The grateful and not so grateful

Hi everyone, as the heading suggests, you’ll understand after reading all the stories.

As you all well know by now i’m on the RMT committee as the Recruitment & Campaign officer, first of all I would like to thank all the drivers that handed out leaflets a couple of weeks ago, we have been getting a lot of positive feed back via word of mouth and through Twitter, now you all know where my loyalty’s stand, and I’m not using this website as a RMT recruitment tool, I will support anyone who I thought were doing the right thing for our trade.

The last couple of weeks haven’t been so hectic as the previous week, so I’ve had more time to start packing boxes in preparation of moving, when you’ve got plenty of time to do this it makes the job a lot easier and less stressful

In the last couple of weeks there have been a few incidents, these first two happened to be on the last Thursday of October.

Everyone in the west end and City go mental when they get their monthly pay checks paid into their banks, I got flagged down in Queen Victoria Street by Blackfriars Station by a man, he wanted to go to Eurostar via a cash machine, this particular night I was very tired and all my energy went into my driving, I forgot to stop at a cash machine but was rudely reminded at the other end, he completely lost control and started swearing at me for not stopping.

I said to him why didn’t you give me a nudge, he said because you said you would stop, I apologised for not stopping and said why don’t you use the ATM inside the station, after throwing his arms all over the place and giving me more abuse, he reluctantly stormed of to get his money but not before I asked him to leave me something in lieu of the meter fare as a guarantee that he would come back , you can imagine the fuss he made over that but he left me his mobile phone.

By the time he came back there was £15.40 on the meter, he said that he’s only paying me £15.00 and handed me a score, I said you will pay me what’s on the meter and not a penny less and I gave him the correct change, he was calm for a second or two that was until he got out of the cab, then he started up again, people passing were looking on in amazement at the way he was acting, I said to him go away little boy, little boy he says, I says yes, your acting like a little boy now bugger of and he did, thank god.

My next job took me to borough high Street, on my way back I noticed London Bridge Station was conned off and everyone had to drop their punters on the main road.

I kept my hire sign of for a while, I didn’t want any obnoxious or pissed punter jumping in the back, It was one of those nights where I was going to be a bit more choosy, when I reached Bank Station there were a lot of people trying to hail cabs, one bloke couldn’t walk straight, he wasn’t on my list, there were two ladies, one didn’t look to bad but she was propping up her friend, who looked totally wrecked, they defiantly weren’t on my list, there were a few other guys that didn’t look to bad but I chose the sober looking lady, standing by herself, I quickly turned my meter back on and pulled up next to her, she told me she wanted the Hilton Hotel in Rotherhithe Street, I said no problem and in she jumped.

From Bank I decided to head towards Tower Bridge, mainly because London Bridge was heavy with traffic heading south, when I reached the turning for Tower Bridge I noticed they had conned it of, so I made my way up the Commercial Road to the Rotherhithe tunnel, that’s when my passenger started, she said why didn’t you go over Tower bridge, I said because it was blocked of, then she said well why didn’t you go over London Bridge, I said it’s a bit late asking me to do that now, so i’m taking you through the Rotherhithe Tunnel, she keep repeating herself, then she made a phone call, and told the person on the other end that she was being ripped of. By the time I reached Branch Road she said she didn’t want to go any further and wanted me to take her back via London Bridge and told me she drives a car and works in the City and knows where she is.

I said that I wanted her to pay what’s on the meter and leave my taxi. She refused, so I took her all the way back to Bank Station and asked her to leave and told her I didn’t want any money from her, she was happy as a bunny and departed with a smile on her face, I quite honestly don’t know what was going on inside her head, to think that I was trying to kidnap her or rip her of in anyway.

I couldn’t take anymore of this, I needed a break, So I headed towards Sweetings café in Queen Victoria Street, I parked on the rank outside, I looked over into the shop and it was packed with very loud and drunk people, so I decided to leave the City for calmer waters elsewhere.

The following week I was on my way back from Shad Thames and was heading down Druid Street, I was just about to turn right into Tower Bridge Road, when a young lady came running over with a very bright and cheerful smile on her face, she said how much would you charge me to go to Watford, I said that I’ll have to make a quick phone call first and pulled over to the side of Tower Bridge Road, I firstly called Lee Patterson then Mark Morris, both TLC guys with a knack when it comes to quoting prices, they are the two who I normally ask when getting roaders, they were both engaged.

It’s now 00:30 in the morning and I know my mate Del boy normally starts work around midnight so I took a chance and called him, he lives far up the M1 so he would have a good idea of how much to charge, he answered his phone pretty quick, a lot faster then when paying for a beer, I told the young lady how much it would cost and she had a quick word with her partner then said ok, I assumed he was the forking out the pennies, when we reached out turn of on the M1 she started directing me, she said follow the signs for kings Langley.

Before we reached Kings Langley she said pull over next to the ATM machine I need to get your money out, silly me thinking her partner already gave it to her, she came back with that smile wiped of her face, I said don’t tell me you haven’t got the money, she said that her money was paid into her account earlier in the day and the machine says it’s not there, she made a phone call to someone and was told hat her money won’t be paid into her account until 2am, it’s now one thirty.

I said I can wait but she said she needs to get up early and can I pay into your account, normally I wouldn’t give anyone my bank details but this wasn’t a time to be to choosy, she said as soon as she get up she will transfer the money over to my account, I took down her card details and her address and went home.

After getting about 6 hours kip, I went straight on-line to check my account and sure enough the money was paid in, plus an extra fiver.

Last Sat night/Sun morning .

When heading home I picked up a young lady and she wanted to go to Roman Road in E3, on our way up Bethnal Green Road she asked me to stop at a cash machine, once again I get that dreaded look on on my punters face, that look of gloom and despair, after trying three more machines in the same Road she said sorry I will have to owe you the money.

This time I didn’t give out my card details but we exchanged phone numbers and I took down her address, she was so apologetic, even before I reached home she’d text-ed me again and said don’t worry she will have the money waiting for me when I come to collect it.

On my way in the next day I called her to let her know that I was on my way, she said no problem, she will be waiting with the money, true to her word she paid me, and insisted on giving me an extra fiver on top, I thanked her and drove of.

There have been a few times when I haven’t been paid, these last two ladies have balanced the books and renewed my faith in humanity.

Bye for now I’ll be back soon, be lucky Steve.

One Response to “The grateful and not so grateful”

  1. dannyBoy says:

    Think we need prohibition in the Uk alcohol and its effect on society is mind numbing.

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