People before profits

* Oops, forgot to post this before I left yesterday.

This has been an amazing weekend driving pedicab. The weather was great even if it was extremely windy at times. The Basilica Block Party was going on Friday and Saturday and Kenny Chesney was playing Target Field on Friday night so there were tons of people downtown. It was one of those weekends where you didn’t have to look for riders; they were lining up begging for rides. I gave a lot of fun rides and made pretty decent money. There are so many stories I could tell but I can’t fit it all in here. Still, let me see if I can sum up what I took away from this weekend in a few words.

This job has done wonders for me in so many ways. I’m in the best shape of my life. Every week I get stronger; hill that used to push me to the limit now barely cause me to break a sweat. It’s also improving my social skills and my ability to connect with people from all walks of life. These are both skills that I’m going to need as I move forward with my dreams.

Where I’m still struggling is with the issue of money. I’m making enough doing this that I’m worried about losing my Social Security and more important my health insurance. My motivation for doing this job is not the money but it is so tied to the job that at times it can be hard to separate the two.

After the Basilica Block Party let out there was a line of people wanting rides. All the pedicabs was called down to the concert but we couldn’t get cabs there fast enough to meet the demand. Figuring I would only be able to get one ride out of there because I was coming from the complete opposite end of downtown I decided to not take a ride for less than $20.

Before I could even pull up I had two couples wanting a ride. The first couple asked how much to Brit’s Pub and I told them $20. They thought that was too much which perhaps it was but tried to explain the economics of the situation. Taking a pedicab is a luxury, not a necessity. It’s something that you do for fun even though you could walk. They decided to walk.

I told the next couple the same thing and they also balked at the price. I’m sure that within five minutes I would have found someone that would have paid that or more but I was already feeling bad for not taking rides so I told this couple they could pay me whatever they wanted.

We were only going about five blocks but with all the traffic leaving the concert location it took some fancy driving and creative thinking to maneuver around and through all the cars. I was still hoping to be able to drop them off quickly and get back for another ride.

At one point the guy in my cab said to his wife, “he’s all about business”. I think he meant it as a compliment but it told me that my mind was not where I wanted it to be. I wanted my mind to be on giving my current passengers the best ride I could, not on my potential next ride. I quickly refocused and put my attention on my passengers. In the end he still tipped me $20 and when I got back to the Basilica everyone had cleared out and there were no more rides. Things turned out exactly as I thought they would but it didn’t happen by focusing on money. It happened by caring for people.

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About lefreakshow
A walking contradiction attempting to make sense of this crazy world though the power of creation, exploration and communication.

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