Day Cabbie

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

The day of huge tips

It all started with the orchid tip I received that day. A woman had flagged me down at 5th and Bryant. She needed to transport about fifteen bouquets of flowers to North Beach. I found out she works at a flower shop, a family business. The first thing she gave me was a single orchid blossom. I put it on my dashboard for good luck. When we got to the shop, she ran inside and brought me a couple of orchid twigs. I love the random gifts I sometimes receive from passengers. And it seems that the good luck orchid on the dashboard definitely worked because look at what kind of tips I got that day!

A lady way out in the Sunset had called for a Green Cab. The dispatcher recommended I give her a call before driving out there to make sure that she would wait for me. I called her. She laughed and said that yes, she would wait for me.

A few minutes later, she called me back and said "Can my dog come?" I said sure.

I took her and her dog to the Richmond. We talked about Priuses, dogs and sheep. The fare was $15; she gave me $25.

Then I took an architect from Baltimore to the airport. He said that I was a nice cab driver but that many other ones weren't. He said that some of them seemed like they were on crack.

"And those Slavs, they are all racists."

"Hm." In my head, I laughed.

He paid with a credit card and asked me to calculate 20% for the tip.

"Is that the going rate for a good tip?"

"Yes, it is."

The fare was $35.50. I told him that a 20% tip would be about $7.

"Make it ten," he said.

"Thanks," I said.

Then there was the well-dressed blond woman. She was going to the Radisson at Fisherman's Wharf. I thought for sure that she was a guest at the hotel, but when she asked me if Green Cab was hiring, my assumptions about her started changing. It turned out she was concierging there. She asked me all about cab driving. How long had I been doing it? How much money was I making in a day? What did I have to do to become a cab driver? It sounded like she was seriously considering switching from concierging to cab driving, and I gave her a lot of information she didn't have before.

She tipped me really well as well.

2 Comments:

At 4/16/2008 02:23:00 PM, Blogger Inez said...

I am moving to SF next fall, and I am seriously considering cab driving, as well. I really like you blog! :)

 
At 9/10/2008 09:26:00 PM, Blogger Tweety said...

never thought cab driving could bring so much joy :)...not that I specifically thought about it, but while reading your entries, it strikes me that way.

 

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