Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Assisting in the Greecian's Pilgrimage (Recovering from Day 14)

My 14th shift was bad. I never should have taken the crown victoria that was missing the button for lumbar support adjustment. But I did anyways, and was miserable all day. Halfway through the shift I compiled a list of things that needed to be fixed on the car, and headed back to base (ignition held on to the key, trunk wouldn't release w/out help, pulled right, 'clunking' in front suspension, excessive shuddering on the freeway).

I met the Greek pilgrim on Monday, while sitting at my usual coffee shop.

Day 14 (Tuesday) was so bad that I intended to work on my other projects today, but I'm always open when opportunity calls.

Poll: Are you in search of spiritual insights?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Day 13: The Doctor, Drinkers, and Downtime

This was my second 24-hour lease, and the first to fall on a weekend night.

The afternoon started off slow. My first fare was a mildly-intoxicated mexican fellow going home from the bar.

Poll: How often do you take a cab?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Day 12: Working Girl

Not much to report from yesterday. I'd bet the entire day's take that my first passenger was a working girl.

Made three trips to the airport yesterday, so that was cool. The last one was a total setup.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Day 11: illumination, making friends

The company requires new drivers to put in 10 shifts before they'll lease a cab out for 24-hours. Before taking out the car, a fellow driver pointed out that you don't save much on Sunday Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, because PM leases on those nights are relatively cheap. I took the 24 hour lease anyways, because I'm not very interested in working graveyard right now.

So I picked up a Prius just before 4pm on Monday.

A guy checking in his cab asked if I wanted a fare - how much to 19th Ave? Uhm, $10?  He put his bag and boat seat in the trunk, and I sorta rushed the checklist. But I distinctly remember checking both headlights, and that the amber glow was present in each.

Yesterday I was reminded of something I forgot to tell you about the asian ladies from a few days ago.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day 10: An entrepreneur vs. St. Patrick's Day

An early fare yesterday was a 32-y.o. woman who'd just had a relapse. She'd gone out drinking with a friend, possibly some drugs... She'd been clean for a year. Unemployed for 4 years, spent 7-months in jail sometime for defending herself against her abusive boyfriend/husband with a meat cleaver.

The one after her was going to his narcotics anonymous meeting. Then I took some high-functioning special needs-types to their weekly lunch at the pizza buffet (long ways away - $23), then picked up another woman to take to the same event (2 miles, $6).

Then picked up someone to go to a women's meeting... 2 miles away. "gotta get out of here", so I headed north-west. Went 12 miles to a fare in a zone that had good potential, but no one was home at the address, and the neighbor said both their cars were gone. wtf?

Found a small fare or two, then I met the German couple, and my day got much better after that.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Day 8: bus strike, medical malpractice

Last month I needed something to do, and my non-physical helpers 'suggested' that I drive a cab. I have decided to join your fine community so that I have a record of the interesting people I meet. (note: this was originally posted to

Independent contractors like myself lease a car from the company, and pay for the lease and our time by picking up fares that the company sends our way. Fares are first offered to cabs in the passenger's zone. If there is no cab to offer the fare to, the system will announce its availability so that any driver in the system can pick it up.

I tried to lease a car this morning, but there were two waiting lists. The hybirds disappear on week days by 4:30am, but I've always been able to get a Crown Victoria at 6:30am.

Valley Metro's bus drivers are striking, which is probably why more drivers than usual took out a lease.

Poll: Should bus drivers be allowed to strike?