Tag Archives: facebook comments

You Never Know When You’ll Need a Taxi

taxi-phone-yellow

Originally published in the S.F. Examiner
on August 28, 2019.

I know you shouldn’t do it, but I do it anyway…

I read the comments.

Sometimes, I skip the content entirely and go straight to the comments.

As is often the case with internet discussions, they’re usually nasty, prejudiced, ill informed and contribute nothing beneficial to society. In other words, they’re absolutely entertaining.

It’s all fun and games, though, until the commentary is directed at taxis. Like the recent article in The Chronicle about medallion holders struggling to survive in the age of Uber and Lyft. The comments were so vitriolic, my eyes practically burned from reading them.

Even though the piece was mostly sympathetic to the plight of cab drivers who purchased medallions that are now worthless, the readers compelled to leave comments overlooked the pathos and delighted in their misfortune.

“Good! Let them suffer!” “Taxis can’t die fast enough.” “Boo hoo. Cry me a river.”

The reason for all this hatred? Back in the day, cab drivers were rude, refused to take people to the Avenues, rarely showed up on time, if at all, claimed their credit card machines were broken and didn’t clean their vehicles well enough.

But, but, but, I wanted to reply. That was then. This is now. Most of the bad players have left the industry. So why continue to hold those of us who are more than willing to serve the public accountable for what happened in the past?

Well, if I’ve learned anything from driving a taxi it’s that San Franciscans love to complain about public transportation and they often hold grudges. Nothing I say will ever change that. And I’ve tried.

Read the rest here.


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A Taxi-Driving Hero Ain’t Nothing to Be

taxi-drivers-mighty-trevor-johnson-web

As a general rule, I never read comments. Especially comments on my own stuff, either on the Examiner site or social media. But when someone tags you in a Facebook post, it’s hard to avoid the nastiness so common when there’s a computer or smart phone screen in the way.

That’s how I stumble upon this bitter perspective:

“I guess writing this column is the only reason you still drive.”

I instantly click reply, “What the fuck does that even mean? As opposed to doing what? Getting back on track with my fledging astrophysics gig?”

Does this person think I’m independently wealthy? That the Examiner is paying me the big bucks for my 700 words a week, which I invariably turn in late because I’m too exhausted from driving a taxi all week to write about driving a taxi?

Before clicking submit, though, I delete the response. Type out, “You sound like my wife.” Then replace “wife” with “mother-in-law.” And delete that, too.

Instead, I turn off my phone and roll over. As I watch my daughter sleep under the muted glow of a nightlight, my mind spins, processing this notion that I’m supposed to be more than a taxi driver. Why? Because I’m white? American? Male? College-educated?

Who makes up these rules?

Read the rest here.

[photo by Trevor Johnson]