In response to some of the negative comments about my actions relating to the woman at Old Church Street, may I say that, as in all walks of life, even us cabbies are humans. What gives people the right to mug us off time and time again? I can assure you that for every one time I may have lost my cool there are ten or twenty times when I have swallowed the situation and done nothing but smiled. Something has to give from time to time and inevitably something does.
I was on a roll with the “something giving” last night when I threw a guy and his girlfriend out of the cab at Piccadilly. It was actually my fault but I couldn’t handle the way he spoke to me so he had to go. I stopped outside the Hilton Trafalgar and was asked to take them to Stamford Hill. I should’ve driven round the one-way system and back towards the river but I had a sneaky feeling that Piccadilly Circus was going to be traffic-free as it hadn’t felt like a regular Saturday night. Big mistake. As I drove up Lower Regent Street the traffic was backed up and I just knew I should’ve gone the other way. The conversation had stopped in the back and the fella called out “can we get out of this?”
Me: Not until we get to the top
Him: What did you come this way for it has to be the stupidest way ever to come?
Hackles started rising on the back of my neck but I knew he was right; I just didn’t like hearing it.
Him: You should’ve gone along the Embankment or something.
His girlfriend seemed oblivious to the tension and I heard her say “Ooh!! I love coming this way,” The neon signs on Piccadilly Circus an obvious favourite of hers.
He then continued to show his disapproval at the route and I’d had enough. I pulled over by Lilywhites and told him to get another cab. He wasn’t going to get out at first but eventually did after calling me a few choice names. It would’ve been a stressful journey for both of us so it worked out well.
At that point my daughter rang me looking for a lift home. She was at Tinseltown, a 24-hour bar-diner next to the meat market. I used to go there for my dinner break a good few years ago but now it has sort of become trendy and is full of all sorts of undesirables.
Tonight’s shift went extremely well as I had three hours with the meter on rate 3 when it would normally be rate 2.
The first job I did from Paddington took me out to Acton and on the way back in I trapped in Wood Lane going further in to Notting Hill.
Back at Paddington it was in and out and a scruffy looking man with Burger King in his hands asked to be taken up to Spaniards. I was going to ask for twenty up front but I never. He was talking quietly on his phone and it seemed to me like he was arranging a reception committee for me as I heard him say “I’ll ring you when I’m approaching”. Most of Spaniards Road is heathland so I was wondering where we would be stopping for my impending mugging when he told me to take a right into the former site of St Columba’s Hospital which is now, and probably has been for a long time, luxury flats. All’s well that ends well and he paid me £20.
The rest of the shift went without a hitch and I was finished and indoors by midnight watching Shameless with a tray of BBQ wings and a glass of milk.
Tomorrow is a Bank Holiday here and the meter is on rate 3 all day again so it should be another good shift.