Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Trouble With Tommy

Tommy came to work at the cab co. about 5 or 6 years ago,he was in Canada illegally from Louisiana,he was looking for a cash job in order to stay under the radar of Revenue Canada.
So my boss with his ever present distorted version of reality,went ahead and hired Tommy to drive the night shift.
Tommy was short and strong along the lines of "strong like bull,smart like streetcar".

I was working night dispatch at the time,and I was forever fielding call's from angry customer's complaining to me how Tommy had kicked them out of his cab...or worse had kicked their ass.
He was an angry young man with a wicked temper,and it didn't take much for a drunken fare to piss Tommy off.
One night in the middle of a snow storm,a drunk had said who knows what to him,but it was enough to have Tommy stop his cab in the middle of the main drag,pull this guy out of the cab,and beat the hell out of him,leaving the poor bugger laying in the street.
I heard from that customer and the cop's that night,but Tommy somehow avoided an assault charge.
This kind of behavior went on for months,we were not going to have many customers left,if Tommy didn't stop beating the crap out of them.
When ever I called him on his rather poor customer relation skills,his response would always be the same "If they didn't piss me off,I wouldn't have to punch them out"
Great I thought,I'm working with a sociopath,at this rate half the bar crowd will be limping around town on crutches.
The law did finally put a stop to Tommy the slugger he was eventually charged with assault,fined and court ordered to take an anger management course.
The course didn't seem to help him much,but it wouldn't matter for long, as just a few months later Tommy was dead,he had a heart attack as a result of a drug overdose.He was 32yrs.old.

Young Love Goes The Distance.

Back in the fall of 2009,I was dispatched to the fairgrounds of a small town about twenty minutes away.
It was the end of the season for the carnival workers, who had spent the previous seven months traveling the Province setting up their amusement rides.
When I arrived their were a half dozen lad's waiting for cab's to take them either home, or to the nearest travel connection,which in this case would be the City,about an hour's drive away.
So all of them were good money run's for the cabbies,but mine was a whopper.
I was approached by a young fellow who was desperate to get home,he lived in Bridgetown,which was a four hour drive away.
I was stunned,and asked him if he had any idea how expensive that was going to be,I mean we were talking a 378km. trip,
that would be $760.00 at the metered rate.
Well he replied,I really want to get home and see my girlfriend ,"can you give me a flat rate he asked?
So I thought about it for a moment,and said ok how about a $500.00 flat?
When he agreed on that,I nearly fell over...who spends that kind of dough on a cab ride!
Apparently a 19yr. old kid in love does,because when I asked for the money up front,he opened up an envelope full of twenties, and handed me 25 of them.
Great I told him,let's load up your gear and hit the road.
It was a great trip,the longest fare in my career as a cabbie,and all as it turned out was because this young carnie was ass over tea kettle in love, with a Bridgetown girl named Cindy.

Note:Names and places have been altered to protect this individual's privacy.