What Is Family?

My name is Joanna, I am the General Manager of Yellow Cab. I have been with Yellow Cab since I was born. Yes, really. I used to come with my mom, now owner, Tammy, when she came to work. I’d visit my Grandpa, then owner, Corky. I’d listen to the radio and all the calls that would go out. Occasionally, if my dad was here and we were short drivers, I would go out and ride along on calls and meet our customers face to face. I remember a lady in Triangle, almost across the street from our office, right off of route one giving me a quarter tip one day when I was probably 3 or 4. I don’t recall her name, but if she is reading this, thanks again! I remember there was a cot in the office then, we were still required by law to be open 24 hours a day, but there weren’t ever many calls that came in overnight, so napping was allowed. Often, in the early days, it was my grandpa sleeping on the cot, waking up to take a call, getting in the cab and getting a customer, then coming back to take more calls or another nap. He’d go home and shower just to come right back to work. We could walk across the street to McDonalds for lunch, and I remember also getting candy from the 7-11 with my grandpa. All of those buildings, even our first office, are gone now. Then, the drivers would hang out in the office and a few of them I remember. What I remember the most about all of it was laughing. My Grandpa, my mom, the drivers, and other people who worked there, we laughed. It was hard work getting started, a lot of long hours, most of which I was too young to remember, but it seemed to me a fun place to be.
When I look back on it now, I am proud of the work that my family has done. My family is the people I am related to, obviously, but it is also the people that walk through these doors every day. We have drivers that have been with us for 30+ years, call takers and dispatchers who we’ve been blessed to work with for 15+ years. These men and women are my family. We have accomplished so much together. We have watched our industry change from writing down trips on paper, cash transactions, and radio dispatching, to apps, and computers, and GPS, and backseat swipes. We have implemented those changes sometimes with a happy heart with no problems what so ever. Although, I will admit, some of those changes had us sleeping at the office, crying and screaming. Once we figure it all out, we’re right back to where we started, laughing with our family.
I wrote this blog so you could see the personal side of all this. I wrote before that when you need us you can chose to talk to a machine, book through an app, or online. We are so much more than the technology we have, though. We are my sister, our office manager, who is getting married soon to our daytime dispatcher, and our overnight dispatcher who recently got married, and our daytime operator who is getting married even sooner and better hurry up and get everything done in time! We are the driver whose wife just had twins last week. We are the Duke graduate that works here part time. We are the band that make up the daytime operator and midnight dispatching shifts. We are the single mom who has supported three amazing kids that we all love. We are the dad working here and another job to support his kids. We are the driver who has put his kids through college and just went home recently to say good bye to his mom. We are the operator who sang kick butt karaoke the other night! We are the college boy who worked here while he finished school and just became a dad. We are the operator and wordsmith of emails that always entertain. We are the dispatcher who is trying to get a job with the 911 operating center and we are all pulling for him! We are the driver who fled his country at a young age with his mother who dressed as a man to keep them safe and had no shoes as she walked over mountains to protect her children. We are people. We are a family. We have grown together. I want the best for all these people. I appreciate them all. I am proud of every single one, even if they are not listed here.