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September 6, 2007

September 6, 2007 – Games With The Gas

            Today Salvo left me another gas receipt.  This happens pretty much every day now.  I fill the gas, every day, till the pump clicks.  I don’t know what else I can do.  One day Salvo left me a gas receipt for $12, that’s like 4 gallons of gas.  How is that possible?

            Salvo insists that I fill up on the same pump that he fills up at every day.  For me to do that I have to go out of my way to his favorite gas station, which happens to be in a shitty part of town.   It doesn’t really matter to me if I spend an extra 7 cents on gas where I usually fill up.   Today I put in 5 gallons of gas after my shift, which came out to an extra 35 cents.   I sometimes hit the gas station right downtown after my last ride, which is actually a few cents cheaper than the gas station that Salvo insists on.

            All the daytime drivers swear by the station that Salvo goes to.   There’s one pump there that’s on a banked drive that apparently lets you put more gas in the car.  It’s true, the gas stations in Cortez do cost like 50 cents more per gallon, and believe me I don’t like to be gouged on the price of gas, especially driving for a living and all, but if I only need to put in a gallon or two of gas it just makes sense.  I’ll gladly pay a premium for convenience.  Sometimes the daytime drivers only drive like 20 miles in a day, which comes out to about a gallon and a half of gas in these cars, and then they drive 8 miles round trip to fill up in San Diego, not to mention the extra 20 minutes that they spend in doing so.

            So lets do the math.  A gallon of gas is roughly $3.00 in Cortez and $2.50 in San Diego.  Ok.  So now add each of those numbers by 1.5 (Number of gallons needed to fill the tank.)

            That’s $6.00 to fill up in Cortez, and $5.00 to fill up in San Diego.  But then there are the extra 8 miles that you have to account for by driving back to San Diego to fill up.  That’s about half a gallon – $1.25.  Add that to the $5.00 that you already spent, now it cost $6.25 to fill up in San Diego when you could have just stayed here in Cortez and saved that $.25 as well as 20 minutes of your time.  I’ve tried to convince several of the daytime drivers, on a number of occasions.  They’re just not having it.

            So yeah, there’s that.  However, after talking with at number of drivers it seems that I’m not alone in my frustrations with filling up the gas. After talking with a few of the night drivers it becomes clear that this happens all the time.  Seems childish.  Sometimes Salvo leaves me a gas receipt for $1.50.  $1.50?  Really?

            Oh, it gets better.  Sometimes Salvo doesn’t even bother filling up the gas, at least as much as he claims that he normally does, he just puts in what he claims he uses.   He has a gas formula, like many of the daytime drivers use.  Salvo claims that his taxi, which also happens to be my taxi, gets 14 mpg regardless.  I’ve tried to correct him on this as well – No dice…

Me: You know the taxi isn’t always going to get 14 mpg right, there are a number of other factors that contribute to gas mileage?
Salvo: No, I checked it, it gets 14 mpg.
Me: Right, well on the day that you checked it I’m sure that it did get 14 mpg, but that doesn’t mean that it always will get the same gas mileage.  There are variables.
Salvo:  No, it’s always 14 mpg.
Me: Trust me, it’s not.  Your gas mileage will be less if you have more stop and go city driving, if you have more passengers in your car to weigh it down, if you have less gas (hence less weight) in the tank, if you windows are down, if you’re A/C is on, if your tires are under inflated, if you leave the engine running, if you are sitting in traffic, and so on.
Salvo: I just put in what I use.
Me: Well, you obviously didn’t because I can tell just by looking by the gas gauge that you didn’t.  Just go to any gas station and pump the gas till it clicks please, just get it close, I don’t want to argue about this.
Salvo: If you go to pump no. 8 at the 25th and Imperial gas station it will fill up the gas.
Me:  We’ve been over this already, that’s out of my way in a crusty part of town and I won’t be going there to fill up on some special pump.  That’s that.
Salvo: (Shrugs)

More often that not now Salvo just does his own calculations and replaces only the gas that he considers to have used.  Look at the mileage!

            Sometimes I don’t see Salvo when his shift ends and I get some barely intelligible note scribbled on a napkin about something or another.  Here’s the one from today.

            “Why u no fil gas.  I’m fil gas and I’m drive 87 miles.  And you leve garbich in car.  Throw out your garbich, I no want to pik up.”

            This was admittedly my fault, with the “garbich,” which I have assume was meant to read “garbage.”  I forgot an empty bag of chips in the car that fell behind the seat.  Honest mistake.


  1. We have the same problem up here BUT if we are short we turn it in to the company and they charge the last driver to drive the cab $25. on top of the amt. of gas shorted. We have a LOT of drivers that will turn in gas receipts for less than a dollar.

    Seriously annoying.

    I plan on going through your blog and reading every story ... I love cab blogs that are actually intelligible. ;) Thanks for reading mine!

  2. That looks like a 4th grader wrote that.