I did two shifts today as I had to pay money into my bank before close of business to cover some bills. I worked the first shift mainly in the Kensington area and there was no shortage of work.
Bishop's Bridge Road at dusk
One problem I did have in the first shift was when a couple of Irish ladies asked to be taken to the Montagu(e) Hotel in Montagu(e) Place. I had already decided in my mind that they wanted the Montagu(e) something or other Hotel near the British Museum. Unbeknownst (is that correct grammar) to me a new Montagu (no e) Hotel had opened closer to the pickup point which was Paddington. So theres two Montagu(e) Places in London albeit spelt slightly differently and at least two Hotels with the word Montagu(e) in them. Needless to say I went to the wrong one and had to knock £8 off the fare. They were really nice about it though and I still got a whole 20p tip out of it!!
I went home around 4.15 pm to feed the hoard and to watch out for my teams result on TV.
The second shift started with a small blunder on my part. I was enjoying a tune (Aerosmith) and a latte bought from Starbucks in Randolph Avenue when a man stuck his head in the window and asked if I would take him to Sutherland Avenue nearby. The fare was £4.20 and he gave me what looked like a screwed up tenner. I gave him the change and he walked off. When I unscrewed the “tenner” I found that it was a fiver. So he’d got the ride for nothing and made 80p as well. I suppose what comes around goes around (or is that the wrong way round?) Many’s the time when I’ve……no I don’t think you need to know that.
I ranked at Paddington Station a good few times. Once the cabs have turned off the new bridge they have to rank alongside a brick wall. Some of them take this opportunity to throw out the rubbish that has accumulated in their cabs over the last weeks and even months and, mainly after dark, to have a slash up the wall concealed by their open cab doors. The whole stretch of wall absolutely reeks of urine so you have to queue with your windows shut unless you want to fill your lungs with that disgusting smell. The station does employ cleaners to collect all the rubbish but the smell is always present and they should disinfect the wall from time to time.
There was something on at the Royal Albert Hall relating to Easter as all the people coming out of there were carrying some sort of lit candles. I waited for a job on the rank outside the front door. A lady came up to ask me if I would take her and her wheelchair-bound mother to Balham but as I was second cab I told her to take the front cab. That driver promptly refused to take the wheelchair as he couldn’t be bothered to get the ramps out and sped away leaving the poor lady standing there with her mouth open.
I don’t have a problem accepting wheelchairs and instantly jumped out and extended my ramp to allow the wheelchair access to the cab. The daughter told me that they always had trouble finding cabs that would take them and I couldn’t help but feel disgusted at some of my so-called colleagues. We were in Balham in about twenty minutes and I jumped back out to assist in getting the wheelchair out. They were falling over themselves to thank me which made me feel a little ashamed. I also got a £5 tip forced on me after I’d weakly refused it a couple of times.
As I came back over Battersea Bridge I was flagged by a couple with a child wanting to go to Mecklenburg Square, a nice £20 ride to finish up.
I called in at my local Tesco to buy my kids their annual Easter Eggs. I left it too late last year and they never got any. Tesco, the robbing bastards, were charging a fiver an egg but I daren’t leave it till tomorrow as they would probably be sold out.
Happy Easter to you all.