Sunday, August 30, 2009

Red Light blogging

This Post was written in segments: at lines, pulled over, and while waiting for red lights, through the middle 7 hours of the day shift.

ah the mid-shift report, off the top of my head, so much easier to write than trying to squeeze every memory into a blog, I always forget something, and then it turns out that it's all boring. this day is crap so far. I figured I smelled so I took a shower which brought me to the garage even later than I would have been to get my cab, and then the cab I receive has the body-odor of the previous driver. When first getting into the car it is unbearable, but it only smells in the front. The back in contrast, smells of an entire evening of fragrances, although maybe it only seems that way after sitting in the front for a while. I only had two fares so far, and I stopped at Duane Reade and bought a spray can of odor neutralizer. so far it only seems to mask the smell for about an hour or two. 2 and a half hours on the job, and I got 2 fares, wait no, 3 fares, oh scratch that, just got a jfk, now this shift isn't so bad. but I misunderstood the doorman and gave him 3 dollars when he wanted 5 dollars. I told him I'll make it up to him later, so I'll find a way to give him 2 dollars.

I understand that many readers and/or drivers won't have moral tolerance for tipping doormen, but I feel if it's done right than it is acceptable. It's not done right if the doorman doesn't filter the passengers to the correct cabs. There is even a pretty universal tipping structure for cabbies to tip the doormen -although it's illegal and the TLC have tried to crack down- 2 dollars for LGA, 3 dollars for JFK, and 4 for NWK. The worst thing about the tipping is that the Limo drivers will tip the doormen and then doormen will funnel the customer right past the yellowcabs and to the cars that are not licensed to pick up street hails. Plus, they don't have a regulation price, so they can name huge prices depending on how much they think the customer would be willing to pay. I don't tip the doormen until they tell me a customer is coming, and to which airport they are going to, but a lot of hotels seem to get their tips more discretely and I've waited hours watching one town car after another leave with airport rides. from where I'm sitting it seems as though plenty of hotels out there are trying to push taxicabs away in favor of limo drivers who tip them, it's the dirtiest part of the cab universe, you can really waste a lot of time and money waiting, like waiting for a pot to boil and then realizing your stove isn't on.

Anyway, sidetrack there, I still didn't get around to getting back to that hotel to give the doorman the 2 extra bucks he wanted, which he asked for because the taxi-line was so backed up with loading of trunks, that I pulled around it. I didn't ask for an airport though, and I didn't intend to cut the line, I just wanted any fare, but so it goes.

Jump in time to the moment now, and I found a shuttle spot today, Bed Bath and Beyond. There is a big banner up today welcoming NYU students, and I've taken two trips to 11th street and 3rd avenue, very small fares, but big tips, easy, smooth rides, well, until now maybe. There are two big buses that just pulled in, but the people with stuff for their dorms keep coming.

Holy crap I just saw an unmarked cop car with a slight disguise of a car service. Basically it was just a regular Ford Crown Vic in black with super tinted windows and an antenna on the trunk. the only thing that makes the disguise is a sticker on the trunk lid for a Lower East Side car service. Oh another thing, if that anonymous commenter is reading this who commented on my post about the Jetta taxi, I saw a Jetta taxi right in front of me that had to wait for the next customer, as they couldn't fit a shower curtain rod anywhere in the car. lots of large lightweight objects today. I got a coupon from the doorman to as a thank you for my service! Shit! just realized I need 30 rides to get the coupon valid, that's impossible as I only have 4 hours left. I only got stamped for 3 rides so far and I probably gave 5 already.

Holy crap I just saw my former co-worker from the health food store I used to work at way back, 8 or 9 years ago. We exchanged a handshake and I told him about the Bed Bath and Beyond thing. Hopefully I'll run into him again. I just picked up the same woman twice in one day, that's rare, and we both recognized each other, not completely coincidental though because she brought me to Bed Bath and Beyond, and I kept coming back when I saw the activity. Turned out she was visiting the city from Norway, no connection to NYU at all. She did go to Stonybrook University though, a New York State school. She made it sound like she visited New York for the discount shopping. Beer is 10 dollars over there, but the minimum wage is 25 dollars, and while you pay 40% in taxes, you get real health care.

Okay Lets see if I can find a signal and post this--nope, no time. Agh! just found out the negative in all this, all these people with big fancy cars from the suburbs who can't drive in New York, are, and thus, there are much greater odds for fender benders. These urban inexperienced drivers drive with great trepidation, and yet somehow there misunderstandings of traffic lead them still to pull out at all the wrong times. The line for the store is getting too busy anyway, time to move on. And move on I did but the fastness of other rides and the distance wasn't any greater. I appear to be saving a lot of gas today, but that is often deceptive. Well this concludes the red light blog.


Trixx said...

The problem with the airporrt fares is the same in every country around the world, I guess.
Here in Munich we have the same problem with certain taxi companies which pay the hotels up to 10€ for a 50€ ride to the airport, that sucks. >:(
But there are several hotels, who order regulary from the taxi dispatch(?), so you get often rides to the airport, when the times are good.

NYC taxi photo said...

wow, the grammar in my post here is terrible! Sorry folks.

Cloudia said...

Felt like I was driving my taxi again reading this!

Oder? Get OZIUM! One spray and NO oder!

Make money! (Honolulu taxi drivers say).


Comfort Spiral

Unknown said...

As far as tipping/and towncars goes. I've been a bellman at several high end hotels in Florida. The towncar guys and some cabbies stop by on their off time to make deals with us bellman usually 10-15 to the airport. Our hotel had an exclusive deal with Yellow, but there was no way to track whether or not the customer called in his own transportation or a bellman did and while it is unfair to the cabbie, I was obviously looking out for myself 1st.

Durring season, this would add up into a large percentage of my overall income.

Some cabbies would tip as well, but they were usually only $5 to the airport so i would only call them if the TC guys were not available.

Unknown said...

in Spain (oviedo, asturias) the money that the taxi driver gives to the recepcionist of the hotel for the airports`transfer is
12-15 euros for a 53 euros travel,

NYC taxi photo said...

Yeah for sure, it seems that's how it's working here too, although I don't think the tips are as high here, more people, so money will come in anyway. this huge hotel here, if they were to get 600 cabs, and each paid 2 bucks, well it explains itself.

NYC taxi photo said...

wow this is fantastic to get some feedback and international tipping education to boot. it's clear this is a topic worth getting deeper in more posts.

NYC taxi photo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
suzane said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
syra said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.