Saturday, January 23, 2010

mid shift report

weird day already. It's been a while since I've brought my computer with me, and I need a good break so I might as well type about how things have been for this day so far. I came in extra early, I woke up at about 3:40 pm, then sort of floated around which I pretty much do all week, until 11pm rolled around and I worked on getting my shit together, left the house at 1:20am, got to the garage at 2:30, and then got my cab at the usual time, 3:20.

And things were going pretty good, a very good group of rides. While everyone else was picking up somewhat easily, I went on without a ride for a few minutes longer then usual, and I didn't like the looks of things as it was 7 minutes before 4am. At about 10th street a guy made his way off the curb followed by 4 to 5 people, he looked like he might need a cab, but looked like he'd had his share of drink to carry casual feelings about who he was, where he was, how loud normal volume was, and most importantly looking where he was going wasn't his strong suit. So fortunately I passed him as he walked into one lane of the Avenue just before he put his hand up. I don't like it so much when people hail cabs at night while standing in the street, seems like bad form. Sometimes people with entourages at these hours decide that they don't want cabs, but they just want to irritate them by standing in front of the car putting their body in harms way. I turned back to the East Village where I just came from and got a guy who looked really with it, I got really lucky. He was like a manager or owner of the bar. And from that ride, a few blocks south again I get a guy, presumably a bus boy just off his shift going to Jackson Heights, and so while this may be making less money then doing shorter rides during a busy last call hour, it is so much safer, and it really isn't that much less. So now deep in Queens you wouldn't believe it but I got a 10 dollar ride from a cab driver off his shift, from Astoria to Woodside. He expressed to me his exasperation of the tax season coming around before he's ready. We have to have like 3,000 saved up for the IRS, and not go broke for the next few months. I then let myself go in the parking lot of a big supermarket, away from the idling cars, holding open a door for a barrier so nobody would see what I was doing. Out of the lot I got another fare, to the bus terminal, yes from Queens. This was fantastic, and from there I went to Chelsea and got a little 5 buck ride for only about 7 blocks. I then went to my usual diner and when I finally picked up someone there, it was about a 10 minute wait, we noticed that the meter wasn't on. She told me my light wasn't on outside either, that was extremely weird. I turned the car off then on, nothing, so we estimated her ride at 10. She wanted to tip me on top of that, but I told her that it was fine.

I found a spot to pull over to go through the 2 things to do in this situation. Never before though, has the meter just completely gone off, as if the car was turned off. Lately it's been somewhat common to have problem with the computer GPS thing, but the whole thing? the meter too? I hit the reset button, didn't do a thing, then I turned the car off and took the fuse out for the computer and waited the full 5 minutes and put it back in, and still it was the same deal. So I had to eat 10 minutes to bring it back to the garage. They fixed the problem in about 10 to 15 minutes, which was fairly surprising. Turned out there was a bad connection under the dashboard.

So with that I was back on the road, and I got a 17 dollar ride from Greenpoint Brooklyn to the Plant District in Manhattan, and from that I went to Stuyvesant Town, and I admit I was really looking to maybe find a parking spot and go up to the parent's house and eat some left over soup, but I had a feeling I'd land a fare instead. In the little loop road I saw a guy with a coffee cup heading out toward the east exit, and as I was at about the middle I figured I could jet around and then pop up at that corner, but then a woman hails me, we go to Macy's, she pays by credit and puts in 1.50 tip, nice. I give Penn Station a look, but it is already after 7 am and madness has already begun. the taxi line was piled on to bus stops where cops could give tickets if they felt so inclined. One squad car sat at an opposite corner with its lights swirling, giving an out of towner a ticket for the improper turn where the sign forbids it. Further to the intersection we either block or get scammed out of a spot on the line by other cabbies, there was a cop casually crossing the street, he had no intention of giving a ticket just yet, but he carried on with his morning stroll to a cop car parked further west on 33rd. it was just all to risky. I went over to my 7:30 spot though it was a little early, a hotel up in the 50's looking for the short ride, to hopefull start an hour or two of shuttle trips to the convention center. This waiting took about 25 minutes, so after I brought my guy to the Javits Center, I decided to give up and go down to the coffee place and here I am. Also the fan smells kinda funny, I think it's blowing gasoline into the car, and it was too cold to have the windows down. So I'm hoping that A) that was my imagination, and B) it'll get warm enough to have the windows down.

Now about that story I still haven't finished, I'll get it done by the end of next week, but really it's pretty much done, I mean the happy ending is already there, she's okay, the guy is out of the cab, so relax, there's no more tension.

Alright I'm off again, I have 5 hours left in my shift, I'm feeling like I may be a little permanently groggy today, my coffee is cold, and maybe I should go get another one. I really hope the cab doesn't smell fumey, I really don't need that. And then I said I'd go see a photo exhibition of my college professor's after the shift, maybe I'll have a nice nap on the subway over.


Erik S. said...

Is a normal shift about 10 hours?

NYC taxi photo said...

nah it's 12