420am- Wake up and warm up the car.
4:50am- Family in Mac Groveland scrambles to the car with minimal luggage and two kids. Disney World bound, the entire family is concerned that Pink Kitty might’ve been left behind. I suspect that Pink Kitty is a valued stuffed member of the family. They commented several times that they hate cabs, but I was the exception to their hate. Told me flat out I charged too little and tipped nicely. I will probably clone this family.
6:00am- Cathy. Since the temps plunged I’ve become her go to girl. She doesn’t text but we are making the relationship work anyway. Each morning she takes bus to her office in downtown Saint Paul, but on cold Minnesota mornings, the 6 minute walk to the bus stop and the 5 minute wait for the bus is too much. We arrive a bit before her office opens, so she lingers in the car and we talk about her divorce. It’s the first time in sixty years that she’s lived on her own. Learning to manage money and household things on her own has been tough. I get the sense that her husband left her devastated on all levels. I hope she finds the love she deserves.
630am- I have a gap in my schedule so I go home to nap for a few hours before a haircut consultation and blowout. I’ve been fantasizing about a long blunt modern bob, but I will probably keep my hair long. The timing is bad because my phone has begun to blow up. Nature of the business. The minute I have plans, everyone wants me. It has also started to snow.
11:45am- Earlier in the week a woman from NYC and her daughter found me on Siri. The mother is headed back to the airport from McNally Smith College. We have a very good chat about undiagnosed mental illness. We are both in agreement that the brain is an organ like any other and can get sick. We discuss ideas on how to handle delicate mental illness situations in the workplace. Both of us work with someone who is bipolar.
1:00pm- It’s snowing heavily and the crash carnage is in full swing. I allow 60 minutes to get to New Brighton from the airport. Glad I did, it's already slow going. As we drive southbound on 35W towards MInneaoplis and the airport, I have thoughts about putting extra distance between us and the car in front of us. Not longer after I had put that extra distance between us, the cars in front of us began to spin out. That extra distance keeps us accident free.
2:30pm- Airport run for from Twin Cities Public Television in Saint Paul. TPT always calls me last minute, so often I have to send another driver. This time they luck out. I have a gap big enough in my schedule to fit in their airport run. They gossip while I concentrate on the slippery road conditions. My snow tires and sandbags make driving so much easier.
3:45pm- Julie to the airport. I love this girl and I ‘m so glad she found me randomly on the internet sometime last year. I asked her if she wanted to leave early, and it was a good thing we did. Our 15 minute ride took 40 minutes. She has a new leading man. The guy is a Nashville musician. . Apparently he’s traditional country, so he’s A-ok in my book. Perhaps he will drum up a classic country music scene here for this urban country music lover?
5:00pm- Charity and Aaron. Long time clients in Inver Grove Heights. They wanted to head down to the Wild Game earlier, but traffic was dreadful. I’ve been driving the Aaron since my early cabbing days. He used to always text me, “I will leave the light on for you”. So I saved him in my phone as Tom Bodett(think Motel 6 commercial).
6:00pm- Young male from the Lower East Side of Saint Paul who needs to check in to a correctional facility in the West Metro by 715pm. Traffic is still a parking lot across the city, but I agree to the challenge. Chances are he’d been waiting ages for a cab and got desperate before finding me on the internet. Within minutes of getting in, he hands me a hundred dollar bill. He’s going a long way and knows the game. Money up front--smart guy—and I’m happy I didn’t have to ask. On the way he plays Sam Cooke and some rap music on YouTube. I’m not a fan of people eating the backseat, but I let him eat some BK. People to or from jail, workhouse, or prison never cause me problems. Normally I would get their story, but this time I'm concentrating on bad roads and traffic. I get him to facility with ten minutes to spare. No tip of course, but I feel like I did my part in helping someone out.
9:00pm- Software guy and local DJ is headed to the bar. He has been riding with me for years, and I really appreciate his loyalty and generosity in the age of Uber. Sadly I will be in bed sleeping by the time he wants to go home in the wee hours of the morning. It will bother me the next day that I shut down before he wanted to go home.
9:30pm- Best Buy employee and Twitter follower returns to MSP after attending CES in Vegas. He gives me the scoop on CES and I let him out one house off from his. To be fair, the houses on his street look similar and it’s hard to read the house numbers in the dark. The light pole marks the spot and I will remember that next time.
10:00pm- The Wild Game is over, and Uber is surging like crazy. My phone starts to ring in response. I take some college boys to Tiffany’s. One is cool and goes on about how cool it is that I have my own business. His friend kicks my seat nonstop and I’m afraid he will throw up. I’m sure Tiffany’s will serve him but they shouldn’t. He looks done to me.
11:00pm- Charity and Aaron are ready to head back to Inver Grove Heights. We laugh our tails off all the way home, with the exception of a few minutes when we witness a crash on 52. They set up a ride for the Saturday Wild Game. As my 3M client Byron would say, they are good humans.
12:00am- 218 area code calls from Tom Reid’s going to Hotel 340. I ask if they want to grab a cab out front (I know there are lots of thirsty cabbies parked outside) or wait ten minutes for me. They say they want to wait. I call upon arrival and they tell me they, “already got a cab.” The problem with this outcome is that I turned down three good runs en route because I was already committed to their small ride. Now the phone is quiet and so are the streets. I head up the hill to my house and go to bed. I know my software guy is still out, but I have to be up early and I don’t know how late he will be out. I feel guilty for shutting down but I also have to sleep sometime.