I Didn't Use the AK

Last night was just wonderful on every possible level, one of the nights when driving a cab brings true joy to both my heart and my wallet. But what made it so exciting is, again, a bunch of minutiae and/or a long story.

So a story about a customer, then. My third to last fare was around 4am, picked-up at a residence in Inner Southeast. I was beaming, nearing the end of a wonderful night, and asked the white woman in her late 20s how her night had been.

"Horrible," was the reply. She tends bar during the daytime. Today, a man came in while she was at the back of the bar by their lottery machine. He handed her a lottery ticket, pointed a gun at her, and told her to take the ticket and give him all the money in the till. She did, $1200. After dealing with the cops, she got shitfaced drunk, had a huge argument with her husband, and then found herself waking up on her friends' couch. So she called us, shaken and needing to get back home to her family.

Having a gun pointed at me is my greatest fear. It's not something I think about often, not something that I could think about often (or necessarily should worry too much about in this town), but I'm in an extremely vulnerable position. I wear a seat-belt, and am often too busy monitoring traffic and the MDT to keep an eye on the person in the backseat. Hell, I even keep my rear view mirror in a position where I can actually see traffic, not the passenger. I could be cold-cocked, stabbed, or shot before I had the slightest idea of what I'd like to occur.

Of course, it would be monumentally stupid to do any of those things while I was actually driving the car, and I do take measures to protect myself and humanize myself as much possible. But none of that changes the ultimate fact that I spend my entire shift strapped into a seat with my back to someone, and that any of those someones could potentially be stupid, desperate, or greedy enough to come after me.

I should note here, for the benefit of my no-doubt worrying mother, that I have yet to meet a cab-driver who's been robbed. I've spoken to a very few who've had close calls, and one who had to deal with a guy who had a stun-gun. I trust my intelligence, my mouth, and my training, though. I have to, really.

Anyhow, I gave the bartender a skate on the $12 - only the second time I've happily and willingly done that for someone I didn't know. She insisted on giving me $5, which, of course, I kept.


Blogger Joann said...

I feel pretty safe during the day and when I am out in the dark it is with a personal. I worry more about being hit by a car.

June 27, 2006 9:24 PM  

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