Saturday, October 24, 2009

On the Banks of The Red Cedar

The Big 10 water polo tournament is in town this weekend, they're playing at the SERF. I had a guy from the Iowa team, and some girls from Moo U., in my cab. Moo U.? That would be Michigan State, and their fight song is the title of this post. When ever I get Michigan State people in the cab I ask them to sing that song. Why? Years ago, before I moved to Madison, I liked visiting East Lansing a lot. And, in fact, I hold cab permit #64 (I think that's the number) in East Lansing, but I never followed up and went back to the company to become a driver.

Become a driver? How does that work? I assume it works the same everywhere, but perhaps it doesn't. They tell you to go and get a cab permit before they'll talk to you about being a driver. So the cops checked me out, and I got a little pin with a number on it in the mail from them. I guess if I ever wanted to go home, I'd have a job waiting for me in East Lansing. Hmmmm, never thought of it before.

I've been hearing some amazing scuttlebutt lately. It's all related to the new 'system' which is to be installed in all of our cabs. It is, of course, being touted as the greatest thing since sliced bread. It's GPS, and takes plastic which will be instantly credited to my account, and has all the time calls on it, and tells the office where I am. Where I am, but not what I'm doing, since we're a zone cab and if it's cash, they'd have no way of knowing if the cab is loaded or not, unless they use a seat sensor. No meter in our cabs. But the new system supposedly will know the price of every ride immediately when the ride is entered into it.

The scuttlebutt is related to why we're getting this piece of junk, and how it's to be paid for. Regrettably the scuttlebutt makes too much sense, but the most tantalizing of it, I'm unable to verify. The part I can verify is the lie Square Pants is spreading around, but it makes sense too. The screaming of the fat man described in the previous post also fits into this like a glove.

Square Pants scuttlebutt is that checkin is going up by twenty bucks a shift in January. He told me he got it from the manager of his company who got it from Roy. Then he turned around and told Bloomie that he got the same story from me. Bloomie and I concluded that it's just the little German trying to stir up some shit, and since he's including me into his bull shit, I won't talk to him for a few months, aside from telling him he's real lucky that shit splatters. I have to assume this crap will drift back into the office at Badger, but there's nothing I can do about it. They claim it won't go up, and I don't much care one way or another. If they were to do something like that they'd end up with more holes in the schedule, make less money, and I would probably make about the same amount of money. My own seat of the pants thought is, if it was me, I wouldn't risk the holes in the schedule, and I wouldn't do it.

Last summer, Schnidley started telling me about this wonderful system. I said then, as I still say, that I don't see how it's going to improve my business or income. We came to frustration, it's VERY important that people BELIEVE for some reason. Way too important, for the good of the drivers. So Schnidley passed me off to the fat man and he started telling me about it. Why with this new system, they could provide dispatching for a cab company anywhere. Badger Dispatching? I suppose........ But if that's the case why don't they start submitting bids to manage cab companies in small towns?

How does submitting bids work? I lived in a town not far from here that owns it's cab company. In order for them to take federal funds for their public transportation system they have to provide for the needs of the elderly and handicapped. In that town they bought some Crown Vic's and they contract out the management. The management handles scheduling, payroll, hiring people, and the city sees to the car repairs, insurance, and all that sort of thing. Why would the city want to do business with Badger Dispatching? They'd have to install expensive junk in their cars, and deal with a company that is 'somewhere'. If the fat man wants to run a company so bad, perhaps he should submit a bid, surely there are many such cab business's. So, I'm sure the fat man see's himself overseeing a vast empire of dispatchers in a phone bank like setting. Silly rabbit, trix are for kids.

It seems to me, that the people in the office are forgetting who brought them to the dance. A cab company without cab drivers just doesn't make sense to me. On the other hand, Cabs and cab drivers without dispatching makes complete sense, doesn't it? The words of Bobby will always be true, 'Dispatchers are people who can't successfully drive a cab.'

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