The last time I drove a Thanksgiving, it was bad. I was only on for 8 hours, the weather was mild, it was slow, and I got ripped off. Monday morning, I told Roy Boy that I'd never drive another one, and with his usual composure he told me that if I felt that way, I shouldn't. Truth is, I like spending Thanksgiving with my family, and my family is the people at the cab company. So, I shouldn't care if I make money or not. I didn't drive it last year, I had a health issue, but I think this year I will drive it, even if I don't make a cent.
The ripped off, of a couple of years ago, went like this....... I get this ride to pick out by Whitney and Raymond for 2 going to the gin. (The gin is UW hospital) I went out there and they took their sweet time coming out and getting into the cab. The woman had a very unstylish, brand new coat on, her mother had a ratty older coat. The new coat probably came from some food pantry type program to provide winter coats, these folks came out of a small apartment building that I wouldn't want to live in. They were black, and looked like your typical poor people. Why is it that they're never ready to go? Their time is worthless, so the cab drivers time must be worthless too, right? And if the cab driver doesn't like it, they'll just call another cab, and make that one wait too. There was NOTHING else to do, or I would have taken off.
When they finally do get in the cab, the younger woman immediately starts this wailing over her baby. "Oh, my baby. Oh, my baby." It isn't sincere, she's acting, and she's doing it badly. She does this wailing, all the way to the hospital.
When she gets to the hospital, she immediately says, "The hospitals going to pay for it with a voucher." Yeah, like I'm stupid enough to let her and her mother vanish into that hospital without paying me. I get out and go with them. Her mother looks reluctant to go in, like she's looking around for someplace to quickly wander off to. I follow the younger woman, the one who's basically hired the cab, into the emergency entrance. She knew right where she was going, the woman we went to was part of the emergency staff.
This woman who's a hospital staffer said to her immediately, "I told you, we will not pay for a cab ride with a voucher." Then she turned to me. "I'll call the police", she said. She was just as bad, worse perhaps than the woman who was ripping me off, because she figured she'd kick me out of the hospital, which would result in the ride being free. I wonder how many drivers that woman has facilitated ripping off?
I said, "Oh, do call the police! I'd really like to have a cop right about now. If this woman isn't going to pay me, and had no intention of paying me, and you knew about it in advance, then she's committed a crime. I'm going to go outside and wait in my cab for the cop I'm going to call over the cab radio. Since you've discussed this with this woman in advance, I'm sure you know precisely who she is, and identification will be no further problem. I'm also sure that if a cop, hospital cop or street cop, asks you who she is, you'll identify her. Thanks, you've been very useful." The real injustice, is that the woman who works for the hospital can't get a ticket too, I wonder..... Misprison of Felony? Nah, she'd claim she made a valiant attempt to prevent this woman from ripping me off, but it's a nice thought. (If you want to know the specifics of Misprison, ask in the comments)
I went outside and asked the dispatcher to call me a cop. At this point, this whole affair is going to result in a dead loss of more than 60 minutes, and I'm only working an 8. It's been dead all day, I'll be lucky if I can pay for the cab. Most other drivers would drive away from this, but that only encourages these 2 to rip off another driver for the return ride. I'd kind of like to see them walk home.
A hospital cop comes out, and I tell him that I'm waiting for a street cop that my dispatcher has called for me. Under this circumstance, he can't force me to take off. He smiles and says that it's ok, this woman is trouble, the baby in question is in the hospital for seizures, and they're working on taking the baby from the mother. Under a circumstance like that, he's willing to write the citation, because it's just one more brick in the wall of taking that kid away. Then the Shorewood cop who responded to the call from my dispatcher pulled up. I explained the situation to him. He said that one of the 2 of them would cite her, of course I have no way of knowing if they did. It was slow for them too, it was something to do, so they probably did.
I'm just speculating, but I don't think that woman gave a damn about that kid. The kid was a meal ticket. The greatest loss was that it would take a long time to find another chump to knock her up, which would start the job of welfare mother going again. There's no unemployment for her. She was following her mother in this career. Her mother didn't give a damn about either of them, but it was her meal ticket too. She was willing to change a few diapers for 3 squares and a bed, winter was coming, where would the rent come from now?
The hospital cop implied that they were attempting to prove the woman was an unfit mother, because of drug use when she was pregnant. The idea was that they could take that baby away on that basis. Nice guy. That's his agenda. Ever wonder why health care costs are going up, out of control? Somebody is paying for all this forensic testing, and that somebody is us. In truth, the woman probably did not use drugs when she was pregnant. The seizures were probably caused by the bug spray that would have been applied to the baseboards in the roach infested building they lived in. I had a dog who had seizures once. For the first 8 years of his life, he had seizures, and then we moved. The next 10 years of his life, no seizures. I'm sure it was the residual from getting rid of roaches, that was doing it. If that woman hadn't been so stupid, she would have found a way to pay me, I could have told her about bug spray and seizures, and she could have defended herself.
Thanksgiving, bah humbug. But it is a chance to spend quality time with my family. Yeah, I'll drive it again this year, and I'll even buy a pumpkin pie and ice cream for the office.