Wednesday, January 6, 2010

AAA Membership

Shift #2

FRIDAY, JANUARY 8 -– 7:50 AM –- 24th / Mission to Van Ness / Fell

“DO YOU THINK we can get to 100 Van Ness by eight o’clock?” she asks me.

I glance down at the clock on the dash: 7:50. “Sure.”

She works for AAA of California, the automobile club, in the building where she’s headed.

Me: “You work for me then."

“Do you use your AAA card much?”

“Hardly at all. Only when I need a jump. Or a flat changed.”

“You know,” she says, “a lot of people aren’t aware of all the discounts you can get from using your card. Lots of restaurants and stores and hotels will give you five or ten or fifteen percent off your bill. I don’t work in that department, but the people there tell me that many people easily save $200-300 a year that way.”

I say, “More than the price of the membership...”

She ticks off a list of discount-giving stores and restaurants, none of which I use, except for Target, where once or twice a year I buy a dozen pairs of reading glasses at $4/pair.

Halfway through the ride I notice I’ve forgotten to turn on the meter. This is often a factor in my free ride decision –- if I don’t know how much a ride costs, and if I haven’t already given away that day's free ride, it makes it easy to just do it now. Plus, it’s still early in the shift, and often I find myself doing it early, while I’m fresh, getting the day off to a fun start and clearing it from my mind. Also, this fare is simply nice, a pleasant person. All these things add up.

It’s 7:57 AM when I drop her at her door.


1 comment: