One of the interesting things about the taxi trade is the stories and insights into other folks jobs we get to hear. Some tales I am told are never going to be repeated for obvious reasons, but here are a couple of recent tales told to me. The first from a shopkeeper who runs a small corner convenience store, selling mainly snacks, booze and fags. She has a regular customer, a single mother with three or four toddlers, who shops there for essentials several times daily. The young mum had dashed into the shop and excitedly told her "great my milk tokens have come at last, they were four days late, now I can have my coffee with milk in again." The shopkeeper told me that she had to stop herself from screaming at her. She knew that this meant that the toddlers would have been without milk to drink or pour on cereal for those four days. But in the meantime the young mum had been coming in the shop every day for her essentials. In her case those essentials were forty cigarettes and a two litre bottle of Lambrini (cheap wine).
Next was the young schoolteacher who told me of her troubled days, sadly she assures me that it's an all too common problem. The previous day she had to have words with a youngster who had been disruptive in class and was bullying smaller kids. Within five minutes of the end of the school day the child's mother burst into the school and threatened the young teacher with violence. This she told me was the reason she had decided to take a taxi home that night rather than walk home. I was appalled by this crazy situation but even more appalled when I realised that I had picked her up from a primary school. This means that the little dears she teaches range in age from four up to eleven