Bad Night and Good Reads

I had a crazy night and didn’t make that much money. I had eight no-goes (those are when people call for cabs but are not there when you show up) and that ruined my night. The bad weather was another factor in the night being slow I guess; but I did get a few decent trips like taking s stripper to work, a Scottish bartender home and an older nurse to the supermarket and waited on her. So those few long-trips helped me from not having a complete disaster. I wonder what people think when they order a cab but are not there when I get there? Do they not realize they are costing someone time and money? Tonight all of these trips were in wealthy neighborhoods and I had in my mind a picture of arrogant yuppies who could give two-fucks about some working stiff who gets paid to schlep them around. The only thing positive I had out of last night is the fact that I was able to get some good work done on a film project I am working on with a local St. Louis filmmaker. Before the night was over I got stuck on the same street as a shootout/ murder scene and it took me forever to get off the street . Oh well, I have a feeling tomorrow is going to be a good night.

In the meantime these are some good reads;

Is the Case of Sami al-Arian a Turning Point for Muslims?

How Common is Torture of US Detainees?

VA Muslims and Quakers Pray Together for Release of Hostages

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7 thoughts on “Bad Night and Good Reads

  1. I sympathize with your experiences, but let me tell you about some experiences I’ve had with calling cabs: I’ve been out on Long Island or Westchester County, and had to call a cab to get to the train station to go back to Manhattan, in order to get to my private practice. (I do consulting work around the downstate area). I always call half an hour in advance (I can’t call earlier because I don’t know what time I will be finished) and explain I have to catch the train. The dispatcher always says “he’ll be there in 5 minutes/10 minutes.” Several times no one has shown up, in 15 or 20 minutes. This would be no big deal if I was going to a friend’s house. But I cannot be late for an appointment with a psychotherapy patient. So I just call another company and go with whoever comes first. This type of thing has also occured to me when I have had to go to the airport–once the driver never showed up at all and I almost missed a flight to Los Angeles. It just seems to me that most cab drivers do not care that you are calling a cab because you have to be somewhere on time. (If time did not matter, in some cases I would walk! So what if it’s two or three miles). On Long Island I have even gotten the impression that the cab drivers have contempt for their fares because they assume anyone who doesn’t have a car in that area is a poor person who isn’t going to cause a fuss (maids for the rich people take cabs to and from the train because you can’t necessarily get there any other way). I do not think the problem is spoiled yuppies; I’m not one. I’m just someone who has to get places on time.

  2. Elizabeth,

    It is not a matter of drivers having contempt for their fares of not caring about them. In places like Long Island, Westchester or St. Louis where you have to call for a cab it is because there are relatively few people catching cabs and the number of cabs are spread out over a long distance. When I get the call to pick someone up I may be 15 or 2o minutes away and then may hit traffic or something unexpected. So when I get to the persons house I have ignored 4 or 5 real calls on the way there where I could have made money off of and have wasted maybe up to half an hour because they are. The passenger gets in the cab and has an attitude with you if they are there, like in some cases last night, when you have been driving through pure ice and rough roads and speeding to get there; but they still complain. Now I am a night driver, and most of the people I am taking out are people going to party and have a good time and I also take a lot of people to the airport towards the end of my shift. Yea I know you have to wait a long time sometimes; look when I lived in Brownsville and Crown Heights in Brooklyn it was almost impossible to get a livery cab at times. The it was like that is messed up and racist and what not; but now I have a little more sympathy for the drivers because while ill say two-thirds of the trips will be good in a place like that maybe a third will be from people with no money, or not enough money (something like Ill pay you the rest in Food Stamps or with a Metrocard) or they are women who want to barter for payment and I don’t have time for that shit.

  3. Sounds like you had a rough night. Contempt is something that can be sensed. I have worked in retail before and I hate it when people treat you like a second class citizen. It especially bothers me when people assume I can’t speak english, just b/c I wear hijab.

  4. I work with yuppies a lot, and they treat me like a servant. I’ll be running something to their office (at one job I’m a courier, one a delivery guy, same basic crowd) and they’ll just stay on the phone with their buddies laughing and talking, while I stand there waiting for ten minutes. Or they send me back cos they misplaced the order and act like it’s my fault . It could be worse; I have fond memories of working in retail around Christmas time, when suddenly even working class people start treating you like their slave. One old guy even grabbed my arm once to get my attention and I got reprimanded for threatening to punch him. All around good times!

    Randy Johnson…The Arizona pitcher who decimated NYC in the first post-9/11 World Series….came into my friend’s record store once. He just saddles up the counter, and with no preamble says “Alright, what kinda discount do I get?”. No real releveance to that, I just foudn it funny.

  5. Salaams:

    My husband did livery as an owner / operator in the Bronx & Westchester, and I know many fine brothers who did / do the same. The dispatchers don’t have crystal balls, they make a guesstimate based on who gets the call, who’s closest, and what the driver thinks. Although I do think that sometimes the dispatchers just give the person a time that isn’t wholly realistic b/c they don’t want them to call a nother company. So they’ll say “5 minutes” when the driver’s said that it’ll take him 10 or 15. I never had a driver not show up, although I’ve had them show up late, and that’s with them knowing who they were picking up (so and so’s wife).

    They do get stuck in traffic, even at night traffic in the Bx and Westchester can be bad. I’ve been in traffic at 1 am sometimes in the Bx and parts of Westchester. The best part about night calls in the Bx and Westchester is when you think you have an easy call, but then you end up having to carry your passed out drunk passenger up the stairs to his or her building. I find it hard to believe that the drivers are just blowing off fares for no good reason — the fare (as well as the tip that they hope to get) is their livelihood, esp. if they are owner / operators, and I never saw a driver not pick up an airport call for no good reason. From Westchester, that’s a $35 – 70 call.

    I don’t know. All the harassment & verbal abuse my DH caught from the customers and the police makes it hard for me to sympathize too much, although he did have some really great regular customers. I think the majority of customers are just indifferent, bordering on contemptuous, and a minority are either really great or really horrible. Unless it’s at night, in which case the majority of them are prolly stinking drunk. I thank God every day we are through with that business. It’s not worth the money. — UZ

  6. Just as a footnote: I resolved the problem by not scheduling consulting and private practice in the same day. But that means I make less money.

    As for the airport call–the service themselves told me they did not know where the driver was or why he never arrived…whatever he was doing, evidently it was more lucrative than taking me to the airport…

  7. Let me just say – it’s not just yuppies! I am a public servant, and I have to tell people that’s not the same as slave! Most of these people are African American lumpenproletariat. But, yes, I’ve had that experience with white middle class folk, too.

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