Tag Archives: Taxicab

An amazing taxi offer! Yes, you heard it right…

I know have a habit of banging on a lot about the wonders of contemporary taxi drivers and minicab firms and how little they know about anything at all: but at last, I have found a firm who know a whole lot more about the world: ie where they are in it, where you are in it, how to get you from A to B in the shortest possible time at the lowest possible cost in a manner which is civilising and civilised.

I know it sounds too good to be true: a taxi firm which knows what it’s doing!  But its Christmas after all, and now is the season to expect miracles. So, thank you, UGO Cabfinder!

You can find out about it here.

UGO’s message of pre booking cabs is in line with TFL’s ‘cabwise’ advice which you can find here.

Here’s a lovely graphic to accompany all of the above too!

Tips for Business Start Ups: why skills and knowledge are hugely overrated attributes in your potential workforce.

Alfie confided in me that the beauty of running a taxi business was that you didn’t need to know many things at all to make it succeed.

You didn’t need to be able to speak – many customers preferred you not to speak in fact; you didn’t need to be able to listen as your customers could either write down or text you their destination; you didn’t need to be able to add up as the meter did all the calculations and you certainly didn’t need to know where you were or where you were going as the Satnav would do that for you.

His next business challenge was to find a way of employing drivers who didn’t know how to drive or indeed recognise a motor vehicle in the first place.

He will find a rich vein of potential employees from the job centres or universities who will only too happily join his business and apply their lack of skills of driving and knowledge about taxis to great effect. They will join the growing band of aspirant Robert de Niro brothers who are only missing the obligatory Glock which would entitle them to call themselves fully paid up members of the taxi driving profession.

The notion that a complete absence of skill and knowledge in your workforce can benefit your business is a useful one which many other start up businesses – or even longstanding corporates – would do well to learn from.

Alfie has in fact recently left a telecoms giant where the inability to communicate with human beings was a real asset. His taxi business is clearly set to go far (just make sure you don’t get in one of his cabs if you want to make it home safely).

The taxi driver as the eiptome of post-modernism. Number 8 in the series: Knowledge, traffic and arts based research.

I reached a new level of taxi driver – passenger complexity tonight.

I get in a cab.

“Where do you want to go?” he asks. I tell him.

He says: “How do you want to get there?”
I say: “The shortest journey possible.”
He says: “What’s the shortest to you is not the shortest to me.”

I say: “The quickest you can.”
He says: “What’s quickest to you is not the quickest to me.”
I say: “You’re the driver, you know best.”
He stays silent.

I say: “The cheapest route possible.”
He says: “What’s cheapest to you is not the cheapest to me.”
I say: “I think we can agree on a price of what constitutes cheap.”
I name a price.

It’s a ridiculously stupid low price. He grunts, puts his foot down and we get to my destination having jumped 2 red lights. The journey is £1.50 cheaper than it cost me earlier in the evening to get to the destination he collected me from.

But that last fact is not the most significant aspect of this transaction.

What’s significant is that everything we think we know about a taxi ride, is from the point of view of the taxi driver, uncertain, relative and open to dispute. Your putative knowledge about your desired journey is, from the point of the taxi driver, a pointless conceit.

The taxi driver is the epitome of post-modernism: nothing is stable, nothing certain, nothing definable and there are no foundations at all upon which we can agree to define a taxi journey by. No wonder they know nothing. They operate in a world which is fundamentally unknowable. They have reached the stage in human existence where the will to know about the universe meets its comeuppance. This allows them to say to you:

“Forget it. You know nothing. I know nothing. I may be a taxi driver with a satnav but deep down I am utterly ignorant. You are utterly ignorant. The sum knowledge of the human race wouldn’t fill the back of a postage stamp. Assuming we could agree on what a postage stamp looked like. So lets agree to disagree about our ignorance. There are no other valid philosophical positions. You might at least get a cheaper fare out of it. Or you might not. Who knows?”

He drops me off and I respectfully salute him as he drives off into the night, unsteadily weaving his way back and forth across the duel carriageway. I finally understand why taxi drivers never know anything at all. It is a position borne of deep wisdom, not a lack of familiarity with the mechanics of the taxi, the road, the Highway Code, of the A-Z of your home town. Respect.

More travel knowledge here.