miércoles, octubre 18, 2006

Because in Every City, There's Fools to Pity

I just read an interesting article in the NY Times about a program called "Operation: Refusal". In response to black men's complaints about being discriminated against when trying to hail a cab, the City has come up with this plan, in which undercover cops of color go out and try to hail cabs to see how many cabbies are refusing fares based on race. It's about time they do this. So far, there is a very good compliance rate, as this article will tell you, and several folks have been very happily surprised. But really, the fact that people still equate black men with bodily harm and/or murder says a lot about this society. We have not progressed that much at all, and New York is not as advanced as people think it is. It is really just another city run by money-hungry heathens, and in that way, it is very similar to Washington, DC, so theoretically, I should feel right at home.

Now, if only they could make some sort of rule so cabs would go into Queens at rush hour, considering that most of them are on their way home to Queens. The last time my mom was in town, she came to meet me at my office in the Chrysler Building, and since she can't walk for a long time or climb and descend stairs so well, we decided to get a cab home. Nightmare. After the 6th cabbie refused to go to queens, even though it was the end of his workday and he was going in the direction of the 59th street bridge, so he said, I kicked his hubcap right off his car. The guy didn't even stop or make any obscene gestures. I don't think he even noticed, but I still have that hubcap in my living room, and I keep it as a talisman of sorts. Since I got it, I haven't had any trouble with cabs. Another secret is to open the cab door when it stops for you, plant yourself inside, shut the door, let the cabbie drive for 1/2 a block or so, and then say you want to go to Queens or Brooklyn or wherever it is. When he threatens to throw you out, remind him of the little "Taxi Riders Bill of Rights posted behind his seat, grab your cell phone and threaten to dial 311 or whatever. That puts them in line real quick. Knowing curse words in Arabic and Urdu helps too. I really should thank my colleagues for that. I'll miss them.....Why?

BECAUSE I GOT A NEW JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Still at the UN, but not in this office, so that's great. It is also a promotion to the next "salary grade", so I'm excited. Oh yeah and I'm excited for the new challenges and whatnot.....Actually, let me edit my previous statement: I'll miss most of them. The other ones, of whom you can probably guess, can eat me. The bosses are scrambling to find my replacements (plural because I do two jobs for the price of half of one, which you also may already know), and they have chosen a candidate, but she refused, and the next candidate refused as well, so now they are on to the third candidate, and I hope that karma bites them in the collective ass and number three refuses too. If they had acted right, this office wouldn't have such a horrible reputation at the UN as a bunch of troublemakers, which the bosses most certainly are, and they would have my replacements and I would be sitting in my new office. Which brings me to the downside, albeit a very small one in comparison: they're not letting me go to my new office until 27 November. Mr. R, the Director, asked me when I wanted to go. I said that I would like to get to the new office on 1 November so I could get settled there before the holidays, and Mr. R. was just about to authorize this, when Mr. S., like a little yipe-yipe dog, the kind that tries to jump on you when you get home because it craves attention, rushes into the room and says "No, no, you can't leave until we get a replacement and then you have to train her," yadda, yadda, yadda. Then I said "Well you know you can't keep me here indefinitely, as I'm sure you want to. You have until 1 December." So they compromised to 27 November, and of course I say "compromise" with a heavy dose of sarcasm. They did compromise, but on their terms, which is not a compromise at all, and you know I pointed this out to them both. Then Mr. S. left the room, and Mr. R. asked me why I was leaving. Let's just say that I was perfectly honest with him. As for me, this month I have left will be the easiest time I ever did, you know, like when the prisoner finds out he will be released from jail soon. The downfall of this office will be Mr. R., though, and the poor soul either doesn't know or doesn't care. He knows all the unsavory crap that's going on here, through the various eyes and ears that he puts out himself, but he doesn't do anything about anything. Like that witch Ireland? He knows very well that she is constantly degrading people, taking money out of people's paychecks for travel that they should be reimbursed for and then refusing to authorize the reimbursement, and doing other, bitchy, underhanded things. She's accusing people in the office of fraud for God's sake, without any hard evidence. But he does nothing. So anything that is or will go wrong here is most certainly his own fault. But I am out of here, and thank God I will not be associated with this dying fish anymore.

PS - I am loving Mr. T's new show, "I Pity the Fool", and his slogan: "Because in every city, there's fools to pity." Don't I know it. The show is on TV Land. It's sort of a "Shalom in the Home" kind of thing, Mr. T style.

1 comentario:

swandad dijo...

Great stuff! As a black man who catches an occasional cab, it's still a nightmare to do, even if you are dressed in a business suit and looking as least-threatening as possible....

Great stuff, keep up the good writing!

swandad