I’ve been avoiding posting because most of what’s going on is negative. Winter is “officially” here, but it’s been shitting up the streets for several weeks. Here’s a picture of me from about 2 weeks ago, starting my shift during a snowstorm. I’m about to start the last day of my work week, I know it’s going to be shit on the road, so this is my pep-talk selfie.
This was before we had an ice storm, so the roads weren’t COMPLETE garbage, but they were pretty bad. On this night I had picked up a man from a disabled Audi. His son was staying with the car while we went to go get dad’s car to retrieve him. Dad’s story was that the son was playing around with some all-weather feature in the car and doing donuts in parking lots until someone got a little too cocky, hit a curb, and busted two tires. When I got close to our destination, dad tried to mansplain to me how to navigate his icy street because he didn’t think I could make the sloped turn safely without his guidance. I had already let him know my tenure as a cab driver was ten years. And like I was going to heed this man’s advice when he was in the car when his son blew out two tires on an expensive car for fun.
As we pulled into the parking lot of his condo complex I asked if it was sloped and voiced concern about getting up out of it again, but he waved off my concern twice with “oh, you’ll be fine.” THIS IS WHAT THEY ALL SAY. Just like “oh, I won’t get sick in your cab,” right before chunks fly. I did get safely out, but only by using my own judgement. F that guy.
We’re obviously in the middle of holiday season as well, and boy are people in some strange flux with their money and appreciation. Credit card transactions double, the average tip is cut in half. People will say “oh wow, these roads sure are terrible tonight! Merry Christmas!” as they hand you a tip of 10% or less. But honestly, I feel like 70% of the tips are unfortunately shit, 25% are average or good, and 5% are crazy-big. I’ll have a total pooper of a night, but one or two people will hand me $15 or $20 for a tip and my faith in humanity is restored. Maybe it’s just the weather and how much harder it is to GET to a pick-up that makes it so frustrating when I get fifty cents tip.
Let me copy and paste a couple frustrated facebook posts from this week.
“Wearing my long(ish) hair down tonight… Got called “sir” twice. Once by a homeless man trying to get me to give him money (nope, not if you can’t look at me and get my gender right– I am definitely presenting as female, dude), and once by a college kid as he was getting in with the assumption that all cab drivers are dudes.”
“I love it when people say “keep the change” for actual coin-only change.”
“A BJ *and* a puker in my cab tonight. #welcometoyourjob”
“Three tips of less than $1.50 and then a ride from L’Etoile to the Mansion Hill Inn with a $0.10 “keep the change.” People are in the holiday spirit tonight!”
“Last ride of the night my cab wouldn’t keep itself straight on a straight road due to ice and snow, it’s nearly whiteout conditions, 3 days before Christmas, bringing a couple home from a bar… Total of $17.15 and the dude writes in $1.85 in the credit card tip line. What a winner! I snapped, rolled down my window and yelled “MERRY CHRISTMAS!” Time for beers.”
I would like to clarify here that the BJ and puker were two separate rides and that facebook status was posted before the end of the evening… there ended up being a second puker that night.
For all my years driving, the holiday season is always like this. People for the most part become more of what they are. If they’re shitty tippers they become shittier tippers, if they’re generous, they become insanely generous. Lucky for me that the cold season means there’s a whole lot more business in general… a ton of bad tips adds up in the end.
I hate posting all negatives, so here’s something strange and funny to end the post:
I had a party of 4 college kids get in from a residence going to a party or bar. When they had all settled (one in the front seat, 3 in the back of the Prius) and I started driving, the boy in the middle-back asks “Who wants a booger?” So random.
I hope your holidays were or will be awesome, warm, and safe.