Sunday, November 04, 2007

Scum Bags, Road Warriors, Degenerates

The title brings to mind some of the names people associate with when you mention the name "cab driver." Society, has formed a low opinion of the men and women who are trying to make a living, and provide a service in the taxi industry. Well, I have recently joined the world of cab driving, and I'm quickly learning how to deal with the people who think this way(society in general.)
My first week as a cab driver has come and gone, and it's been an eye opening experience. For the most part people have been very helpful, and patient with me, but then there are the others. Just keep someone waiting for a minute to long, and you'll see their true colours.."why does this happen every time I call you people?"" your always late, and now I'm late for the train"...maybe try calling a little earlier? When your all of a sudden faced with a lane closure.. just try to find a good Samaritan that will let you in..impossible!..People think we're mules to be order around at their beckon call.."take me here", then wait,"now take me here, and don't take the long way."

Friday I was sitting minding my own business just waiting for a fare when an elderly gentleman approached me just to let off some steam. He was telling me of a cab driver that turned a corner while he was out walking in the dark and came to close to him in his opinion, and continued to tell me that if "he See's him he was going to kill him" quote unquote. Told me I looked like a pretty decent fellow, but just had the need to share that with me. I guess I looked like some who was looking to hear a story.

I've had every walk of life in my cab this week, and like I said earlier for the most part they have been very friendly. It's not easy trying to make small talk to a complete stranger on the spur of the moment, or make them feel at ease when their running late, and your doing your best to get them there on time, and safely.

I have met some of my fellow cabby's, and their a bunch of good men and women just trying to get by. You can tell they're veterans they always have a quick joke or something witty to say, must come with years of providing customer care. That's the way I look at it..I am providing a service, and really trying to provide good customer care to the best of my ability. I have helped people with their groceries, holding doors, putting the meter on hold while they run into a convenient store, or doctors office. I don't put the meter on the second they enter the vehicle, and usually turn it off before entering their destination. I give seniors discounts, and even don't charge them at all when I really mess up (taking to long to find them.)

These are just some of the things my fellow cabby's have taught me to help me make it in the industry. Now do they sound like the type of things scum bags and degenerates do?? I think not!

There's been a story in the news lately, I have been avoiding to mention because I don't want to worry the people who care about me, or my safety, but this is how cabby's can, and are treated.

A cab driver in the Oshawa area was recently attacked very viciously, and the police have still not caught the attacker. He picked a man up in his 20-30's, white, 5'9", 180-200lbs. When they arrived at the mans destination the man asked the driver how much he owed him, when the driver turned to tell him the driver was stabbed in the face and upper torso repeatedly. I even heard he may have lost complete use of his hands because he was slashed so severely.
I know it's a dangerous job, and I'm keeping very aware of my surroundings at all times, but there's just no telling what goes on in the minds of some people. The driver wasn't robbed, or provoked the man in any way...just trying to provide customer service...

Most people think that anyone can be a cab driver. Well let me tell you what it took me to become one.
1) Criminal background check..$30
2) Doctors physical..$30
3) Drivers abstract..$13
4) Taxi licence..$140

I still have to attend a 19 1/2 hour training class at Durham College...$300 , and a full day training on CPR $60.

I don't ever remember having to spend that kind of money to get a job, and I think if I were a scum bag, or degenerate would I even have that kind of money to spend on a job? I'll leave that up to society to answer...heck their the experts at judging....


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