Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Open Letter to Mark Gruberg, Dave Schneider and All The People at Green Cab
I just heard the news that you are probably going out of business and I wanted to express my sympathy along with my gratitude for having spent two years working for a company that was an actual co-op, a place where both professionalism and fair treatment of drivers was of paramount importance.
I'm a story teller and I think a few little tales will explain the difference between the attitude at Green and the way drivers are treated at many other companies.
Shorty before I went to Green, I had my medallion at Luxor Cab. I came to work one day only to find 30 drivers lined up at the cashier's window tying to pick up their cabs. There was no movement for a few minutes so I walked up to the window to find out what was going on. The female cashier, who was supposed to be putting out the taxis, was running numbers on an adding machine.
I watched her for a few minutes then got her attention. She gave me a big smile, apologized for keeping me waiting, stamped my waybill, gave me the medallion and went back to her adding machine.
I called her over and asked what she was doing. She said that she had to add up credit card totals. I told her that she should do it later because the drivers were losing money while they were waiting.
"Don't worry," she said with a suck-ass smile, "just come to the front of the line and I'll put you out."
It was a major reason I left Luxor. I didn't like being forced to act like an asshole just because I held a medallion.
After my first shift at Green, my night driver left me a long letter pointing out that: I had not washed the cab when I turned it in, that I had not vacuumed the inside and that I'd left pistachio shells all over the floor. He ended his note by saying, "We don't act this way at Green."
My first thought was, "Hey – I'm an owner!" My second thought was, "Hypocrite!"
Of course he was right. I should've cleaned he taxi and he should have the right to call me on it if I didn't go my job. A driver's a driver whether he or she owns a medallion or not. Green is one of the few companies where this principle was a daily truth instead of empty verbiage.
Perhaps, the thing I liked best about Green was the fairness with which everyone was treated. As result you had the most professional drivers in the fleet. If I'm not mistaken Green had the highest percentage of radio players and Flywheel users. I also have little doubt that Green set the industry standard for fewest complaints. If Green had any drivers who turned down credit cards or refused to take people to the Sunset they sure didn't talk about it.
Mark – Green set the standard for everyone else to follow. If all the drivers in San Francisco acted like you guys did at Green, the taxi industry would be in much better shape than it is now.
Here's a shot from your 2010 Christmas party. I never stopped enjoying my time there.
Good luck! I hope the rumors of your demise turn out to be false.