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Big Business Dies

Posted in Random Info with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2011 by HackingVegas

Cab drivers are called all kinds of things but the last thing I thought we would be called is loyal customers.  Most cabbies I know are looking for the latest and greatest when it comes to places to go. But one place all cabbies can agree on is what convenience store to stop at for all our needs.  What’s the name of this store? I couldn’t tell you if my life depended on it and I’m sure I’m not the only one.  This was the only store that was shown to me on my first day of “training”. I was told, “you can piss anywhere but if you need anything else come here. They’ve got it”. On my first day on my own I had to go in and see what the hell my trainer was talking about and the best way to describe it is WalMart in a broom closet. It had everything from cloths to slots.

I started going there everyday to get my water bottle and news paper.  The staff found out that I was a cabbie and let me know that if there is ever a line just grab what I need and leave the money in the counter. If I need change just wave the bill so they can see it and they will have it ready. JACKPOT!!! I can walk in and out in under 60 sec and not have to wait  the average 5 mins at the 7-11 store up the street. So of course almost every cabbie stops by there.  Over the years about 5 other shops tried to open there and were gone within a year. Even the cafe that called themselves “Taxi Stop” went under. Yes the no name store we all go to even has a kitchen and serves food.

About 6 months ago I noticed that another convenient store was going in, but this one had big money backing it. It was 7-11 going in about 300 feet away. I could tell that the guys at our shop were worried at first but started to change things up.  They expanded their menu of fresh “grab and go” food and made sure that the restroom was always in working order. On the opening day of the 7-11 there were big signs and flags and every grand opening gimic you could imagine. The only thing the 7-11 was missing was the customers.  I think every time I drove by for nearly two weeks the parking lot was empty.  Over time, a few out of state cars were parked over there and a cab or two, but for the most part it still looks like this everyday.  I took this picture about two weeks ago (5 months after opening)

Big Business

Local Business

P.T.S.D.

Posted in Driving Basics, Random Info with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2011 by HackingVegas

It’s a true eye opener when what you read in the papers and see on the TV comes to life in the back of your cab. With Las Vegas having a huge military base I pick up a lot of our countries finest. Most are just wanting to get to wear they are going and move on with their day. A few weeks ago I picked up a guy from an apartment complex who looked like he was in the military but didn’t act like the other hundreds I’ve picked up.

This guy was very nice like all the others but acted like a small child would when they are being abused at home. I said good morning and asked where we where going. He gave a quick and quiet response then apologized saying, “I don’t know much about this, they just said I needed to go down here and do this thing.”  He was going to the Gas Company to get his service turned on. I let him know that the office he just asked for was on the other side of town and that they have an office a lot closer if he would rather go there. He just sat there looking out the window like he was lost and said, “no I better just go here. That’s the address they gave me”. I informed him that it would cast about $35-$40 each way and he said that’s fine because “they” gave him enough money.

On our way down it was very quiet at first. He didn’t seem to want to engage in a conversation. So I tested the waters with a simply question.

Me: So you just moving to town or just moving in there?

Him: I just got here to Las Vegas and don’t know anything about this place.

ME: Oh, Welcome. Where are you here from?

He went on to tell me about all the places he’s from and listed off about 20 different cities. I was confused and had to know more. I got him to go into more details about his travels and found out that when he “got back” (that’s all he would say about that) his whole life was gone and he knew no one and had no one to turn to. So not knowing what else to do he took the bags he had and started looking for people he knew. He said it took him a few months but he found someone who was able to help and next thing he knew “they” put him in contact with “the people” to get him here.

After that he just shut down. I asked a few more questions and got silence. Then out of no where he started asking questions about the city and some of the stores he saw on the way. One that really took me by surprise was when he asked what Wal-Mart was. I first asked,” you don’t know about Wal-Mart?” and he said no “they” told him about it but he’s never been there. So I explained what Wal-Mart was in detail and continued on.

I pulled up to the Gas Company and gave him my number to call me when he was done. He thanked me and went in. I finish my paperwork for the ride and pulled out my lunch but before I could take a bite of my sandwich he was walking back out and asked if I could take him back. I said of course and off we went. I asked if he got it all taken care of.

Him: Yes but I could have done it over the phone they said.

Me: Why did they tell you to come down then? 

Him: The Gas Company didn’t “they” did.

Me: well that sucks. What a waste of time and money.

We headed back and the random questions continued. About 3 miles from his place he asked if we could go back to Charleston and Decatur to the Wal-Mart. I said of course but if he’s just wanting to go to Wal-Mart there is one right by his house and it would be much closer and cost less money to get back from. I dropped him off and waited for his call.

When I picked him back up I noticed that he had what I would call a bachelor survival kit. This consists of a pillow, top ramen, personal hygiene stuff and a pot and pan. He got in and again I had to ask,

Me: when did you move in?

Him: yesterday

Me: Ah just getting the essentials?

Him: Yeah I have no gas for two days so I figure I can at least have a pillow for a change and microwave water for a hot meal. 

Before I dropped him off he let me know that he spent about 3 years “over there” and so not hearing gun shots and having a roof over his head is a huge improvement. This really made me think. I bitch about all kinds of shit and don’t think twice. This guy has spent years at war for this country and has payed the price mentally. I have a beautiful family and a nice house that I come home to every day, who am I to complain.

Now That’s A Bus

Posted in Driving Basics, Random Info with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2011 by HackingVegas

 

Still working on some posts but saw this at the “Magic” convention and thought it was cool enough to share.

and yes people do ride up top too.

Undercover Boss?

Posted in Driving Basics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2011 by HackingVegas

I watch the show “Undercover Boss ” all the time. It’s about CEO’s finding out what’s going on in their company and seeing what they can do to help. The sad thing is that this actually needs to happen to get company heads in sync with their company. I’ve worked for many companies over the years and some keep employee morale in mind while others only care about the bottom line and don’t mind unhappy employees. You can run a succesful company either way, but Google and many other fast growing multi-billion dollar companies didn’t do it by not caring about who got them there. So with that said, It was nice to take a CEO shopping for his employees.

This last week we had the “World Of Concrete” convention in town and it’s a big one. They estimate having about 70,000 people coming this year (up from 40,000 last year and down from 110,000 the years prior). These are a bunch of guys and gals who come to town to handle their business, but most of all have a good time. They are one of a few groups that know how to party. So when I picked up from the Wynn and was told to take him shopping for his guests, I was shocked to hear the full story.

Come to find out, this guy was the CEO of a small company that makes a ton of money making parts for some concrete machines. He comes to this convention every year to meet clients and set up new accounts. The part I thought was really cool was when he told me that he was shopping for the families of his employees who are coming out. See, he flies all 20 of his employees and their families to Vegas every year at the same time of the convention. They don’t have to work or even worry about it. They just come out here knowing that the shop is shut down and they can just have fun. The CEO pays for the whole trip. And yes, if the single guys want to go to the clubs he takes care of it. If the family men want to take their kids on a helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon, he pays for it. Everything is covered 100% and he just asks that they don’t get in too much trouble and they make it back to work the next week. I couldn’t believe it and thought this may have been just another story that I hear all the time from guys trying to sound better off then they really are. But when I pulled back up to the Wynn and I opened the door of the van I was driving,  the bellman said,:

Bellman: Hi Mr……. Welcome back. Do you want this to your room or one of the others?

Mr.: You can take it to my mom’s room she’s going to help me put the bags together.

Bellman: No Problem, when is everyone else showing up?

Mr.: Later tonight, so if you can help me get in their rooms later so they have everything when the get here that would be great.

Bellman: Of course you have the 22nd floor right?

HOLY SHIT! (I’m thinking to myself)

This guy booked an entire floor at the Wynn and is paying for everything. Now that’s a boss! I know that not every company can do that but this guy could, and is. In my opinion, a little goes a long way and your employees know how the company is doing for the most part. I still remember the Christmas party the owner of a coffee shop through for us back in the day. He had a good year and rewarded us with a little party and gifts to show he knows who did it for him.

Do You Poo Poo?

Posted in Driving Basics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2011 by HackingVegas

I’m on my way to a store in “The Alphabets”, which is a Part of town that most drivers refuse to go to. I personally love picking up here. It’s a very poor part of town and I get some of my favorite fares from here. They are normally full of stories and have a personality that is unmatched to most people.

As I’m pulling up I see 3 adults and a small kid. First impression, I think they look homeless and I’m wondering if they even have money. I get out to put a stroller in the trunk and I get a whiff of body oder I haven’t smelt sence I worked on an ambulance. While putting the stroller in the truck and notice all the food and dirt pouring off it as I place it down. I get in the cab and find out they are only going a 1/4 mile. Now I’m not worried about the money because the worst that happens is that I’m out $5.

I pull off and listen to the crazy banter going on between the three adults. The two adults in the back look like your typical meth users with the baby who is about 2 years old and dirtier then any kid should ever be.  The diaper  is so full its falling off. The man next to me, who looks in his early 30’s, is about as dirty as the baby and walks with a cane. He is having a hard time sitting in my small cab (Chevy Malibu) because he is at least 400 pounds. I pull up to the house they are going to and we all get out. I grab the meth heads their stroller and they tell me “Pudge” is paying.  I look over to the front door and see him having trouble getting out. I offer help but he says no. He gets out and pays me and I’m thinking that this was nothing like what it appeared to be.

I jump in the car and go to head to my next call when I notice the smell is not going away like it normally does. Hhhmmmm I’m about a mile away and still smell it so while stopped at a light I look where the baby was sitting to see if she leaked. Its clean.  I then look in the front seat and HOLY SHIT……

yes it’s just that. Seems that when “Pudge” was getting out he couldn’t contain himself. I had to haul ass back to the yard to switch cabs smelling this the whole way.

The next day I had my car back. This is the moment of truth. Does our detail shop do good work?  I got in the car and what do you know? It looks like a brand new seat and they even did a deep clean of the rest of the car. So never fear getting into my cab because I can assure you it’s poo poo free.

Am I an Aussie?

Posted in Crazy Families, Driving Basics, Foreigners with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2010 by HackingVegas

Days Like this make me remember why I like my job, at least one day a month.  It’s close to the end of my shift and I’m downtown hoping to get at least one more fare before I have to turn it in for the day. I head to the marriage bureau, where I at least had a chance, and a group of four come out.  They get in my cab and off we go to the Las Vegas Outlet Center.  A nice group from Australia gets themselves settled at the next stop light (get out and change seats which happens more than the TA would like but who cares). We go down the strip because they want video on the way that they havent been able to get yet. I find out that the young couple is getting hitched the next day and from what I can tell, the other two ladies were their moms (or something to that effect). They start talking about all the stops they plan on thier trip and make it clear that they are on a world tour. One thing I wish more Americans could do is travel like people from other countries do.  I hear the older two women inform the younger lady about some things that they should do on their travels (and the do’s and don’ts). Did you know in Singapore (I think she said) they will publicly flog you for littering.      

As we are heading down there, I suggest the Welcome to Las Vegas sign for the popular photo-op most people forget about.  I pull up and get out to help with the picture. I take the group and then the younger girl pulls out a gnome from the backpack shes holding.  They tell me of a Australian tradition of traveling with a gnome that you’ve stolen from someones yard and you take photos of it on your travels. Then upon your return, you put it back where it came from with the photo book of its travel memories.

They thought I would think that’s dumb. Little did they know that I love shit like that and wish people out here would do things like that without the worries of getting into trouble or getting shot. Then they asked if I would take a picture with it. HELLS TO THE YEAH I WOULD. So I’m a little crazy like that. I love doing silly stuff and that was right up my alley.  So now I ask, does that make me an honorary Aussie or what? I hope so! They seem to be cool people. Almost everyone I’ve had from Australia is nice and out for fun. Besides, I could move there for our winters  and enjoy their summer. HHHMMM I think I’m onto something. Plus, I think I could finally find someone to control my dogs.

Drugs or Plant Food

Posted in Drugs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2010 by HackingVegas

Over the years I’ve met people from all over the world and have found that you can’t always judge a book by its cover, well almost. I recently picked up a local from his condo who was in a hurry to get to his new store that had just opened. He got in the cab looking high as all hell but not smelling like weed, which about 3/4 of the people I take to work do.  He started talking up this new business he had started and bragged about how he’s “found a way around the system”.  He started telling me how all types of people, from cops to day-workers, have found out about this and have come in for help. He said that he’s the third store to open here in Las Vegas and he hopes to grow fast before the laws change. He also made it clear to me that if the laws can change, so can his ingredients. His store sells “Plant Food” so he says at first.

He started in on me by asking how often I’m asked for drugs. I tell him that as a day driver not too often. Mainly the night drivers are hit up for that. Day drivers mainly get asked about weed and that’s few and far between.  He then started discussing how  he needed to get us (cabbies) to help advertise and distribute for him, yes distribute, and no this really isn’t “plant food”.  I tried to explain that I don’t know too many driver that would do this due to the fact that we would never be able to drive in Las Vegas again if we got busted.  Once again, he started in on the legal side of things and explained how he got his store. The “plant food” is clearly marked that it’s not for human consumption.   It is sold as “plant food”. Oh what the hell- I almost have him to his store and I’m not going to win in this discussion, so I decided to just sit and listen.  When we got to the store  he handed me a baggy and two small jars.  He urged me to take a look, try it out, and let him know what I thought. I drive off trying to figure out what I’m going to do with this shit.  I call my wife and she says I should just dump them. So I did. 

 The next day, I found it odd that I picked up a group who started talking about this stuff. They were making fun of the guy who was trying to sell it. They said he looked “fried” and yet was trying to say it has no lasting effects and is 100% legal.  They had some of the same thoughts I did which was it was BULLSHIT. So I dropped them off and get myself a radio call for a condo pick up.  I start that way and find out it’s the same guy from yesterday, the “fried guy”! This happens all the time. I have a few regulars now because I try to work the same parts of town. 

I picked him up and took him back to work. He fills me in on more info about the “Spice” (that’s what they are calling it).  He told me more about the samples he had given me, what they do and how he gets the word out. I hear about how he goes to the clubs to sell and spread the word and once again how it’s “legal” because its “plant food”.  I listen to it all and wonder how long this new shit will last before we’ll start hearing about it on the news. The samples he gave me were “Spice”, “XTC”, and something similar to cocaine with a chemical compound on it “GBL” and”BZP”.

I decided to look it up and figure out whats really going into this stuff, you know the “plant food”. “Spice” aka legal weed,K2, or JWH-018  are a few ways it’s known, depending on where you get it and whats in it. I had a hard time getting a true answer on the web as to what it really is, but everything I saw was out of Germany and had to do with chemical compounds and labs. XTC was mainly a Chinese herb, Ephedrine, and caffeine.  The Cocaine was Cinnamon, Wasabi, and VERY HIGH levels of Caffeine (one small pill had more than 3 time the caffeine of any coffee or energy drink).

So basically think about the crap going into your body. I’m all for legalizing “real weed” (you know the shit you grow, not chemicaly engineer) because it is natural and it really isn’t worse than drinking. But, I have a hard time getting on board with these things that are made in a lab. And don’t forget, they have to sell it as “plant food”.  So be carefull while out there and have fun.

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