Tuesday, July 08, 2008

MY VERY FIRST FARE

I remember my first day on the job as if it happened yesterday. When I zoomed on my first pick up on 17th and R, I was scared to death. When the dude who flagged me opened the door of my cab some kind of accident occurred in my underpants, in fact that same underwear with an impressive skid marks is framed and is hanging on my wall right now! That's a part of my history so don't laugh motherfucker!

Before you become a cab driver in DC you take some bullshit class at the University of the District of Columbia for a few days, exchange some dick-jokes and you graduate so basically you learn nothing. I don't care what they say, but cab driving is one of those professions that you really can't benefit from classroom training. You have to figure it out on your own on the streets, and if you are a smart driver it may take three to five years until you start mastering your shit and start making cash without slaving 16 hours a day.

So when I picked up this guy he didn't have any clue that the driver he is going to encounter didn't know shit about cab driving nor the streets of Washington, DC. Even though I was born and raised here that doesn't mean I know all the shortest routes and point of interests. My man wanted to get to FCC ASAP! I didn't know what the FCC was, FUCKERS CONFERENCE CENTER??? I don't know!!! I came clean with the gentleman, I told him that I have never heard of FCC and it's my first day on the job and he is my very first passenger. The type of passengers you get when you are a rookie can make you or break you but this guy was extra nice to me. In fact he said he was honored to be the first ride and guided my ass to the Federal Communication Commission and paid $10 for a $4 ride and wished me luck. I will never forget that guy!

It took me a few months of fucking up to gain my confidence, I am very accommodating and most people are nice but I used to get intimidated by some of you ass-hole prima donnas out there. Nowadays I just kick you out if you're out of line. "The customer is always right" bullshit doesn't fly in my cab especially when you are a night cabbie in DC like myself.

I was encouraged to write about my virgin experience after reading a new blog about a rookie cab driver in San Antonio and I recommend you to give her a shot hoping that she will continue to blog. Here is an entry from her first post:

"This is my first post. Hopefully I'll have something to blog about. I have ovaries and I hope to drive a taxi."


Please don't forget the homeless,

Mad Cabbie

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mad! my first passenger bailed out on me without paying, so you did well.

Yellow 47!

tomeoftheunknownblogger said...

Great story - thanks for blogging it!

I guess the thing to remember is that every one - no matter how grizzled and gnarly the veteran - had to have a first; everyone was, at one time, a rookie.

What really matters is how well you learn and how good you get.

Keep smilin' Mad!

taxigrrrl said...

Wow! Thanks for the shout out! I just came home after a rough day and was encouraged to read about how it took awhile to get your groove on. And what a surprise to see a link to my blog! Thanks so much! Peace.

Philip said...

Interesting story. I always like to hear first job ever stories.

The first place that I drove a cab was Arlington, Virginia. I went up to 1200 N. Hudson, picked up the car, turned on the radio and hit the street. The dispatcher asked me what I wanted. I did not know so I said 'How about a 14?'. (The sections in Arlington had numbers, not names) He sent me to this body shop on Four Mile Run. This big black guy came out in a jumpsuit, got into the back seat and said 'I know this is gonna' cost at least $20, I'm going to Reston. Go down 395, take the Beltway to 66 and I'll show you from there.' We got there and it was about twenty-seven bananas. He did not complain, he paid me and got out. No tip, but I was glad for the twenty-seven dollar fare. It turned out that he had directed me to take the scenic route. This was before 66 went all the way through, mind you.

You are correct, madster, that first fare can often make a lasting impression and determine if you want to continue.

I started driving in the City before you had to go to school. I just studied what was then Title Fifteen and went and wrote the test. I passed on my first try.

My first fare in the City was 801 New Hampshire to National Airport. The doorman actually put the suitcases into the trunk without sticking out his hand. Back then, doormen even sold Nationals.

The great night jobs back then were running the hookers and their johns from Thomas Circle to motel alley, wait and back. The hookers did all the negotiating, which resulted in your getting far more than the fare actually was. If you got two and their johns, the hookers would tell the johns that it was separate fares. The hookers never asked for a cut of the action, either.

Then there were the drig runs from DuPont or Scott to Eleventh & O and back. They always tipped well.

Back before the AIDS scare, all that you heard at night on Diamond's radio was 'South Capitol/O. The Bath house and the Glory Hole kept you busy. When AIDS hit, it put a major dent in that business.

Now all of that is gonesville.

Ask Lorenzi, your 0600-1400 dispatcher, what his first job in the City was..................
(he came from Virginia, too)

Mad Cabbie said...

Yellow 47, you mean your fat ass couldn't run after the thug!

TOUB- Thanks, It's not a crazy story but it's worth writing!

TaxiGirl: Keep blogging honey! Hang in there...Don't let anyone intimidate you!!

Phil..great story as usual...I don't know if you have been driving at night lately and with that hot wife of yours at home I don't blame you if you didn't, but the hooker biz has picked up..that's my bread and butter. Usually I try to go home before Lorenzi gets on the radio to avoid those stupid Airport jobs! but I will ask him when I see him. I really miss your editorials on the radio Phill..."IT'S GOING TO CUTSVILLE! WRITE THE NUMBER DOWN SIR!!!"

Finely groomed troll said...

I already laughed before you wrote not to laugh. Ha ha. I bet you were like,"I can't tell you have to get to the FCC but I can tell you what the derivative to the N vectorial to the 7th power over Y squared when Y is .789 over 8.

Mad Cabbie said...

FinelyGroomed, Are you in to Vector Field, Vector Algebra and functions? That's some fun shit to do! I think I have some intelligent people reading my blog:- Cheers!