For those new to CabbieBlog or readers who are slightly forgetful, on Saturdays I’m republishing posts, many going back over a decade. Some will still be very relevant while others have become dated over time. Just think of this post as your weekend paper supplement.
Grumpy! That’s a laugh (10.07.09)
London’s taxi drivers have been identified as the country’s grumpiest workers. A recent survey found that traffic jams, the rising cost of petrol and drunken passengers meant that cabbies rarely managed a chortle all day. In fact just 0.4% of taxi drivers said they laughed regularly through their working day and those individuals of course have had their licenses revoked.
Live in a big city, and drive a black cab every day, you will soon see why we are morose. From grumpy fellow road users, fanciful detours, to passengers who seem to have left their brain at home that day, driving a cab through the congested heart of a major city can easily become the most irritating of occupations.
Another recent survey of cab users shows that people still judge London cabbies to be the best in the world albeit miserable, but rate Parisian chauffeurs, commonly excoriated for their rudeness, above their counterparts in Berlin, Sydney and Las Vegas. Just how bad must they be in Berlin?
While the Discovery Channel after spending eight months travelling across Britain seeking out the trickiest jobs reported a few years ago that London’s black cab drivers have the most dangerous job in Britain. How exactly you classify driving a black cab as more dangerous than risking your life every day, chained to the deck of a North Sea trawler, working on a North Sea oil rig, being a lumberjack and having trees fall on your head or demolishing an asbestos filled building defeats me.
An Oxford University study said fishermen are 50 times more likely to die at work than any other profession. So based on these facts, how does deep sea fishing in raging seas slip into second place behind driving a comfortable vehicle while listening to Robert Elms on London Radio while saving to purchase your holiday home on Tuscany?
Well here’s my theory. The report ranked each job on the likelihood of serious injury, skill level, working hours plus mental and physical stress. For black cab drivers, these occupational hazards come from the general public whose wrath has been incurred by delays caused by road works, drivers giving their unsolicited opinions and Gordon Brown.
So perhaps this survey has it right. So next time you use the services of a Black London Cabbie spare a thought of our occupational risks.