Working with the general public can be very hard work at the best of times. In this job it can be particularly difficult as a large percentage of the time you are dealing with the public at their worst. They are heading home full of drink or drugs, or both, tired at the end of their night or prematurely after a disappointment, argument or fight.
However, it is not always necessary for your customer to be drunk or pissed off to act like an idiot, as this Christmas Day story from around 8 years ago will demonstrate.
I was working as a private hire driver for an East Renfrewshire company back then and we had this regular hire from Muirend to Glasgow Airport. This guy worked at the airport and used our firm to get to work 4 mornings a week. His fare was £12.00 every morning. He had tried every conceivable route over the months he had had this job and the first time you happened to pick him up he would specify exactly the route he wanted you to take and that's the way you went every time. £12.00 no more, no less.
I got this job one Christmas morning, 4.15am as usual and he got in the car noticeably more chirpy than normal. After all the "merry Christmas mate" and all that, I enquired......
"Are you not a bit pissed-off having to work today?"
punter "Not at all. I'm getting triple time and a day in lieu. Its brilliant"
me "Oh, good for you mate. That's great"
punter "Yeah, can you believe it. I probably wont be that busy either. Triple time and a day in lieu. I'm making a fortune"
By the time we reached the airport some 25 mins later I was sorry that I had asked the question. He never stop going on about how much money he was making for working on Christmas day and I had hardly got a word in the whole way there.
Anyway I pull up outside the main terminal and....
me "That will be £18.00 please mate!"
punter "Aye, that will be right. Its £12.00"
me "Its fare and a half Christmas Day and Boxing Day I'm afraid. So its £18.00.
punter "You've got to be joking. That's bloody ridiculous"
The guy went off on a rant about the extra charge being a disgrace but reluctantly he paid me. He got out the car vowing to make a complaint to the office and SLAMMED the door.
What a TWAT..........