For the past few months, I really haven’t been sleeping that well. Typically that means I sleep in a little later than normal, and am always pushing it getting to work on time. On a lot of days that usually means I end up taking a cab to work. So over the last few months, I’ve gotten to understand a lot of what makes a good cab driver in Vancouver. Here’s a brief list of five must-have things that most Vancouver cab drivers have:
- First, you have to have a vehicle that failed some inspection at some point in the last year. Probably not a big enough failure to warrant pulling it off the road, but pretty close. Shoddy shocks work quite well, or some kind of large rattling noise that only happens when you turn corners. Squeaky brakes qualify as well, as do turn signals that work intermittently.
- Advertise that everyone can pay with interact or Visa, but only really accept cash when you get to the final destination. If you absolutely have to accept Visa, make sure you let out a big sigh when they suggest it, or ask if they can pay cash instead at least three times during the trip.
- A cellular phone with an unlimited talk plan. Gone are the days when cabbies talked to their patrons. Nowadays it’s customary to constantly be on the phone while driving a cab. Sure, you may annoy your passenger, but they aren’t really paying that much. And honestly, what are they going to say to you anyways? Since you’ll be on your phone the entire time, make sure you have a decent airtime plan.
- Nowadays, you’ll also need a bluetooth headset for the phone. While most cabbies don’t actually use the bluetooth headset, it’s become the “in” accessory for cab drivers everywhere. Simply put it in your ear and talk on your phone as you normally would. If you’d like to actually use your bluetooth headset to talk, that’s fine too, but discouraged by most of the industry.
- Have some attitude. Seriously, please and thank-yous are passe now. If your passenger isn’t at least slightly pissed off at you, you’re doing something wrong. Drop them off at the wrong corner, or take them to where they asked and then scowl at them when you get there. When they give you directions, don’t answer them, but instead glare at them in the rear view mirror. Always keep your passenger on edge — a scared passenger typically won’t ask for change.