Saturday, May 30

Taxi-driver's own goal

A taxi driver unwittingly became the getaway driver for a thief who had just burgled his home.
Mr Shen, of Huainan city, picked up the passenger at a bus stop at around 3am, reports Xin'an Evening Post.
"He had a lot of home appliances, so I helped him put all of his things into the cab," he said.
"I noticed he had a fish without a tail, and I thought how much it looked like the fish in my freezer at home. But then I laughed at myself for even having the thought."
The passenger said he had just returned from a trip to his home town and had been dropped off by a long distance bus.
Mr Shen only realised the truth when he later returned home to find his house broken into and his possessions - including the tail-less fish - missing.
Police later arrested a 56-year-old man who faces charges of burglary and theft.

Wednesday, May 27


Why is it that when people are so relaxed in a car that they fall asleep on the journey. It usaully happens with kids on long journeys. Maybe its the drone of the engine or something along those lines.

Its a totally differnt thing when you pick up one of the towns visitors to the local hostelry's and they`ve had a little too much to drink and are tired. Its a common occurance late at night that they will invariably fall asleep during the journey and the hardest part is trying to wake them.

Whats the best way to wake them and get the fare off them. I usually just shout loud or give them a dig but sometimes it doesnt work.

One guy I picked up this week was so tired and drunk that he managed to tell me where he wanted to be before falling asleep. When I got to his house I woke him. This was a major fete in itself as he seemed totally out of it. A shout, a dig, a poke and a prod woke him then it was the usualy 5 minutes of him going through his pockets so he could pay me. First off he offers to pay by Barclaycard. I couldnt accept this payment as we are not geared up for it but I did take a look at his card and note down his name should I have needed it for anything. He then pulled out a condom and offered me that. This was followed by a load of loose change amounting to 27p and 4 lollies which he tried to sell me as part of the taxi fare.

At this point I wasnt sure what I was going to do with him when his wife/partner came out the house and paid the fare and dragged him out of the car.

I wouldnt have liked to be him the next morning.

Tuesday, May 26

Bank Holiday Cruising

Its been a busy bank holiday weekend with the usual mixed weather but this didnt stop thousands of holiday makers enjoying Barrow and The Lake District as "The Tahitian Princess" Cruise Liner docked and welcomed American holiday makers to the town.

This meant plenty of taxis at the docks waiting for the passengers and taking them on a daily tour of such areas as Coniston and The Lakes as well as local historic places like Furness Abbey and a drive round the coast.

A great day out for the passengers and the drivers and no one lost out as even the drivers who stayed locally to pick up our regular fares were more than happy as it meant there wern't as many cabs in the town and therefore more work for the local lads

Sunday, May 24

Responsible Adult

She was a young girl with a baby in a travel seat who got into the car. She opened the rear door. put the baby seat in the car complete with baby in it and then went round to the other side and got in the back seat and told me where she wanted to go to.

I asked her if she was going to strap the baby in and she said that she never does and it will be ok. I told her that its not ok, its dangerous if I pull up quick and its illegal. She then proceeded to strap the baby seat into the car and hadn't the faintest idea what to do. She had the child facing forward and didnt know how the seat belt attached to the baby seat. I had to sort it all out for her.

During the journey I asked if it was her child and how old it was. Yes, it was her child and it was 7 months old. Makes you wonder how a young mum can have a child of 7 months and have no idea how to fasten the child into a car safely. She told me she normally travels in her boyfriends car and the baby is never fastened in as its easier to get in and out the car but since she split from her boyfriend she has to get taxis.

Laziness is what it is, she puts the "cant be bothered strapping baby in attitude" before her childs safety. What sort of a mother is this.? I told her this as well. I don`t think she valued my opinion but she won`t ever travel in my vehicle without her baby being properly strapped in.

I doubt she would ever travel in my car again as she would be scared I`d have another go at her over safety of children.

Friday, May 22

Office staff safety

Its quite disturbing and quite common to hear of assaults on taxi drivers and very rare to hear of assaults on the taxi office staff but it does happen.

As a telephonist answering the phone to a customer, what would you do if they were abusive on the phone. As for me, I wouldnt send them a cab. If they are like that on the phone then what will they be like in the cab. Safety HAS to come first.

Here is one such story. [double click the image to view full size]

What do you think. Does the punishment fit the crime. We are trying to supply a public service. If it was a police officer that was assaulted then the culprit almost certainly would have been sent down so why not for this case. We are both serving the public.

Monday, May 18

The Long and Winding Road

Last weekend saw the annual Keswick to Barrow Walk. Now if you've never heard of this, it is a gruelling 40 mile sponsored walk raising money for charities whilst taking in some of the Lake Districts breathtaking scenary.

For us taxi drivers, we had to go and pick a few people up from the finishing post as they were too lame to walk anymore but the problem with any event like this is the amount of road closures. Actually, not so much the closures but more the parking and waiting restrictions meaning complete chaos if we went to the designated pick up point and the customer was too tired to walk to it.

Even so, it would have been a great day out for many and thousands of pounds would have been raised for various charities so well done to everyone who took part. The walk was open to everyone including disabled people and its good to see so many taking part as all proceeds will be split between many local charities.

I`ve only ever done the Keswick to Barrow once..... and that was in the car... Ho Hum...

Sunday, May 17

Smelly food and wind

It was a windy day, not too windy as I picked a fare up from one of the many local fast food chains. She got in the car with her food and young son and as you know, the smell of this stuff tends to linger so down goes the windows a little bit to let some fresh air in.

Kids, being kids and having to play about, the litle boy decided to put the back window down and the wind started blowing in the car. The female passenger (who had rather long hair) told the young boy to put the window up, exclaiming and I quote the following, "Put that window up now, I've got hair all over my face".

The young boy calmly turned round to her and said "Why don`t you get a shave then"

Kids seem to say the funniest things.... and in all innocence

Friday, May 15

Wow!!! I`ve won car

This week or so the company has yet again excelled itself using advanced technology in a move up from the "Ringback" that we provided customers with. Instead of Ringback, our customers who call us using a mobile will get a "Textback".

So whats a Textback". In simple terms its a text telling the customer that their taxi is outside and the beauty of it is that the text also tells the customer what the make model colour and registration of the taxi is.

This has many benefits, It allows the customer to easily spot you, They and you know you have the right fare and car. The customer knows they are being picked up by the cab they ordered and not another one trying to steal the job.

On this one particular day, I picked a young girl up who told me that everytime she rang for a taxi she got sent a junk text message telling her she had won a car. She debated this with her boyfriend and each had thought the other had entered a competition and won a taxi cab.

I didnt realise people could be that thick. I wonder if she replied to the text to see if she really had won a prize.

Honestly. some people are only alive cos its illegal to shoot them. And its right what they say, "In every bunch of roses, theres always one prick".

Tuesday, May 5

A nice day out

This week gone I went to the train station to pick up a fare and assumed he was going to Eskdale Avenue in the town but it turned out he wanted to go to Eskdale in the Lake District so off we went and just over an hour later got him to his destination. We had a good chat on the way there and on the way back I was in no rush so had a run around the area and took in some of the sites for a hot summery day.

Not a bad day out. Could do with more of them. Get paid a taxi fare and enjoy yourself at the same time. Sounds good to me.

Pictures are of some of the scenic areas of The Lakes. As always, double click the image to view full size. The picture below shows Birker Fell and it does cut a bit of milage off your journey if you go over the top. What a view from the top...

Friday, May 1

Pinch Punch, 1st of the month

Its the first day of May meaning two bank holidays on the way. The first is this weekend and the next will be the last weekend of May. Hopefully this means a busy start and end of month but the bit in the middle is usually a quiet one.

As its the 1st May it got me thinking about where the saying "Pinch Punch, 1st of the month" comes from and what its all about. I did ask a few fares but I think they must have thought I was going senile as the majority hadnt heard of it and those that had, couldmt explain it.