Tales from the Grip: The VIP

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Working at the Cable Car Division is different than being at a regular Muni division. After a while, it becomes easy to forget that you’re responsible for a world-famous, National Historic Landmark. Episodes like the one I’m about to describe help to remind you that this is definitely not the 38-Geary.

It started out as an ordinary day. As I arrive at the barn, I get a phone call from another gripman, a good friend of mine. He tells me about a special charter he was supposed to do with Mayor Willie Brown. Now, special VIP charters are something I’d really rather not deal with. It means you’ve got to be on your very best behavior–no inappropriate scratching, cussing, spitting, or picking your nose. It’s like when Grandma would come over to the house when you were a kid…ughh.

He tells me the charter has been postponed (the Mayor’s running late, as mayors do) and that he won’t be able to do it….

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