"One who dispatches," eh? Sometimes Webbie really disappoints me. Of course, I'm not sure how many taxi cabs they had in 1913. Not many, right? OK, I'll kiss and make up with the dictionary. C'mere, you big ball of fluffy nonsense.... (I'll be right back.)

In the world of the cab driver, the dispatcher is the ruler of your little world and has almost everything to do with whether you survive or starve. Therefore, it becomes political. I can just hear little Johnny McCain screaming now about how, "We've got to get the soft money out of the cab business!" I wish little Johnny would get real. You can hate the way the world works, but there's little chance you're going to change it.

The dispatcher, in a perfect world, sits in his office and uses the two-way radio to tell the cab driver who is closest to a call (someone who's called in to the dispatcher) who should go pick up the fare ASAP.

The city is usually divided into sections so that when the driver drops his latest fare off, he can radio the dispatcher and say, "I'm clear in Section One," (he would actually use a term like "the East Side" or "the Airport"). The dispatcher would then say, "OK, Number 21, you're third out in Section One." In a perfect world, this would mean that you would get the third call for a fare from that particular part of town.

The world has not been perfect since we took that little bitty bite.

Here's what really happens: You either get on good terms with the dispatcher by licking up to him or by paying him money under the table. That way, you can get the most profitable fares in whichever area you're in. For example, you're first out in the East Side. An old woman calls in who needs to get a ride down to the market, about two blocks away. This bitch calls every week, and she never tips. A couple of minutes later, some dude calls and says he needs a ride to his girlfriend's house across town and he's willing to pay for the driver to wait while he has some fun, and there will be a big tip involved. Now, if you have done your homework, the guy who is second out will get the old lady going to the store and you'll get the horny money man.

It's just business. Get over it.

Dis*patch"er (?), n.

One who dispatches.


© Webster 1913.

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