Saturday, February 20, 2010

The rabbi and the preacher

I had a Hasidic Rebbe in my cab Thursday night. Before he got in my cab he asked at least 10 drivers in the cab stand at the airport to high flag his ride to the park and ride for less than 20 bucks. He was very persistent. I must go and discuss this with the local guy. It's dismaying that such a pious fellow on the face of it would ask 10 guys to rip off their employers.

When he was putting his stuff in my trunk I said, "Erev tov." As we drove down the street he asked me if I was Jewish and I said, "ken." For those of you who haven't taken Hebrew, that was good evening and yes. We got as far as, "Koreemli hoffny", and I had to offer explanation in English, I guess my accent is as bad as his English accent was.

The preacher is a driver who's been driving about half as long as I have. He was telling me about doing stuff he did when he was a kid. Guess he was a banger in southern CA. Wild stories. He worries about people not understanding. Like the rebbe, he's got enough kids to put a football team on a field. I wonder what he's going to do when the first one of his kids bangs. He can say they won't all he wants, but they're kids, like he was.

I had to do this post on the sabbath, since the guy asking drivers to rip their boss's made a big deal out of did I observe the sabbath. I say, "Why is today different than any other day?" This is a classic Jewish question about the sabbath, it's supposed to be that you observe the desires of the Almighty every day, right? I need the money every day.


Skyring said...

Every now and then I do a ride with the meter off. This is usually because something in the routine of loading passengers and getting underway is off, and I skip the important step.

I notice it soon enough, and I either flip it on, or if it's a significant distance or (dozey cabbie) at the end of the trip, I ask the passenger how much the trip usually is, or if it's a regular run for me (Parliament House to the airport, perhaps) I just say it's a fixed price fare.

And I note it as such on the envelope I hand in to the owner. He knows what other cabs are returning on that night, and if a cabbie is light, or repeatedly light, then it's obvious what's going on.

I also don't like doing fares off the meter because it means I've lost control. I did one in my younger days, and the passengers stuffed me around, wanting to go here and there and wait. What had been a good price for a particular job turned into a very poor bargain for me.

Real cab driver said...

The rabbi who was soliciting the high flag ride was just being cheap. Kind of like the famous bank robber of the past was just taking money out of the bank just like any body else does. It's only stealing if he thinks it is, and that's really wrong.

Last night, I went to 313 N. Francis and there were 5 people there. I said I could only take 4. So they refused the ride. I told the dispatcher as much. 10 minutes later I'm listening to the dispatcher and I can hear the phone answerer in the back ground saying, "You can't count!"

These bozo's figured they'd just call another cab, and get somebody who'd stuff as many in as they wanted. Nope, get a van, pay 150% of the meter for van rate, and basically pay more money with that metered cab.

By the way, in 21 years, I've never driven a metered cab. I sometimes wonder what it's like.