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Monday, January 22, 2007


It could happen to you: This is why you should always tip your cabby

So I get a call to pick up at this old house that has been renovated into three or four different apartments. Two ladies came out with five or six duffel bags. After loading the bags into the trunk I opened the door for them to get into the back seat, but they ignored me and walked off. One lady said, "Take all that stuff to Steve* at the Mint Bar*."

"Ummmmm, is he expecting this stuff?"

"Yes, he is expecting it."

"Who's paying for it?"

"It's his stuff. He will pay."

Looks like Steve is getting the boot, I thought.

"He's not expecting this stuff is he?" I asked.

"He'll pay."

"Are you kicking him out and expecting me to break the news?"

They laughed and disappeared into the apartment.


This is what would have normally happened at that point.

First there is a ten dollar minimum delivery charge that needs to be paid up front.

Second I ain't gonna break the news to someone that they are kicked out of the house for less than twenty bucks.

That's a total of thirty dollars up front. If you can't come up with thirty dollars on the spot I'm depositing everything back onto the porch.

Third for a measly thirty dollars I ain't gonna try very hard to find Steve. If I can't find him in under two minutes I'm dropping everything off at the police station, telling them how it came into my possession and that I suspect it is all stolen.

For fifty bucks I'll look for Steve. If I can't find him I'll drop everything back off at the apartment. It can't stay in the cab. If I have taxi business on Fort Wainwright and there is a bag of weed, or a prescription pill bottle in his bags I can get into a lot of trouble. On Ft. Wainwright drug possession would be a federal crime, and the gate guards do search vehicles from time to time.

Fortunately for Steve I know him. Steve is a nice enough guy. He only takes short cab rides, but he is always pleasant and tips.

I drove down to the bar. Steve works there, and the bar was packed. When I walked in Steve asked, "Who ya here for?"

"I'm here for you actually."

"I didn't call a cab."

"Are you expecting a delivery?"


"Well....," What could I say? I just shook my head and said, "I think I have everything you own in the trunk of my cab."

I got a puzzled look in reply.

"I think your old lady just kicked you out. I have five or six bags in the trunk that she says belong to you, and that you were expecting them."

Steve took the news pretty well. I don't think the news was a big surprise. He just shrugged and said, "I can't keep it here and I don't know where I can have you take it this late at night. I'll have to get it from you in the morning."

"I have to get it out of the cab in case I need the trunk space. I guess I can put it in the trunk of my own car until tomorrow."

"I'll get it from you tomorrow."


And four days later the stuff is still sitting in the back of my car. But Steve is a nice enough guy, I'll see that he gets it.

That is what a small tip on a regular basis will buy you.

* Names have been changed.

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