This week I'm in San Francisco. One of the things I miss about this city is the ability to take a taxicab to wherever you want to go. Not that you couldn't take a cab in LA, but that would be ridiculous and expensive.
Each day I walk out of the hotel and cross the street to the taxi stand. Twice now I've walked up to the driver and said "you available?" And they've replied "where are you going?" Usually, the "where are you going" question happens AFTER they've replied "yes, I'm available."
The first time I got the question, I replied "11th & Folsom". And the driver said something like "I'm not going in that direction". Funny, I thought taxicabs were ALWAYS going in your direction. That's because their main function is to drive you in whatever direction you're going. Not whatever direction they're going in, unless they happen to be going to pick up a fare, and they really oughta be more concerned with picking up that fare than wasting their time stopping for random people who just might be going to where their future passenger is waiting.
So the next time I go up to the taxi driver and ask "you available?" And the driver asks "where you going?" And I reply "you available?" The driver says "yes" and I get in the cab and tell him "11th and Folsom."
I think they'd rather hear me say "wherever the hell you want to drive so's to get a huge fare and relative tip. So let's just drive around until you're tired and I'll get the fuck out." Right. That would be like me asking a potential client how much editing they want to do before I decide to take the job. Please.