Monday, October 25, 2010

Expanding Horizons

After making nearly 700 dollars over the span of the last 3 shifts, sleep deprivation caught up with me this morning. It was almost 6 am when I woke up. That's major lateness in my world. I called up the dispatcher, apologized, and said I'd be there shortly. He told me not to worry about it. All the cabs had already gone out anyhow. He had even had to send some guys home.

I'm always the first driver to show up and wait for the first available cab back from the night shift. Sometimes as early as 1 am. I'm also the first one back from the day shift in the afternoon, which enables the early bird night drivers to get out quicker too. It's called "staggering the shifts" and it's what New Yorkers have always desired wishfully. So it took my 36 hours of urban driving to make 7 benjamins. And I had my own life in between. That doesn't add up to all that much sleep.

A driver must call his dispatcher before the shift begins, to warn he won't be leasing a cab today, thereby releasing the reservation, so the cab can be used by another driver. I had slept right through that task, so I was at risk of being placed on the "no show" list, a.k.a. the management's "shit list." These are driver whom the garage has deemed untrustworthy and apathetic. Luckily I have a very sound relationship with my dispatcher, who protects me from the management's wrath.

My mother and I took a long stroll through our neighborhood today. It was nice to be out and about with her on such a perfect autumn day, and not cooped up in a yellow chunk of fiberglass. We stopped by at the Metropolitan Pool and Fitness Center, where I renewed my recreational membership card, and got her one too. Since she's 56 years old, hers was only $10 for the entire year.

My father will be turning 55 on January 1st, so then he'll get the same discount. The place has a swimming pool, cardiovascular workout room, weight room, lockers, and showers. Other branches have even more amenities, like all kinds of free yoga and tai chi classes. I'm proud of the prospect that my mother might be exercising more regularly. Not to mention myself.

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