Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Hail to the cab

Taxi drivers. What is the reputation of taxi drivers in your city? In London they have to know every street like the back of their hand. They have to know the map and when you ask them to go here and there they should know where to go.

The taxi drivers in Tokyo are on average older. I read somewhere today that the average age is 58 years old. The article said that they struggle to get younger people to do the job.

I have heard other stories of taxi drivers who can't speak the language very well of where they are driving around. I'm sure that causes all sorts of problems.

The reason I'm talking about taxi drivers today is because the last two taxis I have taken the drivers have been completely different. The first one was one of the chattiest people I have ever met. He was asking questions and he was making observations and it was quite entertaining. The second guy, this morning grunted a couple of things that I couldn't understand and that was about it. Admittedly the first guy was driving me at noon and the second ride was before 6 in the morning but who is to say that the first guy hadn't been up all night too.

My image of taxi drivers are that they are chatty. If I'm riding a taxi by myself I like that they start talking too. In Tokyo 9 times out of 10 they are happy to talk to you. I think most of the time I will start the conversation and then they are off. Occasionally you will start a conversation and they are not interested in your conversation at all. My conversation starter is to always ask them how to read their name. Usually they are very happy to answer that.

My question today is, Is a taxi driver an extroverted job? I think yes but first and foremost you need to be a good driver. You need to know your way around and how to get from A to B in the most efficient way possible. It's like a hair stylist. I have been going to the same guy for 10 years and the reason I have is that the conversation is entertaining and it is relaxing. As an introvert you would think I like the quiet time but I'm the opposite. Ironic, right? My friend who is very extroverted prefers to sit in the barber's chair and have them say nothing. I have no idea why I'm like I am and why he is like he is. I guess we just like the experience and for me it is a chatty experience and for him it is a silent experience. Neither of us are wrong or right.

I suggest if you are trying to get yourself out there a bit more talk to these kinds of people. They are interesting characters as they meet different people everyday and they have some interesting stories to tell. The more people you talk to the more confident you become and the better impact you make on those around you.

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