Just for fun I've created a map of the final couple of hours from last nights shift. Heading for dinner at 10.40pm and thinking the night was pretty much over, save for some local stragglers, an unexpected hail to the western suburbs set off a chain of jobs reaping an additional $130, bingo! All thanks to those incorrigible party animals from the music industry celebrating the annual ARIA Awards at Olympic Park, Homebush.
Hit the Larger Map for details of the jobs. Sorry I couldn't be more elaborate with images and videos but it's too late for the fancy stuff. Maybe next time.
A sobering reminder of one’s mortality comes from working with the elderly. Observing how they respond to help is a lesson in contrasting behaviour and gratitude. Whilst a few elderly consider help as an automatic entitlement, most others see it as thoughtfulness, and even a rare opportunity for some human nourishment.
At change-over time on Wednesday afternoon I accepted a radio job from a suburban residence to Concord Hospital. It’s an old story. The passenger’s pre-arranged transport had failed to arrive and the job was shunted down the food chain to a regular white taxi...
On Monday night I dropped a fare outside the Coogee Bay Hotel thence parked the cab to return an overdue phone call. This was a mistake.
I killed the Vacant light, locked the doors and made the call just as a big heavy fella approached a vacant cab in front. He looked like a homeless guy, dishevelled and smoking a cigarette as he negotiated with the driver through the open door. Generally the grifters look for ‘spare change’, going from cab to cab with limited success.
He then approached my cab and attempted to open the door before reefing at the handle and bellowing something indecipherable. So I dropped the window a little and called, “Mate, I’m not vacant.” “If you don’t take me,” he wheezed, “I’m going to report you.” Whatever, I thought, and continued chatting on the phone as he disappeared into the hotel.
After a couple of minutes I rang off, turned the Vacant light on and hopped out to look for the bloke. The doorman told me he was in the lobby and went to fetch him. When he waddled out I said, “Ready to go, mate?” “Nah, bugger you,” he snarled, “I just reported you,” then climbed into the cab behind. Can’t win.
China never figures in my visitor statistics until yesterday when the blog came under sustained attack from comment spam. Some clown in China with too much spare time recorded 947 page hits spruiking some game. Idiot.
In other news a fresh Cabpoll went up yesterday and, with luck, will be followed by a passenger video interview today. Pretty tricky stuff but it should be okay.
Finally, for anyone interested and not at the pub tonight, I'll be making an appearance on Channel 9's A Current Affair to talk about Cabpoll. Hopefully, it too will be okay.
UPDATE: Unfortunately the ACA piece is not complete, despite a successful session late this afternoon. A little more material is needed to round out the story and will now be broadcast next week. More importantly, though, my first Cabpoll video interview with a passenger is now online here.
My second Cabpoll appeared yesterday at ninemsn (see sidebar). Generally I'll be reporting on Tuesdays and Thursdays, save for this week when the campaign start required an introductory post.
This catchy image (click to enlarge) was taken outside a North Ryde church on Sunday, within hours of the election being called. It's by the same denomination who last February erected another striking poster board, Jesus loves Osama.
Early on Sunday evening a Parramatta tough guy, around forty years old with a shaven head, caught me unawares at the traffic lights and climbed aboard. Instinctively I eased my phone camera from it’s cradle straight into my shirt pocket. Discrimination !
In an Aussie accent he ordered a neighbouring suburb then asked, “Can I smoke in here, bro' ?” “Nah, sorry mate,”I replied and pointed to the security camera. “Wish we could but it’s the law.” “F...!," he exclaimed, "it shits me!” “What, the law..?” “Nah, smoking,” he replied. “I only took it up three years ago because of stress.” “Let me guess,” I offered, “Family Court stress ?” “Dat’s it bro, dat’s it,” he moaned.
For the next five minutes I received chapter and verse from a harried father up against the system, not made any easier to accept by his foreign heritage. As he told how cruel it was to be denied witnessing his son’s first day at school, I wondered how long it was since he’d had a good, hearty, belly laugh. Probably since he started smoking, three years ago.
Upon alighting he paused, then snarled in a fearsome tone, “If this was my country, bro’, I’d be buryin' the bitch.” A passionate man.
With yesterday's announcement of the Federal election date I can now inform readers of my involvement supplying Cabpoll passenger surveys for ninemsn.com.au. These can be found on the ninemsn election minisite.
This project will be my main focus for the next six weeks and due to the work load involved regular Cablog posts will be curtailed somewhat. However special passenger encounters will still appear here as they occur, the most recent being posted yesterday.
Needless to say this job is a great opportunity which I intend grabbing with both hands, feet, brain, cabs, computers, tools, whatever. Therefore I trust my regular readers will understand this commitment and I thank you in advance for continued support.
During the election campaign Cabpoll will appear bi-weekly, comprising text reports with the occasional multimedia feature. So head on over for my first Cabpoll up today.