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crabbycabbie
07-15-2006, 07:45 AM
I was kindly pointed in the direction of Googled cached pages and found some of my stories still there from previous versions of this board so I saved all I could find on my computer so they'll never go away(no matter how much you may wish they would)

My first day as a cabbie(VERY long)

First let me say I've lived in this town for many years before I became a taxi driver...I thought I knew it and the I thought I knew the people...wrong on both counts

You simply do not know a town until you have driven a cab...every type of freak you can imagine will crawl out of the woodwork to flag you down and want a ride...in a later post I'll tell about some of those people...this is going to be just my first day on the job

Luck me I got the day shift to start out(good because theoretically you can see the address number of houses in the daylight)...however you begin your 12 hour shift at 4am while it is still dark...I was prepared I had my map of the city...I had a good flashlight to shine on houses to read their numbers...I had enough change for those boneheads who refuse to tip and make me use up my precious change...I was ready

Hahahahahaahahahahahahahaha!

My first call was as soon as I walked into the office..I was handed the keys to a cab and told to go to an address on other side of town...this was winter in Wisconsin and the temp was about -30 below zero 4am on a Monday morning...the passenger side door would not open from the outside because the lock was frozen solid...great beginning...while the cab was warming up I was checking the map to figure out exactly where I was suppose to go...my dispatcher yells at me telling me to get moving saying the car will heat up faster on the road(5 minutes on the job and already chewed out....my new record)

I find the street and it is totally dark and I'm going 2 miles an hour looking for the address when a guy waves his arms and pops out from between two parked cars...I reach over and pop the door(remember you can't open it from outside)...once he's in I tell dispatcher I picked the man up...my dispatcher says..."Man? You are supposed to be taking a lady to work! Get rid of this guy!!!!"

In my defense it was 4am freezing cold and I'm on the right street...a guy is standing in the road...wouldn't YOU think this simply HAD to be the person you were supposed to pick up?

Anyway...the guy says I need to get to XXX bar it's just two blocks away...I tell dispatcher and he says fine drop him off and get that woman already...I find the bar and the man jumps out and surprise surprise the bar is closed(like every other bar in the city at this time of the day)...I am writing up where I dropped this guy off when he jumps back into the cab saying "Brrrr it's cold out there"...he is however as drunk as anyone I have ever met so I doubt he really feels the cold at all...I can't get him out of cab because remember the door on that side cannot be opened from outside so...

I head to my original address and get the lady...who had been standing at window watching me pick up other guy but for some reason felt no urgency to let me know I had gotten the wrong person...she did have a few choice words for me about how she was gonna be late for work and it was all my fault...I get her to her job and she's calmed down some...I explained as best I could what happened on the way and she kind of thought it amusing...she even offered a tip...I told her forget it this man is paying for your ride right guy? and he just happily agreed with me

OK Now I have this man and no other fares so I can take him where ever he wants to go...well he wants to stop and get some cigarettes but we have a new problem...it seems he's been banned from practically every store in this area for shoplifting...he assures me they were all misunderstandings

I finally found a store he could go into and now he decides HE doesn't want to go in...I should go buy them for him...he's sleepy(poor baby)...he gives me some cash and I buy his smokes and ask where to next? He wants to go home for a minute...OK it turns out he lives close by(in fact I originally picked him up 1 1/2 blocks from where he lives in the first place)...so he goes in but doesn't pay saying he'll be back...he is and he much more chipper now so I ask why...he says his lucky number is four...????...then he explains...while in his house he just drank four ounces of scotch and he's a happy happy man again...still no money though

Now he wants to go to post office(keep in mind this has taken 2 hours with this one fare already and my dispatcher is spitting nails mad at me because I can't take other calls while I have this bozo)... I tell dispatcher I'd love to get rid of the guy but I have not been paid a cent so far(he gets quiet and I can hear him say softly "Oh oh")

Now we're at the post office and he goes in and I'm watching all the doors because I'm positive this guy is gonna take off and I'll have wasted all this time for zilch...he's in there just long enough for me to think about going in after him when he comes out and tells me "Hey dude?! I may have to borrow $10 from you!" I just stare at him like he's an exhibit at the zoo(maybe a monkey throwing poo) and tell him " I will bet you all I have that you will NOT be borrowing any money from me!"...he says "That's cool...just a sec!" and goes back into the PO...he fiiiinaaally comes back out with an envelope and he rips it open and there's a check inside...now we have to find a store that's open and will allow HIM to enter AND who will cash his check...I ask my dispatcher(who by now is feeling sorry for me...he's positive I'm gonna get screwed)...he gives us a couple of places to try and we head out

Now we are at an all night grocery store and he's inside trying to get them to cash this check of his...I'm almost resigned to what I believe is going to happen but am just curious enough to wonder how he's going to do it...I wait 15 minutes in the cab where I can see him arguing with someone inside...I decide to go in and see what's what but as I get to the door the manager opens the till and pulls out enough cash to choke a horse(we're talking thousands and thousands easily)...it doesn't ALL go well because he tries to buy some booze and they refuse because of the hour

Next stop back to his home...where he um...gets "lucky" again and we are off...this time he says we are going to every person's house where he owes money...this was interesting since it was still very early and these people didn't like being woken up especially when they saw who it was but once they realized he had money and was paying them back their whole attitudes changed...I believe he had a drink in each and every house he visited that morning...he was a VERY happy man after this task was done...it was time now to go back to store because he could now restock his alcohol supply(which we did) then back to his house once more where he dropped it all off and had his lucky drinks yet again

Now he wanted to go to a Country Kitchen...as luck would have one was very close by but also as luck would have it...he was banned from that place too...so we went across town for the 15th time that day and I dropped him off there(with a VERY nice tip)...my first fare had taken over 5 hours but made me several hundred bucks and I was happy

Fast forward four hours later and I get a call from my dispatcher saying I had a personal(means they asked for me) at...you guessed it...that Country Kitchen...I get there just in time to see the manager escorting my fare out of the building with him struggling like a wildcat but once he saw ME he became the calm guy I had come to know earlier...we leave and I ask what was the deal but it seems it was yet another "misunderstanding" but he is not allowed in that restaurant any more(that's leaves one CK left in town he can still go to)

This time I just take him home and he's gone from my life and I never see him again

BTW My dispatcher has calmed down and we get to be good friends over time

This is way longer that I thought it would be so I'll just say as part of the rest of that day I get flashed(this turns out to happen ALOT...at least twice a week for all the time I was driving cab)...I meet a truly insane person(yup even nuttier than my first guy)...I make a girl cry(I swear to God I thought she was a man)...I meet my very first transvestite/gay guy(wearing a beautiful gown like from Gone with the Wind but he also had a full beard and mustache) and I take a hooker to a job

That was my first day driving a cab and it only got weirder after that

crabbycabbie
07-20-2006, 06:43 AM
The last story was my beginning so I decided this one will be of my ending as a taxi driver

Why I'm EX-Crabbycabbie

I really liked driving a taxi...it was fun...it was interesting as hell(you meet the strangest people you never would otherwise) and I made quite good money doing it...part of the day I could read or sleep or munch on snacks and still make around $100-200 a shift...I get a real jerk in my cab I could tell them to get out and they would have to and there was NO repercussions for doing so...I liked the other drivers and I liked the dispatchers BUT...

There's always a "but" right?

The owner of the company became the owner from a divorce settlement and she knew zilch about running a company...she'd antagonize long-term drivers and make their lives so unpleasant they'd quit...she wouldn't repair the vehicles unless she was under some legal liability if she didn't(I once went one month with the passenger side door tied shut with a rope because she refused to pay for the mechanics to fix the door(I almost lost a passenger when I took a left and the right door opened and an elderly lady almost fell out))

All that was bad enough but the straw that broke my back was her new policy concerning "vouchers"...we had deals with various companies and the government to take some people to and from their work or doctor appointments(other things as well)...instead of the fares paying the driver they just signed a piece of paper with the metered amount on it and we'd use this to pay our lease for the vehicle we were renting that shift...up to $10 it was all ours but OVER $10 she would get on top of our lease rate another 35% of what the voucher was worth...OK not pleased with this but she did arrange these deals and the company ought to get something for this service right?

Then one day one of the companies we had a deal with refused to pay the voucher...no real reason...they were being jerks(the work had been done and they decided what can we do about it now?)

So what does she do? Does she sue them? Does she refuse to allow any of the drivers to pick up anyone from this company? Nope what she does is tell the drivers that WE owe HER the money!!!!

This does not go over well with neither myself OR most of the other drivers

Personally I refused to give her another red cent past the lease and the vouchers...every day I'd go in and pick up my pouch with had my worksheet in it and where I was supposed to put my lease money into at the end of the shift...on the worksheet it would say I owe the lease PLUS whatever vouchers that the other companies never paid...soon she was claiming I owed her several hundred bucks and I had a talk with her telling her there was no way on Earth was I paying for HER incompetence...I said YOU get 35% of our vouchers...this is because YOU are supposed to collect the money not us the drivers...us drivers did our job hauling these people around and we expect to be paid for it not penalized for it...she tells me I either pay her or do not show up for work the next day(keep in mind that for the last over six months I was working seven days a week and 12-14 hours a day...I had fully 50% of my fares were personals(personals are those fares that specifically ask for YOU and no one else))

The next day I show up(if you do NOT show up without calling in at least 6 hours in advance you are liable for the lease whether you work that day or not...another of her nifty policies)

I talk to the dispatcher on duty(a good friend by now and he says sorry unless I give in I cannot have a car for the day)...I shake his hand and say good bye

Several other drivers left that week(mostly the GOOD drivers...those who had been doing this for some time and knew what they were doing)

To give you an idea how badly she has run the company...I left town for almost two years and when I came back last year there are now FOUR taxi companies in town now(when I left there was just two(us and another that was limping along)...the two new taxi companies are being run by former drivers for her company

So now you know the reason I'm an EX-cabby and you also know the main reason I am a Crabbycabbie

OK That was a post I did on why I was an EX-Crabbycabbie...it was from years ago when I quit...a month or so ago I was at the Laundromat at 4am and I met the owner of the now 500 pound gorilla of the taxi biz in town(my former boss had fallen far more than I knew)

Apparently shortly after I and some of the other long term drivers quit/were fired she was facing a crisis...when she lost all the good drivers she was left with just the new guys(new guys as a rule do not last...90% of them will quit before one month and of the 10% left half of those will not make it six months before moving on) so she did something I can hardly believe

Remember my main gripe was about those voucher people? One day she simply stops picking them up...no warning she just tells the dispatcher we are not doing them anymore...this comes as a surprise to these people...they NEED to go to doctor's appointments...dialyisis...operations...VERY serious things and now they have no way of getting there

I was out of town at the time and had no idea she had done this but according to the owner of the taxi company I spoke with...she got into serious trouble...in fact shortly after that she shut down the cab company all together(drivers showed up for work and were told they didn't have a job anymore)...she had taken the biggest taxi company in town and in less than 10 years she destroyed it

She took all the minivans she had and modded them so they could carry wheelchairs(added ramps and pulled the second row of seats out and widened the sliding doors so the wheelchairs could fit through them) then she somehow convinced some government guy to allow her to take handicapped people wherever they needed to go...my opinion is despite the other cab co.s taking up the slack as far as regular people go...there still was no one who was set up to care for the handicapped so I think the city was desperate and decided to give her one last chance

Think about what she had done...she nearly lost her whole business because of vouchers and now ALL her business will be vouchers...she has balls I'll give her that

I few years later I come back to town and she has been slowly adding regular taxis to her fleet but now she is the smallest cab co. in town and not the biggest...hopefully she learned her lesson and does all she can to keep any drivers who helped build her back up...before she never understood her biggest asset was her drivers...anybody can buy some cars but you need drivers who know the streets and can deal with the weirdness of working as a cabbie

Personally as I've said before I liked the job but judging by some of the comments my stories have gotten most people would be too freaked out driving a taxi so when you get someone who can do the job and wants to do the job you should do all YOU can to keep them

Now you know my beginning and ending as a cabbie...from now on all my stories will be of the weird and strange people I met on the job

Rapscallion
07-20-2006, 08:01 PM
Can we say 'Karma'?

I knew we could :D

Rapscallion

crabbycabbie
08-07-2006, 12:06 AM
One day I'm told by my dispatcher to go to an address and do whatever the guy there tells me to do(it will be worth my while)...very intriguing right?(I know I was curious)

That kind of thing happened a lot more than you'd think and most of the time it turns into a story I cannot tell here but this one I can so...

I get there and I meet the guy who hands me a paper grocery bag taped shut(he tells me it's clothes and toiletries) and he wants me to take it to his daughter...his daughter BTW is in jail(drug charges)

He gives me a $20...I'm fairly happy since this ought to take about 10 minutes and I can move on to my next fare...sweet deal

So I get to the jail( I take prisoners to/from work release all the time and am familiar with the place...too familiar if you ask me)...I am searched quickly and let through to give the bag to a guy there and tell him who it is for and then turn to walk away...I don't make it to the next door before he yells "FREEZE!!!"

It turns out besides the bras and panties and tooth brush and brushes in that bag is also about 30 prescription drug bottles full of who knows what...the police officer I handed the bag to had never seen me before and had no idea I was only the cab driver...I am immediately searched again(far more thoroughly than the first time)

There are now cops everywhere and all of them looking at me like my middle name might be Abdul...I explain and I explain and I explain yet again...it seems they all want to hear my story(never have I felt so popular)

I have to wait there under the watchful eyes of all those cops while they check out my story(I have told you guys of how my dispatcher and I tease each other unmercifully during slow times and I had visions of him telling the police that he had no idea who I was)...fortunately he decided this wasn't the time to torment me(that came later) and backed me up and gave them the address of the girl's "supposed" father(by then I wasn't ASSUMING anything)

My story checked out of course but it took them about an hour to do so before I was allowed to leave...that $20 wasn't looking so hot by then

There was one other time when I was asked to take something to the jail and I told the dispatcher sure but call the guy back and tell him I will not leave his house until I see exactly what is in the package...he called and the guy decided he didn't need a cab after all

BTW Just to be fair I should mention my dispatcher made sure I was kept busy for the rest of my shift even if others were just sitting around because of that call...we always picked on each other all the time but he was genuinely a nice guy
__________________________________________________ _______________

I'm surprised no one has asked me if I ever hauled a pregnant woman in my cab because I have

I get a call to fly to a certain address...lady is VERY pregnant and is going to have the baby any minute

You know you hear about this all the time and you wonder how you'll react if you have to deal with something like that...you kind of think that how bad can it be? And how it will make for a great story later on...the reality of it is completely different

I get there and two ladies get in the back the pregnant lady and her Mom...they tell me which hospital to head for and I'm off...the Mom is coaching her daughter on how to breath and the daughter is saying over and over "I'm not going to make it!"

The daughter's hair is all matted up and sweaty...she's leaning back with her legs spread wide and she's so scared...her Mom is frightened too(this is her daughter's first child and she scared something might go wrong) and then there's me...on the outside I'm calm but inside I'm worse than either of them(I've delivered a thousand calves in my life but I've never even seen a woman give birth)

I decide to add my two cents in...I tell pregnant lady that the tradition is if she has the baby in my cab to name him/her after the driver then I tell them both my name is some long mix of letters with no vowels and I watch their eyes get big before I tell them my real name(I'm trying to distract her...I come to realize the LAST thing I want is for her to have her baby in my cab...forget TV this is real and I want no part of it)

There was no miracle of birth in my cab that night...the only miracle was we weren't pulled over by the cops because of how fast I was going

I get her to the emergency room and she waddles out and makes it about 20 feet to the door when her water breaks...that is how close it was...sheeeesh
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I'll tell about this one girl here...she really deserves her own thread but I know if I start another one I'll add way too much and I don't feel like writing that much tonight

First thing you need to know is I can't recognize faces...there's a scientific name for it but if you interested just Google "face blindness"...short explanation is if my brother knocked on my door while I am writing this I would not know it was him...the information to ID someone is in my head but I can't access it until I know who the person is already...I used to be really sensitive about it but after driving a cab I had to explain why I didn't recognize someone I had driven a million times before if I didn't pick them up at home(if I got them from their house then I knew them but if they had been shopping and just said take me home...I had no idea who they were or where they lived)...explain it often enough and it stops being embarrassing and becomes a quaint quirk(or so I tell myself)

This is just partially germane to this particular post but I thought I'd get it out there since I do have some stories where it matters much more

So onto the weird chick...as it happens every Sunday night about 12am to 2am we'd get a call from this lady...she wanted a six-pack of beer and for the cabbie who brought it to her would get a BJ...our dispatcher would ask who wanted the call(he could talk to all of us but each individual cabbie could only talk to him and we couldn't hear the other cabbies talking to him either) but invariably it would be less than 5 seconds before he said...OK get going...we never knew who was taking her the beer that week(it was never me in case you're wondering) but like I said it only took seconds for someone to volunteer

BTW If you wonder where we'd get beer when it was illegal to buy it on a Sunday at that hour...let me just say bartenders depend greatly on us to take their drunk customers off their hands every night and it's a rare bartender who would refuse a cabbie some beer after hours

But how can I be certain this isn't an urban tale? Since I personally never took her the beer? Ah this is where it get interesting...

This same lady I had taken many times to visit her boyfriends in jail...yes boyfriendSSS...practically everytime I'd pick her up at home she'd ask to go to the jail for yet a different guy she hooked up with(she had ME take her to at the jail for eight different guys...other drivers could of taken her there too for more guys I don't know)

But that was later in our weird relationship...the day I'm taking about was the fourth time I took her home from a jailhouse visit(different guy each time)

We pull up to her apartment and she tells me her money is in the house and can I come to the door...sure no problem...I stand at the open door with not so much as my toes over the jam because I'm new and very conscious of one of our strictest rules(do NOT go into an apartment! Much less that of a woman by herself...you open yourself to charges of harassment or worse)

This as it turned out was the least of my worries...she hands me a pile of about 30 Polaroids and asks me what I think of them while she goes to get my money in another room...the pictures are all XXX rated of her and a different guy in each one...I'm thumbing through them like a moron when she comes back and I don't notice until she's right there beside me that she is now wearing only these pink panties with a cute little rose on them(this is why I mentioned the face blindness...I can't for the love of God picture HER face now but I still remember those damned panties)...oh yeah she had a nice rack too I know because she went outside to get behind me and hugged me while I'm holding those pics(and they were rubbing against my back)...she leans over and is pointing out things she finds particularly interesting about the pics

I have NO idea what to do..I'm living with someone but this is something that never happens to the average guy...looking back I can remember how incredibly naive I was then...I'm suffering from sensory overload..I have the X-rated pics in front of me and a almost naked chick behind me and we are standing outside where anyone can see us

I'll admit I panicked...I hand the pics back to her and almost run back to the cab...she follows me(still almost naked) and gives me the fare through my window(I wonder why I forgot to get the money? D'oh!)

As mentioned I take her to visit various boyfriends and on alcohol runs many many times after this...she makes it clear I only have to say so and the offer is still in place...as time goes on and other similar things happen I learn how to deal with her and those like her but she was my first

Anyway I figure you understand why I believe the story of her and the six-pack on Sunday nights is completely true