Being Short-Staffed Is Not an Excuse!

AJ Wood
5 min readFeb 1, 2022

My experience with a rude taxi dispatcher

Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

I live in a mainly rural area just a few miles south of the Canadian border. Yeah, it gets cold in these parts. And for the record, I love it here. For the most part, I have never met a group of people who are nicer, kinder, more helpful and generous than the folks who grew up here. I guess the cold has taught everybody how to band together and play nice for the common good.

But there are few notable exceptions — mainly transplants from warmer climates, I’m forced to admit. And their general meanness has become ever-more apparent since the pandemic began.

Remember how all the stores, bars, restaurants, and beauty shops shut down for a while? Well, if you get behind the wheel of your own car every day, you might not have noticed this. But transportation shut down too — busses and taxis, Uber and Lyft. For a couple months, I had to bum rides from friends just to get to work. And they really didn’t appreciate getting up at five o’clock in the morning on weekends. Can’t imagine why.

So now, everything is opened up again. But we have a new problem. All these local businesses have lost most of their employees. A few people moved out of state. Others found that unemployment pays better, at least for now. Still others simply don’t feel like working. In that rest home kitchen where I work, we’ve made do with three or four employees, sometimes just two, when we have enough work to keep eight or nine people busy. All this work to be done, and nobody’s showing up for interviews.

As I said, transportation has been hit as hard as everybody else these days. And I’ve thought that was really weird. In our culture, getting a driver’s license is a rite of passage. So, it seems to me that a taxi service would be the easiest place to find a job. All you’d have to do is walk into the office and say, “Put me behind the wheel, please.” I expressed this opinion to a cab driver one day, and he said, “You wouldn’t even have to say please.” And they’re still short-staffed.

I’ve discovered this short-staffedness (hey, look! I invented a new word!) has revealed a very ugly underbelly. It seems that mean people have stumbled upon the perfect way to keep well-paying jobs and get away with injuring others to boot. All they…

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AJ Wood

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