Thursday, November 8, 2007

And I used to love autumn

Cabbies watch for events around town that will make us money. These include Padres and Charges games (baseball and football, for my European guests), and especially large trade shows at the Convention Center. All of us cabbies were eager for the "37th annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience", which began Nov. 3, and ended today. Various websites said that somewhere between 32,000 and 58,000 attendees were expected, and all cabbies know that doctors are the cab crowd, as opposed to the bus crowd (see Comic-Con, an annual San Diego event drawing 125k of the cheapest people on earth).

So we all anticipated making a killing between, roughly, Nov. 2 and Nov. 9, seeing as some people arrive early to these trade shows and some stay late. And we got robbed. My biggest day during the whole show was probably $250, and that's gross. If you subtract the cab lease and the obscene amount of gas a Ford Crown Victoria sucks down, I never cleared more than $175. Now that the conference is over, I'm wondering how a minimum of 32,000 people, all with expense accounts, hardly ever rode around in taxis. I'm also kinda wondering how the hell I'm going to pay all my bills this month. I'll be spending Christmas in a taxi this year.

A lot of smaller events were cancelled because of our wildfires from a couple of weeks ago, which dropped my income to about $80/day, and now the neurology folks were nothing but a pipe dream. And all this right before the holidays, which represents the slowest time of year for us. Grim is the word.

Here's a confession. I'm in a bit of a financial crisis, the worst one in several years. I'll find a way out of it, but it's going to rough. I got two months behind on my motorcycle payments, and received a surprisingly friendly "right to cure" letter from my creditor. It's embarassing to let something like that happen. But here's the kicker. The bike was repossessed about six weeks ago, or so I thought. I was really bummed out about that, considering I have (correction, had) good credit. But I just received a bill from the creditor, and nothing was mentioned about repaying a deficiency balance, post-auction, etc. WTF?

I called them, and they didn't reapossess the fucking bike! My bike was stolen six weeks ago and I never even called the fucking cops because I thought the goddamn creditor took it! It's nearly certain that some Mexican bastard is riding my awesome, dual-purpose dirt machine in the desert somewhere south of Tijuana. San Diego has a bit of an auto theft problem, with most stolen vehicles disappearing into Mexico forever. I wonder if the guy rides my bike around while wearing a sombrero? Bastards. I now have a large bill and the bike is gone. Naturally I only carry liability insurance on it, so I'm out, oh, around $3,000.

Contributing to all these problems is the price of gas. It's above $3.30 even at the cheap stations! The situation has gone from price gouging to full-on rape. On a good day my car gets 15 miles per gallon, and if I need to run the AC it will drop below 14. It's madness, I tell ya. What really pisses me off is that America is THE market for oil. We consume more of it than half the globe combined. That means we should command the cheapest price. We're the Wal Mart of the oil consuming world. Know what I mean? Wal Mart stiff-arms suppliers to get the absolute lowest prices. We should be doing that with Middle East oil. If we stopped buying from them, the sultans would be trading in their Bentleys for Volkswagens. Gas should be $1 per gallon, period.

Completely unrelated: the Iraqis have disappeared. Our three Iraqi drivers disappeared from the streets three weeks ago, and with the possible exception of the cab company owner, nobody knows where they are. Two of them are known to disappear for a month at a time doing CIA contracts -- translation work, as they're fluent in Arabic and English. The third never does this kind of work; his English is rudimentary at best. Nobody feels like asking the owner because we know he'll never tell. He never does. The only time he ever gives out personal information about other drivers is when they croak, which happens about twice a year.

1 comment:

p t t . said...

That really sucks about your bike.