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August 22, 2008

August 22, 2008 – Mrs. Wilitz

           Mrs. Wilitz is one of our regular customers.  She has an account with the office.  Whenever Dolores Wilitz takes a cab we just put her pickup point, destination, and a total fare on a business card that is stamped with a payment template on the back.  Most companies would print out receipts for this sort of thing.  Not Cortez Cab.  It might cost them a few extra cents to order stamped business cards, and it would be a lot to ask them to spend money on anything.If you’ve read some of my previous posts you’ve heard about the condition of our cabs.  And if you haven’t, well, they’re pieces of shit.

            So we have to go into the office and manually stamp the back of them.  But we can't stamp to many at once.  We are only rationed out 40 cards at a time.  After that we are supposed to fill out a office log and sign it saying that we only took 40 business cards.  I'm not sure why the office makes us do this, it's beyond silly.  If drivers want to come in every day and grab 40 that would be fine though?  I don't see the advantage of having a stockpile of stamped business cards sitting in my cab, other than the fact that if I do grab a bunch of them at once it minimizes the number of trips that I have to make to the office.  Bizarre that office is...

            Anyways, one of our drivers, who we’ll call “Driver A,” picked her up the other day.  Driver A picked her up from “The Willows” a retirement community in Cortez.  One of the attendants wheeled her vegetative husband out in his wheelchair.  They were going to the Hotel Del Coronado, which is more of a local tourist attraction than anything else.  I spoke with a man who went there for a beer a few days prior.  A $13 beer….  A bottle of Budweiser.

            Driver A and the attendant folded up the wheel chair and helped Mrs. Wilitz and her husband into the taxi.  When they arrived there was a problem.
            Driver A: (Pops the trunk to remove the wheelchair)
            Mrs. Wilitz: What’s that!
            Driver A: It looks like a wheeellllccchhaaaiir…?
            Mrs. Wilitz: How did it get in there?
            Driver A:? 
            Driver A: I put it in there…                       
            Mrs. Wilitz: Well it’s not ours.  That must belong to The Willows.
            Driver A: Ok, I’ll return it.

            As Driver A picked up Mrs. Wilitz and her husband they stood there and watched as the two men (Driver A and the attendant from The Willows) struggled to fold up the rusty old wheelchair for a good minute and put it in the trunk.  It seems as if they had no idea that once it was folded up and placed in there that it would proceed to their final destination as well.

            Driver A works nights, often till 3 a.m.  The next morning one of the office workers, Bertha – the biggest one, called him to verify that the wheelchair had been returned.  At 9 a.m…

            I don’t like to get calls from the office about anything, much less to be woken up by them for such a trivial reason.  Driver A wasn’t happy and I can’t blame him.  Perhaps I’m wrong.  Perhaps Bertha and Mrs. Wilitz knew something that I didn’t.  Perhaps there is a thriving black market for dilapidated old wheelchairs.

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