In stark contrast, to yesterday's run of funeral jobs I had a few wedding runs today. One was with the bride, chief bridesmaid and the bridesmaids brother going to the bride’s mothers to get themselves ready for the big ceremony. They were going a nearby village which is a six-mile ride away.
The two girls seemed to get more and more stressed for every yard that we drove along, they were on the phone making last minute arrangements and asking each other if they had forgotten anything all in all in a total flap. On the way, we stopped off at the posh hotel where the reception was to be held and when the bride and bridesmaid got out of the taxi to drop something off there was silence for a minute or two then the brother and I looked at each other and just burst out laughing. Talk about stress give me a good funeral do anytime.
Saturday, February 27
Friday, February 19
I had what I always refer to as a coin juggler in the back of the cab today. I pick this particular type of folk up maybe once or twice a week, and they can be of either sex and old or young, rich or poor but they always sit in the back and try to be discrete. What they do is they watch the taxi meter obsessively and every time it clicks over they move the coins from one hand to the other so that they have the exact fare ready in small change, minus the tip of course! You don’t get very much conversation out of a coin juggler just the soft obsessive clinking of coins, but still they always amuse me no end. What does catch the juggler out now and again is when the meter adds the waiting time on when we stop at lights or in heavy traffic and the meter goes up a few bob, that’s when they tend to juggle faster and then panic and drop all their precious coins on the cab floor.
Monday, February 8
Today was one of the very few occasions when I found myself lost for words, I usually have no problems understanding just about any nationality, but today the two lasses who got into the back of the cab might as well have been speaking broad Martian. In the end, they had to point to where they wanted to go. They started to talk to each other and it dawned on me that they were actually Irish, I’m usually Ok with the Irish brogue but this dialect was one I had never heard before. Still we had a laugh and got there in the end, but this reminds me of the drunken lady I picked up a while back one rainy day.
She was so drunk that she could not speak at all and she just waved her hands in the direction that she wanted to go. When we eventually got to her house she wasn’t capable of counting the fare so she just threw her bag at me to get the cash out for myself. Next comes the bit I was worried about, there was no way she could walk and I didn’t fancy carrying her rather large bulk into her house, you never know what you may be accused of later. After banging on a few neighbours doors, I managed to get some folk who knew her and her drunken habits to help her in. If this is the state she gets in the middle of the afternoon I wouldn’t like to see her after a heavy night out!
Thursday, February 4
I was talking to another driver one day this week, he works for one of the last firms in town which still uses the old voice over the radio airwaves system to dispatch work. After about five minutes sat in his car listening to the squeaking of the high pitched voice on the radio my head was hurting and it made me really glad that the firm I work with now uses computer dispatch.
Some drivers say they miss the banter on the radio, but that’s a small price to pay for a whole lot less stress. Back when we used radio we had some operators whose voices tended to really grate on your nerves especially after four or five long hours you felt like you had to get out the cab and bang your head on the pavement to stop the torture. You know the type of voice I mean the one that you just wouldn’t want them shouting you up for breakfast in the morning after a boozy night on the town.
We can still talk to the office by radio if necessary to make bookings etc, but some days I can work all day and not know who the dispatch operator is. This works the other way as well some of the operators tell me that drivers come into the office and they haven’t got a clue which driver they are talking to.