Monday, March 16, 2009

Right Place, Right Time


That's an acronym I use sometimes at work. Actually, we use a LOT of acronyms. (No, LOT is not an acronym) Here are a few:

LA Little America
GA Grand America
DRB's Dirty Rat Bastards
COB Church Office Building
JSB Joseph Smith Memorial Building
JM Sign Just Married Sign
PITA Pain In The Ass
RARA's Radical Animal Rights Activists
WG West Gate
LDPT *Lying Drunken Puppy Thief
SG South Gate

So it's no surprise that one of my favorite acronyms is RPRT. That would stand for Right Place, Right Time. That was me last week. I got called in because they were shorthanded. That means I was poaching, sort of. Poaching is when you sign up to work when there are already enough people working. See, if too many drivers are working then nobody makes any money. I wasn't poaching of my own accord. In fact they had to submit to my demands before I would agree to come in and work. So it was forced poaching. NMF (Not My Fault).

Anyway, I had two appointments that night, one at 6 pm which was the impetus for calling me in because they had three appointments and only two drivers. Then, as part of my compensation for hauling my ass all the way back downtown to work on a night when I didn't want to work because there's good stuff on TV, I was given another appointment at 8:30.

So I showed up, got Tony ready, pulled out bumpus POS (Piece Of Shit) carriage number 11 (because the wedding at 8:30 wanted a black carriage) instead of my usual white/in excellent condition (because I take care of it) #2 and went with Kar (AKA; BB, Darwin's Satanic Imp) to SG where we stood around and did nothing from 4:45-5:45 when we had to leave for our respective appointments. I arrived at Mac Gril (Macaroni Grill) took my passengers on their romantic ½ hour ride where he got down on his knees and proposed, then went back to SG.

I was the only carriage at SG and had all of about 4 minutes of standing around and was in fact trying to pull my Jimmy Jammers (one of the many nicknames we have for insulated Carhartt overalls) on when a young man approached me.

"I'm proposing to my girlfriend tonight and I want to take a carriage ride in a half an hour," he said.

I looked at my watch; 6:40. "If you want to guarantee a carriage will be here you need to pay in advance and I'll make sure someone is available for your reservation," I replied.

"Fine," he said, whipping out a credit card. We settled on a City Creek ride ($50), which is much nicer than a City Tour ($40) but not as expensive as a Memory Grove ($60) and I filled out the credit slip. He advised that they would return to SG between 7:10-7:15 for the ride.

Right behind him were two women and a man. The older of the women (Mom, it turns out) asked about our rides and she settled on a City Tour. I looked at the time; 6:44. "I can do it," I said, "but I have to be back in time to do that man's proposal." I indicated the retreating backside of Mr. Soon-to-be-engaged.

"Oh, that's all right," Mom replied, "you can cut our ride short if you need to."

So, I took Mom, daughter and Uncle Bob around downtown. By this time, Kar and Newbie Driver were at SG, each having done their single appointment. I returned in time to pick up Mr. STBE, take him and his intended on their City Creek ride, and drop them off in front of JSB because they were having dinner at The Roof (a restaurant in JSB. It's on the 10th floor). Then I returned to SG.

Kar and Newbie were still at SG, still with only 1 ride each under their belts. I piddled around, went and used the john, chatted with Kar for a while, and then left for my appointment which was almost 7 blocks away. I picked up the B&G (Bride and Groom) (who looked to be all of 12 years old) and took them to LA. I must be getting old, everybody under the age of 30 looks 12 to me these days...

B&G exited my carriage and four people who had been checking with the doorman about a cab approached me, and their leader asked, "Are you available to take us to Spencer's?" (a restaurant in the Hilton.)

"Sure," I said, my mind whirling because I figured I would be deadheading back to the barn (I was allowed to go home once my second appointment was finished.) That was part of the "deal" that was crafted to get me to work that night. My kid was home alone, not feeling well, and I have a certain standard of gross and net which are within my acceptable parameters. In other words, I knew I was considered a poacher, albeit against my will, and I expect to make a certain amount of money when I go out, and if I don't achieve my goal I don't feel that it has been worth my time. I'd rather stay home and watch TV.

So for a nominal fee I took the party of four to Spencer's, continued on to the barn and was home by 11pm (the time my shift, had I not been given a special dispensation, would have been over.) The next day Ro advised me that Kar and Newbie went in with only the single ride each.

So, was my bottom line that evening (four full rides, one shuttle) due to my spectacular salesmanship? Not really. I didn't "sell" any of them. It was all a case of RPRT, which is Ok by me, although it made me a DRB because I did so well and I'm sure there was some grumbling about me being a LDPT. But that’s TFB.

*LDPT = I worked a uniformed security guard at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois back in the early 80s. Yes, I was a "Mall Cop." I worked undercover in Loss Prevention at TJ Maxx, and for the (really dating myself now) Woolco stores. I was also employed by a detective agency for a short time, until their contract with Northrop expired.

During my employment at the mall I was called to Noah's Ark pet store because a man came in, stole a puppy, and left. While I was taking the report he returned, drunk, with the dog. He and his buddies took it to a bar. The manager elected not to press charges since the dog was returned and unharmed. Then, while escorting the drunken puppy thief off the property, he asked me out. I consider the LDPT curse to be pretty heinous. Since we work in front of Temple Square we try not to drop the "F" bomb in front of the general public, so we have developed our "swear code" of acronyms.


Belle's personal assistant said...

RPRT is definitely better than WPWT. I have had plenty of them.

misms-- sometimes I misms, sometimes I don't.

Skeeter Demon said...

In our house we have the saying, "Tis better to be lucky than good." Of course, if you're both . . . .

checkss: I shwear, guvner, the checkss in the mail.

Lisa Deon said...

Most of the time I'm just lucky. Occasionally, I'm good. Having a pimped out ride helps a LOT!