I am a private hire taxi driver, working nights in a city, in a rural part of England.
Oh, and I’m female, which is very unusual in this job. I work for a very successful firm who currently has around 120 drivers. Of these, three are female. Of those, only one works the night shift. That’s me!
When making the choice between working day shifts or night shifts, the deciding factor for many taxi drivers is often, “Which will annoy me more? Drunks? Or traffic?”
I loathe being stuck in traffic.
Drunks can be charming, obnoxious, unintentionally hilarious, sleazy, potentially volatile or just downright irritating. Many regress into childish attitudes and behaviours, which become more pronounced as the night wears on.
I studied Zoology at Manchester University, where I also volunteered as a student counsellor. I also used to be a primary school teacher, who specialised in Early Years education. What I learned about listening, and behaviour management, and indeed animal behaviour, goes a long way towards helping me to manage the drunks!
However, the vast majority of my customers are lovely, funny, interesting people, with whom it is a pleasure to share a journey.
Being a taxi driver is endlessly entertaining. People fascinate me. One of the things that I love about this job is the insight that it gives me into people’s lives. Taxi drivers often become just a part of the scenery to passers-by, and even to some passengers! The things that we see (and hear) are incredible.
Everyone has a story to tell. Here are mine. I hope that you enjoy reading them…