Friday, March 23, 2007

Touched or what?

I’ve been working during the day these last few weeks and by the time I’m finished on the road and get home and do all the other stuff I have to do I’ve got nothing left in the tank to blog, watch tv or anything except fall in to bed and sleep.

Since I bought my iPod I have managed to load almost 2500 songs onto it. The cassette adapter that I bought works great but it took me a while to fathom out that you have to have the iPod volume on about 70% to stop it distorting on the car stereo. Since I discovered Sugarland did a few songs with Bon Jovi I have gotten right into them and their two albums are the most played music on the iPod.

The day time traffic has been pretty bad this last week and I find my stress levels are much higher as people are very impatient and expect there to be a short cut for every eventuality. I told several passengers that if they weren’t happy being stuck in traffic that they could always get out and walk. One stroppy git took me up on that but thought I meant he didn’t have to pay the £6 on the meter. It almost came to blows but he backed down. Wise move.
One thing about days is that you can eat whatever you want as everythings open. I went to Alexanders Fish and Chip shop behind Finsbury Square yesterday and had a beef and mushroom pastie and chips with a sausage thrown in for good measure. It's hard to explain the difference between this chippy and the countless others around town. Try it for yourself. You won't be disappointed. I met with two of my cabbie mates today for breakfast. We went to Rocco's cafe in Thayer Street and had a full English breakfast. I had an Eccles cake as a dessert but it was a bit rank so I lobbed it.

As I was driving down Earls Court Road earlier today, or should I say crawling, I was hailed by a lady who looked “touched”. Being a watcher of people I can more often than not tell the type of person I’m stopping for. This lady looked troubled and part of me was saying drive off. So the other part of me decided to pick her up, possibly a mistake possibly not. She asked for Cheyne Place in Royal Hospital Road. The obvious route to her destination was blocked with traffic so using my initiative I went to take Old Brompton Road. “Where are you going?” she screamed (I knew she was a nutter). Explaining that the route would be heavy going and that I should go another way she said we should stay on the heavy going route. Fine thought I, it’s her money. A few minutes later I hear wimpering coming from the back. “Oh why is it taking so long?” she was half wimpering half crying. “Didn’t I tell you it would be busy this way?” I told her looking through the rear-view mirror. “What’s the matter anyway, why are you crying?” I added. “I’m distressed” came her reply. “Distressed about what?” said I. “I’m ill” and then the floodgates opened and she started sobbing and wailing uncontrollably. I had seen this coming for a few minutes now so I wasn’t surprised in the least. There was nothing I could do but go with the flow of the traffic but I wanted her out of the cab asap. She quietened down a bit but was muttering to herself. I heard her say, in between deep breaths, “We’re nearly there, we’re nearly there”. Then after a ten second burst of speed we caught the lights at Battersea Bridge and she went doolaly again. “Oh my God I can’t stand this, I think I’m going to die” Now, it could have gone bad for her here as I was ready to throw her out. She was getting me all on edge with her hysterics. As we were literally 2 or 3 minutes from her home I decided to grin and bear it and humour her. “Don’t worry my darlin’ you’ll soon be home with a nice cuppa and your feet up” This seemed to calm her and within a few minutes we were outside her house with the meter reading £8.40. Cue the final scene. She’s got four pound coins and a serious amount of shrapnel that amounts at best to another £1.50. She starts getting into a panic about it and I tell her to just give me the four pounds and forget the rest. She insists I should take the shrapnel and whilst attempting to pass it through the partition drops it everywhere and promptly collapses in tears again. “It’s OK luv don’t worry about the rest of the money” says me. Next she asks my name. “My name’s Charlie” I answer. “Oh Charlie I’m so sorry about all this. I live at Flat 1, come round later or tomorrow and I’ll give you the rest of the money”. “Look, forget the money, get yourself indoors before you have a nervous breakdown” I’d had enough by now and there was three people watching waiting for her to get out so they could take the cab. She finally walked toward her front door and a very stressful ride came to an end. The three passengers that got in started picking up all the money that had dropped on the floor and handed it over to me. I always keep coppers separate from the other money so it went straight into the copper bag I have in the arm rest. She obviously had emotional issues so I was quite pleased that I never treated her the same as I would a drunk at night.

As this week draws to an end I look forward to a lie-in on Saturday morning as I don’t have to take my daughter to school.


James said...

Dear London Cabby,

As you may know already I have an interest in blogs about work.

I started to look at such blogs two years, but for reasons I won’t bore you with, prevented me from developing the project beyond a questionnaire exercise.

I am now, finally, at a stage where I can spend enough time researching a phenomenon I find very interesting and expect others to do so when I get around to telling them!

So, why I am telling you this?

Well, I’m looking for some input into a research project that investigates work-related blogs – something that hardly anyone has written about before.

I have no intention of ‘outing’, or indicating in any way, any blogger.

The paper is not about sensationalising blogs.

It’s more to do with exploring the significance of a wider emerging trend of ‘ordinary’ people exploiting the web for any number of reasons.

At this stage I would like to first of all request your permission to use excerpts from your blog for my paper.

If you do allow me to do this I promise to consult with you on what I intend to use and how I intend to use it.

Any other feedback or direction from you would be welcomed.

To be more specific, and based on what several sources have said out such blogs in the past (newspapers, trade journals and academics), I’m looking for blog entries that cover the following themes:

1) Postings that would be viewed by your employer, or any other employer, as some sort of nuisance to them.

2) Postings that you believe could lead to disciplinary action if your employer knew about what you were doing (especially if you post anonymously).

3) Postings that offer an ‘honest’ review of how you are expected to work (e.g. outlining ridiculous practices or expectations from management, etc.).

4) Postings that could be viewed as being news from the workplace or ‘spilling the beans’ on a certain work-related matter that you feel should be in the public domain.

5) Postings that you feel could shape public opinion about what you do or how your job has an impact on others, even if your blog is read by a small number of people.

6) Postings that are about you, whether you intended at the onset to do it or not, revealing aspects of your job that others could learn from, i.e. tricks of the trade or tacit knowledge.

7) Postings that reflect the possibility of loneliness at work, i.e. writing in a manner that indicates you wish you had more support or chance to discuss matters with others at work.

8) Postings that are clearly about trying to get one over on management, i.e. resistance.

Some of these requests may appear similar or vague and it’s unlikely that you will be able to provide examples of all of the above, but any examples of any category will be appreciated.

Like I said I before, posting can (and will be) changed in a manner that protects your or anyone else’s identity.

I should also say while I’m at it that I am looking for bloggers to make a contribution to another project that I intend to get started on very soon.

It would be an edited book (many contributors) that would a) cover research on work-related blogs, b) allow bloggers to tell their story of what blogging about work has done for them.

For bloggers this could mean anything and I mean anything. For example, if blogging has won you an audience and adulation then write about that. If blogging has helped you meet people who have helped you in some way that would be excellent too. If blogging just ended up being a burden that has brought no advantages then write about that.

Again, I’m not sure how I want this to go and would appreciate any ideas from you. For example, you could write this all yourself or I could interview you and take it from there.

Anyway, these are my ideas and I’d really appreciated any input from yourself.

Please free to contact me about this.

We can speak on the telephone if this would help.

In total confidence and sincerity.

James Richards
Lecturer in HRM
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, UK.

PS feel free to delete this message

Anonymous said...

PPS in continuing from the last comment

jo said...

Hello, hello, hello, what's going on here then. Do you think the PCO is trying to entrap cabbies that have too much to say?

Laugh - I nearly weed myself!! I wonder how much money is going in to fund Mr Richards' research. I apologise profusely if it is a personal project, but honestly isn't there something more productive he could be doing???

Love Big sis xx

london_cabby said...

To all concerned.
My blog is in the public domain and many publications and web site use it as they like, I have no problem with that.
Other than that I don't wish to be involved in or considered for anything that involves me doing something outside my routine. Call me a miserable so and so but that's me. Happy reading.
London cabby.

Jackie said...

Ooh 'er LC!

Glad to see you back with us. I was wondering where you were!

J x