Sometimes, just occasionally mind you, cab drivers make mistakes. Just don’t tell anyone I told you, or I might get banned from every green hut in town. Ever since I bought my own cab I have worked “on the radio” with Dial a Cab (DAC), an institution I have great respect for (and will talk to you about in the near future), particularly as they used to bring me about 75% of my work. Not quite as busy in these difficult times, but nonetheless I still get some decent work from them.
So, to the crux of this particular matter. I’d come from Stamford Bridge after another magnificent Chelsea victory (extracts tongue from cheek for rest of post) and people everywhere were looking for cabs. So rather than go straight home, decided to work an extra hour or so. Good decision, as I did 4 or 5 jobs on the spin landing back near Victoria Station ready to go home. Suddenly a job appears on my DAC terminal, Roussillon Restaurant, SW1 to SW11, perfect end to the day. Skip round to St Barnabas St in plenty of time for the pre booked time and press the required button to get the office to let the customer know I’m here. There’s already a cab outside, so I assume it’s a multiple cab job. Few people come out and get in the first cab, then a few more hang around my cab deciding where they are going. It isn’t unusual for pre booked jobs to change destination and I don’t think twice when they ask to go to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. It’s only when I get near the top of Sloane St and they are talking about who’s going to pay that it dawns on me that these aren’t my DAC customers. So I get them out of the cab pronto, one pays the £10 on the meter and I rush back to Roussillon quick as I can. Message comes up on the terminal as I’m halfway back that the punters can’t find me at the restaurant. Never fear, say I, I am there alright (I’m not) but I get there quickly enough for no-one to really notice. A quick re-set of the meter and I take the lovely punters back to SW11 and straight home with a contented grin on my face. Me, make a mistake? Never.
But I do have to apologise to the first people I picked up, the £10 fare they paid included at least a fivers worth of my waiting time for the DAC customers. Seriously, it only occurred to me that they had overpaid when I eventually picked up the right punters. I will find a way of putting this right, you don’t want to get your cabbie karma out of sync, trust me.