Epic, Awesome, Super … It was a great day. I only have a few hours until bedtime, so I’ll try to get as much of it in as I can.
I did go to bed early last night. Probably a very good thing, considering that if I would have stayed up just a bit longer, I would have been kept up by news of the horrible tragedy in Colorado. (I caught part of it on the midday news, but it didn’t really hit home until I saw the evening national news.)
I slept 10 hours and got out of bed just after noon. I check my horoscopes early and one of them totally went with part of an unusual dream I’d had. (spooky)
I broke out of my normal Friday routine by eating breakfast before my shower. After getting dressed, I checked the zones. Lots of orders sitting there. I went out to pre-cool the cab before pouring my Mountain Dew and making the final preps so I’d be ready to accept an order as soon as I booked in.
Seconds before I booked in, a message came across asking for help and my zone one one of many that needed it. I booked in and ended up second in line. After having another cig, I went out to the cab to run a card that I’d forgotten to yesterday. I was about to shut the cab down, because I wasn’t getting an order and didn’t want to waste fuel, when I finally got one.
I’ve forgotten what exactly it was, but it was just a short cash run. I made it home before getting what looked like a lame grocery run. It said he needed help. (No problem.) I’m not even sure where the trunk release was in this cab, but was told it was missing. The keyhole is also damaged, but opens with the ignition key. (It might open with a screwdriver, but I tried my house keys on it when we got to the guys apartments, and they were too big.) So I have to shut the cab off to open the trunk.
But the guy said that he’d throw in an extra $15 for help carrying his groceries inside! (Up only a half flight of stairs.) It only took two trips. $20 total. Easy money and the day is off to a good start already.
I immediately got another order, but it was a delayed pick-up. On a medical account, it was also short and lame. Time for an unwanted pit stop before I pick them up at the psyche place.
Just as they’re getting in, my phone is ringing. It’s the main office number. (I was thinking MY cab was ready. Nope.) They were calling to change the destination. (The passenger can’t do that on accounts.) I was kinda busy getting signatures from the passenger(s) so I barely noticed that I thought he called me by the wrong cab number. This would sink in later.
At first the thought of that sent up HUGE red flags. They don’t even know I have this cab. Then on another ride I drove past a cop and thought “What if they report it stolen?” .. No, upon further thought, if they were really going to look for this cab, they’d check it’s ‘paperwork’ and see that I signed it out.
I had more thoughts (fears) later. I haven’t had to call dispatch to see if I really am listed under the wrong cab number. Maybe the shop guy forgot to switch me, like he said he was going to. (He was supposed to.) Or, maybe he tried, and since someone else is already assigned this cab, the computer wouldn’t let him. … Whatever. For now, it’s not MY problem. I’ll just be sure to not have a full tank on Monday morning. .. (There are some other “technical/legal” reasons this could be a problem, but once again, it’s not really my problem. yet)
I was watching the evening news when I got an order from the lady with too many kids. I wanted to watch the whole story on the news, but it just kept going on and on. I figure it will be the main story for a while. …. After dropping her off, a guy was waving at me. Could I take him to the Old Market? I said “sure” right away, then thought about it. “Did you order a cab?” (I don’t want to steal another driver’s order. ) He had but he’d called ‘City Cab’. (Our new competitor.) Fuck it. I don’t know how they operate and he’d obviously been waiting out in the heat for a while, so I loaded him, his roommate, and their groceries.
Half way to their condo, the City Cab driver called him. He said he’d been waiting in the parking lot for them. (Yeah, right.) Long story short, bummer for him. Talking to my passengers, they said something very unusual for Omaha residents. They said that giving up their cars was the best thing that every happened to them. Of course they live downtown where every bus leads, they work from home (near the Old Market, where there’s plenty to do) and they have bimonthly access to one of their sister’s cars. …
Omaha has a new “master plan” that’s been proposed that includes a subway. Discussing this with a later (talkative) passenger it sounds great. She thought it might take business away from the cabs, but by the time this “proposed” multi-billion dollar project could be built, it wouldn’t be a problem. … It’s not going to happen. The local government is stuck on a streetcar project that they’ve spent millions studying, and it just doesn’t work.
Shifting into evening mode:
I ended up with an order taking a couple from the Element Hotel to the Ballpark (where the Red Sky Music Festival is is full swing). I showed up before they’d even checked in. I said I’d wait. Time for a smoke break in the courtyard. They took longer than what they said and I had to turn down some other potential passengers while I waited. They ended up going to the Old Mattress Factory, which was going to be packed tonight. (Knowing that would come in handy later.)
I was getting hungry, and I’d given my last five dollar bill to the lady with too many kids, so I went to McD’s. I ordered a sandwich and asked for three 5’s for change. (I wouldn’t have needed them anyway, but I might have. Best to be prepared.) In the mean-time I my tablet was chiming with an order. I took it.
It was a good ER voucher order. Ok. My apartment’s on the way home. Gotta eat this burger while it’s fresh. 5 minutes. (wishful thinking) My teeth came loose when I was three quarters done. So I had to fix that, finish the sandwich, and refill my soda. It took just over 10 minutes. Oh well.
After helping her load her baby’s stroller in the trunk I “loaded” the order on my tablet after ’23 minutes’. (They’re timed now, and that’s the longest I’ve ever taken. ) Oh well. … A long drive to NW Omaha and I was suddenly first up again! … “Take a deep breath. Don’t get excited. You’re only a mile and a half away from where you can take an order, and you’ll make it.” … I did. Barely.
The order wasn’t great, but it was right on my way. Then it led to another personal call later! She was using a corporate card, and she was tipping $10 on each trip. (The first one was just over $10 on the meter. The second was only $7, but with the tip it was a very profitable trip.)
(Oh, I’ve shifted into nighttime mode. The next real test for the Grand Prix.) The headlight seem a bit high to me, but the high beams are definitely higher. (I’d prove this later on another ride even farther out to the Northwest.)
Everything seems to work. This cab really is too good to be true. Except for the computer readout which went dark yesterday. I think it’s supposed to be back-lit. It was always dim until I thumped it with my finger. Well yesterday , the thumping didn’t work, so I used the back of a lighter. It came on, but I hit it one too many times and it went dark again. It still works, but I can barely see it. (One less distraction. lol)
Skipping to midnight….
I ended up sitting at home for a half hour before getting what looked like an awesome order. From a Dundee bar to WAY OUT in NW Omaha. But the passenger changed her mind and ended up just hopping to another nearby bar. **sigh** (Her “friend” who paid did give a 60% tip on the min trip.) .. I instantly had another order from the same bar. Even shorter. This guy’s friend helped load him into the cab. He was bombed.
The poor guy thought I’d passed his place. I backed up, and I hadn’t. He must have wanted to save face and said I was ok right where I was. He gave me $12 which came to a 140% tip! He seemed to make it in the right direction and I pulled away.
Back home again. For another half hour. Kinda hard to sit still while the adrenaline is running so high, but that’s the way it goes in my zone. I maybe should gone scouting for fares, but I had some blogs to catch up on. Then the order came.
The same lady that had changed her mind earlier finally wanted to go home. (WAY out Northwest.) It said it was going to be paid by credit, but her “friend” had cash. (They had a friendly argument about it.) Yes, cash is preferred, especially since that finally put me in the black for the week.
Now I’m out West at closing time. I’m expecting a personal call from downtown, but know better that to count on it. (It didn’t come.) I kept checking the zones, and got one from ‘zone 20’. (btw, my “home zone” is 22) It worked out perfectly. (Maybe one too many passengers, but I didn’t see anything. )
From a bar to the Marriott Regency. Just $7.50 on the meter. It was also going to be credit, but I took a twenty and gave ten back and called it good. Friendly party, and that’s still a 33% tip.
Surprisingly, the board was almost clear and 2:10am. Maybe I’ll get that call from the lady who’d called me back earlier. (Nope, but I headed that way. ie. Towards the Old Market.)
I ended up getting flagged down by a server from Upstream Brewery. She was eating a sandwich (it didn’t look like a sandwich) that came from a taco truck. (Roach Coach. lol) She said it was great!
She was headed to my neighborhood. As I was trying to settle up with her I was approached on by a car on one side, and a drunk pedestrian on the other. Hang on!
The car wanted directions to the nearest gas station. The pedestrian (I thought) wanted a ride home. (I didn’t quite understand his address.) Give me a second, ok?
I settled up with my passenger, and she tipped me over 50%. (She’s server, so that’s not really surprising. We’d had a good conversation too.)
I gave the car directions the best I could. It’s not really that hard to find a gas station. Then the pedestrian guy was just standing there. My former passenger told me that he didn’t really need anything. I heard him yell “HEY” as I rolled up my window and pulled away. I wanted to go home. I wasn’t in the mood to deal with another super drunk.
I had a thought on the way home. “Wow, I really enjoyed that last conversation.” She was a sweet girl, and we were just two people chatting at the end of our shifts. I got a good look at her as she was standing next to the drunk pedestrian (who I made sure wasn’t a threat before she got out of my cab). She wasn’t “hot”, but she was decent. … I know it’s not “professional” to hit on passengers, but dang; why haven’t I printed up any business cards yet? That way I could have at least given her my number with her change.
I was close to home where I instantly began to write this EPIC post. lmao …. The adrenaline is finally starting to wear off. Bed time will come soon. I’m ahead of (or actually right on) schedule. 6am is “bedtime”. … I’m sure mbc will be calling at noon for his usual 2:45pm pick-up from work. (He always keeps me ‘on schedule’. )
Thanks for reading.