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January 9, 2009

January 9, 2009 – Sampson

            My favorite dispatcher is working tonight, Sampson is his name.  He is one of the night dispatchers who comes in and works from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.  We like having Sampson here for a number of reasons.  He uses common sense, which is in short supply. Sampson lets us play on the radio and make noises and comments.  It gives us a chance to unwind after six straight hours of Julie’s screaming.  One thing in particular that I respect about Sampson is that he doesn’t put up with belligerent customers.

Two days ago Sampson sent me to the McDonalds on the Navy base.  This is hands down the slowest McDonalds that I have ever seen.  It takes roughly 10 minutes per order, which doesn’t sound like much, but imagine if you are in the drive through and there are 6 cars in front of you.  That’s an hour long wait. Every once in a while people actually run out of gas while waiting in line.  Once you’re in the line you are not able to exit until you have passed the drive through window.  It’s really terrible engineering.

I explained to my passenger that going through the drive thru is against base policy.    Anyways our conversation went something like this.

Sampson: Cab 54
Me: 54 go ahead.
Sampson: Can you go to the McDonalds on the Navy base?
Me: 10-4
Me: (As I arrive and pull up to the fare) Where are you off to?
Sailor: Were going through the drive through.
Me: I’m sorry, but I’m not allowed to do that.
Sailor: Why not?
Me: The base police told us that we are not allowed to drive through the drive through.
Sailor: Why not?
Me: I don’t know, they just told me that we aren’t allowed to do it.

None of this is true of course, but it is feasible.  There is a gas station on base and we are not allowed to get gas there, although it isn’t marked saying so.   I’m tired and I want to go home, this was going to be one last quick ride.  I think it’s actually pretty fucking rude to call a taxi from the other side of Cortez and subject him to this silly full vehicle inspection at the main gate just to take someone through the drive through.

The previous Navy Vehicle inspections were equally silly.  We just had to show our taxi permit and pop the trunk.  If someone tried to bring a bomb on base and it was sitting right on the floor of the trunk the guards would probably see it.  Back to my fare;

Sailor: So you don’t want to do it?
Me: It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s that the base police told us that we were forbidden to enter the drive through.
Sailor: So you don’t want to do it?
Me: Well I’m not going to do it and that’s that.
Sailor: I asked your dispatcher and she said you do.
Me: I doubt that, and there’s only one guy in the office right now, there are no women in there.
Sailor: Oh yeah, I’ll call her.
Me: Go right ahead.
Sailor: (Dials the office and gets Sampson on the phone) Yeah! My driver is here and he said that he doesn’t want to go to the drive through! 
(Sampson Speaking) Well, that’s up to the driver, I don’t have any control over whether he wants to do that or not.  If he says that he's not allowed to take you through McDonald's I guess thats up to him.
Sailor: I want to go through the McDonalds!
Me: We won’t be doing that.
Sailor: I’m serving your country! (Slamming the car door and stomping away.)



This guy’s lucky he’s not the one serving those burgers.  I don’t much care for any of that unselfish patriotic talk.  I think it's pretty disrespectful to the people that do serve.  Veterans.  Not those who just sit on the navy base, get drunk, and terrorize the town's residents.  This guy had every chance to get something to eat while he was in town.  So I call the dispatcher and ask him how he would like me to handle it.

Me: Well I’m definitely not going to bring this guy through the drive through.  Fuck him.
            Sampson: Yeah, fuck him. Tell him to get a fucking bike

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