Monday, May 18, 2009

Tips for (taxi) drivers: In forward motion

So my weekend wasn't all bad. The highlight of my Saturday was taking this girl to her place on the Upper West Side. She said she was born and raised in Riverdale Bx, but moved to Atlanta for high school and college. You know the city always calls you back, there's no getting away from the irresistible vibe. Anyway she said that most cab drivers always give her advice, tell her she should be dating, ask her where her boyfriend is and what not. She was a real sweetheart, real cute too. She demanded that I give her advice, but I had none to give. She went on about how she finally met a good guy.

I told her a little about how the driving is, how everybody should try it to get a feel for the world. Ironically I told her that the income was pretty good, and that 99% of my customers were nice people. Both were surprising to her, as her public relations industry was providing nothing but irritable people. And of course the whole rest of the day was supplied with irritable people for me too, funny how that happens. I feel as though it's all a test for me. I make a finite statement about how the job is, and then the job throws me for a quick sucker punch. What can I say? I believe taxi driving is a representation of the universe: filled with opportunities, options, assholes, patterns, and perhaps a secret mathematical course or agenda for everything. But try, try, try as we may, we will never know what lay ahead.

And on Sunday I was excited to Meet Gil, the taxiblogger of Taxicab Almanac of NYC, and Tips For NYC Taxicab Drivers, among other blogs. We met for a quick coffee stop and discussed the blogs and a few ideas on driving for the day. I'm proud to be a new contributer to the Tips for drivers blog, and we both agreed that for the good of the cab driver the blog should have even more contributers. So if you have some professional insight, a few tips you feel should be included, by all means, put your inquiry forward. 

As Gil left he told me to always find the street without other cabs. And so I thought that it was something I knew already, but as my experiences set in over these past years I've been using the 'no matter what, always random' strategy less often. Wouldn't you know that after a few more minutes of failure after we met, I decided to take 24th street rather than 23rd, even though it only went for a block and there was relatively little business or residence. I got a fare, and it was a big one, all the way downtown to pick up a cellphone, then to upper east side, 30 bucks including tip, Thanks bro.

1 comment:

Gilighan Qabista said...

it works. even down the least expected streets. the magic behind it is not so magical if you could be omniscient. those same fares that hail us on the major corners didn't just appear out of nowhere, as it seems to us from inside the cab. They in fact walked to that spot from much further away than we're inclined to suppose. There are hundreds of people lurking in every single building you pass, no matter how small or insignificant the street. There's a fare coming out of each doorway of every building once every couple minutes.