Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tough beginning

I got Gollum again from a grocery store to her garbage house. It took a half hour, altogether, and I got a total of $4. The fare was $3.60, plus a $.40 tip. I guess she thought that was adequate for folding and storing her walker, plus groceries, then retrieving everything from the car, then carrying everything up to the garbage house. This time when I unlocked it for her, I pushed the door open and backpedaled quickly, so as not to gag on the awful stench.

My 2nd ride of the afternoon involved a pickup at a local high school, where an elderly lady wasn't anywhere near where she claimed to be. After wasting 10 minutes, I found her. It took about five minutes for her to get seated in my car, just as a loudspeaker from the track and field area of the highschool announced that commencement was over. She said: "Oh, my. I don't need a cab, then." So she got out in a record-setting four minutes. Before she had the door closed, a do-gooder citizen walked up to her and asked if she was waiting for the kids, which she was. "Well, everyone's going to the auditorium over there. You may want to get dropped off over there." Then a big conversation ensued about whether she was getting dropped off or picked up. In the middle of this I announced that I needed to move on to paying customers. The do-gooder got snooty. The auditorium was about 100 yards away, and my elderly customer had been talked into taking the cab.

Just as she got re-seated in the car, four minutes later, a guy and two high school kids walked up. It was her son and grand children. The guy was an ass to her. "Where are you going? What are you doing?" Then he walked up to the driver window and stared at me. I looked at the lady and repeated that I had to go. Finally I left, with no passengers and no money. Fucking idiots.

Ride No. 3 was from another grocery store going about four blocks. It was another $4 fare. This one had about five bags of groceries and they needed to be lugged up a very long flight of stairs. She gave me $10. Quiz time: was this passenger over 60, or under? If you guessed under, give yourself a gold star. The over 60 crowd thinks a $.20 or $.40 tip is adequate for not only driving them, but hauling their stuff. Note to self: never will I be become an out-of-touch asshole when I hit the golden years. Arthritis and bad eyesight and whatever other ailments are not good reasons to treat people like dirt.

Five minutes after I dropped her off she called the cab company and said she left some groceries in my trunk. That was not true, which I explained to the dispatcher. They came back with: "She's insistent." My reply: "Insistence doesn't miraculously put something in my trunk that isn't there."

After that, a lady flagged me down:

Her: How much to the Hyatt?

Me: $7

Her: $7?

Me: Yes, $7.

Her: How far is it?

Me: A mile and a half.

Her: And it's $7 to go a mile and a half?

Me: Yes.

Her: How much is the bus?

Me: I don't know.

Her: Do you know where the bus stop is?

Me: No.

After deciding $7 was out of her price range, she exited the cab.

I decided that if I get one more idiot local who thinks cab drivers should be carrying groceries or otherwise jerked around, I'm leaving. Fortunately, the next few rides were worth the effort. I'm still out here, but any more moronic locals and I'm going home to do something worthwhile. Thank goodness I have a job I can abandon as soon as I'm not enjoying it!

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