Driving forward

During my shift today

  • The City was slow as usual for this time of year.
  • With just under one hour remaining on my shift, a lady hailed me in the Marina asking to head toward Tiburon to see her mother who was sick. I feared that it would push me over my time limit but just barely. It was worth a try. Fortunately she didn’t need to go deep into the hills or anything; she let me drop her right at the town entrance. I made it back to the garage 5 minutes late, but the cashier let me go without charging. Thanks, cashier.
  • I picked up a young couple downtown. They had me head toward Pier 39 to meet family for lunch. They were tourists. Something clicked in my head — it’s been a long time since I had a tourist in my cab. It was fun to talk about our mutual midwest upbringings. Thanks, tourists.
  • I found a fare quickly from Fisherman’s Wharf straight to a hotel. At the hotel the doorman gave me an airport since the guy had excessive baggage and I had a van. Thanks, doorman.

    The passenger and I had a long conversation all the way to the airport. He reminded me a great deal of my friend Tom. Like Tom, this guy studied business finance in college. Like Tom, this guy started doing hourly construction work. And, like Tom, this guy realized that he could gain more leverage by creating his own construction company. This guy ended up investing heavily in rental property, a path he thinks is solid through good times and bad.

    I’m curious to see what Tom will do.

  • I picked up a young couple early in the morning near the 24th and Mission BART station. They needed to get to SFO to catch their flight and didn’t realize the first train didn’t come until 9:30 am.

    I realize that it’s not possible for BART to operate 24 hours per day, as limited track capacity means trains must stop at night to make way for maintenance vehicles. But, BART leaves people stranded every Sunday morning. As much as I enjoy the income from stranded passengers Sunday mornings, it seems pretty clear to me that there is demand enough for Sunday morning service. Let’s get with it, BART.

  • I took a very, very strange lady very, very early in the morning to a grocery store. She said she had tried being a cab driver for one month until she got rear-ended and decided it wasn’t for her.
  • I showed up to a 3 van call at a youth hostel. A school group from Argentina was heading up north to Sausalito.

    The group leader, a middle-aged teacher or volunteer, rode in my cab. I quizzed her about working in Argentina — a path I’ve recently been considering. She was very bullish about this plan.

    “Yes, yes! This is a good idea,” she said. “You will love it.”

    I couldn’t argue with that.

    She went on to say it would be very easy for me to find a job teaching English with my university degree and the currency conversion is still very favorable. We’ll see.

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2 Responses to Driving forward

  1. Bob says:

    Did you do Tom’s website? That picture of him on the header is hilarious.

  2. kfarr says:

    Bob, I did do Tom’s site.

    I think the header pic is a riot as well. We went back and forth for a bit trying to decide if it was a relevant addition or not. As much as I find it to be funny, my gut also tells me that old ladies, or any prospective customer for that matter, would feel a bit more comfortable knowing that the O’Brien is a real person, not just some name for a corporate shell that will send some creepy stranger to your house to fix your roof.

    The cheesiness makes him seem so much more down to earth. Maybe he should get that picture printed on the side of his work van too. Maybe not.

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