Wednesday 8 June 2011 6.56pm
We are all familiar with the canards and half-truths that attach themselves to certain professions.
Lawyers; slippery b***ards,
Double Glazing salesmen; persistent, annoying b***ards,
Estate Agents; lying b***ards, with a penchant for seeing log cabins as stunning, desirable residences.
I had occasion today to witness first hand how people in my job, Licenced, (or black cab), drivers, can get saddled with scorn for no good reason.
Which is not to say that we are all angels who never do wrong.
Today, around 14.00, I dropped a fare in Regent Street, just north of Piccadilly Circus.
As I pulled away from the kerb the onboard computer terminal chirped and offered me an account job from Clifford Street W1 to Cornhill EC3.
A decent job, naturally I hit the accept button and extinguished the For Hire light and began to make my way to Clifford Street.
As I drove up Regent Street the rain started to fall.
Reaching Conduit Street, where I had to turn left, a young girl raised a tentative hand.
I raised my left arm and wiggled my hand back and forth in the universal, "sorry, no go" sign, then stopped just past her at the light.
Suddenly I heard the rear door open, and looking over my shoulder I saw her getting in.
I said, "I'm sorry love, I indicated no to you, I'm on my way to another job."
"I'm sorry," she said, and got out.
Two smartly dressed men, probably on seeing her get out, and presuming that I was now available, charged over, shouting, "Marylebone station please!"
I politely told them the same as I had told the girl, to which one retorted, "You're all the f***ing same you lot!"
No doubt "us lot" are being lambasted by them somewhere now. "They are earning so much, they can afford to say no to you if they feel like it!"