My column for the S.F. Examiner this week is about driving on Easter weekend. Things did not go well…
Sometimes I really fucking hate driving a cab.
If it’s not the back seat drivers (“38th and Anza. Take a left, I’ll direct you the rest of the way.”), it’s the fares who act like they’re your long lost friends, but at the end of the ride, stiff you on the tip.
If it’s not the horrible drivers on the road, doing everything they can to make your job more difficult, it’s the passengers who get out and forget to pay. (“Oh, I’m sorry. I thought this was Uber.”)
Or the passengers who ask me, “Have you ever thought about going back to school?”
Then there are fellow cab drivers who don’t adhere to proper road etiquette. Yeah, I know we’re all competing for limited number of rides, but if I’m driving down the street and a hand goes up in front of me, cutting across two lanes of traffic to swoop in and snake the fare out from under me is not just bad form, it’s proof that there are still way too many scumbags driving cabs.
“We’re all hungry,” a driver told me once.
Okay, but does that mean you’re free to steal food out of someone else’s hands?
I don’t want to point fingers, cause I know they have the largest fleet in The City and thus are the most ubiquitous, but the biggest culprits of this type of activity are almost always Yellow cab drivers.
I’ve taken to calling them the wolf pack, with their shark-like toppers on the roofs of their cabs. At least it’s easy to see them from a distance and try to avoid their potential bad behavior.
And hey, no offense to all the great Yellow drivers out there, but seriously, why can’t management over there put a sign up in the office? Something as simple as, “Don’t be an asshole to your fellow cab drivers.”
Okay. I know I sound bitter this week. I ended my shift on Saturday night with a fare who puked inside my cab. And no I didn’t collect my $100 cleaning fee. My night was ruined and I drove back to the National yard and cleaned a stranger’s vomit out of my cab.
To add insult to injury, earlier that night, I was bragging to some passengers about how lucky I’ve been to have not had anyone puke inside my cab in two years of driving for hire. I even went so far as to boast about my skills at preventing potential pukers by taking precautions…
Too bad there was no wood in the taxi to knock on…
Anyway, read the column here.
photo by Colin Marcoux