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Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Rethinking the strategy -or- Groupthink and Pushing Hack

I've been pushing hack for entirely too long, almost ten years. As a full time job, I've only driven a cab... on and off.... full time... for say... three years. For several of those years I just drove on the weekends. For many other years driving was one of two part-time jobs that I combined for full-time work.

Over those ten years I've observed and even joked about one constant in the business. On one hand the constant is irritating, on the other hand I've always recognized it as something that could be exploited. Two months ago I finally pulled the trigger and put my theory to the test. So far I'm happy with the results.

I've been pushing hack full time for the last few months. I decided to approach cab driving as a three week on/one week off proposition. Work everyday for the first three weeks of the month and take the last week off.

Here's my rationale in a nutshell: Most people get paid at the beginning of the month. Welfare checks and social security checks are all deposited at the beginning of the month. People are flush the first week of the month and are broke the last week of the month. At the end of the month cabdrivers are left to fight over scraps.

Not only are people flush at the beginning of the month, but most cabdrivers are earning pretty good money and taking excessive time off for the first couple weeks of the month. Not only do people have money, but there are fewer cabdrivers to compete with to get that money.

Conversely, at the end of the month not only are passengers broke, but cabdrivers are broke. Every cabdriver in town knows his rent is coming due in a few days and is on the road trying to make some money. Not only is there less money to be earned, but you are competing with more drivers to earn those scarce dollars.

So far I'm happy with my new system. Hopefully, with family obligations I'll be able to maintain this schedule. For the record: I have taken a day off here and there because of illness, or to play boardgames, or to be with my family, but I've also gone into work on my week off just for an excuse to get out of the house.

Good luck. Please keep the cab stories coming.
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