"Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right."
I was born in Santa Rosa 34 years ago, and except for a few years away, I have been a bay area resident. A little over 10 years ago, I completed my 6th year of service in the US Army and discharged, flush and ready to tackle the civilian world. It rarely works out quite as planned.
I worked for a while as an assistant store manager at RadioShack, then as a personal banker at Wells Fargo. Then I figured that I didn't really want to be part of Corporate America, and I decided to try my hand as a free-lance Sign Language interpreter. That went well for 3 years, but then the money started to dry up and I started to long for the dependability of the same Corporate America that I had previously shunned.
For the past 5 years, I have been working at Yellow Cab. I started here when I was hired on to be an on-call phone order-taker. Over the months, I proved myself, and was given a shift. 5 days a week on the graveyard shift. Shortly thereafter, I began to sit at the dispatch desk as opposed to just answering the phones, and I started to see what this industry is really about. As someone who is just answering the phones and talking to customers, it is simple to take the side of the customer and wonder just why in the world seemingly so few people were getting picked up. Then I started dispatching and interacting with the drivers, and the answer became clear. Although so many of these drivers we hire have been doing this for years, such a small percent of them are true professionals. After years of working in this industry, that view hasn't changed; in fact, it's gotten worse. My colleagues had similar thoughts, and we came to the solution: Fix the problem before it has a chance to begin by teaching those who haven't driven a cab before how to do so as the consummate professional.