Commentary: Jeff Rose, president of Limousine Association of New York, explains how the permit cap ignores vital for-hire differences.
Note To Readers: Since I have left the operational side, I am sharing some of the more interesting stories from my career. Marriage proposals gone wrong was the first mini-series shared. For the rest of the month, I will share memorable events involving me, security guards, and law enforcement officers.
Back in the day, before 9/11, it was common for limousines to sit at the white curb and wait for their arriving passengers. It wasn't actually allowed, but tolerated within reason. The officers would come by and slap their ticket book against their hands as a gentle reminder if you sat too long.
I got one of these gentle reminders one day while waiting for some passengers coming home from Hawaii. Shortly after the little reminder, my passengers came out with their luggage. However, they also brought two cases of pineapples back and they were being inspected inside, so my passengers went back inside to retrieve them.
The officer approached me and reminded me I was parked in a white zone for immediate loading and unloading. I explained to him I was in the process of loading and showed him the luggage in the trunk. He told me to make the airport loop and come back. I explained my passengers might think I left them there if I did that. I needed to do something fast. I decided to chat with the officer.
I asked him if officers assigned to work at LAX were actual police officers or security guards. I told him it looked like a fun job and I might want to apply someday. He explained he was a sworn police officer with the City of Los Angeles.
I replied we both worked at the airport everyday but his job looked more fun than mine. I asked him how he became assigned to airport duty. I was so brazen as to ask, "Were you the cream of the crop of your academy class?" Or, I suggested maybe he was the bottom of the class and couldn't make it on the streets so he was assigned to airport duty instead. I could see his ears were literally turning red as he began turning angry.
As luck would have it, my people came out carrying their pineapples. I excused myself from my visit with the officer and pointed out I was parked in a white zone for immediate loading and unloading and had to tend to my duties of loading the car. He told me I was "this close to getting a ticket."
As we pulled away from the curb, my passengers asked me if the cop was giving me a hard time. I told them it was the other way around. I was giving him a hard time.
Next week, I'll write about how even cops have to go potty and park in the red zone.
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