After years of research, I have concluded that customers of taxi drivers are ill equipped to fulfil their obligations of actually being a good “customer”.
Apart from the possible trade descriptions law not being observed, (surely there must be one?) the assumption that you can get into a taxi anywhere in the world and assume you ARE a customer is an issue I’m about to address..er...now!
To be a good “customer” or “punter” as we say in our now 356 year old profession, follow these simple rules and advice.
1. Avoid mouth breathing, your gob is bigger than your little nostrils, therefore sucking in too much oxygen and it deprives the driver and the air-con of the valuable nitrogen/oxygen mix for both to work within safe parameters.
2. Only speak after the driver has finished his important monologue.
3. If you break wind, inform the driver immediately, the driver will then open the window, and will not feel by doing so, any admission of guilt on his part.
4. Keep your bodily fluids inside your OWN body, avoid sharing them with the driver and the expensive velour seat coverings (if you are in South Africa you will have found out by now that the driver is armed)
5. Be impressed when the driver shares his knowledge of everything with you, he is a finely tuned professional with an unnaturally large hippocampus and will spot nonchalance quickly and may not avoid bumps in the road because of this.
6. The driver has pre selected music according to your social type, weight and general demeanour, and is convinced his choice will be the soundtrack of your weary day or night, or when out on the pull. Tap enthusiastically and hum where necessary.
7. Never, ever, ever, ask a taxi driver if he or she has been busy, or what time do they finish, it will reinforce his resolve to hunt down Peter Kay.
8. Do not tell the driver how to get to your destination, if he is going the wrong way it’s your fault... always.
9. Showing your breasts (male or female) or mooning to a bus/crowd/your mum/police etc, will not impress the driver, he has seen more body parts than a coroner.
10. Taxis are the only form of transport that you pay AFTER you have had the journey, do it promptly, don’t spend ten minutes looking through your unconscious girlfriends purse, do not barter or do a deal, or do the “ten pounds for cash” thing because no one knows what that means. The driver has no interest in your fake Rolex or your girlfriends knock off Gucci handbag. he wants you out, gone, and no matter how funny you think you have been or acres of flesh you have wobbled at him, he won’t remember you...ever.
And remember we taxi drivers are always fiscally challenged, so monetary tips are always welcome. Tips on driving, reading maps, working a sat nav, hair/nails/decorating/quality of velour these days are not.
Next week: How to return velour seat covers covered in sick and bodily fluids back to Argos.
Until next time...