Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Independent Contract - 3

While conditions at Yellow cab were the worst, there was no taxi company you could work for without receiving some form of abuse. After a classic "you-can't fire-me-I-quit" squabble with one of Steele's lackeys, I went to work for Desoto.

At the time, the company was managed by Marvin Gralnick who liked to be called just plain "Marvin." However, this didn't mean that he thought of himself as one of the guys. Like many in the business, he looked straight through lease drivers as if they didn't exist - unless they were good looking women. Actually, they didn't have to be that good looking. Watching him chase woman around in his office, I often wondered why he didn't get hit with a sexual harassment suit.

But I'm digressing again.

Marvin didn't give me a copy of the lease I'd signed either. And, unlike Nate, he didn't even give me time to read it. He stared at me as I started to page through it and looked at his watch. I got the point and asked him for my copy. He said that they didn't have any at the moment but the printer would send some over the next week. I needed the job so I said, "fine."

But I thought that this had to be illegal so I decided to keep asking for my copy with the vague idea that I might be able to get an attorney interested in a class action suit. Every Monday after that, I'd go to Marvin's office before I took my cab out and brightly ask him if the he'd received the contracts from the printer yet. Every Monday, he'd give me a long, intimidating look and tell me that they still hadn't come. "It's hard to find good help these days," he told me once. This went on for five or six weeks.

Finally, when I showed up one Monday, Marvin graciously invited me into his office. He waved his hand to show me the room. It was filled with lease contracts piled desk high along the walls. "They've come," he told me. I guess he'd talked to his attorney. In all my years of agitation this was my one concrete victory - and I didn't want it. I wanted my class action suit

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