Monday, August 20, 2007

Treasure hunt

A man and woman got in my cab and said they left a cell phone in another car, nowhere near my zone. They made the assumption most people do, that all cabs are part of one large corporation, and that I have the ability to contact all other drivers on my radio.


While driving them to their last pickup point, at Broadway and Kettner, downtown near the Amtrak station, I explained to them how the taxi business works. Nearly everyone in San Diego is independent, with several small companies that own 5-20 cabs each. The only thing they remembered about the cab that supposedly carries their cell phone in the back seat is that it's "light colored". And the driver is Middle Eastern. That narrows it down to 600 or so.

While we checked the taxi stands at Amtrak (Santa Fe Depot) and then Marriott Marina, then Hyatt Grand Manchester, they were calling the lost phone again and again in hopes the driver would answer. By the time my meter said $50, the phone was answered. The driver agreed to wait where he was sitting (at a Pep Boys on El Cajon Blvd).

We found him and my customers gave him $20 for waiting, and got their phone. I brought them back to where I picked them up, and got $100 for my efforts.

"The phone is not the issue," they told me. "It's the 400 numbers stored in it." I didn't really care if the meaning of life was stored in it. For $100, I'll drive around looking for just about anything.


Roy, Dublin Taxi Driver said...

Nice job moneywise, but I know I'd feel semi responsible for not finding their phone and would be glad to get rid of them and the atmosphere!

Just found you through the london Cabby! I'll add you to my Taxi blog roll now!

Ted Martin said...

It was tense, but everything worked out -- for me and for them.

I just added you to my blogroll. Nice to meet you.