DK’s Brain- Six Questions.

Today was nothin to write home about.  I did five airport trips; one from JFK-Grand Central, four from LaGuardia and 3 trips within Manhattan..which was pretty quiet tonight.  So with that said…

Q: Why are cab drivers so rude?
A: I was talkin to this Indian dude (married with kids) at the airport tonight and he gave me some insight on this.  He told me that since most people associate cab drivers amongst the lowest of the low in the working totem poll, he doesn’t feel the need to acknowledge them and give them the time of day to talk.  He told me also that there’s no need for others to know about him since they have a certain perception already.  Makes sense.  It’s different for me, I don’t mind talking to people if they want to start conversation.

Q: Why do cab drivers get so angry when customers pay with credit card?
A: I’ve mentioned this before; but will do so again in case yall have forgotten or are just beginning to read my blog.  5% of each credit card transaction goes to the credit card machine company (in our case, Verifone).  It doesn’t sound like much sure..but when you’re getting 20-25 passengers per day and if even half pay with credit card..that’s a decent chunk of change that the cabbie doesn’t see.  For those who work the garages, it’s even worse because they don’t keep everything they make.  For example- if someone pays $54.50 on a JFK-Manhattan trip ($45+tip; no toll) in cash…I’d keep $54 and the other $.50 I collect for the MTA tax.  If they pay that in credit however..$2.73 of that fare is going to the credit card company.  Doesn’t sound like a lot (can’t even buy a Naked Juice with that) but trust me it adds up.

Q: Why do some cab drivers use the CASH lane when they’re at a toll instead of the EZ-Pass?
A: To me it doesn’t make any sense because whether the customer pays the $5.50 at the toll or the $4.57 combined with whatever fare it is..as a driver you’re not gonna see the money anyway.  Some cab drivers leave their medallion lights on if they get a city fare to ensure their customers pay in cash (foreigners are almost always going to) so they don’t have to turn the meter on & have to collect that MTA tax.  You can get in trouble though if a TLC cop catches you.

Q: Do you feel comfortable when a stranger rides in the front with you?
A: Not 100% but I know they’re not gonna do anything weird/strange to me (or so I hope anyway).  If it’s a chick..of course I will.  But only dudes really ride shotgun.  They tend to be the most talkative too (naturally) since it’s such a close proximity.  I have one of those partitions that does NOT block me and the shotgun passenger (some cabs have the dual one for the back & side).  It weirds me out when there’s less than five passengers getting into a cab, though.

Q: Do you think customers feel more comfortable when they ride with you because you “speak perfect English & a native New Yorker”?
A: For the most part it doesn’t make a difference whatsoever since I’m just drivin and he or she is riding (in the car..pervs).  However, you’ll have passengers who do have conversations with me and wind up being shocked..as if I shouldn’t be driving a cab.  Why is it when a black person’s tryin to do something positive to put cash in their pocket it’s an “OMG” moment??  In all seriousness though- for those people I definitely think it puts them more at ease and at least temporarily- debunks their assumptions of cab drivers.

Q: Favorite & least favorite day of the week to work (stress-wise & money-wise)?
A: In terms of stress…Sundays are my least stressful even though they’re the days I make the least amount of money and Saturdays are my most stressful even though I make the most amount of money.  Sure, on Sundays you’re going up against a ton of other vacant cabs driving up and down the city…but for me especially after working a Friday AND Saturday night dealing with the hecticness & non-stop moving..it’s a nice change of pace.  I can go to JFK or LGA and never deal with traffic.  Fridays aren’t that bad because you don’t deal with as many of those B&T fucks as you do on a Saturday…although at times traffic is worse.

And so on.


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May 2010
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