Christ Jeebus, I work with the Stooges.

And this could take up an entire 1/2 hour sitcom show.

This is how my night started last night:

I get to work late, about 9p-ish and am in a wheelie-van again (car is down) for the night. While I'm sitting there at base I get "forced" to go to the airport to pick up a lady in a wchair and take her to Hillsboro. It's about a $90. run to where she's going so I don't complain too much about being forced. ;-) And our base is only about 2.5 miles from the port so pretty easy to get to.

I get to the port and have to go speak to the girl at the information booth to get a special pass to p/u there; with pass in hand I head back to the van. I'm sitting about 100 ft. from the lady in the chair, I can see her where from I am but I will have to make the circuit around the port to get back into the proper lane where she is waiting.

I get in the van and *snick*. Key breaks off in the ignition. Pssht. It's far enough out that I can pull it out with my nails, but I can't get it to turn. >:-| I call the night supv (of the cars) and he has another key, but no way to get it to me.

Me: Can't you just call a cab?

He: No. What you can do though is to grab a cab from there at the port, take it up here, get the key, then take it back to the van.

Me: All right. You want me to grab one of ours so you can give him a voucher?

He: No. You have to pay for this.

Me: Horseshit. Ain't no way I'm paying for this. (I be so eloquent)

He: Hm. Well. Let me talk to dispatch and get back to you. It's about 10p now, he's off at 10.

I wait about 10 minutes then call dispatch directly.

Me: Hey, this is Trixie in 007. Can I speak to the dispatcher?

Idiot Operator 1: Who is this?

Me: Trixie in 007. Can I speak to the dispatcher?

IO1: Did you put in a voice request on the radio?

Me: No. My van is off, no radio. The dispatcher knows what's going on, could I speak to him please?

IO1: Um, wait a minute. I wait, on hold.

IO2: Hello? Who is this?

Me: Trixie in 007. Could I speak to the dispatcher, please?

IO2: Did you put in a voice request?

Me: I just went through this with the other operator. The dispatcher knows what's going on, could I just speak to him please?

IO2: Why don't you just put in a voice request?

Me: I can't. Dispatcher please.

IO2: Hold on. Me holding. You need to put in a voice request.

Me: Oh fer Crissakes. I CAN'T. Could you just LET me talk to the dispatcher? He's working w/the lot lizard to get me a key. Help me out here. I have a customer waiting, in THE RAIN, in a WHEELCHAIR.

IO2: Hold on. Holding. Can't you just put the customer in your van while they wait? Why would you make them wait in the rain?

Me: I'm not going to get into the semantics of not being able to turn on the van and the lift only working if there is actual POWER to it with you. Could you just LET ME talk to the dispatcher? FUCK!

IO2: There's no need to get angry. Hold.

I wait on hold for almost 10 minutes, (Fuckers) and finally I get the dispatcher.

Disp: Hey there Trixie, what's going on?

Me: blink I thought the lot lizard called you ... ?

Disp: Nope. What's up?

Me: O for crissakes. My key broke off in the ignition. I'm at the port. I have a lady waiting. Lizard said he has an extra key. Can you guys get it to me?

Disp: Hold one. must be training 101 for dispatchers. All we can do is tow you.


Disp: That's our only option.

Me: You have GOT to be kidding me.

Disp: We don't have any way to get you a key.

Me: Do you not KNOW how to call a cab?

Disp: Don't get snotty. We aren't going to pay a cab to bring you a key. It's *your* job to have another key if something happens to yours.

Me: Oh, is THAT why you have extras to every cab in the fleet? HUNH.

Disp: Look, you broke the key, it's your cab, you need to get it fixed if something happens.

Me: Look, I may have broken the POS key, but it's *not* my cab, it's what you people gave me to drive tonight and I don't have to fix *shit*.

Disp: All we can do is send you a tow truck.

Me: Can't you send the key with him?

Disp: No. Do you want me to call you a tow truck?

Me: Fine. Tow me. Get his ass down here and have him tow me to base, I'll grab the key and take off from there.

Disp: We can't do that.

Me: Can't do WHAT, exactly?

Disp: Have him tow you here. If he doesn't tow you to the shop then you have to pay for the tow.
Me: You realize how asinine this is, for a fucking key, right?

Disp: If you're going to get rude then I'm going to hang up.

Me: Ya know, after a certain point, you just gotta laugh. Bring on the tow truck.

I sit there for about a minute, mentally kicking ass all over the dispatcher and his idiot henchman. Then I think.

All right, I know who it is that drives the van during the day, I'll call him and see if he can bring me a key ('cause, otherwise, it's his ass that's out a van the next morning while it's sitting at the shop). I get his voicemail.

I call a couple of other drivers I know that are working nights to see if they are anywhere near the area and would grab the key and bring it to me. They've all taken the night because of the nasty weather.

Think. Think. Pssht. I carry a Leatherman All-In-One. It has a set of pliers on it. I whip it out and *snick*, turn the key, van starts. I'm an EFFIN GENIUS... 30 minutes later. I call dispatch to cancel the tow truck.

Me: On the dispatch radio, like a good cab driver monkey I got the van started, cancel the tow, I'm going to go ahead and grab this lady, since she's still sitting here.

Disp: What do you mean she's "still sitting here"?

Me: Apparently you forgot about he customer while all this was going on; the order is still sitting on my screen. You didn't re-dispatch the call so I'm going to go ahead and grab her, then when I get back to this side of town I'll stop and trade you keys.

Disp: You can't do that.

Me: Lord help me. Can do WHAT, exactly?

Disp: Any of that. We talked to the tow truck company, they're going to bring you a key. I told him he could talk to you about tipping him for bringing it out since you broke the key.

Me: Well, it's a good thing I'm not in need of a tow truck or a key because I'll be damned if I'm going to compensate anyone for anything. YOU can't speak for me, or my money. How about I just take care of the CUSTOMER in a WHEELCHAIR then we can discuss this, K?

Disp: But ... he's on his way here.

Me: Wow. And I would think it would be a requirement to being a dispatcher that you know how to dial a phone. Yeah, I'm making friends tonight. How about I just call them for you can let them know I don't need a tow. Or a key. That make it easier on you?

Disp: No. I can DO my JOB. And PART of my job is writing up drivers that are being abusive to the dispatchers.

Me: Dude, do what you gotta, in the meantime, I'm going to take care of the customer. Thank you for your help. OH, And when you write this up make sure to tell them about your forgetting to get the call re-dispatched. You know: the customer in the wheelchair, sitting in the rain that they're saying is coming down more in the last 24 hrs than we got most of last winter. K?

Fucker. I finally drove around the port and got the customer. 45 minutes later. Poor lady was soaked. Someone eventually pushed her outta the rain, but still, ya know?!

We had a nice chat out there since it took almost an hour to get her home, some of the roads were closed due to the rains. The moment I dropped her off and cleared the computer I got a message popped up on my screen (and everyone else's in the fleet) that said "007, are you EVER going to come get those keys?"

I put in a voice request on the radio.

Disp: 007. I was wondering if you forgot about your keys.

Me: I told you I would get them when I got back to that side of town. Is there a rule against that somewhere?

Disp: No. I just wanted to remind you. I know that sometimes you drivers ... forget things. *snort*

Just for the record: on the disp radio everyone in the fleet can hear what the disp says, but not the responses given. Imagine how this conversation would sound only hearing his end.

Me: No. I didn't forget. As you're watching me I know you can tell I JUST dropped off this lady so are you insinuating that I'm stupid?

Disp: No. Of course not. I would never call a driver stupid. On the radio. I just know that you sometimes miss things.

Me: Good thing I didn't miss that you get off at 7, just like me.

Disp: We're clear. And he stopped talking to me.

I took another call out there and as soon as I cleared I got another message on my screen about not forgetting my keys. I put in another voice request.

Disp: 007.

Me: Is this going to go on all night?

Disp: *snicker* I just didn't want you to forget.

Me: You worked last night, right? When it was real busy, had calls waiting almost all night because of the weather?

Disp: Yes, why?

Me: I made almost $500 last night. Do you even bring home that much in your entire 2 week check? Do you want to discuss who is more stupid? Stop pissing on my cornflakes. Yeah, well, I can be a petty bitch sometimes too.

Disp: ... we're clear.

Didn't get any more msgs about my keys all night.

I stayed busy most of the night so I waited until I was done and gave the key to the morning lot lizard.


Sizzle said...

what an asshole that guy is! i actually think you kind of kept your cool. i would have been swearing at them.

Larry said...

I'll echo that sentiment, especially if I knew my words were heard only by the dispatcher. My GOD that is a prime example of why there could be justifiable homicide! ...and that lot lizard would be getting a nice delivery of a crap sandwich the next day. Maybe even hand-fed. :p

So tell me... If I were to set up shop out there as a cabbie go-fer (say, keys & the like) would there be a market for it?

You wrote that well.

The Lily said...

Man, that sounds a LOT like working for the federal government. And for that, you have my utmost respect.

What an ass.

Tragerstreit said...

My head would have completely exploded, I think. Holy jeebus crisco I wanted to twist that fucker's head off their neck just READING that.

Contrary said...

He's obviously not the least bit worried about someone whippin' his ass.

Someone needs to change that.

whall said...

Way to go Leatherman!!!! *THIS* is why I go EVERYWHERE with mine.

Well, not this specific type of reason, but you get the idea...

Noah_Tall said...

Off topic, but can I get a ride to the airport? I think it might be outside of your working schedule, but I need to be picked up in the parkrose area Tuesday (12/11) morning between 7:30am and 8:00pm. I think it would be very cool to meet one of my favorite blog authors in the process. Email me at noahtall61@gmail.com if this can be done.

Amy said...

Good grief! This is how office shootings start, isn't it?

S/A said...

Your cab company is obviously bigger than mine. Maybe the division of labor is one of the reasons your dispatcher has less power. Where I work as a dispatcher that means I answer the calls, take the orders, deal w/ the customer service issues, dispatch the orders, do general office work etc etc etc and there's only one person here at a time. We have what we call a 10-x. If the dispatcher 10-x's you you are not permitted to work for however many days you are 10-x'd for. You're lucky he seems to not be able to do that because if a driver copped the attitude you present yourself as having much of the time with customers in your blog w/ me and then played that income card I'd 10-x you for a month.