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.