And now the wait...

I took the exam yesterday.  I had spent the past two weeks studying and fretting over it.  Thursday, I took my books and maps over to the beach for some serene outdoor studying.  I think that helped.  Something about the sound of the waves is helpful to memory.

I didn't sleep very much the night before the test.  Not because I was up studying, but i was just too anxious.  When I did have to get up at ass-early o'clock, I was very very grumpy and not looking forward to the test.

I was at the test site by 9am for the short 1hour review, which i was thankful for.  Even thought i knew most of what he went over, there were one or two things which i would have totally blanked on if I hadn't had that last little reminder. 

The test itself wasn't as bad as I had imagined it to be in my head.  There was an English proficiency test first.  I am pretty sure i passed that with flying colors...  If I didn't, I maybe need to re-evaluate my life.  After the 30 minutes of proving i know English(at least enough to drive a cab) there was a brief break and then the main exam. 

The exam was split into two parts.  The first ten questions were open map.  Basically things like "What other street is at the intersection of Flatbush ave and Bedford ave?".  SO you look in your map book, locate that spot and find the answer.  If you know how to read a map, there is no reason to get any of those wrong...  And i don't think I did.

The second part you could not use any map.  It was 40 questions covering all aspects of taxi driving.  Policy questions, direction questions, and even similar questions like they asked int he map part, but you just had to know the answer.  Thank the gods for multiple choice. 

Overall, I am pretty confident that I passed.  I was pretty sure of all but a few of my answers.  The ones I was not totally sure on i tried to remember after the test and confirmed that at least a couple of the iffy ones, I got right.  So hopefully I'll have done well.

I now have to wait until Wednesday after 2pm for the results...  now THIS wait is gonna kill me!

Monday, May 14, 2012


I had completed my course a week ago and spent the next few days cramming for the test on Friday.  On Thursday I get a phone call from the school saying that the test was canceled for the next day and I would have to wait an extra week to take it.  Initially, I freaked out.  I had just spent days cramming anything i could into my head.  And as anyone who has been to college knows, when you cram, the knowledge is very temporary.  You will remember things for a few days and then *poof* it goes away.  So I panicked that anything i learned, I was going to lose before the test.  Also, I had made sure my schedule for last week allowed me to take the test... I cannot say the same for this week.  So i had to scramble and convince a co-worker to cover my shift for this Friday.  My boyfriend did calm me down though and assured me this is a good thing because now i have an extra week to study.  True story, but I did want to just get it over with.

So that is where things are at now.  Still stressing about the test.  Hoping things go well this Friday.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Intro to mee

So, just a little background, I  am as of starting this, in the process of becoming a NYC taxi driver.  Thanks to the encouragement of my boyfriend who is also a part time cabbie and the lure of extra cash to supplement my otherwise meager paycheck, I am starting this process.  Not to mention all the street cred you get as a cab driver.  I mean, if you are gonna do it, this is the city to do it in. 

I have gotten through most of the process so far, all the paperwork, fingerprinting and all that good stuff.  The final phase of this is now taking my class and then(hopefully) passing the exam.  Being a native New Yorker and English speaker certainly helps things.  The fact that I learned to drive in mid-town Manhattan and have been driving in the city for about 13 years doesn’t hurt either.

So far my class has just been going through basic regulations and laws regarding regular driving and actual taxi driving.  Pretty remedial stuff but I am paying attention and taking notes.  There is a “wall of fame” in the classroom of people who ace the test.  I need to be on that wall.  You know… that whole feminist thing..  Gotta have a chick up there too. 

I am the only female in the class, and it’s a little weird, but not overly so. 

So yeah, that is where things are at so far.  I hope to chronicle my journey from here on out, and hopefully have some antidotes to share along the way, especially once I am out on the road.  So enjoy!