Tuesday, April 17, 2012


As of April 1st, AHCCCS patients now have to pay a $2 copay for non-emergency transportation. Since I'd been doing nights for 2 weeks, I hadn't needed to collect a copayment from any destitutes yet.

My 1st passenger from this day was at a doctor's office. The screen said to collect the $2, so I made sure that she was aware of the new policy. She grumbled, and paid up at the destination. The message on the screen says we're supposed to collect when they get in, to prevent them from hobbling away. I guess I should do that next time.

Not much to report from this night, other than it was the last time I shared the cab with the other driver. There was supposed to have been one more night, but his contract with the cab company was canceled, and I got some cash back instead.

On March 30th, the other driver went to pick up an AHCCCS patient at a large apartment complex. The information on the screen was not helpful - wrong apartment number (or maybe no building #), non-functional phone number, etc. He spent quite some time trying to find the person, and on the phone with Dispatch trying to get released, so he could go after other business.

But dispatch wouldn't release him, so he ended up cycling the meter to clear the call himself. This sends the message to the dispatching system that the passenger has been picked up and dropped off.

The problem was that the passenger was a kid, and that was the last day for the kid's AHCCCS coverage. Because my ride-share had cycled his meter, the funds that were supposed to cover the kid's doctor visit were locked up, the kid never made the appointment, and "mom" (or somebody) was complaining.

He learned this on Tuesday, when he tried to trade the loaner cab for the freshly-detailed low-mileage cab. The `Safety' manager accosted him about the situation, and said "goodbye".

Fare Report

This was a slow Monday night, and there were only a couple notable fares.

One fellow was staying at the Best Western on Northern. I'd wager that he had domestic troubles at home, as his area code was west-valley. His trip was to the Walgreens a mile away, so he could buy an aid for sleeping (alcohol). He asked if I wanted anything to drink, so I requested a bottle of water.

I picked up a manager at IHOP, whose car was in the shop. "What kind of car?"  1987 Toyota Supra, but with the twin-turbo (?) straight-6 engine from an early 90's supra. He got a really good deal on it because the guy who'd done the swap could NOT figure out why the turbos weren't spooling. My passenger figured it out with the help of an internet Supra owners group that all it needed was a $50 or $100 sensor.

It was in the shop because of the blown head gasket, which was because the boost was set really high. Improperly-torqued head bolts was a notorious problem for this engine, and once the gasket is replaced the engine is supposed to be good for an easy 600 horsepower.

A few drunks

I picked up a drunk at the Joe's Grotto. He said the problem with mud wrestling is that you don't see titties. He had plans to go to Tent City for 15 days, then do some house arrest, but I didn't catch what that was for. My notes say "drunkest male yet. Not wasted".

Last passenger was also drunk. I'm sorta embarrassed about this one, so I will withhold the details.

I tried to pick up one more fare, after washing the car at the 24-hour car wash, but he'd been waiting too long and said he didn't need a cab anymore. Luckily the dispatcher had some sympathy and canceled the call for me.

taking a break

After this night I took a few days off, and went north to see my father. He's about to have a surgery for the sake of having surgery. He's said a few times that he doesn't expect to benefit, but he thinks doing nothing is the only other option, and in his view the knife is better than nothing.

I think the main problem is that all his different doctors look at his symptoms in isolation, when the proper way to `diagnose' a person is to look for the big picture.

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