What makes a great taxi customer? The Tao of taxi etiquette!

 

We do field many calls daily. We try to take care of our VIPS first. These are the customers who have been with us since we began Abraxi Taxi almost 10 years ago. Our next priority would be locals followed by the many tourists who visit us here in Saint Augustine Florida. However; if we did indeed pick you up and dropped you off somewhere here in the Ancient City, we feel an obligation not to leave you stranded: no matter where or what time. So please listen to what the dispatcher is putting down to ensure your safe and timely return trip home.

We do not surge price. Generally, what you paid coming in will be the same amount you fork over on the return trip. What I would like to do here is address a little taxi etiquette here on what the dispatcher needs to know and what sets apart the better client is the ability to articulate and listen.

The superior customer will give us the location, the number of people in the party and the location to where they want to be taken. Sometimes they may call ahead and set up what we label a time call. If they are in a noisy spot they will have the courtesy to find a quieter spot before calling. Now when we pull up at the allotted time these incredible humans will be ready to go. If you give us the “I will right out finger”, you may get the “Merry Christmas middle digit”, in return. The most exceptional taxi cab rider will be punctual. These wondrous creatures would never attempt to eat or smoke in their divine chariots. And all personal hygiene tasks will be completed before your designated driver arrives.

Upon decabbing and after paying the freight these awesome demi-gods will thoroughly check that they have all their personal belongings. If for some reason Houston has a problem and the driver has experienced some technical trouble, they are eagerly waiting by their communication device anxiously awaiting our call and promptly answering their phone or replying to text messages.For those infrequent times we may be running behind. They never call us repeatedly as if we can make our taxis drive any faster, control our quirky Bridge of Lions, or crazy traffic patterns around the Plaza De Constitucion. When they do call us, it is from a phone from this century that is crisp and clear. Yet never tells the dispatcher Merry Christmas. Now we know sometimes the best laid plans go awry but calling and cancelling cab service as we are pulling up into your driveway is unacceptable and you will suffer apocryphal retribution. Sometimes the superior customer may ask us a price and decide that we may be too steep. I understand some cab companies charge less, but, please never tell me what another company charges: just take that company.

The keys to becoming a superior taxi fare are brevity, clarity, punctuality, generosity, loyalty, patience and good natured-ness. We understand being under the weather and just having one of those days, however; being miserable, irascible and ill-mannered every day just can not help your personal mental health or help you move forward in this wonderful journey we call life. Remember the superior taxicab client never uses ride shares or at a minimum will not utter that criminal empires name Uber!

TAXI VAMPIRE

 

I might posit that the 3 biggest health threats that confront an average cabbie are smoking, bad diets and lack of exercise, in my case, working the graveyard shift will be lower levels of vitamin D. Which,besides bone growth,seems new studies link deficiency to colon cancer and heart disease.

Long hours sitting and driving around to make a living certainly has its rewards but there are some serious opportunities to fill in the voids with a series of self-destructive behaviors.

Smoking cigarettes can be a huge health detriment and with, at times, the nightly doldrums, it is easy to smoke a pack or more a day. Quitting is brutal, and though there is not much data on vaping, it must be less a detriment to your well-being. Your dentist will applaud your smoking and sugar cessation. Bad gums, periodontal disease is a very expensive non-reversible condition that has also been linked to heart disease. Giving up tobacco products has an immediate beneficial impact on all aspects of health. And with the adherence to a better diet and exercise regimen a much-improved outlook on life, a more solid footing in terms of mental health.

The next mouse trap to avoid are fast food places. I will not name them; for what I think and believe about them, is most unkind. The obesity and diabetes rates: especially in our young are abhorrent, and these purveyors of poison bear much responsibility. Parents are not providing happy meals they are promoting child abuse in my view and what drives this and and the tobacco industry is just straight up immoral and unadulterated greed. Thank goodness we have Big Pharma to provide expensive drugs for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and valium so we don’t give a crap! So please try to eat healthier and consume less sugar. We could look at this sugarcane industry in Florida and deduce the dying wildlife on our beaches might be a by-product. Be smart! Live longer! Be happier!

The one thing we have more control over would be exercise. I just sit in a cab all day and do find that going to a gym is a hard choice to make. So, after I stopped smoking and changed my diet to a much healthier one,I still was not really losing any weight. My blood work came back up mostly okay. Low on Vitamin D and a bit high on a thyroid test. So, first thing I try to do here in sunny Saint Augustine Florida is to find a spot to meditate and absorb the rays. This I believe turns the cholesterol on the skin, the largest organ we have on our body, into”D”; hence its nickname the sunshine vitamin.

Depending how things go eventually I might venture over to the amphitheater where I try to do a bit of jogging and some simple exercises. Jury is still out but I do need to lose weight, so my blood pressure drops a bit. I would rather not contribute to Big Pharma, tobacco, fast food or the sugar cartels. Unfortunately, I am still beholden to the oil companies, but we are trying to work on that.

Some other health obstacles a cab driver might face will be drugs, alcohol, gambling and hookers. If you are a highly addictive personality having cash daily can breed some very expensive and unhealthy habits. Be smart and manage your addictions wisely if you find yourself in any of these mouse traps.

The job itself can be addicting. Cash every day, some of the seedier and tastier side of life. Just like in anything we do: moderation is the key.

The American Culinary Federation “ACF” national headquarters is in the World Golf Village section close to Saint Augustine and this organization certifies the many layers of the cooking industry. From nutrition to bakers to chefs.

Many years ago, I made it to Certified Executive Chef took some pastry courses worked hard in hot kitchens ate a plethora of sauces from the Hollandaise/Béarnaise/Maltese, Béchamel, Beurre Blancs and my all-time favorite Espagnole or brown sauce. Working in fine dining restaurants have many delicious options most of which are deadly. I used about 12 cases of butter and about the same heavy cream a week. We had Prime rib, Veal chops, lobster, shrimp, grouper, blue and Dungeness crab, stone crab claws, Tournedos<tiny filet> Americaine<lobster and Hollandaise> and Tournedos Rossini<filet with force fed goose liver pate, mushrooms, brown sauce and Béarnaise. I was a cholesterol pumper of food but it sure tasted good.

Anthony Bourdain had it right. Addicting conditions can lead to addictions. Highly competitive, alpha dog mentality, tough job but extremely rewarding when done well. Sui-Generis individuals striving for Arete!

Even with the copious amounts of beer and alcohol consumed perhaps because of the amount of liquids we lost sweating in these incredibly hot boxes called kitchens I was never too overweight. But now that I seldom drink and never consume illicit narcotics, quit smoking, eat healthy though I grow fat in my cab. Perhaps it is age?

So, exercise is my next step and will soon put in a basketball court for some high impact workouts and a swimming pool for lower intensity fitness and perhaps help attract the hookers.

Life changes are good but do not always go as planned. However; we all need to take our health much more seriously. The more we try the less we will need to rely on doctors, hospitals and pharmaceuticals. Moderation is the key.

Now go out and get shitfaced, do a few lines, get a few crystal meth burgers, smoke your coffin nail, maybe a joint. Please don’t drive, call a cab if you want to get home safely. But if you really need to gamble:try an Uber!