Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Kicking it Old School

Last night was the first night driving shift I have taken in ages. To be honest, I wasn't really looking forward to it but the realities of the budget demanded I get my butt out there and hustle up some cash.

I got into my car, hit the power buttont ( it was a Prius, I love driving Prius as a taxi), flashed up the engine, turned on the radio and then hit the switch for the dispatch computer. The computer refused to connect so I turned it off and back on again. Still no joy. I turned both it and the radio off, counted to 10 and then turned them both back on again. Damn, what the $#%@ is wrong with the damn thing. It is pissing rain, getting dark and I want to be paying the mortgage. I pulled out my cell and called up the office and was told the computer was down - dispatch was by voice tonight. Sweet.

Okay, turn the radio to channel 2, and log myself in

"Car 4, 10-8, 83" (that would be my car, starting shift in zone 83)

"Rodger 4, you are #2"

Screw that, I am not sitting #2 up here, time to go to the busiest zone in the city - right beside the Walmart. I pull into zone 68, check in and park the car to wait to be called. Two  minutes later the sweet voice called out (dispatch was a lady tonight)

"Car 4, 1180 Lovat #20"

"1180 Lovat, #20, thank you " and away I went. 5 minutes later, I realize the address given was incorrect and called it in.

"Sorry 4, go to Starbucks at Mayfaire for Alex."

"Starbucks, thank you". Dang, I hate that mall spot, a real pain to get into. Not withstanding that, with it being rush hour all of the roads surrounding the mall are packed with cars. Ah well, my first trip of the shift is always the best part of the shift so away I went.

I pulled into the mall and up to the Starbucks, listening to dispatch ask a couple of cars to go up to St Margarets School to clear up a back log. Two drivers respond and dispatch asks them to report how many other trips are up there. St Margarets is a private girls school we have exclusive rights to, generally a very good trip to and or from.  I stop my car and see two teens in short skirts approach my car. Hmmm, I am guessing St Margarets girls. Sure enough, they get in and say "St Margarets please. And please, as fast as you can."

 I turn back and looked at these two over privileged teeny preppies and say "Ladies, it is dark, raining cats and dogs and rush hour. I promise to get you there as soon as I can." What I didn't say was "did you really need to tell me to hurry you stunned #$%^*? I make a whole lot more money getting you to where you need to be faster than if I take my sweet time. Oh, by the way, in case you had your heads so far up your @$$*$ and didn't notice, the streets are clogged with rush hour traffic and its pissing rain. Sit down, shut the (#%) up, enjoy the ride and I will do my damndest not get you to your nice little escape from reality." I have learned that sometimes it is best to say some things out loud and some things to yourself.

The trip to the school took about 15 minutes, not too bad all things considered  By the time I got there, I passed 4 of my wingers coming back from the school and there was another one at the school when I arrived. It was busy time for us at St Margarets.

The rest of the shift went well, other than the occasional whine from someone who didn't get a trip because of an error at dispatch. Gee guys, get a life, grow up and stop with the crap. Dispatch is only human and errors happen - get over it.  Someone fixed the computer about 1 hour before my shift ended and then I stopped getting trips, go figure. Ah well, I got home with $70 to my name so I was happy.

And that was a night shift, in the rain, using the radio.

Time to get myself attending to life again

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