This thread is golden
This thread is golden
Here's this thing again. I worked a day shift. A few notes here. Since we last spoke, the company lost the bid on the SCAT contract so we no longer have to run those horrible fucking things. We still have two other types of charges that are pretty common, that I'll refer to T. charges and P. charges (no reason to post the actually program names), the T. charges kind of suck because they have a tiered payment system where they pay us so much every couple of miles and it's always significantly less than the meter (for example 1-3 mi. is $6, 4-6 is $8.25, where 6 mi on the meter would be $16.25), while the P. charges pay close enough to the meter to be worth getting them and some times they can be some pretty decent trips (there's ones that run $300, although you have to spend half the day and drive a whole lot of miles for those; to keep things fair, the company distributes P. charges over $70 to all eligible drivers on the road on a rotating basis going alphabetically every couple of weeks; I don't get them very often because they typically only go out in the day and I prefer working nights). Also, I'm going to keep track of how much money I book and how much of that goes to the lease and how much goes to me. And I'm using military time on the pickup/dropoff times.
Start time: 0850
1. 0907-0912 - female, 50s, black - charge - woman going to work at a child care center, dispatcher told me to charge it to some person I've never heard of - $6.35
2. 0924-0936 - female, 50s, white - T. charge - very large woman with a walker going to doctor's appointment, rambles on about how she likes to write, says she's written lots of letters to congressmen and the newspaper but has never sent them, says she's filled up 4 notebooks in 3 years, says something I don't quite understand about 2 words being hate words and 3 words being love words and she tries to use the love words but she's not perfect, or something. Seriously, no idea what that was about. $8.25
3. 0953-1030 - male, 60s-70s, white - I had trouble finding this address because it was on a street that deadended into a perpendicular street with the same fucking name and the address continued from there, had to call the passenger and his nurse answered and said he was outside waving at me. Pick up this senior citizen with a walker, he starts talking about how he lives in the boondocks, or rather it used to be the boondocks (there's a Walmart and a ton of other businesses around there now, but outside of that, it is kind of country-ish), but "at least there aren't any black people here, I don't want to be the prejudiced one here, but I am. I went to school with them, I worked with them, never got anything back from that lot." Then he spends half the ride complaining about how he broke his leg. At some point he starts talking about the weather and how he has "coons" in his back yard and shot a few and that "I'll eat a possum if it's cooked right, but a coon, no way, possums, yes, coons, no." I said I've never eaten possum and he says I should try it some time, go down to Georgia and get it cooked right. Uh-huh. He's going to a doctor's appointment at one of the hospitals, but he has the wrong address and doesn't know where he's supposed to go, so I have to waste 10-15min trying to find someone who knew which building the department he was looking for was. Finally get him to the right place and tell him the fare and he tells me it's supposed to be a P. charge, so I have to call down to the office and they have to get ahold of his caseworker and I'm starting to worry I won't even get paid for this ordeal, but the charge ends up getting approved later on. $15
4. 1053-1103 - male, 70s-80s, white - P. charge - take him home from the cancer center at the same hospital I dropped off at, he isn't very talkative. $9.50
5. 1133-1150 - female, 60s, black - P. charge
6. 1141-1202 - female, 50s, white - P charge
Sometimes passengers on a charge can be "doubled up," meaning if they're on the same side of town and are going to a similar side of town from each other, I can pick them both up since it's a flat rate and the trips can be put out more efficiently and we get more money for running less miles. These two are going to appointments at two different hospitals that aren't really near each other but aren't really that far out of the way either. The first one is fairly quiet while the second one is pretty chatty, although it's mostly banal pleasantries. As we're nearing the first drop off location, the chatty lady (who is in the front seat) asks where we're going and I tell her we're dropping the lady in the back off first, and she's surprised because she didn't even realize there was anyone else in the cab and they exchange pleasantries briefly. $7.50 and $11.50
7. 1211-1223 - female, 20s, white, two mixed infants (Akron has a looooot of white girls with black kids) - cash - the girl is going to work at a grocery store, she drops her kids off down the street and her brother gets in to piggyback on her ride to go to the plasma center to donate. They talk to each other about how one of his friends got denied twice for smelling like weed. $10
8. 1244-1255 - two females, one 30s, one 20s, and an infant - cash - a mom, her daughter, and the daughter's infant; the latter two get dropped off at someone's house while the older lady goes to the ER. The mother seems irritated because someone they knew who was supposed to pick them up never showed, "Thank God for the cab company." $9
9. 1321-1334 - return trip of the lady from #5. $7.50
10. 1339-1407 - male and female, 50s-60s, white - cash - these two people are probably a couple, they both have canes, the woman is wearing like corduroy overalls and the guy has a ZZ Top thing going on, with long grey hair and a long grey beard, leather jacket, and leather cowboy hat. They say they want to stop at the bank and then are going to this medical center, but the bank they want to go to is clear on the other side of town from both where they are and where they're going, which would add probably $20 to the fair, so I suggest they go to the downtown branch of the bank which is sort of on the way to their location, or at least not all that far out of the way, so they end up doing that. They make dumb little jokes replying to things the dispatcher says over the air and when the guy took awhile in the bank, the woman asks if he had to go to Egypt to get the money. $25 ($18 fare + $7 tip)
11. 1417-1423 - male, 20s, black - cash - guy talks on his cell phone all the way there but I don't really hear what he's saying. $10
At this point I go downtown to grab a sandwich and wait for a trip, but after sitting around for like half an hour without getting one, I stop in the library to drop off some overdue stuff and pick up some new books and some graphic novels because I figure they'd be a good time killer when it's slow because it's not as focused of reading as a novel.
12. 1545-1557 - female, late teens-early 20s, black - cash - I pick this girl up at the main entrance of the children's hospital, she's maybe 90 lbs and in a wheelchair with a bandage around one of her knees. She seems fairly independent, gets into the front seat on her own, but taking apart the wheelchair so it fits in the trunk (it's the kind where the wheels pop off really easy) is a real hassle. She talks on her cell phone all the way home, mostly the typical inane teenage bullshit. When we get to her house, her teenage brother carries her into the house and I leave the wheelchair all disassembled for him to carry in (I have no idea how to put it back together). She pays me the exact fare, which, for the time and effort I put into getting her chair into the trunk, is slightly shitty, but whatever, it's not my place to judge I guess. $12.
13. 1628-1630 - male, 50s, white - cash - this very fat man gets in, so I move the front seat up since it's pretty far back from previous passengers, and he thanks me for "moving it for the fat boy," which I don't think he meant in a shitty way. I say I can relate with my long legs, and he says something about him being shorter than me but 450lbs, he asks how much I weigh, and I estimate around 330lb, and he calls me a skinny boy. He says he's going to the store for a beer run and shouldn't be long if I'm still around, but that he doesn't want to have the waiting time on. $5
14. 1639-1656 - male, 20s, white - cash - guy going to work at some restaurant, says he needs to stop at the gas station by his work to get money out of the ATM, but I tell him I have a credit card reader on my phone. He asks me what kind of phone I have and says he has one for sale. He ends up getting dropped off at the gas station anyway. $21
15. 1704-1732 - two males, 30s, Indian - cash - the address the dispatcher gives me is on a busy main street with lots of businesses, and not all of them have addresses on the front, so I have a little difficulty finding these guys. I figure it's either at or near these two hotels, but I have a hard time understanding their accents when I call them on the phone to figure out where they're at. I finally get that they're at this building next to one of the hotels whose entrance is at a parking lot to the rear of where the hotel is situated, so I tell the guy I'll head there. After waiting for five minutes, I call him back and ask if I'm in the right place and he tells me they'll start heading down now. Why they didn't head down when I said I was right next door eludes me. I end up waiting close to 10 minutes for these guys without the meter on because I feel like it's my mistake for not letting them know I was there and assuming they had the sense to come down, but whatever, no big deal. They finally get in my cab and are going to a cab nearby. They ask how much, saying they were quoted $10 or paid $10 earlier to another driver or something. I explained that it would be the meter plus $2 service charge because they were getting picked up and dropped out in the same out of the way suburb (this is a real policy we have, I wasn't scamming them or anything). Traffic sucks the entire way there because we have to go through a major shopping district. $11.
Even though I'm way on the outskirts of town, I decide to head in because it's been like 9 hours already and it's slow and I don't feel like waiting around for a trip to bring me back into town, because lord only knows how long that'll take. Although I do stop and grab some beers on the way home.
Total time on the road: 9:40 hrs.
Total trips: 15
Total cancels/no shows: 0, amazingly enough
Miles ran: 105
Total booked: $168.60
Lease: $20 daily lease, $9.45 miles, $35 gas, $12 shortage (what I owed from a previous day that I didn't pay at the time, if this is over $20, we can't drive until it's paid off), total: $78.38
(A note on this. My lease is cheaper than most because I get a special rate on a voucher for every 8 hrs I work in dispatch because they can't afford to pay me more than minimum wage, so it's a little incentive they give to drivers who also work dispatch shifts. If I didn't have that voucher, I'd have paid $46 for my daily lease working 9 hours and $0.22/mi, making for a total of $23.10 in miles, so that voucher saved me close to $40. The rates are cheaper if you go out after 2pm but before 2am, but there's not as much business. The voucher rate is the same night or day though.)
Total profit: $90.22
Thank you! i feel the necessity to re-assert my accolades.
Certain songs they get so scratched into our souls
I would eat raccoons over possums.
I'd love for Patrick to drive us around Indio after Coachella to sunrise. Can you drink and smoke in a cab?
2 oz blended whiskey
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp powdered sugar
1/2 slice lemon
Shake blended whiskey, juice of lemon, and powdered sugar with ice and strain into a whiskey sour glass. Decorate with the half-slice of lemon, top with the cherry, and serve.
1. 19:26-19:35 - male, 70s, white - old guy going to the gas station and back for a beer run, I've taken him before, he was mumbling to himself during the ride this time - $6
2. 19:50-19:54 - female, 20s-30s, black - picked her up from the strip club, seemed in a bad mood, not at all social, talked on the phone to what seemed to be her s.o., "Did you cook anything tonight? . . . (sighs) . . . Can you take me to the welfare office tomorrow?" - $5
3. 20:27-20:45 - two males, 20s, white - ran clear across town for this because it was slow, two guys going from a motel to the valley bars (frat type bars, Wednesday is their big night I guess), I picked up that one of them had a well paying job involved with basketball or something, although he claimed at one point his job was "to get laid." They were telling me about some bar I'd never heard of next to the motel that only served whiskey and beer but supposedly had really incredible selections of each, said he wouldn't have minded spending the rest of the evening there but his main priority was pussy, which is why they were going to the other bars. They asked if I ever got bored and fucked with people with the searchlight on my cab (half of them don't even work anyway, I carry my own light to find addresses), to which I responded that it'd be pretty dumb since i have the company and cab numbers on the side of the car for anyone to see. They started telling me about some car they had with lights that looked like cop lights that they used to fuck with people. - $20 ($15+$5 tip)
4. 22:23-22:33 - male, 20s-30s, black - regular rider, nothing notable - $11
5. 23:42-23:50 - two males, 20s, black - want to go from west side to east for $9, says that's all they have when I call them, but it's so slow and it'd probably only run like $11-$12 anyway, I do it anyway - $9
6. 00:00-00:03 -male, 20s, white - dude thinks he recognizes me from somewhere, asks me if I ever hung out in one of the suburbs (I haven't), but I don't recognize him, say it's probably just because of my beard. He asks for my # so he can call me directly for rides, I give it to him, but if he's gonna be going such short distances, it's not really worth it to go out of my way to pick him up. - $5.
7. 00:33-00:43 - male, 20s, black - regular rider, goes to and from his girl's house almost every day, pretty decent trip from the west side to the south side. I call before going over there, which was good foresight because he was a little drunk and gave the dispatcher his destination instead of his pick up address. Fortunately, I was about half way between the two, so it's not too big of a deal to reroute. We chat about the cab business, he says how he always calls back and cancels if he finds another ride, and I stress how important and appreciated that is. - $13
8. 01:41-02:02 - male, 20s, white - grab this guy from the aforementioned valley bars, surprised I actually got him as I had to go kind of out of my way to get there and there was a lot of other cab companies hanging around down there. He says he's gotta stop at a gas station to piss, I say none of them are open on the inside at this hour, but he says he's gotta get cigs anyway and he'll just piss behind the building. We stop at the first one we come to, and he does just that, only to find out they actually had the doors open (which is odd, they're usually locked late at night). He's going across town and kind of worrying about the cost of the cab ride the whole time, but isn't really being a dick about it or anything. I drop him off and notice he left his lighter, so I honk at him and he grabs it, saying "My man! My man!" - $25
9. 02:30-02:42 - two males, 20s, black - kind of suspicious of these dudes, they come out of these sketchy apartments and the number they gave dispatch doesn't work, and hey, yeah, it's a little racist, but young black dudes from the hood make cab drivers a bit cautious, so I keep my mic in my hand the entire trip just to be safe. I have my music down low (the Dadub album from this year), but one of the dudes asks me to turn it up because he's interested in music, he says he produces stuff, we talk about music a little. $15, I think, forgot to write this one down
Total time on the road: 8 hrs
Total trips: 9
Total cancels/no shows: 0
Miles ran: 101
Total booked: $109
Total lease: $53 (used a voucher for $20 lease, $9.09 in miles, $21.91 in gas, and $2 bond; without the voucher this would have been $24 more)
Total profit: $55
Slow days like this fucking suck and they're not uncommon in the summer.
1. 20:30-20:40 - hospital called over this trip for someone on a voucher, so I show up and wait to give them enough time to get down to the lobby but after ten minutes of waiting and other trips being available, I take off. I hear the trip go out ten minutes later. This aggravates the hell out of me and other drivers, as it totally wastes our time and these hospitals don't seem to understand how much we value that particular commodity in our line of work. Once I had to wait 45 minutes for someone to get discharged, and the only reason I waited that long was because it was a $100+ trip.
2. 20:52-21:00 - females, 20s, black - girl going to work at strip club - $8
3. 21:09-21:24 - male, 50s-60s, white - picked up one of our drivers, he's a short guy who drinks a lot, so a lot of jokes get made at his expense at the company, he used to drive the cab I was scheduled on during the day. Pick him up at the trailer park where he's staying, but he's on the other side and gets kind of annoyed because I didn't call and figure out where he was exactly. When the trip was dispatched, one of the other drivers told the dispatcher to tell me to collect some money this guy owed him, but when I mentioned it, he didn't even know who the other driver was, so I figured they can deal with it on their own. He was going to get fried chicken and then back home, the fried chicken place is next to one of the strip clubs, he says maybe he'll go in for some titties, "chicken titties," but he doesn't really intend to stop in. We complain about various dispatchers and the lease rates. We get to the drive thru and the girl cannot hear him despite the fact that he's screaming (although he is slurring), and I can't hear her for shit either so we just pull up to the window. While she's off getting his food, he's talking at her ("Doesn't she realize I'm in the cab? I need to start doing drugs again. Give me more gravy, bitch!"). - $15
4. 21:31-21:33 - female, 20s, black - girl going home from work from fast food place - $5
5. 21:43-21:57 - male, 20s, black - T charge - going home from ER - $8.25
6. 22:04-22:14 - male, 20s, black - nothing memorable - $11
7. 22:26-22:32 - female, 40s, black - I think this woman's a caretaker or something, comes out of a house in scrubs like someone at a nursing home wears, stops by the store on the way home - $6
8. 22:49-23:01 - male, 50s, white - go a little out of my way for this trip, this guy going to the strip club, says he doesn't typically go to the dancer bars but his friend's band reformed and were playing a gig there. Says he is a truck driver and how taking a cab is better than a DUI, says he got one ten years previous, lost his job and eventually his wife, went home with a waitress from a bar or something. Said how he asked his ex-wife for a ride tonight but she had other plans, but he was going to some graduation party with her tomorrow, was going to see if he could get some "free pussy, but it hasn't happened yet." He asks for my number to call to pick him up later, but I never hear from him. - $20 ($15+$5 tip)
9. 23:38-23:45 - male, 40s, black - pick this guy up from the strip club, asks to use my phone, calls someone and tells him to meet him at his house so he can give him some money he owes - $7
10. 00:09-00:17 - male, 20s, black - guy going to the projects, kind of smells like shit, is talking on the phone most of the trip but doesn't pronounce anything, so he's hard to understand, at some point says something about not getting any sleep, wouldn't be surprised if he was fucked up on something, start to get that feeling that maybe I won't get paid for this trip, tell his friend or whoever he's in a "yellow boy," which is a term for a cab I've never heard before. End up getting my money, but there are about five cruisers right near where I drop him off at, so it wouldn't have been much of a problem if he tried to pull some shit anyway. - $10
11. 00:23-00:28 - males, 50s, white - guy in an orange shirt with just the name of the town on it waiting outside of a fast food place, wants to get let off on the side of the road like a mile and a half away - $6
12. 00:39-00:53 - female, 30s-40s, black, with her daughter - says she had to wake up at 5am to drive her niece to college to somewhere in PA so there was no way she was driving home tonight, we see some deer in someone's yard we pass and talk about how they're fucking everywhere in this town. She says she just moved back into town and didn't realize how many cab companies have popped up, I warn her that a lot of them are unlicensed and don't even have meters. We go by a school on the way and talk about how a lot of them in the city have been rebuilt in the past couple of years, she says one of them used the wrong tar while rebuilding it and they had to start all over again. When we get on her street, she starts complaining about her neighbors. $14
13. 01:06-01:25 - male, 20s, black - pick this guy at the Walmart on the far edge of town, he's going back into downtown but stops at the 24 hour grocery store. Says he worked for the cab company two years ago before the city started to require you to have a license with them and put in some extra regulations (which probably means he has a felony), said it was fun while it lasted. He hums to himself, not sure if it's to my music or something in his own head. Doesn't really talk the rest of the way home. - $20
14. Get a trip, call the people and they say they're waiting for the cab, I say I'm about 2 or 3 minutes away. About a minute later the dispatcher lets me know they canceled, but since I just talked to them and was almost there, I decide to check it out anyway, but they don't need to cab. Which is lucky since my next trip is a good one.
15. 01:57-02:24 - male, 20s, white - kind of a white homeboy type kid, leaving a house party to go to this little town just past the county line to the south. Since we're going out of town, I collect money in advance (although after using my GPS to route it, I realize it's not quite as far as I thought). He says he normally doesn't take cabs but it's better than drinking and driving (just as a cop rolls past us). When I drop him off, it seems like they're having a small house party too. - $39
16. 02:39-02:54 - male & female couple, 30s, black - luckily was able to catch a trip coming back into town at a bar way out south, there's a couple of calls there and the dispatcher gives me two #s to try, but we get lost calls there all the time so I just decide to swing by on my way in and grab whoever gets in my cab. Turns out to be the people I was supposed to get. They ask how much its going to be to go home near downtown, I say it'll probably be $20-something, I'm not totally sure, they ask if we can do it for $20, which is fine with me. They're pretty grateful. She says she doesn't know how they ended up there, they went out with her sister drinking and her sister took off without them. "And I haven't drank or done drugs in about 10 months." Very friendly, thank me a lot when they get home. - $20
17. 03:08-03:23 - male, 50s, female, 40s, white - kind of go further out of the way than I expected to this one thanks to the dispatcher misrepresenting the area it was in but money is money. It's not quite the boondocks but getting towards that, this couple are pretty white trash. The girl is fairly fat and wears track pants and a belly shirt that lets her stomach hang out all over the place in a really unflattering way. They're doing a round trip, stopping at the gas station and the Taco Bell, ask the drive thru girl "What's that new burrito you got? The long one?", finally figure out the one they're thinking of, they say they aren't serving those tonight, the guy says with spite in his voice "They never serve those on Saturday night" (even though it's really Friday night going into Saturday morning). The girl has to remind the guy to not order too much so they have enough money to pay me.
After this I sit in one of the stands for awhile working on my notes for this thing but it's getting pretty slow and I'm getting pretty tired so I call it a night.
Total time worked: 7hrs 40min
Miles ran: 137
Total trips: 15
Total cancels/no shows: 2
Total booked: $200
Total lease: $97 + $2 tip to dispatch (no voucher, trying to save them for when I need them, so this is normal weeknight lease, $36 lease, $23.29 miles, $35.71 gas, $2 bond)
Total profit: $101
I hope y'all appreciate this because it's pretty exhausting and time consuming keeping good notes and typing it up after work.
Your taxi cab tales are much appreciated, Soul!
Oh look it stopped snowing...
Yes, I love the log. It always makes my morning when I see a new entry from you. Thank you. "My man, My man."
Soul, you should write a memoir.
Certain songs they get so scratched into our souls
It's interesting to see that people tend to be chatty in your cab. Out here if talk happens it's usually small talk about the weather or whatever, nothing personal.
Question: do services like Sidecar or Lyft exist in Akron yet? If so, are they eating into the cab business? I know there's been a huge uproar about unregulated private cars vs. the actual cab companies lately.
Well, a lot of people are kind of in their own world and tend to talk on phones or whatever. I usually don't initiate conversation, I just give them a friendly "Hey, how are you doing today, where you going?" and leave the rest to them. I've spent enough time at jobs where I had to be aggressively friendly and I fucking hate it.
We don't have anything like that, but we do have a lot of smaller companies and unlicensed gypsy cabs around eating away at our business, and actively stealing our trips. I guess some of these small companies have scanners where they can pick up our dispatch radio signal and they'll steal our passengers before our drivers can get there (usually at bars). Or they'll just hang around heavy drinking areas, grabbing anyone they see. I doubt we'll get alternative transportation companies because we're just too small of a city and most of the cash paying customers who aren't going to/from bars are hood people. There's very little call for business professional style transportation. The closest airport to us we aren't even licensed to pick up at.
Patrick these recaps are great and I read every word.
2013 Collaborative Playlist on Spotify.