Sunday, August 06, 2006

A couple of interesting articles.

The cabbies have been in the news quite a bit lately and that is not usually a good sign. Everything from the 100 or so new medallions they just issued, or the fact that they changed all their colors in a attempt to make them easier to police. Most recently the issue has come up regarding the not so ethical cabbies. As is the deal with most of these types of things, a few bad seeds spoil the bunch and the fun for everybody.

I remember I picked a guy up once and the first thing he said to me after he closed the door was:

Don't try and take me the long way, I know how you cabbies are!

It's not uncommon to hear something like that from time to time. My usual rebuttal:

......Really? Then what the fuck are you doing in a cab? You must be a dumbass.

Everybody knows that you don't piss off the waiter before he brings the food. It's common sense. On the flip side, it's perfectly acceptable to insult your cab driver, accuse him of a crime, and berate him all within the first ten seconds of you getting in. Paying no mind to the fact that now of course your life is in his hands and you haven't even ordered appetizers yet.

Old Vegas lives on in shady cab acts

Crooked cabbies aren't just for tourists

Longhauling happens. The first longhaul probably happened shortly after the first cab started picking people up. So for what it's worth these articles don't really bring up different issues than any other place that has cabs.

There are a lot of underlying things going on here that I could get into but that would be a snorefest if I explained them all and I don't want to preach anyway. I will say two things however:

1. Most cab related problems in LV could be fixed simply by letting drivers buy their own medallions. I own a car. Outright. It's a sedan, it would make a perfect cab. Me and one other guy could bring in 20k/month. Easy. The idea that only 17 people (17 cab co's owners) can buy medallions is ludicrous, insulting and its unamerican. Eliminate these "employers" and you eliminate numerous issues.

2. ....And more regarding the issue at hand. Locals longhaul themselves. It happens all the time. I noticed it soon after I started driving and it's something of a ongoing joke amongst drivers. You see, locals like to tell you which way to go. Some have it stuck in their mind that everyone is out to get them or something. Only there are a couple of things wrong with this. Firstly, they don't think of it in terms of actual distance. They think of it in terms of how they would drive the same route, which more times than not isn't the most direct one. Secondly, part of what you're paying for on that meter is my knowledge of the situation. Assuming all cabbies were completely honest, wouldn't you want to know your options? Maybe an alternative route you never thought of. Or up to date traffic conditions, or construction problems or accident problems?

A cook asked me once, when I order a $50 steak how do you tell them to cook it? I responded with medium, which is how I like it. (BUZZER SOUND) Wrong. You tell the waiter to have the chef cook it how he recommends it. Part of the $50 that you paid for that steak was actually for the highly skilled person who grilled it. Cabbies are no different. I've even been known to cook a mean beef product from time to time.

Anyway, this all reminds me of my most awesome longhaul story ever.

I found myself way west side of town and took a radio call on Cheyenne and I-215.(beltway) Loaded a white guy, business man, luggage going to the airport. Now from this distance you've got lots of options and considering this was rush hour, we might need to explore a few of them. I asked him which route he wanted to take, which is SOP for me w/ locals. I was expecting him to say I-215E all the way into the pooper at 16. (See Figure, Ex. 2) This is the easiest route and the one any sane person would take. Should run you ~$45. If not that I figured he would tell me to take DI to paradise (Ex. 1)which would be the shortest/cheapest route. That'll be closer to the 35 neighborhood. ....But no, this guy goes:

Take 215 West to I-15.
(Ex. 3)

215 west?


I made a map for you to get a better idea of how insane this is. My apologies for how crappy it is. On the upside it's as effective as it is lame.

Ex 1- Green (Shortest way)
Ex 2- Blue (Common sense way
Ex 3- Black (The way we actually went)
Ex 3a-Yellow

Against my better judgment I had to ask again. Anybody else would be giving somebody on the freeway the finger already. I mean, this was going to be expensive and I didn't want there to be any issues later.

Sir. You want to go 215 west bound? To I-15? There is another way we could go that would b....

and he interrupted me.

I know how to get to the airport sir, I know how you guys are, just go the way I tell you to go ok?

Normally I would kick you out right about now but we're talking about a $100 ride here so I shut up at that point. I wasn't worried about getting a deposit either. I had his bags in the trunk, even better I know where he lives and there are always a lot of cops hanging out at the port with nothing to do if worst comes to worst.

Neither one of us said word for the next 20 minutes of the journey, he played with his laptop the whole time. When we finally made our way onto 15 in the north pole of Vegas this douchebag trumps himself.

Take 15 to 215 and take the tunnel in.

I shat myself. This guy just tacked on another ten spot. All you have to do is go straight down Tropicana from 15 (Ex. 3a) but he wanted to loop around which ironically was the way the route we should have gone would have taken him. Only he managed to tack on about 30 miles in the process.

The guy gave me a hundred bucks for an eighty dollar ride. I gave him my card.


Chris said...

Seriously, that is a long drive. Was ther traffic?

Also, the links did not work for me...

MrFunkMD said...

Links work for me, in preview and from the page itself. Who knows. I'll post addys so you can c/p.

By the time we got to 15, the traffic was all gone.

Brent said...

Love your it's offensive to you if someone says "no tunnel" when you pick up at the airport?

Anonymous said...

Great stories. Awesome long haul.
I have worked in customer service for 20 years now, and most people,
in general, are very stupid or just ignorant.

MrFunkMD said...

Brent- No not at all. There is nothing wrong with a informed passenger as far as I'm concerned. Just don't be a dick about it like I was gonna rip you off had you not said anything.

Brent said...

Thank you for the time I was extremely polite and said "hi, how are you doing? I'm headed to Paris w/ a P, and no tunnel please" and you would have thought I disgraced his mother - he was so pissed off and wouldn't even talk to me the rest of the ride, so I wasn't sure if you felt like that was rude.

MrFunkMD said...

To a thief, an informed passenger is a major pain in the ass. ;)

Bushman said...

Same thing that happened to Brent happened to us on Monday as we left Wynn to go to the airport. The guy recommended the freeway, but I said "could we take Paradise or Koval instead please?"

The guy said "fine, it's your dime," and didn't speak to us again during the trip.

I hoped I wasn't being rude, just, as you said, trying to be informed.

MrFunkMD said...

F-yeah it's your dime. The route you took (pari/koval) prolly ran you in the $12-13 neighborhood...right? Taking the freeway is gonna be around $20 if you get off at Tropicana, closer to 30 if you take the tunnel in.

Also- stole my thunder with the "paris w/ a "P"" thing. I have a good story involving something in that vein that I was gonna share, but you stole the joke dude. lol

mrschiefy said...

when will be your next post? Ilook so many times a day hoping you will have posted something new. I get such a giggle out of your posts.

Brent said...

Hey, sorry to discuss the Paris w/ a P, and I hope you still share the story. We always stay at Paris, so we've become accustomed to the longer version of the name of the hotel. We got a kick out of the first time a driver suggested we say it.

Anonymous said...

Just discovered your blog last week. Have read them all. Very enjoyable. Hope you post again, real soon....I keep checking every day!!! I think you have quite a 'following' looking for more!! Keep up with those stories.

MrFunkMD said...

Brent- thats ok man. how could you have known? Im working on a new entry right now that I should post tonight, then I'll do that one...just for you dog.

And sorry...I called you Brett before.