Archive for Learning

Facebook For President

Posted in Driving Basics, Hookers, Random Info with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2012 by HackingVegas

When your job is to be on the roads of Las Vegas for up to 12 hours a day, you see a lot of crazy shit.  I’ve seen a lot over the years and every once in a while I’m able to snap a picture. I wish I had a camera open and ready to shoot in seconds but the sad reality is that I can only get a few.  I’ve run across the TV show COPS filming a hooker being arrested….

and seen a woman dressed in all black from head to toe as she turned heads in the middle of summer walking the streets in 110 degree temperatures.

But the one that thing that has stood out the  most, is this guy

Why did he stand out you may ask?

I see him almost everyday. I don’t only see him on The Strip. I’ve seen him as far off The Strip as as about 15 miles off, in the residential parts of town.

It’s not his hat or the flag he has stuck in it that caught my attention. No, it was his shirt

Yes, acording to this guy Facebook is the President of the world.  Everyday it’s the same clothes, hat and flag. The only thing that ever changes on this guy is some of his accessories.

Not too long ago, I finally had a chance to try to talk with him. I was on a charter and while parked outside of a store he walked by. I honked my horn and waved him over. He stopped and looked at me with a worried look on his face. I’m sure he as good reason to be worried because I’m sure many people just give him crap and make fun of him. So to try and earn his trust I held out a bottle of water and a bag of craisens (that’s all I had left in my lunch). He stopped and walked over and in a strong accent he said, “thank you” as he grabbed them. I asked if I could talk to him for a minute. I explained that I had seen him all over town and was wanting to ask a few questions so I had answers for my customers who asked about him.

He said, “no understand, no no no”. He turned and ran with his flag tucked under his arm, waterbottle and craisens in one hand and waving to me with the other.

So I have a new mission. Yes, I will not be happy until I can get this guy to talk to me. Even if it’s a broken English conversation, I won’t be happy until its done. I’m good at communicating in broken English so wish me luck. If I run into him again I’ll be sure to update you all.

I Love Award Shows

Posted in Driving Basics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2012 by HackingVegas

I picked up a lady headed to church. She says she nearly 80 years old and this is her first time out of her home state of Iowa. I ask how she decided Las Vegas for her first trip? She says it was where her sister wanted to go for her 85th birthday. The small chat continues for a while then she asks the big question…

I asked my bellman what the AVN is I keep hearing about. He told me he didn’t know but to make sure and ask my next cabbie because you guys know everything. So what is it?

For those of you who don’t know but want to know more than I’m going to tell you, go ahead and click HERE for a safe link to Wikipedia that will fill you in.

Not knowing what to say to this 80-year-old on her way to church I simply said, it’s an award show they do in Las Vegas every year. Little did I know she LOVED award shows. She Started in on 20 questions.

What kind of award show is it?
Well, its like the Oscars but not….

Do you think I would still be able to buy tickets?
Um… I don’t know. But I don’t think you would want to go.

Why? I love award shows. I would love to see stars walking the red carpet.
Well Ma’am these are not the stars you’re thinking of. This award show is for adult entertainment not your normal movies.

She was still a little confused so I put it as blunt as possible without describing it to her.

“Ma’am this is a porn movie award show. The people there are getting awards for being in those type of movies.”

She was shocked and turned beet red, as did I. It felt like I just got done having this talk with my own grandma. The trip was almost done at this point but I was scared that she would keep asking so I simply turned the radio up as I pulled up to the church. I quickly jumped to open her door. As I helped her out she hands me the money and simply said “sorry”, as she quickly shuffles into the church.

I think this ride alone trumps all of the in cab break ups, fights and shady deals as one of the most awkward rides I’ve ever had…

$20 to go…

Posted in Driving Basics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2011 by HackingVegas

First call of a VERY slow morning was a no go. Normally I get pissed when that happens but this time it turned out to be the best call I’ve had in a while.

20111110-152233.jpg

I pull up to this little dive bar in North Las Vegas where I pick up at least ten times a week. They never go far but a ride is a ride. The bartender pokes his head out and asks me to give him a minute and he’ll get the guy out soon. It was slow that morning so I sat and waited.

Soon the door flew open and a guy comes stumbling out. He holds the railing on the walkway heading to the cab. As the rail ends he makes a leap of faith toward the cab and falls up against it. He opens the door and leans in asking in a the most slurred drunken voice I’ve heard in a while, “how much does it cost NOT to go home?” I said, “I don’t know, if you want to give me $10 for wasting my time that would be cool”. He said, “no problem” and reaches in his wallet and started digging for the money. The bartender was standing behind him the whole time and tells him, “NO, you’re cut off. If you think you’re going to stay here you’re paying him $20 or I’m not letting you back in”. The guy got pissed and had a few choice words for the bartender but promptly handed me a $20 bill.

He then told the bartender to take him back in and stop being a jackass.

Off they went and so did I with the meter shorted but my pocket a little fatter. So if anyone is ever wondering how much it costs to not go home, it’s now $20 if you call my cab.

20111110-154044.jpg

Hookers And John’s

Posted in Hookers, Law Enforcement, Robberies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2011 by HackingVegas

I was sitting at a stop light waiting to turn left when my back door opens and someone jumps in.  I look in the rearview mirror and see what looks like the typical Vegas hooker. Before I could say anything she yelled, “GO! I have a few hundred-dollar bills and one’s yours if you just get me out of here”. Before I could do anything, I looked up right as a guy on his phone jumped on to my cab yelling, “NO, STOP! I have the cops on the phone. she just robbed me and they are on their way”.

This is nothing new for cabbies in Vegas. Every night we see hookers running out of hotels while being chased and hear them in the back of our cabs talking about the “last sucker” they rolled while he was showering or just not looking.  Personally, I think it’s funny. I mean if you are desperate enough to get a hooker and dumb enough to think you can trust her, then you deserve everything you get.

While the guy is yelling at me and trying to get me to talk to the cops, I see the hooker desperately trying to get out of my cab with no luck. I keep my child locks on so people can’t just open the door and run or into traffic at the airport. She starts going crazy again and even offers the $200 to just take her away from there.

I tell both of them that I’m not getting involved and that I’m just going to get off the main street and let her out. They can deal with it from there.  So I do just that, and watch as she tries to get into 3 other cabs. I signal for them not to taker her and they just lock their doors. She then runs into the hotel I pulled into so I pull off.  While waiting at the stop light to leave I see the two of them running back across the street. Just then a Las Vegas Metro Police Unit comes flying toward them. The cop stops and gets the hooker into custody.

Before the light could turn green my phone is ringing. It’s my dispatch telling me to stick around because Metro is going to want to talk to me.  I hang up and pull across the street to where they are and my phone rings again. This time It’s Metro’s Dispatch asking me to search my car for a wallet and $200 while I wait for an officer to come over to me.

To make a long story short, nothing was in my cab. I had to write a statement regarding this and they found the $200 under the girls WIG!!! I was laughing my ass of when I saw that.

If you take anything from this I hope it’s that you shouldn’t pick up a hooker. If you still feel that you need to pay for sex, there are legal brothels just outside of town.

Vegas and Relationships

Posted in Crazy Families, Driving Basics, Hookers, Random Info with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2011 by HackingVegas

One thing Vegas can do is destroy a relationship. I see and hear it almost everyday in the back of my cab. I decided to share one story with you today because it was truly a first for me. Vegas is known for its sex, drugs and gambling but some people don’t know how to control themselves.

I see and hear many guys and gals cheating on their significant others. But most of the time it’s the guys bragging to their buddies and gals crying because “that’s not the type of person they are”. But this time it was a wife and her husband in my cab. He wasn’t talking about cheating and technically she wasn’t either, well not yet at least. What she was saying though was not what I typically hear.

Her: So honey, have you heard that Vegas has male escorts?

Him: No, I knew about the female ones but never the male.

Her: I was talking it over with the girls and we decided we need to have some fun while we are out here.

Him: What are you getting at?

Her: Well we were thinking to mix things up the three of us would get ourselves escorts tomorrow and if you guys wanted you can do the same.

Him: Um….. OK….. aahhh…. well….

Her: It’s going to be fun. Everyone in Vegas does it. Just go with it, you’ll see

Him: um…. I guess. I don’t know what you’re trying to do but if that’s what you want then I guess.  Besides, it sounds like you have your mind made up.

As I pulled up to let them out they continued to talk about it. The last thing I heard was…

Her: You know I love you but…….

This is just another example of what Vegas really isn’t about.  My wife and I started our life together out here. While I know we are not the “norm”, we like to think that Vegas is really what you make of it.

“What Happens In Vegas Moves To Vegas”

Do You Listen Before Talking (WTF 4)

Posted in Driving Basics, Law Enforcement, Random Info with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2011 by HackingVegas

After hanging up on the Taxi Authority in (WTF 3) I went to the coordinator’s office to see what they could or could not give me. Just like before, they knew nothing and couldn’t help me. I then tried to talk to a manager about this. This use to be easy. They use to have their own building and we could just go over there and talk to them. Now they have been moved into the office next to the coordinators office. The door that leads to the new office is behind the desks and has a sign that says something to the effect of “don’t enter without supervisor”. Well, that would be nice if I could get one to act like I’m there.  After trying to get someone to help me and having no luck, I just walked out.  I then walked next door to our human resources office and gave them a shout.

After I filled in the lady at the desk with what is going on, I then asked if she could help me.  I let her know that I was wanting the cops to see the video and was trying to get the information that dispatch had written down for me while I was driving.  She tried to refer me to the same people who blew me off and only cared about the car. She then gave me a number to a guy that will help me in getting the cops to see the video. So I thanked her and walked out to call this guy.

Feeling better because I felt someone was really trying to help, I called the number and got a lady. She says that the guy I was needing to talk to was gone for the day and that she will pass all of my information to him in the morning. He’d get back to me. She said that he works from about 5am to 3pm and before hanging up, she wanted to look to see if the video had uploaded yet. She couldn’t find it but said he uploads them all in the morning and he’ll see it.  I thanked her for helping and hung up. Things were looking up.

I move on to dispatch. I called up and asked to talk to a supervisor. That itself was not an easy task. First I’m told that there isn’t one up there. Then I’m told I’m not allowed to talk to them but that they would take a message and pass it along.  So I call my supervisor and explain who I’m trying to talk to.  Finally after three calls I get transferred to the Dispatch Supervisor.  When he picks up I explain what I’m needing and ask if I can come up and copy it down or if he can read it off to me. For some reason he goes on to let me know that I need to hit my panic button and that will alert my dispatcher that I need help. he goes on to say that I can’t just call for help and I need to follow company policy.

First I told that this had happened about 3 hours prior. So why is he telling me to hit my panic button and deal with my dispatcher? Next, I would hope the guy “supervising” the Dispatchers would know what the radios can and can’t do.  You see a few months ago all of our radios were changed in our cabs and dispatch. Our old radios use to let dispatch know if we hit our panic button.  These new ones don’t. They don’t even tell the dispatch who’s talking to them. Finally, I go back and repeat that this happened 3 HOURS AGO!

I then return to trying to explain to him that I don’t need anyone to help me but him. I ask him again if I can get the information I gave the dispatcher so I can fill out a police report. He proceeded to rant on how everything in dispatch is company property. He explains that if I needed anything I would have to set up a meeting with the CEO of the company. Then, and only then, am I allowed to get anything from dispatch. He then went on to tell me that I better not even think about asking for any video. Those are private property and no one sees those. If I want the cops to see them then I better hope they get a warrant to view them.

So as I’m sure you can figure out I’M PISSED! I asked the guy, ” So if I want to get the information that I provided to my dispatcher regarding an assault that happened against me, I have to set up a meeting with the CEO of the company?  Which means I take time off work and hope that  he allows me to get this info, so then I can go to the police and file a report?” I was seeing red and couldn’t believe the stupidity I was hearing. He had a simple answer for me, YES. I couldn’t take anymore and just hung up.

I have felt helpless as a cabbie before but this was beyond anything I had experienced.  I got into my car and sat there for a few minutes trying to process what had just happened.  This was a company I thought was a good place to work. A company that advertises to have the happiest employees. I’m sure those “happy” employees haven’t had to deal with this stupidity.  I drove home and thought about this all. My only hope was the guy that should be calling me in the morning.

The next day came and went. I never got a call and when I called up to talk to him (4 times), I was told that he was unavailable.  I was all alone in this again. I had to think about what to do. Should I cause a huge uproar at work about this? No, that would just get me fired. Been there, done that. Do I go file a police report without the information I need? No, that’s pointless. So to wrap it all up I just decided to listen to the wife and let it go. I know I’ll get nowhere and if I try to make a deal about it, then I’ll more than likely get fired. Instead, I’m bitching to you guys and moving on hoping someday there will be change.

Thanks for putting up with this. You can look forward to a true Vegas Cab story coming up next time

Why Do We Call Cops Pigs

Posted in Driving Basics, Law Enforcement, Random Info with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2011 by HackingVegas

I drive all over the Las Vegas Valley and see all kinds of things. Over the last few weeks I’ve noticed that this one Highway Patrol Officer is helping stranded motorist. At first I thought that it was cool that our officers are stepping up and working on some good PR.  Our state already offers a “Freeway Service Patrol” (FSP) that roams the main highways during the day and helps people get their cars working or off the freeway safely.

These guys are busy all day and could use the help of  others. If you are a guy on the side of the road, I hope you know what to do.

Ok not really, the FSP will get to you as they make their rounds. But I did notice that the Officer that has been helping is picking and choosing who he helps.  I noticed that every car he has stopped for has been a young woman who is standing right over him.

But the other day I saw something that really stood out to how he is picking and choosing. About 200 feet apart were two cars with flat tires. The first car had two older ladies standing there and I can assume waiting for FSP.

The second one had a young woman standing there as the officer who had to pass the other car to get to this one was changing her tire.

I know men are known as pigs in many women’s eyes and lets not forget what cops are known as. The last thing we need is this guy showing the women in our life that this is true. Come on now, think before you act guys. You’re really not helping our case.

Now I’m Pissed

Posted in Driving Basics, Law Enforcement with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2011 by HackingVegas

I’m pissed! I’m so pissed right now that I paused my podcast to type this up and the wife can confirm that I don’t like falling behind on my podcasts. What could have possibly pissed me off to this point? Well let me tell you.

This morning I’m sitting at the Circus Circus hotel and I watch at least 4 groups come out and get in the taxi line. As I go to pull up the doorman helps them over to a shuttle bus sitting 10 feet from the taxi line. I blow it off thinking that they were just confused and got in the wrong line. I finally get a fare and go on with my day. It’s really slow today so I stay on the strip trying to make the time go by. A few hours later I pull onto The Cosmopolitan and get to the front kind of quick for how slow it is. Then, as I’m called up by the door man to load. I see a total of 8 people in line that are clearly divided into 3 groups.

I get out of my cab to help load the bags when the doorman takes the first group to a shuttle waiting about 10 feet away. I found that odd but then started helping the next group. While loading the bags the doorman comes back and helps with the last bag. But as he grabs it he asks if the group would rather take “the very nice shuttle for only $6 per person.” I stop talking to one of the guys and turn to the doorman. I feel my face getting red and my blood start to boil. Before saying a word I take a breath and remind myself that the doorman may not know.

See about a year or two ago, limo drivers were paying the doormen to pull out good fares from the cab lines and load them into limos. They were making up all kinds of stories to do this. We were told it was illegal for them to do so and we needed to call and report it to the taxi authority. I know at least 2 doormen were fired over this and even though it happens still, it’s not happening while the guests are in line.

So I let the door man know what he was doing is wrong and that doormen were getting on trouble for doing that in the past. He apologized and told the guests to get in the cab and enjoy the day. He then called over the head guy on the floor and informed him. The shuttle was gone by the time I got back. So doorman at The Cosmopolitan, you’re one of the good ones.

Now here is where the steam comes out the ears and flames come with every breath. After dropping off I decide to call the taxi authority about this. It had been a while since I’ve seen this happen so I should let them know. The dispatcher picks up and I let him know what happened. I asked if they are still needing names and plate numbers. When I’m done, I hear him laughing. Oh I’m pissed. This Taxi Authority is our “Police” and they are suppose to be there for us. Why is he laughing? When he’s done he says that’s not what they handle. They only deal with taxi issues. I let him know this is a taxi issue and they use to deal with this all the time. He blew me off and then said that they have never taken calls about this and I didn’t know what I was talking about. At this point I feel my heart racing and my blood boiling. I’m just about to go off but I bite my tongue and explain that I’ve called a few times about this and that I know of a doorman even being fired. He again tells me I don’t know what I’m talking about and says “if there is nothing I need from him he’s just going to go.” Oh shit. I cant even see straight I’m so mad.

I hang up and start remembering every reason I hate this job. I have my ups and downs but for some reason when I deal with the taxi authority it’s always bad even when I’m the victom (I’ll share that story soon).  I’m not use to being treated the way hacks are treated out here and I wish we had a stronger voice. But when our unions suck and most of the drivers are too afraid to speak up because they know they will lose their jobs, it’s hard to make things change. Those of us that have the skills to change careers make too good of money to just up and leave without it impacting our families. So deal with the shit and move on.

I pulled this off a website ran by a Las Vegas Cab Driver:

      

 

This website/forum is operated by a Las Vegas Taxi Driver who wishes to remain anonymous. Unfortunately due to the corrupt nature of the Las Vegas Taxi Industry, agents of change must remain anonymous for fear of severe repercussions. History has shown most who speak out are run out of the business altogether.  The drivers need a voice, and this website is one of those.

 

So now that I’ve vented, I will take my two days off and head back in Sunday hoping for a better day. What a way to end the work week.

Praying To The East

Posted in Driving Basics, Foreigners, Random Info, Road Rage with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2011 by HackingVegas

There is a lot of things you can say about a hack, but in Vegas you can’t say the industry isn’t diverse. When you talk about a hack in most cities 9 out of 10 times people will think about an Arab man wearing a turban.  This is such a common thought that even Hollywood uses this as comedic relief in their movies.

Here in Vegas we have about every region of the world represented and therefor we have all types of religion as well.  One nice thing is that with this diversity most everyone gets along. Most ethnicities hang out in the same groups but are always willing to bring anyone into their circles.  I love this and wish this was the case around the world.

Even though this is the way of most, we do have a few bad apples.  The most common issue we have is against anyone who prays to the east or does any type of religious ritual while working. For some reason people still have issues about things they don’t know much about other than what they’ve seen on FOX News, or “facts” they’ve gotten from a friend. During the day if you drive around any taxi hang out, you will see people on their mats praying. Most of them try to find dark corners to do this but we do have a few who are proud and don’t hide from the public.

Over the years I have seen many of these men get yelled at and have things thrown at them. I hate this and hope the people doing this to these people trying to mind their own business get whats coming to them.  Many of these drivers who pray during work have set up their houses as a safe prayer zones and have even got a restaurant to open their doors to them in the early morning to give shelter.  I love this but at the same time wish they didn’t have to go find places for them to go. They should be able to stop anywhere and do whatever they need to do to fulfill their religions practices.

To wrap this up I’m just asking for people to stop hating and educate themselves of what they are uncomfortable with. If  8,000 hacks can do it I think anyone out there can.  If you don’t feel that you can talk to people to educate yourself then I would like to introduce the world to the Internet.  It’s amazing what you can learn. 

Who’s Parked In My Spot

Posted in Driving Basics, Random Info with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2011 by HackingVegas

What in Sam Hell is going on around here? I pulled up to my favorite little downtown staging area and our parking was taken over by this:

I pulled around to where other cabs have made their own staging area and tried to figure this out. I saw a bunch of guys walking around in all black with head sets on. This looked all too familiar. It was reminding me of the days I worked in theatre. Then a large moving truck pulled up and they started unloading road cases for a band.

I was confused. We have live music on Fremont all the time and they never block off the streets. Why this time? Why on a day I’m working?

I pull up to the make shift cab stand and grab my phone to start typing. As I’m pecking away on my phone as fast as my two thumbs can go, I hear a rumble. I look up to see a big shiny black diesel truck about two inches from my door. I guess I was so engulfed into the post I was writing I didn’t hear it sneak up on me. I look up to the driver who has now thrown it into reverse and is laughing at me as he backs into his spot. That’s when I saw it.

Who the hell is Ronnie Dunn and why the hell is he taking up my work space? I instantly open my web browser and Google him. The Wikipedia page pops up and I tapped it. I watched as a homeless looking guy appears on my screen.

So I read on. Come to find out this is the “Dunn” part of “Brooks & Dunn“. I have heard of these guys but that’s where my knowledge ends. Come to find out they are a country group and I guess they are quite popular. Dunn has decided to work on a solo album over the last year or so and this is part of the tour for it.

With this information I declared it was OK that my work space was being invaded. I mean everyone needs to make a buck. So back to work I went.

As far as all of you who have read this and are asking yourselves how can I not know these guys, I can say one thing; early on-set dementia with a butt load of not liking country music.

P.S.

After getting home I jumped on the computer to put the pics in the post (never use the WP App because while you can use it to put pics in, I have lost two posts due to crashes) and had to go back to Wikipedia to get one one of the pics and noticed that I was more out of the loop then I thought.

Come to find out, the ACM Awards are here in town this week. That’s the real reason for this concert. While he is debuting his solo record, this is not part of his tour. If you would like to check out dates for it here’s the link.

%d bloggers like this: