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Saturday, March 04, 2006


A really busy night.

It started out really slow. I came on at 6:00pm and didn't get my first run until 6:45pm and that was just a $5 "pu-pu".

At 7:00pm the owner turned dispatch over to me (ugh). Stayed slow for the next hour. 8 cabs idle. Boredom.

About 8:00pm the phone started ringing. Zip, that 8 cab cushion is now down to one cab coverage for the entire southside of the island. People were headed to the airport, the harbor, dinner, etc. By 8:30pm I was becoming very selective in the calls I was accepting. With vastly reduced resources I had to husband what was available. By 11:30pm we were caught up on the calls and then were able to give a 10 minute response on request. And they just kept coming in.

The bar close was a madhouse, but by 2:00am, I was able to send the other drivers home.

And the phone still kept ringing, albeit at a slower rate.

Kept moving until my first two dayshift drivers checked in early at 4:30am. Passed over the phone and reservations and "got the hell out of Dodge".

They had two airport runs to start their day. One at 5:00am and the other at 5:15am. Their entire morning was booked solid.



At one point during the night I came to a 4-way stop intersection. Just as I was pulling away, a movement caught my attention and I braked hard. Coming through the intersection was a mini-motorscooter with two riders towing three teenagers on skateboards. Each boarder clinging to the shirt of the one in front and the first one holding the hand of the scooter's passenger. There was no light on the scoot and everyone was dressed in black. I sat there in disbelief until they passed. I broadcast over the radio what I had seen to warn other drivers in the area. About 10 minutes later, one driver advised that the boys had been stopped by MPD on the highway about a mile south of where I had seen them. MPD was conducting field sobriety tests on the entire lot.

Ah, to be a teenager and believe that you are indestuctable. We have all walked that path ourselves. Amazing we have lived this long.

"Buddy can you spare a nickle?"

Made one pickup a little after 3:30am at the south end of Kihei and took him north. The fare was $20. He handed me 1 - $5 bill and six rolls of nickles (for readers outside the U.S., there are $2 worth of nickles in each roll). Yup, just $17 total. $3 short. It was obvious that that was all he had. The company gets its 60% of the fare and I eat the rest. But it wasn't enough to stress over. Feces occurs and he might tip big the next time. Thats the way it usually seems to work out, more often than not, over the 4+ years I've been doing this.

Sorry, no pics tonight.



"Let's all be careful out there!"


Dogbait said...

Enjoy your posts, Wil. Keep them coming.

Joann said...

I pay yellow cab about $540.00 a week for the use of the taxi, dispatch, insurance for the cab, repairs and oil etc. I buy my own gas. Gas runs around $900.00 a month. They take 5 percent off the credit card slips or hospital vouchers I turn in. Then what is left over is mine. The IRS gets their blood money too. I take about 6 days off a year. Work 7 days a week. I'm nuts or I like this job? A few times a year I take a lady, and her sister, up to Sacto. With a stop around the Nut Tree area it runs $350. I'm glad I do not have to share that fare with the cab co.

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