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August 11, 2007

August 11, 2007 – Games on the Radio

            Often times when I come to work there are drivers improperly using the radio.  It can be comical, frustrating, or both. 
            
            I usually come to work about 3.  I have noticed that the drivers who work in the morning are a little more, well cutthroat, for lack of a better term.  I have begun to notice a pattern.  There are a few drivers in particular that are not well liked, some are outright despised.

            One of the drivers Jorge, has been attempting to call in for call in for the last 3 minutes or so.  Every time he tries to get through on the radio someone cuts off his transmission. 

            Jorge: Cab 132
            Dispatch: Who’s calling?
            Jorge: Cab 1-------
            Dispatch: Who?
            Jorge: Cab 13------
            Jorge: Cab 1--------
            Jorge: Cab 13------
            Dispatch: Who’s calling!
            Jorge: Cab 1------
            Jorge: Cab ------2
            Jorge: Cab ------32
            Dispatch: I can’t make out your number?
            Jorge: You guys have fun?
            Jorge: Cab 1-----2
            Jorge: Cab ------2
            (Unknown 1): “Farting noises”
            (Unknown 2): “Burping noises and laughing”
            Jorge: Cab -----3-----
            Dispatch: Stop it! Let the driver talk!

You get the point.  This goes on for several more minutes.  Jorge doesn’t have a cell phone so his only way to contact the office is to get through on the radio, which obviously isn’t working, or to find a pay phone.  This is a frequent occurrence with Jorge.  Not many drivers like Jorge, and from what I understand for good reason.  I was talking with one such driver just yesterday.  Jefferson was his name.

Jefferson is probably one of the best drivers that we have here at the company.  Intelligent, articulate, honest, polite – lets just say that he doesn’t fit the mold…

Anyways, here’s the deal.  When a customer calls the dispatcher looks on a board with a series of pegs with corresponding cab numbers.  The pegs are placed in the order that the drivers had dropped off their passengers and once again became available for calls.  The purpose of the pegs is so that the dispatcher can easily look at the board and see what driver cleared with their passenger first and is first up for calls from the dispatcher.  Jefferson dropped off his passenger 30 minutes ago and he is now first in line.  Jorge dropped off 5 minutes ago so he is sixth in line for calls.

Dispatch: Cab 407 (Jefferson)
Cab 407: Go ahead.
Dispatch: Go to 1459 Main Street.
Cab 407: 10-4
Several minutes pass…
Cab 407: Cab 407 (Your first transmission always starts with your cab no.)
Dispatch: Cab 407 go ahead.
Cab 407: There’s no one here.
Dispatch: Are you sure, they just called?
Cab 407: Yeah, the neighbor said a van taxi came by and picked them up.
Dispatch: I don’t know what they are talking about, none of our vans called in a ride from there.  Were they sure.
Cab 407: I’m not sure, I’ll wait here for a minute, can you leave me 1st for calls.
Dispatch: (Sighs) 10-4

Meanwhile, Jorge has already picked up Jefferson’s passenger and failed to mention it to the dispatcher.  Normally Jorge would have been able to get away with this.  That is if he would have taken a second to turn his radio down.  As Jefferson relayed to the office that he was at the address with no sign of the person, the passenger overheard the conversation and realized that the cab that he was riding in wasn’t the one that had been sent for him.  After the passenger was dropped off he called the office to let them know that he had indeed gotten picked up, by Jorge.

Dispatch: Cab 197. (Jorge)
Cab 197: Go ahead.
Dispatch: Land line (Make a phone call) the office.

            Of course it wouldn’t be that easy for Jorge, first he had to find a pay phone…

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