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#31 Old 01-24-2011, 07:41 PM
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Wow, I never realised how bad taxi drivers have it. I guess that's why they are always so nice to me? A polite young girl is probably a relief after dealing with the kind of people you described.

Honestly, I don't know about the job opportunities in your area but if your job is making you this miserable, anything is better. Even just a temporary change while you are looking for something more long term. Not only are you unhappy, but from the sounds of it you aren't safe either.

I really hope things get better for you. <3

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#32 Old 01-24-2011, 07:57 PM
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I have a suggestion soilman: would you consider moving to Canada? Rent is way cheaper here especially in the Rockies and there are also plentiful jobs http://www.wowjobs.ca/BrowseResults.aspx?q=Mechanic

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#33 Old 01-25-2011, 05:56 AM
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I have a suggestion soilman: would you consider moving to Canada? Rent is way cheaper here especially in the Rockies and there are also plentiful jobs http://www.wowjobs.ca/BrowseResults.aspx?q=Mechanic

Sure, I'd consider it. But I don't know whether Canada would allow me to move to Canada. Also, if I drove to Canada with my current car, I'm not sure whether the sales agreement I signed in the US, providing for 2 years of free basic maintenance and a 3-year 5-year, 60,000 mile warrantee, anywhere in the US, would apply in Canada - despite the fact that the car was assembled in Canada.
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#34 Old 01-25-2011, 09:48 AM
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Wow, I never realised how bad taxi drivers have it. I guess that's why they are always so nice to me? A polite young girl is probably a relief after dealing with the kind of people you described.

yes, indeedy!

The fact is, however, that male most taxi drivers aren't exactly feminists. Rather, they are usually a bit crude. Not necessarily mean spirited, or malicious, but crude. While they will treat polite young women with politeness, while you are in the car - they know that they have to be models of good customer service - they know this is vitally important to their earning a living - after you get out of the car, if they felt you were the slightest bit attractive, they will immediately start talking to each other about you, in the crudest fashion, talking about nothing else whatsover, except how transporting you related to the possiblity (or in a some cases, the actuality), of having sex with you. It is really funny how this seems to be the only thing they talk about. As if attractive young women are here to have sex with taxi drivers, and have no other purpose in life. "She looked like this, she said this, she did that." All relating to sex and nothing else.

There are indeed some female passengers who do nothing do discourage male drivers from thinking that attractive young women have no other purpose in life other than to have sex with taxi drivers.

I don't like to enter into such discussions with taxi drivers. If a fancy a woman, I prefer to discuss things with the woman, rather than gossip about her with male taxi drivers! I sometimes wonder if this causes the drivers to think I am being aloof and unfriendly.

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Honestly, I don't know about the job opportunities in your area but if your job is making you this miserable, anything is better. Even just a temporary change while you are looking for something more long term. Not only are you unhappy, but from the sounds of it you aren't safe either.

I really hope things get better for you. <3

Thanks.
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#35 Old 01-25-2011, 11:58 AM
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I believe I could live very comfortably on $1190 a month, including cigarettes, which are very expensive. You can research apartment rental prices for anywhere in the country, on the web. New York isn't really representative of the whole country, not by a long shot. You may not find a beach-front split-level with a Jacuzzi, and you may have to manage your money. But to be honest, at our age, starting a competitive new business doesn't seem feasible. Also, there are many apartment complexes, everywhere, that offer rent discounts for folks over 55. I'd look into it. My mother has a very nice apartment, if modest, that costs her $350 per month.

Soilman, I live in a very small town in the Smokey Mountains. Capstan is right. You could live on $1190 a month, easily.
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#36 Old 01-25-2011, 12:44 PM
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Sure, I'd consider it. But I don't know whether Canada would allow me to move to Canada. Also, if I drove to Canada with my current car, I'm not sure whether the sales agreement I signed in the US, providing for 2 years of free basic maintenance and a 3-year 5-year, 60,000 mile warrantee, anywhere in the US, would apply in Canada - despite the fact that the car was assembled in Canada.

hmm a dilemma. You don't want to leave your car because of the elite benefits you are receiving for keeping it, but which you dont use for work anyways vs. moving to canada for a better job.

If the car is some well know brand like Toyota or Ford or whatever you will find their coordinating offices anywhere in canada and they could transfer your plan here, you should of course want to check first. You might want to check in to everything else too, your lifestlye,weather preferences. Many people make Canada home very quickly but people who are unprepared get disappointed, the grass isn;t always greener on this side.

All the best

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#37 Old 01-25-2011, 01:07 PM
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Soilman, I live in a very small town in the Smokey Mountains. Capstan is right. You could live on $1190 a month, easily.

Actually, I don't see how. 400 for rent. 50 for electricity. 100 for cable, internet, telephone. 300 for food. That's 850 right there. I'd be in the middle of nowhere, but wouldn't be able to afford a car. Car: 310 per month for financing. 250 for insurance. 100 for gas. thats 650 for the car. 850 plus 650 = 1500. Still need toothpaste, clothing, etc.
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#38 Old 01-25-2011, 01:30 PM
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$650 a month to use a car? I'd buy a beater It's all a matter of priorities I guess.
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#39 Old 01-25-2011, 01:38 PM
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$650 a month to use a car? I'd buy a beater It's all a matter of priorities I guess.

true true

would you consider this one?


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#40 Old 01-25-2011, 02:50 PM
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The drunks are always rude, and often disrespectful as well as rude, and often belligerant and threatening too.

Aw really? I guess I'm in the minority because I'm a polite drunk
There are a lot of creepy cab drivers in my hometown, and the last time a nice one drove me home I called the company when I got home. I gave them his cab number and said he was very polite and respectful. (They were like "uh, okay?" haha oh well)
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#41 Old 01-26-2011, 04:30 AM
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$650 a month to use a car? I'd buy a beater It's all a matter of priorities I guess.

Beat up old car: 4000 for car. Financed over 60 months at 0% interest, $83 per month. Gasoline: 100 per month. Insurance: 250 per month. Needs new brakes right away, $400 (because the last owner neglected getting pads in time, you had to replace the rotors as well as the pads). After 4 months it needs a new clutch, 1800. 2 new tires, with tax: 160. Water pump installed: $250. Rebuilt alternator: 225. Replace coolant which hasn't been replaced in 4 years: $60. New spark plugs: $50 (spark plugs need to be replaced every 100,000 miles - car has 100,000 miles and original plugs).

Cost per month to use a beat up old car, if the cost of repairs and tires are spread out (or financed at 0 percent interest) over a year: 678.42.

Cost of maintenance on a new car: 0; car manufacturer includes 2 years of maintenance in the cost of the car. For the first 2 years the only maintenance it is likely to need are oil and filter changes, which are included. Only maintenance costs that manufacturer doesn't pay for, that it is likely to need, for 2 years, are costs of consumables such as new wipers, front and rear ($23), once every year or 2, and $3.25 worth of windshield washer fluid every few months.
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#42 Old 01-26-2011, 07:19 AM
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Beat up old car: 4000 for car. Financed over 60 months at 0% interest, $83 per month. Gasoline: 100 per month. Insurance: 250 per month. Needs new brakes right away, $400 (because the last owner neglected getting pads in time, you had to replace the rotors as well as the pads). After 4 months it needs a new clutch, 1800. 2 new tires, with tax: 160. Water pump installed: $250. Rebuilt alternator: 225. Replace coolant which hasn't been replaced in 4 years: $60. New spark plugs: $50 (spark plugs need to be replaced every 100,000 miles - car has 100,000 miles and original plugs).

Cost per month to use a beat up old car, if the cost of repairs and tires are spread out (or financed at 0 percent interest) over a year: 678.42.

Cost of maintenance on a new car: 0; car manufacturer includes 2 years of maintenance in the cost of the car. For the first 2 years the only maintenance it is likely to need are oil and filter changes, which are included. Only maintenance costs that manufacturer doesn't pay for, that it is likely to need, for 2 years, are costs of consumables such as new wipers, front and rear ($23), once every year or 2, and $3.25 worth of windshield washer fluid every few months.

Well, that's just wrong.
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#43 Old 01-26-2011, 08:31 AM
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The thing is, if I had a safe, enclosed, reasonably warm, place to work on a car, I'd buy an older car, and fix it up. I love working on cars. It wouldn't really save that much money, because my time is money. However, since to repair the brakes I'd spend 200 on parts and do $200 worth of labor - it would be like having a job, that I like, that pays $200.

Another problem with a used car is say you are parked, and someone smashes into it. Say it costs $20,000 new and it would cost $25,000 to repair it. Say it is 1 year old and has a fair market value of 14,000. The person's liability insurance will pay you 14,000.

Now, say you buy a 6 year old car in typical fair condition for such a car, pay $4000 for it, and fix it up so that it is running just perfect. Break your back working on it, for hours and hours, so that it looks, works, and is, just as good as new. Better even - you have put anti-seize compound on the spark plugs, and lube on all the threaded fasters to make them rust resistant, and easier to disassemble. You've replace the interior incandescent lamps with brighter LED lamps. You have Michelin tires on it instead of the Firestones that came with it. You've replaced the exhaust valves with new one, grind the intake valves, and resurface the valve seats. You've put so much work into it, with so much expertise, and exceptional care, that the market value of the hours you spent on significantly exceeds the value of the car when it was new. Then say someone smashes into it. But this time, all their insurance company will allow you, is $4000. It's unlikey, but maybe you can convince them, with lots of negotiation, to give you 5000, once you find all the receipts for all the parts, and have records showing exactly how many hours of labor you have put into it. But basicaly, all the labor you have put into it has gone down the drain. This is a typical example of how, in reality, things are usually just the opposite of how people like to think they are. People are usually inadequately rewarded for their hard work, while at the same time, simply having things of monetary value, that you didn't work for, such as an inheritace - this is more likely to attract to you, more things of monetary value. Also, most often, those that are in charge of doing the monetary accounting for a project are rewarded greatly, while those that do the actual engineering of the project, and the actual labor, are rewarded slightly.
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#44 Old 01-27-2011, 08:45 AM
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Actually, I don't see how. 400 for rent. 50 for electricity. 100 for cable, internet, telephone. 300 for food. That's 850 right there. I'd be in the middle of nowhere, but wouldn't be able to afford a car. Car: 310 per month for financing. 250 for insurance. 100 for gas. thats 650 for the car. 850 plus 650 = 1500. Still need toothpaste, clothing, etc.

Yes, a lot of people around here live on less. The cost of living here is much different than NYC.

$650 a month seems like waaaaaayyy too much for a car. $100 on gas a month? Not likely, if you're in a small town and don't have a job. I work full time and might spend $30 a month at most.

Also, in a small town, biking and walking works pretty well. Depending on where you live, you may not even need a car.
It can be done. You just have to budget well.
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#45 Old 01-27-2011, 08:55 AM
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Another problem with a used car is say you are parked, and someone smashes into it. Say it costs $20,000 new and it would cost $25,000 to repair it. Say it is 1 year old and has a fair market value of 14,000. The person's liability insurance will pay you 14,000.

Most insurance companies will total the car at 80% damage, or fair market value whichever is less.
So, on a car that is valued at 20k they would fix it up to around 16k, or if you paid 20k for the car but it was now only worth 14 on fair value, you would get the 14 plus expenses like rental car while waiting for the insurance company to come to their answer.

since the car would cost you 20 to replace, you would then be forced to sue for the remaining 6k, and you would most likely win and get that money plus lawyer fees and a few bucks in your pocket.
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#46 Old 01-27-2011, 09:23 AM
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Aw really? I guess I'm in the minority because I'm a polite drunk
There are a lot of creepy cab drivers in my hometown, and the last time a nice one drove me home I called the company when I got home. I gave them his cab number and said he was very polite and respectful. (They were like "uh, okay?" haha oh well)

Some rude drunks are clearly hallucinating that they are being polite.

If he really was polite and respectful, they would probably fire the poor guy, for violating company policy. But I doubt they believed you, being that they understood you were drunk, and unable to distinguish polite people from rude people.
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#47 Old 01-27-2011, 09:30 AM
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you mean you would be awarded that amount, not get it. If you would get anything, it would be that amount less lawyers fees, not plus lawyers fees. Then you would try to collect on your award (which would cost you more fees) and find that the person is a drunk with no assets - which is why he "accidentally" smashes into people's cars, or a regular schedule. So you would hire a private investigator to see if he ever gets a job, 10 years from now, at which point you can garnish his wages, after you pay the court fee for doing that.
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#48 Old 01-27-2011, 10:35 AM
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i really don't see why you're so judgmental of these people/customers, considering without them, you wouldn't even be a taxi driver and have that opportunity to make money.
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#49 Old 01-28-2011, 09:03 PM
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Beat up old car: 4000 for car. Financed over 60 months at 0% interest, $83 per month. Gasoline: 100 per month. Insurance: 250 per month.

I guess premiums in the USA are higher than here in Canada, but $250 per month on a beater car seems like A LOT. Most people I know pay between $60 and $120 per month in insurance. My insurance has never been more than $120 per month, and even that was on a car that was only 5 years old. If you have a brand new (and expensive) car, it may be around $200-$250/month for insurance... but that does seem rather steep for an older and less expensive car.
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#50 Old 01-28-2011, 09:51 PM
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I guess premiums in the USA are higher than here in Canada, but $250 per month on a beater car seems like A LOT. Most people I know pay between $60 and $120 per month in insurance. My insurance has never been more than $120 per month, and even that was on a car that was only 5 years old. If you have a brand new (and expensive) car, it may be around $200-$250/month for insurance... but that does seem rather steep for an older and less expensive car.

I would guess that Long Island, a New york city suburb, would have some of the highest insurance rates in the US.
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#51 Old 01-28-2011, 09:53 PM
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i really don't see why you're so judgmental of these people/customers, considering without them, you wouldn't even be a taxi driver and have that opportunity to make money.

Maybe you should tell a criminal court judge that you don't see why she's so judgemental of the vicious, violent people who are tried in her court, considering that without them, she wouldn't have a job as a criminal court judge, and wouldn't get paid for the job.
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#52 Old 01-28-2011, 10:19 PM
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Maybe you should tell a criminal court judge that you don't see why she's so judgemental of the vicious, violent people who are tried in her court, considering that without them, she wouldn't have a job as a criminal court judge, and wouldn't get paid for the job.


This is my kind of comeback. Morally indignant, cold, logical, with a delicious bite of sarcasm. I award you one internet, platinum edition.

Tam! RUGH!
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#53 Old 01-29-2011, 06:13 AM
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Someone said 100 per month for gasoline seemed like a lot. At 3.40 per gallon, and 26 miles per gallon (the epa esimate for my car, for "city" driving, 32 for highway), 1000 miles of driving, per month, most of it just to and from work, and the supermarket (12,000 miles per year, a rather low estimate) comes to $130 per month. More than the 100 I estimated.

Driving in the winter, in deep snow - I'm sure I'm getting less than 26 miles per gallon epa estimate. In fact, my intial calculation, at my first fill up, was only 20 miles per gallong.
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#54 Old 01-29-2011, 06:36 AM
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I guess premiums in the USA are higher than here in Canada, but $250 per month on a beater car seems like A LOT. Most people I know pay between $60 and $120 per month in insurance. My insurance has never been more than $120 per month, and even that was on a car that was only 5 years old. If you have a brand new (and expensive) car, it may be around $200-$250/month for insurance... but that does seem rather steep for an older and less expensive car.

Liability insurance on my 14 year old Camry is less than $30 a month.
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#55 Old 01-29-2011, 06:38 AM
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Someone said 100 per month for gasoline seemed like a lot. At 3.40 per gallon, and 26 miles per gallon (the epa esimate for my car, for "city" driving, 32 for highway), 1000 miles of driving, per month, most of it just to and from work, and the supermarket (12,000 miles per year, a rather low estimate) comes to $130 per month. More than the 100 I estimated.

Driving in the winter, in deep snow - I'm sure I'm getting less than 26 miles per gallon epa estimate. In fact, my intial calculation, at my first fill up, was only 20 miles per gallong.

I drive about 400 miles a month. Costs about $40 at 3 bucks a gallon.
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#56 Old 01-29-2011, 06:52 AM
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Here's a 1993 Camry for sale in Long Island for $1900. The ad says it's in good shape. Just trying to help.
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#57 Old 01-29-2011, 08:50 AM
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Here's a 1993 Camry for sale in Long Island for $1900. The ad says it's in good shape. Just trying to help.

I'm sure its in good shape for a 1993, maybe. People selling used cars are not exactly always scrupulously honest about the condition of the car. It is normal for the best cared for cars, that are this old, to need all kinds of work. Further, on Long Island, in addition to snow and slush in the winter, we have huge amounts of salt depostited on the highways, to make them safer. Cars here often rust out, to the point of water coming in when you drive over a puddle, in a matter of 8 to 10 years. They routinely rust out, so as to have too much chassis and suspension rust, to pass inspection, in a matter of 12 to 14 years. This is assuming they are high quality cars, have no damage underneath from improper lift placement or jack placement, and are hosed down with fresh water, underneath, at the end of every winter. If not, they rust out sooner. If they are never driven in the winter, they will still rust out, due to our salt-water air. They will rust out much faster than a car in, say, arizona, will - where they take maybe 30 - 35 years to rust out. Tho I'm not sure how long it takes here, if the car isn't driven in the winter. And this kind of rust is spread out all over, rather than mostly confined to the underneath parts. But cars that have never been driven in the winter are rare.

A 1993 car with typical mileage, that has been well maintained (and you can never tell), will easily still need 1000's of dollars worth of maintence, compared to a new car which needs only oil changes, tire rotations, occasional wheel alignments (unless you can entirely avoid potholes), wiper blades, and an occasional light bulb. If it somehow manages to pass inspection now, it is not likely to last another year, before being too rusted out to pass inspection. Sometimes people do patch-work sheet metal repairs, to repair the holes that cause water ingress, but this doesn't address suspension rust.

The best deals are cars that are 1 to 5 years old. These can end up costing you less than a new car, per year. You must have it checked out by a mechanic (or yourself if you know how and have to tools) to rule out poorly repaired collision damage, and things like valve burning or ring wear, due to inadequate oil, and transmission problems. They are also great to have, if you have the knowhow, the space, and the tools, to do your own maintenance and repairs (I no longer have the space, or the tools). But a car that is more than 7 or 8 years old is just about guaranteed to cost more than a new car, per year, to keep running for the 5 to 7 more years you can get out of it. A 1993 car - you are lucky if it will last a year, and not end up costing you twice as much per year, as a new car.

Also, since I am already obligated to make monthly payments to the finance company, for my car (at zero percent interest), and since I can't sell it for the amount I owe, selling it now would be costly. It would be best to keep it for at least the number of years it takes for the amount I owe the finance company, to be about equal to or less than the amount I can sell it for. I estimate that would be about 3 years.

There is a reason the rich tend to buy new cars, and the poor tend to buy very old cars. It isn't just because the rich can afford new cars and the poor can't. It is because new cars make the rich richer. Old cars make the poor poorer. New cars are part of how the rich stay rich. Old cars are part of why the poor stay poor. Yes, it is sad that economics work this way, work againt re-using and recycling, and work against keeping things for a long time and not throwing things out early. But that's how they work.

Frankly, I'd love to buy a fixer-upper, and fix it up. I love doing this kind of work. But I just don't have any place I can do it. However if someone who lives me has a garage that I can work in, and wants to let me use the space, and would allow me to keep a rolling jack and tool cabinet there, that would be wonderful.

By the way, on that camry, replacing that door handle (I assume he means the handle is broken, and not the door, even tho he said the door is broken) is going to be about $150 in labor plus the cost of the handle (maybe $40). If you have the time, and the special tools (they aren't expensive), this is an easy repair to do yourself. However you'd better know that for a car with airbags, you may not be able to take apart a door without setting off the airbag, unless you know how to disarm it. Yes, it isn't hard to disarm it, but if you don't realize that it has to be done, you will end up with the cost of having to replace the airbag. You might even injure yourself when it goes off in your face.
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#58 Old 01-29-2011, 09:09 AM
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Maybe you should tell a criminal court judge that you don't see why she's so judgemental of the vicious, violent people who are tried in her court, considering that without them, she wouldn't have a job as a criminal court judge, and wouldn't get paid for the job.

She chooses to be a judge.
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#59 Old 01-29-2011, 09:36 AM
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She chooses to be a judge.

so come on what does that mean? she went to law school and sat for the toughest board exam in the country AND practiced law for several years AND created enough important useful connections in politics to be appointed a judge, therefore she CAN be judgemental once in a while if she wants and look down on those disadvantged few who end up in her court because they committed violent crimes. And if she wants to make generalizations about the entire race based on those few, then thats mighty swell too.


Taxi drivers, I understand you guys encounter some of the rudest and wierdest scums from society but when a customer asks you to turn on the heater why do you always have to be like "I will have to charge $x above the meter for that"?

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#60 Old 01-29-2011, 02:16 PM
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Taxi drivers, I understand you guys encounter some of the rudest and wierdest scums from society but when a customer asks you to turn on the heater why do you always have to be like "I will have to charge $x above the meter for that"?

Where I work, there are no meters. There are zones. The fare depends upon the what zone the pickup point is in, and what zone the destination point is in, and the distance of the pickup point from the taxi base station. Extra passengers having the same pickup and destination - we add $2 for each. No extra charge for luggage. Makes no difference what path we use to go from pickup to dropoff, we charge the same amount. Driver ultimately decides the route. Although we can take advice from the passenger. I usually go for the fastest route, not the shortest. Enables me to take on the next trip, sooner.

I don't know about other drivers, but when a passenger asks me to turn up the heat, I almost always turn it up, even if I feel it is already too warm. Once I got someone who continued hallucinating that it was veryl very cold in the car, when it was actually warm to start (about 72 degress F), and excessively warm (about 80 deg F), after I turned up the heat further. In that case, I left the heat at 80, rather turn it up even further than that. And I first consulted with the other passenger, who agreed with me that it was already much too warm for comfort. In all but this one case, I've always deferred to the passenger's sense of comfort, ahead of my own. Same goes for the AC. That is part of doing good customer service.

Incidentally, it does not burn more gasoline, does not result in a decrease in miles per gallon, to turn up the heat. Car engines produce excess heat, which has to be removed, in order to protect the engine. Makes no difference if all the excess heat is sent outdoors, or if a tiny fraction of it is sent into the passenger compartment. The only difference is the tiny amount of electricity used to operate the fan that blows air into the passenger compartment. This has no impact on gas mileage, and for all practical purposes, no impact on the life of the battery, or the alternator. The only time gasoline use would be relevant, is if the car were not moving, and the engine didn't need to be running, except that the engine were turned on for the sole purpose of heating the car.

I should mention that generally drivers pay for the gasoline, which costs about 1/2, or more, of the fare for a trip, and that burning more than absolutely necessary, can make the difference between earning some money, and earning next to nothing. For example for a $15 trip, I typically shell out about 8 for gasoline. So I earn about $3.50 (1/2 of the remainder), for driving around for an hour (20 minutes from base to pickup, 20 minutes from pickup to destination, 20 minutes back to base). If I were to spend 10 on gasoline, I would earn only about $2.50 for that hour. Different trips net me different amounts, but since I usually spend some time just sitting in the car waiting for a call, my per-hour earnings for the time I am on duty, is less than my per-hour earnings for all of my individual trips. In the winter, I don't run the engine much, when I'm not going anywhere. To save on gas, I wear long undewear, insulated pants, a warm jacket with a hood, and a balaclava (which, to avoid frightening passengers, I take off, and sometimes switch for a watch cap, when a passenger gets in the car). Time spent waiting often involves doing things like washing the windows, studying a map.

Turning on the AC does result in an decrease in miles per gallon. However if a passenger requests increased cooling - I don't remember any time when I refused.

The lowest fare is 6, for drop off and destination within zone 1, with the taxi base station being in that zone. Going from the base zone, one zone to the west (and vice versa), the minimum fare is $8. Interestingly, since there is no taxi company in that zone, anyone who lives in that zone and wants to go from one place to another, within that zone, has to also pay 8 - we have to travel further to pick them up. So the minimum fare for taxi service, from our company, or any company, to or from your home, can be higher or lower, depending on where you live, depending on how far you our from our base station.
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