Originally published in the S.F. Examiner on November 28, 2019.
At 4 a.m. on Saturday morning, I pull into the Hilton cabstand. There are six cabs in front of me. The City is really quiet though, and there aren’t many signs of activity at any of the hotels in Union Square, despite long lines of cabs in front of each one.
The Dreamforce convention ended on Friday and most of the drivers are hoping some of the 170,000 attendees haven’t left already. But it doesn’t look promising. After half an hour with no movement, I’m drifting in and out of sleep.
An hour later, I’m only three cabs away from the front, talking to the driver in front of me about our predicament. Well, not really talking. More like whining.
“What if we get a short after waiting all this time?” I grouse.
“Well, that’s the risk we take,” he tells me.
Just then, the doorman from Spero walks over looking for a cab. He’s got a guest going to the airport.
Since the driver waiting in the holding spot on Taylor is fast asleep, the cab driver in front of me asks the doorman, “Can she take it?”
I quickly flip around and pull up to the hotel to pick up the fare. Hand the doorman five singles after he loads the suitcase in my trunk.
Heading to the freeway, I think to myself, did that cab driver just refer to me as a she? I glance in the mirror. It’s still dark and my hair is sort of feathered as it sticks out of my hoodie. And when I whine my voice tends to go up a few octaves. So perhaps he did think I was a girl. If that’s why he gave me the ride, though, I’m OK with it.
After dropping off at terminal two, I head back to The City. I manage to find a spot in line at the Marriott Marquis, but there’s no movement. Forty-five minutes later, I give up. It’s safe to say that Dreamforce is over. Ending just as quickly as it started.
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