By Kelly Dessaint, Taxi Driver, San Francisco
One of the last things she said to me before walking out the door was, “I’m so sick and tired of hearing you talk about taxis and Uber! Uber this! Taxi that! Blah blah blah.”
Now I’m not about to blame, much less give credit to, San Francisco’s transportation problems for ruining my marriage—I’ve done a good job of that myself—but it didn’t help.
At first Irina enjoyed hearing my crazy stories when I got home late. She usually waited up for me and, while she drifted off to sleep, I’d regale her with the details of my rides. But eventually, she got bored. Because, as she pointed out, they were all the same story with only slight variations.
By Joe Blondo, Taxi Driver, Seattle
What Have We Wrought?
Can it be true,
or can it be not,
what we have brought
Could it be a divine
reminding us sins are
and the numbers are in,
smiting us like
so many wayward
in a blood-red
having done what,
what have we
to be punished so?
While of course an exaggeration, it does at times seem that we in taxi industry are cursed or under attack from less than benign spirits, given the numbers of obstacles placed in from of us, obstructing from making a simple dollar. Last week four Yellow cabbies were given citations from the City of Seattle for the crime of not having their for-hire licenses copied, enlarged, then posted in the cab.
That the 10,000 plus Seattle Uber and Lyft drivers, under the same requirement having a current and valid for-hire license are neither stopped nor cited for similar violations says much about what is occurring. The question is both why are we treated differently and just why does the City of Seattle and King County think we in the taxi industry will continue to accept the unacceptable? Puzzling it is but certainly not indecipherable.
By Sean Farrell, Taxi Driver, London
“Foul-mouthed, rude, obnoxious, bigoted, argumentative, extreme right-wing, money grabbing thieves . . .” and that’s just the good guys – upset a London taxi driver at your peril you and will become a fully paid up member of the endangered species list.
But are we really like this? No, of course we are not, “we’re all angels, ‘onest guv’nor”.
Don’t take my word for it, take the late Bob Payton, founder of the Chicago Rib Shack; he called us and the police “the only true professionals in Britain”. Whilst we accept his praise, it’s a bit much lumping us with the British bobby, after all, some of them carry guns, and we have to resort to other methods to deal with cyclists (or moving targets as I prefer to think of them).
Are we really the demonic force we are made out to be or are we the victims of a bad press after a newspaper reporter fails to get a cab home?