I started at 19.40 to be precise and finished at around 1.15am. 5 hours and 35 minutes to be precise but it was non-stop work and of the good quality sort too (apart from the last one).
The first job was from Paddington Station to Liverpool Street Station, a nice cross-town job to start the day. It was an attractive Italian lady on crutches who said she had broken her leg while back home in Italy skiing. I’m sure some people are really good at it but it’s never appealed to me at all. I use to go ice skating in my youth and spent 70% of the time shining the rink with my arse. It must have something to do with poor balance.
A few jobs later I found myself at the Eurostar terminal at Waterloo. A Scottish couple with kids asked to be taken to the Days Inn Hotel about a two minute drive from there and by the time we arrived the kids had managed to press every button, open and shut every window at least twenty times including the partition, disengage the wheelchair security belt causing an annoying bleeper to sound and put hand and finger prints on all the recently cleaned windows. And as usual the parents were oblivious to it all. If it had been a longer trip I would have had to say something but I thought best not to alienate them for tipping sake.
So we get to the hotel out comes the Scottish money and I get paid the £4 fare and sweet FA else. Que vamos a hacer?
In complete contrast an ultra posh couple stopped me at the light on my way out of Waterloo and the man asked me where I was going. I said wherever he wanted and they got in and we set off for Sloane Square. The fare was £11 and he gave me £15. Much better. I know a lot of commenters on other blogs criticize us cabbies for going on about the tips or lack of them. In general I don’t care either way whether I get a tip, I’m just happy to get paid the metered fare but it is nice when a tip is added. I once picked a guy up who only went a short distance £3.40, or something similar, and he offered me a £20 note. I said I was low on change and did he have anything smaller, he told me to keep the change. But the non-tippers far outweigh the tippers, at least here in London.
The work continued one after the other and after 5 hours I had already taken what it usually takes me 8-10 hours. The next job going my way was always going to be my last one for the night. So after an effortless night I suppose I had to end the night with a bit of grief.
A guy flags me down in James Street off Oxford Street and asks for Fellows Road and adds “the shit bit” to which I could only assume he wanted one of the tower blocks. James Street being one way southbound has an “ahead only” sign so you can’t take a left or right into Oxford Street, you’re forced ahead in to Gilbert Street and then have to do two right turns and a left and then a U-turn in Oxford Street. With all these left and rights it was inevitable that the guy would pipe up, sometimes you just know it’s gonna happen and you even prepare your answer. “Where the fuck are we going mate?” the standard question of the ignoramus. As I explained he started getting more animated and started accusing me of “tucking him up”. I love it when this happens in the centre of town as there’s always loads of police about so I made sure I stopped near a parked police car and told him to get out. If you show any signs of being a pussy these people will exploit that so when I “lose the rag” I lose control and start ranting and raving for them to fuck off and take another cab they soon get the message. So out he went cursing and swearing to himself and I just turned around and went home.
I stopped off to get a drink and came across a new type of Diet Coke in a black can called Coca Cola Zero. Unless you drink battery acid don’t bother. It was revolting and I even think it upset my stomach as I was up a few times in the night to use the toilet. I'll stick to the regular Diet Coke in future.