Day Cabbie

San Francisco taxi stories from one of the very rare female drivers


My favorite dispatcher is Buzz. He has a soothing voice. It's the kind of voice that you could listen to all day. It helps when a taxi dispatcher has that kind of a voice because I have to, well, listen to it all day.

Sometimes, on slow days, he says soothing things like "Things will pick up, don't despair." Today was one of those days.

Buzz likes to make coffee references throughout the day. I like coffee references. He'll say things like "I haven't had enough coffee today." Or he'll say "Too much coffee" and then he'll excuse himself for a couple of minutes. I love coffee and I love the buzz it gives me, and so I love it when other people express their love for coffee. Today he said "Better living through coffee." And sometimes I wonder if that's where Buzz got his name, from the coffee buzz.

Like I said, Buzz has a soothing voice. I like the way he says "Broadway and Battery" or "California and Battery." The word Battery will always have a nice ring to it for me now.

So the way the radio dispatch system works is that the dispatcher can hear what all the cab drivers are saying into their microphones, but the cab drivers can only hear the dispatcher and not each other. Sometimes Buzz is chuckling while talking so you know something just made him laugh but you have no idea what. Whenever I hear him chuckle, I can't help but chuckle too. One time I was the one who made him chuckle. It made me feel really good. I felt the way I did back in school whenever I had said something that had made the whole class laugh.

Whenever Buzz doesn't get a response from a driver, he says "Roger, yoohoo?" or "Yoohoo, 472?" He says yoohoo. I mean, that is just cute.

On my first day driving after Burning Man, Buzz said to me over the radio

"Where have you been?"
"I've been at Burning Man!" I said proudly.
"Ah, Burning Man. [Blah blah blah blah blah]?"
"What? I didn't hear what you just said."
"We'll talk later."

We never did talk about it later, but sometimes when I run into him in person (not over the radio), he will talk to me about Kraftwerk, or about how he used to go to this coffee shop in North Beach where all the Beatnik poets hung out, or about the new VW bus that's supposed to come out. It seems that there are layers and layers of interesting stuff underneath his dispatcher shell.


At 10/28/2006 06:25:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoy your blog!


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