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Nov 2

Unfare

Posted on Sunday, November 2, 2008 in Family, Rantings, Taxi driving

So taxi fares went up 8% today.  At least they would have if the people that be could sort the bloody process out a bit.

8% wage increase eh?

So to get this increase, a taxi driver must first drive into the city, pay an arm and a leg to re-calibrate the machine, then drive back to an NCT/SGS place and get the meter ‘fixed’ or ‘sealed’ or whatever it is they do to get the machine legitimized, forking out the end of the hard-earned penny-jar to do so. 

TAT embarked on this increadible journey last week.  He took time off work to drive to Rialto to have the wheels tested and re-timed, and to have the meter re-calibrated.  He pulled his plumb for a whole four hours while they did their thing, then he returned to Dunlaoghaire to get the meter tested and sealed, only to be told that our car had failed.

TAT called Rialto to question their obligations quite firmly, but they claimed innocence.  Apparently SGS had a widespread problem which meant that “shit loads” of drivers were calling up to rant about their cars having failed, legally meaning that they can’t go to work.

Can’t go to work?  On halloween night?  Sod that, so it seemed to TAT and countless other drivers.  This meant that all over Ireland last night, A fleece of cabs found that at midnight, 31st October 2008 (the witching hour?) their meters began to talk gibberish and cease to work.  Bray certainly suffered the scourge anyway, with countless drivers reverting to hackney status instead of admitting defeat and going home to their beds.  TAT certainly didn’t mind, but that’s because he’s an opportunist.  It *ahem* opened many doors for him, as it were.  If he’d have been caught by the regulation vultures he’d have been absolutely screwed, but I suppose they didn’t foresee this disaster.

Apparently the system is fixed now, so they’re inviting TAT back out for a re-test.  Happy days.

What a ballache.  What a wage increase!

That’s like your boss telling you that you are entitled to a minimum raise, but only if you travel to Thailand, climb Mount Wannahockaloogie* at midnight (in your bare feet) and pick a flower that only blooms when the moon is waxing over the third mystical stone.  Wouldn’t you tell your boss where to stick his raise?  If only we could!!!

Speaking of ‘we’, technically this is now the Royal We, for K8 the Gr8 has now officially been forced to quit taxi driving.  Booooo.

I loved that job so much, its perks were bountiful.  It gave me a sense of purpose, a reason to wear make-up and fine clothing, and an endless source of material for this here blog, to name just a few.

Roy’s going to be pissed off, but not as much as I am.

So why quit?

– My insurance alone cost €900(ish)/year.

– My radio rental was €60 a week (special offer ‘coz I was a girrrl)

– The ‘session had dropped my daily earnings to a quarter of what they were when I first started.

– My leaving the house at lunchtime left a severely sleep-deprived TAT with an endless chorus of ‘DADDY WAKE UP DADDY WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP’ no matter how many sleeping pills I’d put in the child’s cereal that morning.  He was suffering from perputual ‘flu because of this, as three hours sleep a night just isn’t enough for some people.  So selfish, but there you go.

– Puppychild’s attending playschool 28 miles away was playing havoc with our diesel costs, which was a large enough problem without me further adding to it by driving almost as far to work and not earning any money.

– I wasn’t being entirely honest with my earnings (SHHH!) and I get cranky at the prospect of losing my Carer’s Allowance etc…  by the way, did I mention I never charged for fares?

There may still be some strange and wonderful taxi-driving tales to be told on this blog, but they will henceforth be written vicariously through me from The Accidental Terrorist who tends to have a memory like a sieve and may be keeping one or two stories from me for fear I’ll collapse in horror.

Guest-blogging is right out.  I tried.

So, I’m back to being house-bound.  A domestic engineer.  The crazy cat lady.

PANTS

*Yes, I do get most of my material from Finding Nemo.  Sue me.

Bring on the comments

  1. Aww man…That’s terrible, K8! 28 miles?! Jaysus! That’s a long way to drive everyday through the week.

    “€60 a week.” Did you have to rent one? That’s taxicab robbery! Do they regulate that as well?

    “Did I mention I never charged for fares?? I’m aware of that and thanks again. I owe you and TAT a round of drinks, when I return in early…early spring. :)

    Bureaucracy sucks!

  2. Chick says:

    …if only we could : )

    …tell the boss where to but his raise…that is.

  3. Bailed out on us eh! you’ve just reduced our beauty coefficient I hope you know, we’re now officially ugly!

  4. Once a driver always a driver , so no worries K8, you stay on my taxi blogroll. As all taxi drivers say I’m out!!! They eventually come back, even once a week if it allows. So I’m officially knighting you as an honorary NYC driver and you can live vicariously through me until you drive again. We have the same bullshit here in the states to make a drivers life short lived. My thoughts are with you and when I visit home I’ll be querying where to get a good taxi!! Cheers !!

  5. Baino says:

    Aww baby girl. No shame in being a domestic engineer. I’m kinda sorry I didn’t spend time with the younglings when they were more dependent. Certainly a hard ride (no pun intended) being a taxi driver. My bro in law does it part time. Take heart soul sister . .the new house has to be ready soon no?

  6. Wha? Your new gaff is not sorted yet? Pantalons indeed! Ah, view it as a temporary hiatus, despite the recession people will pick up next year and spend a bit, they can only go so long feeling sorry for themselves without resorting to the odd splurge. Can’t say I understand that but I’d be in the mad bloke living up the mountain with a load of survivalist gear and treating interlopers to some of the hospitality in “Southern Comfort” camp anyway :-) Chin up.

  7. Maxi Cane says:

    That sucks, but at least you’ve weighed up the pros and the cons and done what you think is the right thing.

    I passed a rank the other day by the town center in Dundrum and a driver insisted on giving everybody his account of the economic state:

    “Us taxi drivers and this fare increase will save the bloody economy, but will we get any credit?”

    I walked for five minutes and got the LUAS, surprising how quiet those drivers are!!

  8. Jo says:

    Aw, Kate, sorry to hear about the enforced retirement. Maybe something else will come your way?

    If I had any money I would hire you as the chauffeur (chauffeuse?)/lifecoach/clutterologist person I seem to need so desperately.

    Maybe you’ll have time to pop over for a coffee some time? There have to be some perks!

  9. K8 says:

    Jefferson; Doesn’t it?! The radio rental was 60 for me, 120 for TAT. That, believe it or not, is quite generous!

    Chick; Welcome to me blog :) Note to all readers: FREE BOOBS OVER AT CHICK’S PLACE!

    Roy; Aww thanks :) I have some sexy low cut tops if you’d like to borrow them?

    Kingo’NYhacks; Solidarity dude! Thanks for the honorariness, I’m well chuffed :) You’re the only livin’ boy in New York.

    Baino; Still waiting for the key… any day now, is what I’ve been guessing for the past few weeks. Any day now.

    Thrifty; Bless your optimism! I’m thinking that this does free up some spare time for Geocaching though :) Arrrrr, treasure!

    Maxi; *sigh* Taxi drivers and their soapboxes!! I did my best to abolish the stereotype but the bastards got me in the end. I must get TAT to start a movement. Isn’t it funny how the words ‘movement’ and ‘shite’ are so closely linked?

    Jo; I’d make a great chauffeur, but not so sure about clutterology.. I failed that degree hopelessly.

  10. I see Jo is still trying to pawn off the leftover Rice Krispie buns….

    That’s a shame K8, really is, but it’s true if the maths don’t add up it’s not worth it.

  11. Quickroute says:

    Sorry to hear it didn’t work out.
    Glad you bailed out before it just made you frustrated and broke.
    Hope things turn for the better soon – another chapter etc

  12. Nick says:

    That’s diabolical that you’ve had to give up the cabbing because of the combined red tape and recession effect. You’d think the government would make it easier to work during a recession, but no, they’re too busy lining their own pockets. As for all those greedy, irresponsible, deranged bankers who got us all into this catastrophic mess in the first place – I’d love to roast a few of them slowly on a spit. Or maybe disembowell them. Or rip out their fingernails.

  13. Kelley says:

    Don’t become a crazy cat lady. Become something exotic like the Insane Axylotl Chick or the Slightly Deranged Iguana Woman.

    Cause you are all exotic to me.

    (sucks re the giving up the driving gig)

  14. K8 says:

    Xbox; Ah you never know what doors will open up… perhaps it’s meant to be.

    Quickroute; I was developing an unhealthy Red Bull habit though, so there’s a silver lining!

    Nick; There’s a lot of hate meandering around this country these days. You’d think the powers that be would get the hint!

    Kelley; I love the way you think! I may adopt a pet rock and bring it for walks to fill the time…

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