Friday, June 22, 2007

Xeta


I seem to have found the secret to eternal wealth and happiness. Well it’s really no secret. I’ve always known that to get what you want you have to go out and earn it. From last Sunday I have been putting in some serious hours and reaping some serious rewards. I can’t say too much as a few of my readers hate it when I reveal specifics for fear of arousing the interest of the people that take notice of these things.

So without revealing too many details I have to tell you that last Sunday was my best day ever. I recently joined the Xeta radio service and have been doing account work and cash alike. One of their accounts is with the London Underground and from midnight 7 days a week we have to take all members of staff home to every corner of London and the Home Counties. I have done this sort of work whilst on other circuits and the account seems to follow me around. As a gentle re-introduction to my radio-working life I was allocated a job with six pickups and six drops. The cab only seats five so the sixth pickup would obviously have to be after at least one passenger has got out. The first pickup was at Victoria Station and the passenger was almost 20 minutes late in appearing causing a chain of complaints all down the line as everyone else wondered where the hell I’d got to. I should also say that it’s not a conventional radio circuit. I have an O2 XDA IIi PDA as my terminal and any communication with control is via mobile phone. Needless to say I was called a half dozen times asking me my present location and eta to pick up. The six pickups were Victoria, St James’s Park, Westminster, Embankment x2 and Barking and the drop offs were Mile End, Upton Park, Barking, Upminster Bridge, Upminster and finally Grays Station in Essex. My satnav and mapping equipment really came into it’s own here and I was glad for it. I’d started the day at 11.30am and by the time I’d dropped off at Grays Station it was 1.45am on Monday morning. I never got home till 2.30 so at 15 hours in the saddle I have to say that’s the longest I’ve worked…ever.

I also did a rare job out to Heathrow as the train service from Paddington was down. My fare was a young Pakistani guy worried that he’d miss his flight. He had three hours from point of pickup and it only took 30 minutes but he never stopped fretting the whole way. Then he asked me for some discount from the £51.80 fare so I knocked the £1.80 off the end. How generous am I?

I used to work the airport years ago but it’s been a while since I entered the feeder park where all the cabs queue up. The main reason I haven’t been there is because a Cab Tag needed to be purchased at a high cost and I have always been put off by this but seeing as I was having a good day I took the opportunity to buy one. The actual tag was free for first timers so I only had to put credit on it in order to enter the queue. The waiting time was minimal and I was allocated Terminal 1 as my point of pick up. The traffic back into the Terminal area was manic and to make matters worse I had it in my head that I was picking up at T3. As I arrived on the T3 rank I realized my mistake and had to pull off and drive all the way round again. I ended up with a local to the Thistle Heathrow and had to ask another cabbie where it was as I’d been out of the loop for too long. You’re given an hour to complete a local and then you can go straight back to the Terminal and hopefully a nice job out into the countryside or one back in to town. Mine went in to Piccadilly and straight back into the work.

Last Sunday was the 25th anniversary of our victory in the Falklands War of 1982 and there were celebrations in Horse Guards Parade. Veterans proudly displayed their medals and I was hoping to pick one up so that I could let him off the fare. I never managed to pick one up but my brother in law did and never charged the fare.

Since Monday I have been out continuously working 12 hour plus shifts. Inspite of all that hard work I once again owe 4 weeks cab rent but it should be paid by Monday. I have a list of faults I need them to look at, most importantly the suspension which is making some extremely weird noises. I also had to change another wheel recently as the tread was below the minimum limit allowed.

My holiday is now booked and paid for September the 10th. I now have to work towards that and make sure there is money to meet all bills while I’m away and that I have enough spending money. Roll on September.

BT Tower

8 comments:

Roy said...

Hi
I haven't worked a radio for over 5 years, and dread the thought of going back to it, my paranoia ensures I believe everyone else is getting "looked after" and i hate it when dispatchers keep you in an area, to cover work they have coming up in a half hours time when other areas are hopping!
Rant over

Oh yeah! nearly forgot giz a link! go on, go on, go on, you know you want to!

london_cabby said...

Consider it done

Anonymous said...

Hi L.C Is there any chance of actually seeing the real you????
(Without the yellow mask)it would be nice to see who we are reading about. HOPE TO SEE YOU SOON.

london_cabby said...

Absolutely no chance whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

i think the mask suits you in a gimp-ish sort of way

forman said...

good to hear this week was much better

Anonymous said...

Hi L.C, good blog this week. I'm thinking about Xeta myself at the moment, i'm a circuit newbie as such, street work having served me well for many years, but even I get bored nowadays turning credit card rides down. Whats the work volume like? (I do 4pm - whenever) fees per month?

Cheers mate, B lucky.

Terry

london_cabby said...

Terry.
I have to say it's not brilliant. The subs are cheap at £6 per week but it only really gets busy during the evenings and at midnight when the London Underground work comes out. The credit card facility is a bit micky mouse as you can only input the data manually and at the end of the job when it might be too late. I've done three so far with no problems.

Be Lucky.

LC