As I tribute, I just thought I would display some pictures of Walmart shoppers. Feast your eyes.
July 23, 2009
So it seems that nearly all of the traffic coming to my site is somehow related to "redneck" culture. Therefore, I will make an attempt to post more stories about "Randy" the binge drinking, broke, chain smoking, overindulging, pervert.
As I tribute, I just thought I would display some pictures of Walmart shoppers. Feast your eyes.
As I tribute, I just thought I would display some pictures of Walmart shoppers. Feast your eyes.
July 21, 2009
July 18, 2009
Yesterday Vincent discretely handed me a large brown envelope. He told me that his friend was playing a joke on him and sending porn to his house. Vinny didn’t want it around the house. I believe that he lives alone though, so I’m not sure what he was so worried about. There was the usual overabundance of profanity that has become Vincent’s trademark, only this time it wasn’t directed at other drivers or their “motha’s.”
I gave them a watch. Seemed like pretty lowbrow stuff, although truthfully I wouldn’t know the difference. Seemed like better stuff than Randy watches though. Jefferson, Randy’s roommate, said that once every few days there would be a new stack of porn mags in the living room. Like 40 a month! He told me that Randy was just buying them at newsstand price. Don’t those cost like $10 each? That’s a few hundred dollars a month just in nudie mags. Jefferson said that most of the mags came with videos, so consequently there were hundreds of them. Jefferson fancies himself as porn aficionado of sorts. He said they were crap. Randy felt that porn, and booze, oh, and expensive seafood dinners were better investments than his share of rent money.
Jefferson also told me that a few months back Kevin tried to pawn his porn collection to him. Jefferson politely declined as diplomatically as possible and explained that the donation was sub-par and beneath his standards. Kevin was afraid that his girlfriend Rhonda, Linda’s sister, might find it. I’ve seen Rhonda, and she’s in no position to complain. After seeing Rhonda I can completely understand why Kevin thinks about fucking other girls. Who could blame him? Though in all fairness she’s a 10 compared to Linda who sleeps in her clothes, doesn’t brush her teeth, smells like a homeless man’s asscrack, and hasn’t had sex with a man in her 54 years on this Earth… That makes me think of a great George Carlin quote:
“I’ve never fucked a 10, but one night I fucked five 2’s – I think that counts.”
If that were the case, he would have to fuck 20 Lindas, and unlike having sex with a perfect 10, that would be nothing to write home about…
July 6, 2009
About a week ago I had a minor fender bender in front of the main hotel. There were a few taxi drivers parked in the vicinity but none of them seemed to notice – likely because years of driving a taxi have turned them into mindless drones.
I was tired as I had worked through the previous night and the sun had come up. It was about 10 a.m. When you are attempting to work a double shift the fatigue often doesn’t hit you until the sun rises the next morning. Perhaps the transition from night to day, or the transition to the morning drivers. They’re absolutely awful. Never in my life have I seen such a sad group of undignified, undomesticated, misfits. Shameful.
So back to the case at hand. I was probably on my 16th hour or so and I glanced against this guy’s car as I was pulling to the curb. Once I scraped against him he slammed on his horn. Did he think that I didn’t realize that my car had collided with his? The horn would have been best applied proactively. More often than not the wailing of a car horn is doled out as more of a punitive measure than a preventative one.
So we get out and he’s pissed. Sonny was his name. I wish that I could provide his full name, but alas, I cannot. He really was a little bitch about the whole thing but I think after a few he came to realize that these things do happen and that it would just be best to exchange insurance information and keep in touch. We agreed that this was a matter that could be best dealt with off of the books. Out of sight, out of mind – no need to let Catherine know about things.
There was only minor damage, just a little scuffed paint and a small scratch on the bumper. I called him a few days later to follow up and try to arrange a time to get things fixed. He did not return my call, but rather left me a call several days later demanding, more or less, to know when I would take care of his damages. I addressed him politely, albeit sharply, and explained how I had attempted to resolve this earlier. Then he tried to show me some $1,100.00 estimate that a mechanic had written up. I explained that the figure was much too high and that I would not be willing to pay out such an outrageous sum for a bumper - a figure that a friend of his had likely come up with.
Sure enough I was able to get an estimate for $240.00. Then he complained that he had trouble getting rides to work and had to get a rental car and all. I explained to Sonny that if we had decided to take the insurance company route that would have been possible. In an attempt at appeasement I offered additional compensation to help him out.
So today I went met up with Sonny at the scene and handed him an envelope with $300.00 and a contract stating that this would be the end of our discussions and that we had agreed that no further action would be taken. He agreed but turned his nose up at the $300.00 and stated that he thought, “he would be compensated” for his troubles. I explained that he had and I had paid out $60.00 above and beyond what his repairs had come to.
Sonny was disappointed and in a desperation move he stated that his son was sick and in the hospital. I explained that I was sorry to hear that and went on my way. Really? Trying to capitalize on your sick son (if this was in fact true). How much more did he want? Would an extra $50 dollars have been enough to carry him through his financial difficulties? I think that I was pretty fucking nice about the whole thing. After all, I could have just told him to get lost since there had been no police report, and that it was pretty much my word against his. By now, chances are that I know the traffic court much better than him and I have days off. If Sonny had decided to go that route there would be grey skies ahead.
July 4, 2009
June 28, 2009
June 24, 2009
Snapped a quick picture of "Kirk" today. Kirk is camera shy, you must be very careful when photographing him. Much like wildlife really. A telephoto lens would have been best.
Kirk's actually in uniform black pants, collared shirt. It's fine if you look like a slob, but you have to have your black pants and collared shirt.
June 23, 2009
June 22, 2009
June 20, 2009
June 19, 2009
Today crossing 3rd street again I got into a minor fender bender. Same situation as the last one – the driver darted into traffic and slammed on his brakes. Why do people do this?
I wouldn’t say it was carelessness on my part. If you could see the intersection it would make more sense. There was this tiny little scuff on the bumper. The guy didn’t speak much English and wasn’t sure what to do. I offered to fix it myself but he wanted to talk to his insurance. Nice enough guy, but it seemed that he was more worried about collecting money. I switched insurance information with him and promised to keep in touch. Since there was damage, however minimal, I figured that I should tell Catherine. Usually people aren’t worried about these things and we just exchange handshakes and part ways. No harm no foul, and no need bother the office.
What was strange is that Catherine got really worried when I told here that I passed along the company’s insurance information. This was a big deal apparently… I reminded her that this is common procedure, and the law as well. Catherine isn’t too familiarized with law – or so it seems. Indefinitely aloof.
I turned all of the accident paperwork. Much of it was left blank with notes such – “I do not feel that this question can be answered with certainty” and the like. It seemed as if the whole reason for the accident report was to remove liability from the company. I wasn’t fooled.
June 17, 2009
Every few days I get one of these.
These rides are the worst. We get these pickups from the local hospital to pick up one of the bums from San Diego. For some reason they cart them over here to Cortez. When we get them they always smell like shit, have no money, and are usually still half in the bag. Often times they have pissed their pants. Often times they are beaten up and you have to worry about your seats getting stained with a range of fluids. They have been known to throw up in the cars of other taxi drivers.
Since they have no money the hospital gives us a voucher to take them to a predetermined destination. Usually Chicano Park. A bum dumping ground of sorts. The only tip that I get is from other drivers – “Try to avoid these rides, they suck.” Amen brother!
Sometimes they want to go to another destination, which we don’t do. Since the hospital is paying for what they want we go with what they tell us. Sometimes the bums get surly and bark (and grunt) orders. Usually they’re unintelligible. After picking up one belligerent bum after another the rides from the sailors start looking pretty rosy.
June 11, 2009
June 10, 2009
What do shitty cabs look like, oh why they look like this of course -
Nice fix on the window switch. Was this done by the mechanic's apprentice? Did they gouge that out with a circular saw?
Why go through all that trouble of trying to remove those hubcaps when you can just spray paint them while they're on the rim. Have you ever tried to take a hubcap off? Well, if you have you would know that it takes only seconds - this is pure laziness.
Bob Villa didn't do this, I can tell you that much. More like Stevie Wonder.
The fix all, hex bolts and wood screws.
I take it the cruise control doesn't work.
If you look in on the dash behind the wheel you'll see the business card covering up the check engine light. Nice fix.
June 4, 2009
As I stood next to my hot cab on a warm summer afternoon a nice lady came over and talked with me for a bit. She was probably in her late 50’s, and was quite pleasant. It was quite slow so I spoke with her about the “island” and engaged in general small talk. She mentioned that she liked the drivers in Cortez and would periodically take a cab home to her place in La Mesa. Since we had a good rapport I passed along my business card and told her to drop me a line if she ever needed a lift home.
A few weeks later she called me, but not for a ride. She had a business proposition that she wanted to discuss with me. I obliged, looking for a way to supplement my income. We met at a Starbucks where we went over the business model as well as what was expected from me and what was possible to achieve. It sounded too good to be true – it was… I was skeptical, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt. What made me immediately suspicious was that she seemed to be overly upbeat and didn’t mention the company name. The conversation was centered around commodities – things that we will buy throughout our lifetime (food, toothpaste, toilet paper, paper towels, etc…). She invited me to a second meeting and informed me that she would follow up with the details shortly. She was persistent. I had free time that Wednesday evening, I left a spot open.
When she called to explain where the meeting would be I realized things were becoming even stranger. The gathering was to take place at a house in a cul-de-sac in La Mesa. There would be fellow entrepreneurs there. Or so it would seem…
When I arrived I was in denial. An older couple, presumably in their 70’s served up cookies and smiles and told me to grab a seat on their couch. Then the clean cut guy with the suit came into the room, complete with a slick haircut and a cool demeanor. He talked of massive profits with minimal effort, while scribbling fractions and graphs on the whiteboard in front of him. And then came the kicker. He was selling Amway. My night had been a total waste. I didn’t want to be rude and walk out, everyone was so thrilled to have the company. They were serving up shit sandwiches and I was forced to take a big bite.
For those of you who don’t know, Amway is a pyramid scheme. Basically the people at the top of the pyramid (the recruiters) make money off of the people they recruit by keeping a percentage of the sales that you (the recruit) sell. Any people that you recruit that happen to sell anything, well you would get a portion of that, as well as the person who recruited you. The person at the top gets a portion of everything. It can be profitable, if you are willing to harass your friends and family relentlessly by peddling your crappy Amway products. You have to be willing to act shamelessly. In retrospect, it would likely be a good position for many of the other drivers… Eerily, the other drones that attended the meeting were surprisingly gung-ho about the whole thing. They drank the Kool-Aid, right down to the last drop.
I told Alice (the Amway lady) that I would have to consider it. She was quite pushy. This was her time to seal the deal, to have me become further invested in their enterprise. A few days later she called me again and I told her that I would not be attending any more meetings. I was polite – something that she was not. She just threw a fit and acted like a child, by explaining how I was making a big mistake and missing out on a once in a lifetime opportunity. I wished her the best and reassured her that she would find people who much more eager to become filthy rich selling junk from Amway.
May 24, 2009
Today as I visited the office and fought my way past the fanatics and Lupita’s attempts to convert me to the “lord” and to the “good book,” I heard some sad news. One of our drivers had passed away. His name was Rod.
Rod was an enigmatic individual, a kind heart. We all liked him. He had been with the company for 6 months or so. He never stole rides, he never picked fights, he never made enemies. Rod was a good person. He was fighting his inner demons and none of us got close enough to find out exactly what those were. He was quiet about these things.
It’s sad to see him go – he will be missed. Missed by many of us.
May 14, 2009
One of our drivers had an issue with the passenger side window of his cab and it was decided that it was time to take it to the shop for a repair. The shop had the taxi for a few days. When the driver returned the window was fixed – somewhat.
Turns out the shop did not put much time into diagnosing the root of the problem – so they applied a quick fix. Since the issue seemed to be the friction of the window against its frame as it was ascending/retracting the mechanic figured that the best way to solve the problem would be to OIL THE WINDOWS. Not oil some interior components located within the door/window mechanisms, but to just smear oil all over the windows. And not just the window in question, but all the windows. Preventative maintenance?
Now, there is a opaque, oily film on all of the windows. The driver spent a good hour degreasing the windows and trying to remedy the shoddy work – although “shoddy” would be an understatement. OILING THE WINDOWS??? What will they think of next? Maybe next time he brings the car into the shop they can oil the windshield, or oil the wiperblades.
May 2, 2009
April 23, 2009
April 18, 2009
I always get a good laugh when I come into the office at the end of the night. It’s easier to come in at night because it is much quieter and management (a term we’ll use loosely) isn’t in. It’s fun to talk to Sampson. We talk about problem drivers, silly policies – whatever. Mostly just shoot the shit. I also like to pick up business cards and oil at this time, as Sampson doesn’t ration these things out.
He told me that a week or so ago Kirk locked his keys in his car in Mission Beach after he had surreptitiously taken a fare there. Kirk didn’t want to say anything on the radio, as it would have exposed what he had done. The ride to Mission beach was never called in. Sampson just sent one of the livery drivers with a spare set.
Even this can be hit or miss. Half of the time the livery brings the wrong keys and we aren’t able to get back into the taxi. I used to lock my keys in the car very often, but now I don’t lock it at all.
April 4, 2009
Once a week or so there is an altercation on the radio. This usually occurs because drivers because of a wrong, or an alleged wrong that has taken place. Today Kirk (Sling Blade) was accused of taking a fare without calling it in as he often does. Since the office wasn’t informed that he had a fare he was allowed to keep his spot in the cab order. Understandably this causes tension between the drivers. When Geppetto called him out on the radio an argument ensued.
Julie: Cab 03
Kirk: Cab 03
Julie: Go t--- th--- V—n-- gro—ery store.
Julie: Go to the V---s gro---c—y st—e!!!
Kirk: Vons, 10 – 4. That queer Polack is playing with the radio again.
Julie: Stop it!
Geppetto: He already took a ride.
Kirk: No, you’re just seeing things again.
Geppetto: No, you just took a ride, give it to another driver.
Kirk: No, I don’t play those games like you.
Unknown Driver: Who’s the queer? (Mocking Kirk)
Julie: Stop it!!!
Kirk: Why don’t you meet me in the alley. Bring a crowbar.
Geppetto: Oh yeah, what are you going to try to do with me back there.
Kirk: Come and see.
Geppetto: Why don’t you come and meet me on the street?
Kirk: Oh what a coward.
This is strange on a few levels. It’s entirely possibly that Geppetto just imagined seeing Kirk take a ride earlier. His senses aren’t all that sharp anymore. Although, given Kirks history, it is likely that he did pick up a passenger earlier and not call it in.
First, it isn’t considered a problem for Kirk to be dishonest at work, the problem occurs when someone speaks up about it. Secondly, this informal street justice doesn’t seem to be frowned upon, especially if it is discussed off of the air. And lastly, it doesn’t seem to be a problem that we have sociopaths that work for the company and berating the passengers.
I believe Kirk has starting writing his Memoirs recently -
April 1, 2009
After talking to Gomez on the cab stand today it’s now clear that Jorge isn’t the only cabbie that urinates in his cab. Gomez was quite cavalier about the topic, as if this was perfectly normal.
Right as Gomez had gotten situated he noticed that there was a problem. As he had began relieving himself a group of 4 people hopped in the cab and asked for a ride to Mission Beach. Now Gomez had to hold it. At this point the bottle was already half full and had begun slosh around and spill in his pants as he was driving. Gomez had to deal with this for a good 20 minutes. When he arrived much of the pee in the bottle had already drained on his pants and into the seat. Gomez was not a happy camper, in retrospect the bathroom would have been a good investment.
Gomez told me that he had been working on a busy weekend and desperately needed to go to the bathroom – number 1. Financially speaking, Gomez had decided that it was better for him to shove a plastic bottle down his pants and pee into it while he was sitting on the cab stand so that he didn’t lose his spot in line, than to take a 3 minute restroom break and let the office know.
March 31, 2009
A while back Jefferson leant our mechanic Stanley $200 so that he wouldn’t be roughed up by what appeared to be a few angry bookies. Stanley didn’t go into details, but admitted that he owed money and the person who leant it wasn’t happy.
Jefferson was fortunate enough to reclaim $100 of his money, but that appears to be the last of it. Perhaps Stanley needs to sell more weed out of the back shop, or perhaps that’s what got him into this mess in the first place. He seems to have a pretty cozy racket selling stolen gas from the taxi’s that are brought into the shop – at the drivers expense of course.
March 30, 2009
March 27, 2009
A few days ago I found myself having to race back into Cortez after dropping off my last fare. Drivers are giving calls in the order that they dropped off their passenger and returned to Cortez. Upon arrival back into town you are put back into the call rotation.
In this case, another driver and myself had dropped off a large group of passengers downtown. I arrived first and dropped my passengers off. The other driver, Andrzej, had dropped off his passengers a few minutes later. As I am approaching Cortez in anticipation of letting the dispatcher know that I will again be available for calls I see Andrzej suddenly dart past me on the freeway. As drivers, we have an informal agreement, a gentleman’s agreement if you will, that we will respect each other’s position in traffic when returning from a call. Normally I just let it slide but this time I sped up and passed him. As I looked at my speedometer I noticed that I was going 85mph. I said the hell with it and let him pass. If he wants it that bad, so be it.
Well, today Catherine called me in her normal passive aggressive manner to ask me about the incident. It turns out that a fellow motorist had called in to complain. I denied if of course. It’s really odd how Catherine’s mind works.
Whatever it is, if it can’t be unequivocally proven she feels that she has to give you (in the case that you are being accused) the benefit of the doubt. Conversely, if you can’t prove without a doubt that her mechanic is stealing gas out of your taxi for example - she will side with him. Even if your taxi goes in with a full tank and comes out with a third of a tank and Stanley (the mechanic) is the only one who had driven it. I don’t see how that might happen while getting the brake pads replaced. This has led to a bit of frustration for Catherine as well. Many of the drivers have neglected bringing the cars to shop for break service because they are tired of having their gas stolen. One night I looked at my brakes and they were glowing red. They still had a few rides in them.
Marty: What are you doing Kirk?
Kirk: We can do it, Catherine says so.
Marty: We’re all waiting outside the hotel for calls Kirk. We have a gentleman’s agreement.
Kirk: There’s no gentlemen in the cab racket.
For once, he may be right with this one.
March 17, 2009
Times have been tough for Catherine lately. Since it has been slower and the lease money hasn’t been coming in at the rate that Catherine had hoped she has been bringing back drivers that she fired out of desperation. I really don’t have anything more to say about that – except that it sure is a strange business model. I'm not quite sure where she came up with it. My guess is that it either came from a fortune cookie or at the bottom of a box of cereal.
Below is the image that I used to make my fortune cookie parody above. Unfortunately, Catherine didn't crack open this one. It would have saved everyone a lot of trouble.
March 2, 2009
Dennis had a minor mishap in his taxi van the other day. Oh yes, we have vans as well – big Chevy Astro’s that are 15 years old. As he was driving there was a sudden loss of control and the steering went out of whack. The van had encountered a broken tie rod. This seemed to be a somewhat routine malfunction on a vehicle with hundreds of thousands of miles. However, Catherine didn’t seem to think so. She questioned as to why Dennis wasn’t checking his tie rods along with the routine of checking the cab (which admittedly very few drivers do) at the beginning of his shift. Checking the tierods?
February 27, 2009
Today Garcia picked up a lady going from the Del Cortez to the Tropicana Cortez hotel. I’m not exactly sure how things transpired but Garcia ended up getting a blow job on his way down there.
Roberto, another one of our drivers, picked the same woman from the Tropicana Cortez and brought her back into town. After Roberto dropped her off he returned to the cab stand with a big smile and a story about how he had just made out with this girl during his last ride. He was simply giddy, for now at least.
Roberto shared his story with the drivers on the stand about how he had picked up this lady who had made out with him in the cab. Now it was Garcia's shared a story of his own with Roberto. What the woman failed to tell Roberto was that she had another drivers cock in her mouth only 45 minutes earlier.