I'm not a saint.

Driving a cab is my job. I do it to make money. I don't drive a cab because I always secretly wanted to be a social worker.

Your car broke down? Fine, pay me. Your kid got shot and you're on your way to the hospital? Fine, pay me. You're joining the Army tomorrow? Fine, your stupid ass can pay me.

It's not that I'm completely without empathy, but the bills, they gots to be paid.

The attitude is already ingrained, but it's my first night on the job and the drunk middle-aged woman next to me got in the car crying about how she can't stop drinking. I took her to her boyfriend's, and he wouldn't even open the door, just told her to go away. So now we're parked in front of her house, and she's sobbing.

I hold her hand and talk to her about my own experience as a recovering alcoholic. I ask her if she feels she can control her drinking. I ask her if she's happy. I ask her if she thinks this boyfriend is a helpful presence in her life. The answer she gives to all of these questions is "no."

I can't afford to spend the rest of my night counseling this woman. I suggest to her that she's probably best off going to sleep, and going to an AA meeting in the morning. Then I tell her that she needs to get out. I don't charge her.