Last Friday afternoon, dozens of taxicab drivers parked outside City Hall in a plea to the Seattle City Council to crack down on dubious practices by cars-for-hire, like Uber. So over the weekend, Ron and Don, the hosts of KIRO Radio's Ron and Don Show, seized on the protest to give taxicab drivers "a few tips" on how to "stay competitive."
And they present it in an enumerated list! What's their number one piece of advice?
"1. Take a shower," say Ron and Don. They explain that drivers of Uber "all bathe." But, apparently, cab drivers totally don't. So their sage wisdom: "What you should do, instead of honking your horns, is go take a shower and make your service better, right? Clean out your car every once in a while. It seems like some of the guys sleep in there."
Look, I also have problems with Seattle cab service. Like I've said before, some cabbies balk when you pay with a card, they often don't show up, the dispatchers can get truculent if you complain that they no-showed, and lots of drivers get lost. Ron and Don made some of those points, too. But really? Their number-one complaint is that taxi drivers are dirty people?
Here's my enumerated list "tips" for Ron and Don:
1. Go fuck yourself. Taxi drivers do bathe. Maybe you had a driver who smelled before—that can happen to humans working a 13-hour shift—but I'm certain the overwhelming majority of drivers have sterling hygiene. You're making up a fake complaint. Having a problem with cab services doesn't require treating those drivers like shit.
2. Classifying an entire industry of working-class people as unclean is just classist humiliation. Cab drivers have grueling, dangerous, financially precarious jobs. Stop treating them like your filthy servants.
3. Understand that reasonable people—including cabbies—know your "tips" are worthless. Your primary piece of advice is actually an insult. These aren't tips on staying competitive, they're tips on which two people cab drivers should never pick up.