Wednesday, January 14, 2009


The last time I worked a Thanksgiving, I worked a day shift. I think I have worked a Thanksgiving night shift once, and decided that I'd never do it again, no business. Inspite of being mostly a night driver for the last few years, the last time I drove a Thanksgiving it was a day shift, and it was terrible because it was a nice balmy fall day with sunshine.

Toward the end of my shift, I got a pair going from Balsam to UW Hospital. 2 black ladies, one in her 40's or 50's, one in her 20's. Of course, they weren't ready to go. Usually I wait for 3-5 minutes and take off, and refuse to go back, it's part of my style, however it had been such a dismal day, and there was NOTHING else to do, with no prospects for the next hour, I decided to wait. I waited for probably 15 minutes before they came out.

One was young, around 20, the other was around 45. The young one was wearing a brand new winter coat. There are people here who collect coats for the poor and give them out in a similar fashon to a food pantry. The problem with this is, I don't want a brand new winter coat in leu of a cab fare, and if you have a coat that cost you nothing which you don't really like that much after you get it home, well why not stiff that stupid cab driver and give him that ugly coat? Anyway....... The young one starts this fake wailing immediately, "Oh, my baby. Oh, my baby. Oh......."

We get to the hospital, and the young one announces that the ride will be paid with a voucher that she has to go inside to get. I immediately ask for the cops and then follow her inside. Close inside there is a woman behind a desk who recognizes her, and greets her by saying they already discussed a voucher over the phone, and the hospital isn't giving her one. This same lady looks at me and asks who I am. I tell her I'm a cab driver. She immediately tells me she'll call the cops on me, I tell her I'd like that just fine, I've called the cops myself. I also tell her that since she obviously recognizes the young woman with the new coat, she'll be able to provide the cops with her name so thay can cite her for refusing to pay. When I get back to the cab, a cop is waiting, the mother is looking around like she's wondering where she can dissappear but it's to nice a neighborhood for her to vanish in, she'd look out of place.

You have to love hospital and hotel people. They're such nicey nice (explicitive, explicitive)'s. They would call the cops in a heart beat if someone tried to rip them off, but if they can protect their patient or guest from an evil cab driver who is trying to collect a fare, they aid and abet the act of refusing to pay, agressively, every time.

The cop tells me that they're trying to take the lady's kid away from her. He didn't say what pretext, drugs or unfit mother I suppose. What's really most disgusting about this who deal is why the kid even exists. The grandmother who was trying to wander off, but couldn't probably had the young woman so she could get paid for being a mother. She probably didn't care who the father was, and didn't even care about the kid, she didn't want to get a job and having a kid would pay the bills, so she had one with the intent of a career on welfare, then when the kid became an adult, well she'd change diapers as her own mother probably had, and live off the kid and grandkid. The young woman was following her own mothers career path, and why not, who'd want to get a job?

From listening to the conversation about the baby in the cab, I think I know what the problem was. I had a dog who had seizures for 1/2 his life which I believe were caused by the bug killer the land lord used to get rid of roach's. I'll bet that baby got seizures from the bug killer in that rat trap apartment on Balsam, and there was nothing particularly wrong with the parenting. I could have told that lady that, but since she ripped me off, why would I want to? The fare she ripped me off for would have raised my income for that 8 hour shift from around 25 bucks to around 40. Is it any wonder why I'd refuse to drive subsequent Thanksgivings?

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