It’s all happening here in London, again. 2 car bombs in the West End and one up in Glasgow. The fact that they failed to go off matters not. What does matter is that we’ve all got to be on the look out for these maniacs and suffer the repercussions that normally comes with these events such as a drop in business as tourists decide to give London a miss for another year. There’s no point asking why as we all know the answer. What does get me is that these people, for the most part are British citizens. They’ve chosen to settle here or have even been born here and have enjoyed the freedoms and benefits a country like ours provides. To go and do what they’re doing makes no sense. They haven’t suffered as a result of Britain’s foreign policy. It’s a mad mad mad world and it’s gonna get worse.
So, early on Sunday morning, in the midst of all the extra security at our airports, I drove my daughter and her grandparents to Gatwick Airport to catch a flight to Charlotte, North Carolina where after a three hour wait they would catch another plane to San Diego for a three week stay with my daughters mother. As it happened, it wasn’t too painful and they have since landed and been collected and even sampled the delights of a Denny’s diner. My father in law was amazed at the size of the steak he was served and I told him to expect more of the same wherever they ate as it’s a well-known fact that everything’s bigger and better in America.
I had some work done on the suspension of the cab last week. Ball joints, tracking, shocks and bushes and it’s still a heap of shit. Every seam and bump in the road can be felt, how nobody has complained so far is beyond me. Another problem it has is when under load and going uphill there is a strong smell of burning transmission fluid as it must be leaking onto the exhaust somewhere. I told them this and they changed the oil instead of trying to find the leak. Other than that it’s performing pretty well and earning me loads of money.
The Xeta is still not pumping out the work but as long as I can do at least £50 a day on it I’m happy. I was doing a London Underground job yesterday where you have to pick up and drop of between 1 and 8 people. The job I did was a three-person pickup and the first passenger was out before the other two got in. The second passenger got in at Gloucester Road and had to connect with another taxi in Acton. My Third passenger was late. In fact she never appeared at all and the one already in the cab was fretting about missing her connection. I got onto control and was told I’d be contacted once a few calls had been made to LUL (London Underground Limited). Fifteen minutes later, no passenger, no phone call and plenty of grief from the pretty one in the back. She’s trying to ring her supervisor on her phone but is also having crappy luck. It’s all starting to get stressful. Another fifteen minutes later and nothing. Ten minutes after that I’ve had enough. Don’t they realize we’re human and that we’ve got emotions? I shouldn’t really give a shit because I get my money whatever happens but these people we’re picking up and taking home have done their days work and have to hang around like cattle whilst incompetent arseholes figure out where the network has broken down. I call control trying not to “lose the rag”. “Any chance of someone letting me know what the hell’s going on?” “I beg your pardon?” comes the reply. There’s only one or two controllers in the office at night and this voice was new to me. “This is Delta x x at Earls Court Station. I rang almost forty minutes ago to inform you that my final passenger was late and now she’s forty minutes late and the other passenger I have is worried she’s going to miss her connection can somebody please sort this out quick before I explode!!!” The controller puts me on hold to some nice 70’s Soul tune; I think it may have been Luther or Lionel. She’s back on the line in less than 60 seconds and tells me to leave without the final passenger. That was a shame because the final passenger was going to Southall and it would mean that the job would end after the one in the back got out at Acton. Clutching at straws I asked the controller that if my passenger’s connection has gone can I make a job of it and take her home to Sudbury? “No we’re not authorized to do that she’ll have to contact LUL herself” “What a bunch of cunts” I thought to myself as I hung up the phone and gave the passenger the bad news. Needless to say we arrived at Bollo Lane in Acton and her connection was long gone which would then leave her stranded at 2am in a dark and dodgy area. She tried to ring her supervisor a few more times and looked ready to cry as she got no reply. Fuck it; I was finished anyway so I drove her home to Sudbury free of charge. She was extremely grateful and thanked me profusely. It was time for a good deed anyway so hopefully it will reflect in some good luck for me anytime soon. Here’s hoping. As I was making my way home the controller rang and asked me where I’d dropped the passenger as her connection was waiting for her. Oh Shit!!