Friday, May 27, 2011

A decisive move early in the day can change the whole day's pay

Allow me to type out some garbage to get the cob webs out of my brain until I can put together something worth reading:

Well, 5 years? 5 years I think I've been driving now and still everything is always somewhat new. I still feel like if I get a good day it is a combination of all the right moves of where to be with timeliness mixed with a huge supply of luck, and when I get a bad day, I just feel like I've made all the wrong turns, and given up too soon on places to wait, or vice versa, it's just contagious, and one bad move leads to another, soon enough a day passes and the profits between two days are so contrasted one day made twice as much as the next. If I see a day in the light that I am feeling lucky, and I just make moves to cruise through potential places to pick-up rather than waiting at a place, and the difference in profit is staggering. One different move at say 9am can change the course of an entire day. Is this all boring you? I know, I know, but I'm trying to get somewhere with this, I believe it's a metaphor for life, to go out and push, and be positive, to always be awake, constantly thinking of positive changes and things you can add to your day to benefit them, while always viewing your fate in a positive light, it changes everything. On the flip side when you examine every option and only find a dead end, and decide rather than pushing for multitudes of options of fate to land in your lap, to stay put and hold all your proverbial eggs in one basket the odds come up much smaller. And also driving around with blinders on, seeing only competition between yourself and the other yellow cabs, it takes away from everything else around you, stopping and smelling roses so to speak. You must remember, you're there to pick up passengers, any passengers, and so being first isn't necessarily always best, it gives you a higher likely hood of passing by the customer when the one behind you was ready to stop, and if you slam on the brakes or swerve violently, you could cause an accident.

Oi, oi, I digress so much. It's hard for me to focus, I've been away from the blog so long. Can't find enough time to both relax and put my mind on the blog and give you all the stories I've had, nothing too big, no, not too big, but still odds and ends have piled up, and my mind is all a clutter with endings of little tales without well constructed middles and introductions. Even when I'm sitting at the airport, I feel time is spent better relaxing, breathing, slowing my heart rate, walking around, stretching, just appreciating the moment for what it is.

This week: a story of how a simple move, one move, can change the entire cash flow of a day-

So the last two days were a clear example of how one move can change the whole course of a day.

It was tuesday, not usually such a great day, when I had a ride to LaGuardia Airport. Seeing that the taxi lines were a bit too large and it was 8:30am, I felt that it would serve me best to just shoot back to the city via the R.F.K. Bridge, that's the Triboro Bridge for those who resist change. I got off at the exit before the bridge and get somebody just before the entrance back to the bridge again. He wants to go to 53rd street and 6th Avenue. I was anxious about him before he even got in, as I didn't want a frustrated guy heading straight into the height of traffic congestion. I wasn't sure if he'd be okay with taking the long way around to avoid midtown crosstown madness, but wow, he was a super nice guy. He was okay with the R.F.K. and then when I saw the slowness of the FDR Drive, I opted for 125th street. Again the whole time I was always second guessing myself. Should I take 2nd Avenue down to 53rd? or Park Ave down? I was overwhelmed as every option in my head pulled up a map of potential daymares of congestion, it was unavoidable. He fortunately put his two cents in and suggested enter Central Park at Lenox Avenue and coming out a 7th Avenue taking 52nd down to 6th Ave. What a relief, it was still a very long ride, but far more comfortable, he was open to talking about the route, so I did have to make a nip and a tuck to his suggestion, making the left at 5th Ave to Marcus Garvey Park where I can then make the right on 123 and the left on Lenox. See it wasn't without slowness, there was maybe wait time of 5 red lights at Central Park's exit at 7th Avenue, but other than this, so, so nice. and the ride was a hefty 40 plus dollars. In comparison, without traffic I can take people back to the airport from there for about 25 perhaps, maybe it was only 35 on the meter and he gave a ten dollar tip.

Now lets compare this tuesday move, this tuesday luck with wednesday's loafing. On Wednesday I had a trip to LaGuardia even earlier, this is good, the earlier the better. It was almost 7am after I dropped her off and I saw the Central Hold taxi lot was practically empty. I pulled into it placing myself at only 3rd on line to exit the lot, with about 10 cabs waiting on the line that comes between the lot and the terminal, so in actuality I was more like 15th in line. I waited for about an hour, which isn't terrible, but on the other hand, the money is in getting that meter to run with customers as often as possible especially during the hours from 7 to 10 in the morning, 8am being the key time slot that a cabbie wants the fastest rides and the highest fastest turnover rates from one customer to the next. My fare went to JFK Airport, and I got a short haul pass for it, which enabled me to drive back to LGA Airport and pick up another fare instantly. I decided in favor of LGA over JFK as the lot at JFK had a possible 1 hour wait time, plus another 40 minutes of traffic that I might be able to passover if I got through it sooner rather than later with a vacant cab -that's a special thing about New York traffic, it gets worse, sometimes progressively all day long without a lull. It took me an hour to get her to JFK, and then get back to LGA and pick up there. My passengers at LGA of course needed a midtown address, actually two midtown adresses that involved crosstown, waiting time, and 42nd street, and mid 50's area, oi!! they tipped only 5 bucks, a good tip, but I lost a lot of time with them. And I waited at the Sheraton Manhattan for eh only 10 minutes or so at some point in the day, where the doorman suggested to me these customers needed a minivan. The guy in the similar crown vic. behind me suggested to him that his car could fit all of their bags anyway. When the doorman told him his car was the same as mine, that was my cue to initiate the suggestion that yes, my car can fit all of their bags. it was a tighter fit than I imagined, but we got one back in the front seat, and stuff the back end. all three guests were adding a hefty mass to the big new yellow machine. I carried through the city streets making all maneuvers with briskness of the steering wheel, but the acceleration had no assistance in my attempts. once on the highway I believe i needed to push the peddle to 800 rpms more than the usual amounts, in other words, i needed to give the car about 33% more gas to get it going. they gave me a nice tip as well. and then I pulled into a holding lot again, and waiting an agonizing time from 12:15 to 2pm.

So you see in summary, bringing the car around from place to place pushing it through a few good spots rather than waiting for the hail mary to save your income from the time demons, it changes everything, and it all starts with that one move, a decisive action at 9am that defines your driving strategy for the whole day.

My income on tuesday: $167.00
My income on wednesday: $97.00


King of New York Hacks said...

I feel ya brother, and don't get me started about the gas prices !! "walking around, stretching, just appreciating the moment for what it is." I need to do more of that bro, been a stressful first half of the year so far, thanks for reminding me. Great read as always, be safe out there. See ya on the streets.

Cloudia said...

The taxi biz is mystical and deeply material (gas!).

I feel ya...

Aloha from Honolulu

Comfort Spiral




Gusgamashuq Abunoori said...

thanks for sharing that. of course all us cabbies among your readership know exactly what you're talking about.