A Cab Drivers Voice
I recently wrote a post titled “F The B” that struck a chord with me. It got me thinking about my industry and made me angry. I have my wife proof all my posts and when she finished “F That B” she asked me something I haven’t thought about in a while.
Wife: please tell me you reported this?
Me: I wish I could’ve but it goes no where.
Wife: what are you talking about, why wouldn’t it go anywhere?
Me: trust me, been here done that, I’m over it.
This conversation really made me think and it made me mad. I’m not this kind of person. I’m the kind of person that calls in every drunk driver, stops at most traffic accidents where help is not already there (I use to work in the medical field and try to help when I can), and help people in need within reason. So why have I changed my ways? Why is, “It’s a waste of time”, my first thought? I started thinking and I think I figured it out.
I remember the first time I reached out to try to help someone who was in need after I had started to drive a cab. It was about three months after I started and I had picked up a single male from the airport who was going to the Stratosphere Hotel. On the way there I started in on my normal chit chat. He was in from Kentucky and said he was wanting to find his friends while he was in town. I asked where they were staying and got an answer I never in a million years expected, “They’re dead”. A calm silence filled the car. I had no clue what to say. I’m a trained critical incident counselor and found myself speechless. So I did the one thing I could think of. I listened.
He started telling me about his plan while in Vegas and how he had even told people at home. He said they just laughed it off and told him,”you need this break so enjoy your time out there”. The details started pouring out. He came to town with a backpack that was full of every dollar to his name. He booked a room at the hotel for a week and after checking in, he was going to hit the tables. He was going to play the tables until he had nothing but $100 left. When he got down to his “goal” he planned to eat a “nice meal” and go find his friends. I asked how he planned to find his friends and he came back with a detailed explanation.
First I plan to rig a rope to the ceiling of the room. I then plan to dangle there until I see them. But if the ceiling is too low, I will find a way to fly off the tower. One way or another I will find them and life will go on.
Once again I didn’t know what to say. I started with the basics and I asked if he had thought about getting help from the VA. He said he doesn’t want their help and that he believed that they are the reason he feels this way. They took his friends so why would they want to help him. I then asked if I could take him to a place that was not a part of the military to try and get him some help. He refused. I took the last few minutes to try to talk him down but had no response. I was wishing that I could just take him to the hospital or somewhere for help, but as a driver it is against the law for me to take a fare anywhere other than where they want to go. I could be charged with kidnapping and much more. So I pull up to the hotel and let him out. I then call over the bellman and let him know what he was telling me. I get blown off and move on to security with the same response. I then call my supervisor and fill him in on what I had just been told and once again got the blow off. Not knowing what else to do, I called the Taxi Authority and they said I need to let the hotel know and that it was all that I could do.
I was upset. Everywhere I turned I got the same response and felt helpless. I sat there for a few minutes and finally just went back to work. I felt like shit the rest of the day. The next few days I tried to find out what happened to him and see if the hotel had any issues with guests. I got no where and finally had to just push it out of my mind. I had a few more situations similar to this and time after time I got the same response. I have developed a mind-set over the last few years to just let things go. I am just a driver and all I have to do is get someone from point A to point B. I only help when I’m asked to.
I still have a hard time with this and I know this fare will always be in the back of my mind. I wish there was a way to make changes in the industry. Give me your thoughts and let me know what you would do.
This entry was posted on April 1, 2011 at 03:00 and is filed under Driving Basics, Law Enforcement, Random Info, Touching Stories with tags Airport, Business, Cab, cabbie, cops, Crime, depression, Driver, Driving, dumb people, family, fare, hack, hacking, help, Home, Hotel, job, Kentucky, Las Vegas, Las Vegas Nevada, law enforcement, life, Misinformed, money, Nevada, Police, random, stories, Stratosphere Hotel, suicide, TA, Taxi, taxi authority, Taxicab, the strip, thoughts, Vegas. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.