Thursday, January 20, 2011
I'm Having a Lousy Day
Well, the last couple of days, actually.
Yesterday I showed up at the garage and was pleased when the dispatcher gave me a brand new cab. So new, that I was to take it out on its shift. Always a rare treat to drive such a new cab. It's clean, has the new car smell, tips are higher, and most importantly, the suspension is golden. New York is called Pot Hole City for a reason. The streets are truly dismal, and the suspension is always the first thing to go in cabs.
But, it was not to be; the meter was broken. The damned thing wouldn't let me log in. The mechanics couldn't fix it quickly, so the dispatcher gave me a standby vehicle. One with 80,000 miles, a sour smell, and a broken cup holder. But, the meter worked. So it goes.
Today, I get to the garage, and the dispatcher gave me a different brand new cab. I wasn't too pleased today, because snow is in the forecast for tonight, and I don't want to be the guy to put the first dent in a new cab. But, whatever, I would be careful as always.
I was kind of annoyed to find that this new beauty needed a bit of a cleaning. One of the mechanics left the remains of his McDonald's breakfast on the floor. And, it also needed gas. Rush hour is the most important part of the day for a night, and I didn't want to lose fifteen minutes doing someone else's job. But, whatever.
On the way to get gas, the meter started flickering and beeping, a sign that something was wrong. So, I took it back to the garage, and I waited as the mechanic fixed it. It was a quick repair, so I didn't get a standby this time.
I got into the city and picked up my first passenger, a lady going to the Upper West Side. Halfway there she asked why the meter was so high. I checked and was shocked to see that it was $18.50, a good five bucks higher than it should have been. The damn thing was running fast. I explained the problem to my fare and told her to pay what she thought was fair.
After dropping her, I had no choice but go off duty and return to the garage. My garage is in Brooklyn, and it is a good 45 minute trip from the Upper West Side during rush hour.
The dispatcher gave me another standby vehicle, this one with 93,000 miles.
My day is shot, and I'll be lucky to make $75 today.
But, at least I don't have to worry about putting a dent in a new cab during a snowstorm.