August 19, 2012
Sailor: How much to I.B. (Imperial Beach)
Me: Upwards of $25.
Sailor: What do you mean?
Me: $25 to the front end of I.B., the closest part.
Sailor: So how much to where I’m going?
Me: Where do you want to go?
Sailor: By the 5 (Interstate 5).
Me: Around $28.
Sailor: It was $20 last time.
Me: No it wasn’t.
Sailor: Yeah, so will you do it for $20.
Sailor: Well that’s what it was last time.
Me: I don’t set the rates, the city does. They are set by mileage, and whatever the meter comes out to is going to be your fare. I can take whatever route that you would like me to, but it’s going to be at least $27.
We arrive 15 minutes later…
Sailor: Ok. (Gives me exactly 27.40).
Sailor: Sorry, I’d give more but that’s all I got.
Me: Wow, you must really be good at estimation. If the meter rolled over another 20 cents I guess we would be in trouble huh.
Sailor: (Confused) Yeah.
I had asked a tough question…
August 11, 2012
I like talking with Jefferson. We find common ground on a variety of topics – politics, the cab company, humor, etc. Today the conversation segued into the topic of past living situations. We’ve all had them, and lived with strange people at one point or another.
Previous to his current situation, the one where he lives with Randy, he lived with an odd lady named Ingrid. She had several cats, but the one that she was closest to had died. One night when Jefferson came home, he walked into what can only be described as a “Cat Séance” of sorts. They were all at a table with candles and the cat was lying right there in the middle of it. He could not tell if any communication had been made…
(You'll have to excuse my lazily photoshopped graphic, these take much time, and unfortunately, that has been in short supply lately.
In an odd turn of events, when Jefferson had agreed to let Randy come and live with him, Jefferson’s cat “Tigger” had mysteriously died on the very first day. Jefferson was not happy. Tigger had lived to the ripe old age of 14. There would be no attempt at reaching out to the spirits with Tigger.
Yep, another one. Same things that happens every time. An overly timid driver darts into traffic and panics, slamming on their breaks. In anticipation of them being a good driver, I see them moving forwards and anticipate them having the courage to merge. They do not. It’s really hard to describe the intersection unless you see it. It’s a mess.
It’s my fault, although not my fault alone. The girl was nice about it. She lives in PB and her car gets hit all of the time she tells me. We go separate ways. I think part of the problem is that I’m just so tired. Perhaps it was because I was up smoking pot till 4 a.m. That’s the only thing that makes this job tolerable. I’ve been slamming a few beers, and eating chunks of cheese and just going to bed – but I like smoking better.
I would just get a medical marijuana card and be done with it, but I’d still be violating federal transportation regulations. That would be fine though, because Catherine’s never heard of it.
Get this –
Recently a driver was given a random drug test. He tested positive for Marijuana. Catherine then told him that he couldn’t continue to work here. When he explained that he was prescribed Marijuana for medical purposes Catherine was dumbfounded. She had never heard of California’s Medical Marijuana Initiative…
Never even heard of it -
Mysteriously, about a month later all the drivers were brought in to sign a new contract with company. The reason? They had lost all of the old contracts and needed the drivers to sign the “exact same” contracts. I wondered how they disappeared right out of the file cabinet? The office had lied, they weren’t exactly the same. There was an addendum stating that being prescribed Marijuana for medical purposes would not be allowed by company employees.
August 10, 2012
I’ve discovered yet another problem with my cab. That the fucking headlights don’t work!!!
I explained to the shop what I was encountering and they weren’t able to find the culprit. I was silly to think so. This won’t be going back to the shop for this anymore. That is unless I want them to duck tape a few large flashlights above where working headlights would be. Better yet, they would likely used checkered tape. I bet Catherine buys it at Costco in 1000 yard rolls. I’d tell the morning driver to bring in the car – but there’s a problem. I don’t speak idiot, although working here, it wouldn’t be hard to pick up.
Well, in all fairness, they do work – albeit intermittently. It’s really hard to predict. Sometimes they work for weeks at a time, sometimes minutes. As the headlights cut out they emit (well, something emits) a high-pitched buzzing. It’s really fucking embarrassing. Often times there are customers in the car. I explain a little bit about how our company works. They’re usually understanding, and often sympathathetic. The operation is really pretty unbelievable to those of us with any inkling of sanity.
What’s the fix? Well, the fix is driving in the dark for about 10 seconds with the headlights off. You just have to turn the headlights off, but you can leave the little amber running lights on. After about 10 seconds you can turn the headlights on and it’s back to “normal.” If you don’t turn the headlights off it doesn’t fix the problem and the irritating buzzing continues.