Monday, March 24, 2008

Take another cab

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.

G’night all.

7 comments:

Roy irish taxi said...

I'm with you on this one, proper pain in the hole when the passenger says the traffic would have been better the other way, say so BEFOREHAND or shut your cakehole!

James said...

How do the different rates work?

Stitchin-Liz said...

I think it's complete crap that people think it's ok to short cabbies on fares and you have every right to be angry! These are the same people who would chase you out of a restaurant for not tipping well enough! I always tip cabbies and never bitch about the fare. If people are that cheap they should take the bus.

london_cabby said...

James:

Mon to Fri 6am to 8pm Rate 1. 8pm to 10pm Rate 2. 10pm to 6am Rate 3.

Saturday and Sunday. 6am till 10pm rate 2. 10pm till 6am Rate 3.

LC

london_cabby said...

Oh and Bank Holidays its Rate 3 all day

James said...

Which rate is more expensive? 1 or 3?

Anonymous said...

3