Thursday, 16 May 2019 GMT
Author: Staveley Head
We all have at least one memorable taxi ride, from the ride home after a great night out to the airport trip that took longer than expected. This time we’re looking at things from the drivers’ eyes. With an average UK salary of £27,000 and extremely flexible working hours, driving taxis for a living is a brilliant job to have.
Families, couples, celebrities, tourists... the list goes on. As a taxi driver you meet people from all over the world who all have a story to tell. This makes every day different as you never know who you’ll meet and what you might learn from them.
Meeting new people can make for great stories and create funny or inspiring memories that can last a lifetime.
However long your shift is, sometimes when its quiet telling stories can make the time go faster. There have even been stories of babies being born in taxis.
This story about an Uber driver in Chicago, stood out. Bob Weiser decided to make passengers in his 2016 Nissan Altima part of his journey by passing each person a black notebook and asking them write something in it like a quote they like, some words of wisdom or advice you’d give to your younger self.
Now each person in the back of his uber can read through inspiring quotes from people of all walks of life, because as taxi drivers know, passengers have all had different journeys in life.
Here are some of the extracts from the book:
September 6, Dave wrote: “The only normal people in the world are the only people you don’t know.”
August 8, Daniel wrote: “Celebrate life, love and all the amazing people in the world around you. Everyone has something to teach. Kindness first, always.”
August 8, Hailey wrote: “Thanks for making my day a little brighter.” She then added a picture of a moon and added “The moon is beautiful because of all its craters and imperfections.”
Flexible Working Hours
Having the option to work any time or day can have its perks. If you’ve got a parcel you need to wait in for all day? No problem! You can work the night shift instead which usually brings in more money as there are plenty of customers going out to restaurants, shows and bars.
This means more time for yourself during the day where you take a trip to the gym when it’s a lot quieter. If the gym isn’t quite your scene then you can use this free time to make sure the inside of your cab is sparkling clean, ready for the next fair.
Weird Payment Methods
For some reason unbeknown to all taxi drivers, on the rare occasion some passengers get into taxis with no means or intention of paying. More often than not, these people attempt to run from the taxi without paying but sometimes, they offer a strange alternative to paying with cash.
One taxi driver said he had been offered all manner of bizarre things from sirloin steaks, bottles of Jack Daniels, vodka and DVDs to name a few!
It’s the small things
Compliments, tips, meeting interesting people and enjoying nice scenery are all things that make you feel a little brighter.
Even though it may seem small to you, there are times when you have truly saved the day for somebody, be it the bride who’s had her car to the church cancelled or the family who have broken down on the way to the airport, these trips will be forever remembered by the eternally grateful customers you’ve helped in a crisis.
Not just a taxi driver – a tour guide, too!
Sometimes it can feel like you’re a variety of people all rolled into one. In the city you’re a tour guide telling stories about historic buildings and suggesting must see attractions.
Being a taxi driver means you have a wealth of knowledge of the roads and tourist attractions in the area. You’ll have a good idea of which is best, as you get to see the wonderful reaction of passengers as they see it for the first time.
You’ll also get to hear where the best places to eat are, what deals are on and other great advice on what to do for tourists on their visits to the area.
If you’re a taxi driver in London, you can suggest the best times and days to visit the Natural History Museum and which bar is the best for a drink after their visit, along with any other historic buildings they could visit which are near to their location…so you don’t just need to rely TripAdviser!
Back Seat Drivers
In this game the customer isn’t always right, sometimes you get the occasional person who likes to think they’re Google Maps telling you what roads to use and how to drive, especially when they’ve had a little too much to drink.
Back seat drivers are the worst and there are plenty of them. Everyone seems to know the roads better than you; if you turn left you should have turned right - they forget this is your day job.