I got a phone call this morning ...

'round about 3. It went like this:

He: Is this Trixie the cab driver?

Me: Yup. Can I help you?

He: I don't know if you'll remember me but you gave me a ride home about a week ago. I was really drunk ... ?

Me: Doesn't really narrow it down for me, did you do anything specific that made you memorable?

He: You said I was sufficiently hot. That ring a bell?

Me: No I didn't. I would never say something like that.

He: You did. I SWEAR.

Me: Wait ... wait ... I'm getting a flash here ... I said you were incipiently hot.

He: You said ... wait ... what? What's that mean?

Me: You were almost hot but not quite there yet. But that's neither here or there. You in need of a ride?

He: Yeah. Can you come get me?

Me: Possibly. Where and when?

He: I'm at the Justice Center downtown. And I'm hoping soon.

Me: Ah. Gotcherfineself arrested didja?

He: Yeah. Something stupid. Can you come and get me?

Me: Sure. Be about ... 15. That work for ya?

He: Yes. Please! Oh, and ... well ... ummmm ...

Me: Spit it out. Wassup?

He: Well, I'm hoping you can bail me out.

Me: ...

He: Still there?

Me: You're shittin' me right?

He: No. I don't know who else to call. Pleeeeeeease??

Me: There has GOT to be someone else you can call.

He: No. I tried my folks, they aren't answering the phone. My friends aren't allowed to have their phones on this late. I'm stuck here and need some help!

Me: Well, I'm certainly not going to bail you out of jail BUT I will drive to your folks house and try to wake them up. You're off South Shore drive in Lake O right?

He: Really? You'd do that?! Oh wow ... that is so cool of you!

etc etc

I woke up his folks. They weren't exactly happy, but they were glad I went 'n got them up.


I walked in on the middle of a conversation this a.m. ...

while getting gas at the Shell station, and I'm sure the first part of this conversation had to have been fascinating. Two ppl behind the counter, one foreign girl and American guy and customer, a National Guard guy.

She: You know who I think should be President?? Steven Seagal. I think he'd kick ass all over those foreigners.

Color me intrigued.

He1: Yeah!! Good choice! What about Schwarzeneggar? Didn't you see "Predator"?? He would totally kick Seagal ass AND the rest of the world.

She: Yeah, too bad he can't be president because he wasn't born here. I can't believe that's a LAW.

NGguy: You know the problem is that we live in the cesspool of the world. That's what I'm here for ... to clean up this country and make it what it used to be ... SAFE for the American people.

I was just standing there smiling at them all. Apparently it didn't look like a genuine smile 'cuz the guy behind the counter had to ask me who I thought should be President.

Me: Aw hell. I'm thinking that if you ppl are going to elect another actor into office it should be Chuck Norris, 'cuz really, who has EVER beat him? No one.

All of them agreed with me. It was quiet for a second while I paid for my fuel so I had to ask:

Me: Are ya'll planning on voting next month?

Two behind the counter said no. Nat Guard guy said yes.

Me: looking at the two behind the counter It's a damned shame you two aren't voting.

And I left.


Yeah, well, HERE'S some attitude for ya!

Hey ya'll, more thoughts on the last post. It started out as a rebuttal, and I was just going to leave a comment, but it got to be too much and decided to post it here for ya'll to have your say.

Yes, our co is much larger. We generally have about 4-5 dispatchers at any given time and all they do is answer the phone. We have about 20 people in our office to deal w/everything else and a lot lizard to deal directly w/the drivers. They hand out spare cars, do inspections, that sorta stuff so we rarely talk to the dispatchers other than on the radio.

Our dispatchers are not given any sort of power over us because our company understands that without drivers there would be no company. Yes, there are limits, and yes, we are certainly expendable, and Lord know there are plenty of people in line to take our jobs, but for the most part the drivers really are the important part of the company.

I don't know how this person comes off on the radio but I know that most of the dispatchers I've spoken with, at all cab companies, hate drivers. We're all quite low on the human totem pole to them. For that matter, to most of the people that get in our cabs as well. And I'm trying not to generalize here, because Lord knows there are bad drivers out here as well.

Not that this is a shock to any of you. This is a service industry job and most folk don't respect those in the service industry. Just the way it is. Sadly.

Yanno what? Just to make this interesting, I'm going to throw an opinion (or two) out here.

I WORK for a living. Not in an office, but I still work. 12 hrs a day, often 7 days a week. I pay my taxes. I vote. I don't litter. I don't abuse children or animals. (Drunks are a whole different type of animal :o) I've never been to jail or prison. I've not had illegitimate children so I could live off your money just because I can.

I did not go to college to become a cab driver but I needed a job one day so I did what all hard-working, conscientious Americans do ... I took whatever I could get to pay the rent. Which is more than a lot of American people are willing to do.

People complain about foreigners coming to this country and taking our jobs. Well ...

A) Our government has always allowed this. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that how this country was started? Didn't everyone come from somewhere else? Except the Indians and what happened to them? Exactly what's happening to us now, but on a larger scale. But we are allowing it, they were overwhelmed and practically wiped out.

B) A lot of people are too LAZY to work.

C) A lot of people are too good to flip burgers. Or clean up after people. Or drive cabs.

I've never mistreated anyone while I've done this job. But yes, sometimes my attitude can be a bit much. If you're not in my cab and doing something stupid, you probably wouldn't even see it.

And just because a lot of folks don't know how the cab biz is run in Portland here's a simple synopsis: we lease our cars from the company. The only money we make is from our customers. the company gives us nothing, monetarily. I PAY for the joy of working. When you include gas, I pay out more than twice what's considered poverty level for this country in a year. (Read that again to make sure you understand). I have to CLEAR this amount, and then make more to live on. Think about that.

Other cities pay their drivers, hourly or otherwise and give them benefits, etc., and still others are run differently. I make the best of my situation/job, and sometimes even enjoy it. Can a lot of other people say that? Really?? One of the reasons I can approach this job, and my customers the way I do is because I know that - for the most part- these people can't bring me down with THEIR attitudes.

Whew. That's all I have for now. Flay away at me. I'll try n' work up some sort of enthusiastic rebuttal.



Hey now, check this comment out ...

I got this off one of my old stories written awhile ago. This one -> http://heardinmycab.blogspot.com/2007/12/christ-jeebus-i-work-with-stooges.html
Can I just ask, why doesn't Blogger make some sort of "thing" that lets you know when you get a new comment on an older blog?? Or maybe they do and I just don't know about it ??? Anyone?

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.

For the love of Pete. Now I'm irritated. I hate when I feel I have to justify myself. Bah.

Edited to add: I did NOT scream all that. It's normal-sized in my editing screen. Blessed Blogger.


An older draft found in my archives, not published.

1) I get sent to outer SE Ptld to pick up a lady early one morning and take her for her daily meth dose at the clinic. I have about 10 mins before I'm due there and only a few blocks away so I stop to watch the ducks wander around the side of the road near a tiny little pond where they apparently live.

They're waddling along, being just as cute as ducks and baby ducks can be. As they start to cross the road a SUV comes from the other direction and has to stop to let them go by. The other driver and I exchange smiles and watch the ducks when I notice something ... odd. I did a double take, then got out of my car 'cause one of these poor little baby ducks has a DART sticking out of the side of it's neck!!! The lady asks me what's going on, I tell her and she gets out to try and help me herd the poor little duckie to one of us so we could do ... something. I dunno what. The momma duck hustles her babies away from the big mean people and off into the lake. I called the p.d. They said they would send someone out.

2) I had this girl get in my cab crying, quietly in the backseat. She tells me where to go, and if I could, get her there quickly. I take off. We're at 15th NE Alberta going to St. Johns. I get to MLK to go N and as I pull up the light turns red for me. I whip up to the corner and take a quick look left, there is only one car coming at me in the inside lane. So I jump on the gas and whip out into the outer lane to get out of the way. Well, turns out this one car was a cop. And he pulled me over. I turned off the meter, apologized and had a nice, loooong chat with the cop. He was angry. He didn't care that I pulled out in the far lane to get out of his way.

I ran the red light and pulled out into the wrong lane. blah blah. This guy read me the riot act. Up, down. Everything.

He: You know that if I wrote you a ticket you would lose your license, right?

Me: No chance. I've only had 2 tickets in my entire 30 yrs of driving and they were both over 5 years ago.

He: This is 2 violations in one incident. Yes, you COULD lose your license and since you drive for a living you might want to seem a little more concerned about it.

Instead of being concerned, I argued. Cuz that's just what I do. Especially when I feel someone is trying to belittle me in front of someone else. So we chatted. For quite awhile. Finally I say ...

Me: Dude, either write me a ticket or let me go. This girl has some place she has to be.

He: looks at the girl in the back, crying All right. Just because I don't want YOU to waste any more of your customers time I'm going to let you go, but you need to be a LOT more careful.