Thursday, July 26, 2012
Shift Shots: 5/28 - A day at JFK
It's not all peachy going to The big airport to get a big fare. As is the case with all cities, all airports, all taxi jobs; you have to go to a holding lot first. Sometimes the lot is empty and you can drive to your assigned terminal to get your fare within 30 minutes. Other times, it can take 3 and a half hours just to get assigned a terminal to pick-up your fare from. Sometimes you can wait 30 minutes at the terminal too. The Central Taxi Holding Lot can hold around 1,000 cabs. And there are only 2 to 4 times a day when the airport is so busy with arriving flights, all other times, you might as well go inside to the cafeteria, where there are no seats, and buy a breakfast, a lunch, and a brunch. Good luck making any profits toward your "working day" then.
But it is a nice resting place. The only place in the city where you can park your car go for walks around the parking lot, buy some affordable food, and use toilets with seats on them, unlike that other airport, LGA.
Bummer though if after all that waiting, you get a 20 or 30 dollar ride through traffic into flushing or the Long Island border up there, then all the time wasted getting there and going back, you'll have spent the whole day earning only 75 dollars, not even close to the overhead expenses you need to cover = $160. The airport can leave you very well rested and in debt.
If you can put all those thoughts aside, and somehow acknowledge that each day carries its own luck, you may be aw inspired at the immensity of this taxi center. You can find every taxi model here, and all taxi drivers from every culture, and every mindset. Also because the airport is so close to the ocean, you can feel the ocean breeze and smell the beach. It is always at least 5 degrees cooler at JFK. If you pretend really hard you can see yourself on the northwest of California, and sometimes you'll come across a cabbie practicing his guitar. Many take naps, or take a regimen of walks. 3 or 4 separate cultures of cabbies will talk throughout the lot, and most come together or come apart in card games, board games, and dominoes for money.