Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Time Out

Now then now then boys and girls!!!

I suppose the upshot of all this is that it shows we are all different and all react to things in different ways. Thanks everyone for contributing to the comments as it made for lively debate if nothing else. Let me see if I can open another can of worms with this post he he (just joking) I will still endeavour to tell it as it is and as it happens without adding or, for that matter, removing any of the juicy bits.

As I started work a few days ago I headed towards Paddington via Warrington Crescent and the pub on the roundabout was packed with Celtic fans who’d been to Wembley for the Spurs game. I picked up a full complement of five and from the accents I guessed they were Glaswegians. No sooner had they settled in for the ride to another pub in Kilburn than the banter started. I don’t know if they were talking to me but they asked me all the questions I get asked every night without waiting for an answer as if mocking me. “How long are you on till?” “Have you been busy?” “have you had anyone famous in here?” Then they started talking amongst themselves for a few minutes before turning their attention back to me. “Fuck me mate, is the meter OK?” “Are you gonna pay half the fare?” Then on a more serious note one of them asked me about the different tariff rates and why we were on rate 2. I gathered he may well be a cabbie in Scotland and had a genuine interest so I tried my best to explain it. He then stated that one of his pet hates was when passengers got out of his cab, shut the door and banged on the roof a few times, something that happens to everyone from time to time. In spite of all the quibbling, whether serious or in jest, we arrived at The Black Lion on Kilburn High Road and they paid me the fare with a £2 tip and the last one out closed the door and banged the roof of the cab twice to which they all burst into fits of laughter. Bring back the Home Internationals I say!!!

I’ve only got three more shifts before I go off to Ipswich on Friday night for Jane’s daughters’ wedding. I have to go out tomorrow and buy myself a suit for the occasion, something I haven’t done for ages. I’m normally a trousers and shirt guy but a suit is required for this one and in any case it will also serve as a funeral suit should anyone I know snuff it anytime soon including me!!

Only a short post today but rest assured there’ll be more on the way so check back soon.

Take care out there.


Friday, July 24, 2009

No Need For Foul Language

Hi folks

It’s posting time again.

My body clock has gone haywire and I’m up when I should be asleep. This plays havoc with home life because now I’m getting up as it’s time for work. Food has to be made (or ordered and delivered) and mouths fed before I can do that so I find I manage to finally get out by 8 to 8.30pm which then finds me struggling to find jobs that are already sitting at the restaurants and bars that I should have been dropping them at a few hours earlier. I have to head straight for the nearest rank to get “off the mark” and hope my experience will get me that next job.

A few weeks ago I could do no wrong. There was so much happening around town such as Wimbledon, concerts in Hyde Park and Wembley Stadium that the work was in plentiful supply. Since the schools broke up for the summer the work has taken a nose dive and we’re all out here looking for the same non-existent jobs.

The Sloane Avenue Boogie ain’t even working as it’s supposed to but somehow, by hook or by crook, I’m managing to survive. (I got slagged off by my mates for calling it that, does anyone else think it’s cringeworthy??)

The cab has been behaving itself (as it should at 8 months old) and I haven’t been back to the garage since the 10K service three months ago. Since I’ve been paying the weekly rent through the bank there’s been no need to go there. I did have a couple of halogen headlights blow but I’m now a dab hand at changing them. The lights on this cab don’t have that awkward clip that has to be fiddled with instead they have a plastic screw on cap which makes the job a hundred times easier. But I am now only 3k away from the next service so I suppose I will have to go there in the next six weeks or so.

I was reading other blogs recently and clicked on Chris’s to see if he’d posted anything new. I seem to remember him saying that he was going to do loads of posts about his new Mercedes Taxi but it seems to have petered out. Well he’s still out and about and chucking the Merc through those six foot sixes like there’s no tomorrow. The only problem he’s had with the cab, even after taking it back to KPM a few times is with the electric doors. They’re forever sticking or just refusing to open at all causing him to have to jump out and open them manually. Oh and remember what I said last post about GBX? Well he got a job down to Hastings the other night. Nuff said!!

I did manage to snag a job down to Epsom the other night but in the main it’s all bread and butter work of the £10 to £20 variety. I have also got used to hitting the “accept” button on the radio and after 7 weeks of not doing even enough to cover the rent I actually got paid £34 yesterday so things must be looking up even if it doesn’t feel like it sometimes.

So, one story to tell. It’s a story about how something can blow up out of nothing.
I’d just dropped off at Euston Station and took a peek down the rank to see how many cabs were there. There was none so I drove down the ramp and put on. 30 seconds later a woman walked down the stairs and got in. She asked for Clapham Junction and also said she’d need a cash point. Off we went. As I turned into Great Portland Street I pulled up at the Lloyds Bank. She was listening to her iPod and hadn’t realised I’d stopped for her to get money so I turned the light on and she looked up and removed her headphones.

Her: What’s the matter?
Me: There’s a cash point for you to get the money from.
Her: (Tutting) For fuck sake (Why did she have to say that?)
Me: What d’you mean for fuck sake, what’s wrong with you?
Her: Why are you chucking me out to get money here when I could get it in Clapham? (How was that “chucking her out”?)
Me: (completely over the top response) I’m not fucking chucking you out I just thought it would be better for you to get the money at the first available ATM in case the one in Clapham don’t work.
Her: Excuse me? (acting all shocked that I’d dared to swear at her even though she swore first.)
Me: (Losing it completely as I do from time to time) I tell you what love, get your bags and get another fucking cab.

She tried to start an argument but my hackles had already risen and I was having none of it so I insisted she took another cab. She grabbed her stuff and slammed my door shut and called me a few names. I drove away thinking that my reaction had been a bit over the top but she needn’t have reacted like she did and it just goes to show how someone can ruin a perfectly peaceful evening because they had obviously had a bad day. I drove down the remainder of Great Portland Street and turned to enter Oxford Circus when a guy hailed me and asked if I could run him out to Hainault, a £50 job, which kept me busy and gave me no time to dwell on what had just happened.

I have to try and keep busy this week as I am having next weekend off to attend Jane’s daughter’s wedding in Ipswich. My annual trip to Spain is also coming up at the end of September and Jane will also be coming with me and my mum for the week so let’s hope the work picks up a bit so that I won’t be skint.

Take care out there.