You don't really know a man until you've driven two hundred miles in his cab. After tonight I feel like I know R.
R. is 72 inches tall and weighs 230 lbs. He's almost 47 years old. He owns the day half of a Crown Victoria with a little bit more than 150,000 miles on it. The company owns the night half. This may very well mean that no one will partner with R. because of any number of potential personality defects, or it may simply mean that he's not interested in owning a full cab and new night owners have just happened to buy into other ones.
But R.'s cab is special. He has two labels posted on the instrument panel so that lease drivers can understand how special his cab is. It can only have Premium Fuel put in it, for one. There is also another label that reminds lease drivers (who are well-known to be idiots) to "Wash EVERY Shift."
Another special thing about R.'s cab is that the doors in the rear won't open from the inside, even if the child locks are turned off (though he keeps them on, just in case). It's just like a real cop car! Isn't that neat? You bet it is! That he left the doors in this state after purchasing the car from the police is an indication that R. is:
a) incredibly paranoid about people running out on him without paying
b) incredibly cheap
c) really keen on being a gentleman and opening doors for people
R. also doesn't like to be photographed. Another special feature of R.'s cab is that a rubber band holds a business card in place over the camera that points at the driver's side of the vehicle. While crueler members of the readership may assume that this has something to do with the fact that he's as every bit as ugly as you'd expect a cabbie of his age and dimensions to be, it's more likely related to another special feature of R.'s cab - when you pull down the driver's sunvisor to see if there are credit card slips (there are not), you get hit in the head with a pack of Camel filters. The business card over the camera likely means that R. is paranoid about someone spying on him (they aren't) and catching him smoking (for numerous reasons, they probably can't). It also means that R. probably does not understand how the taxi cam works (which is not something I'll elaborate on in this space for numerous reasons, but it's fairly simple).
But despite several signs of paranoia, R. still likes life on the edge. This is attested to by the fact that his car doesn't have an air bag in it, and also by the dent and scrape up by the passenger side headlight. Further evidence of R.'s taste for life on the edge is found in his glove box, where he has a VHS tape labeled "Death Hunt 1981 Charles Bronson" that was likely recorded off the television (or is in fact not "Death Hunt", but instead pornography).
R. is just one of the many wonderful people I work with, and after boring work nights I will perhaps start featuring more Profiles in Cab-driving.