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July 12, 2007

July 12, 2007 – My Not So Clever Co-workers

I’m beginning to see what the guy who was training me, Julio, was talking about in regards to the drivers, and how they’ll step on your feet to get what they want.  None of their methods are very clever. 
            So here’s how it works.  We have a radio in each taxi that we use to contact the office.  Taxi drivers are required, by the City of Cortez if no one else, to call in whenever they pick up a passenger and state the pickup location as well as the eventual destination, to comply with record keeping requirements. 
            Problem is that only one driver is able to transmit over the frequency at once, and when there are 20 drivers or so working this can be difficult.  Many drivers however don’t respect the call in order.  It’s like anything else, you wait your turn in line and wait till everyone else has already called.  If nothing else it’s common courtesy. 
            Some of the drivers, more often than not, choose do disregard this informal agreement that we have as drivers at the company.  They may either jump to the front of the line or key their radio’s mic as to cut off the radio transmission of whoever is talking.  There are a number of ways that these drivers attempt to manipulate the system, although none of them are very clever.  If nothing else it’s obnoxious, but if I have been waiting and another driver just jumps in it’s unfair as well.  When drivers do this I have to wait longer to be given a call by dispatch, and if I have to wait longer for a call chances are that I won’t be able to take as many rides during my shift– hence less money.
A caricature of one of our bandido cab drivers
          The main other way that some of drivers try to circumvent the company policy is to maintain their spot in the order of cabs that are waiting for calls while taking a fare.  The drivers have coined a term for this.  “Smuggling.”  For all practical purposes this is taking a ride without calling it out.  This is dishonest as well because it gives that driver an unfair advantage over the other drivers to make more money, and is doing it at everyone else’s expense.   It’s not very dignified, that’s for sure.

P.S. - This is not one of our actual drivers, just what I feel to be a comical caricature of one.

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