How Stressful Is It to Be a Cabbie?

05/12/2010 2:45 AM |

The most stressful thing about working at a magazine is writing little filler intros for regular features. You’re never really sure what to say.

Where I hailed him:Hell’s Kitchen
Where he hails from:Staten Island
Years as a cabbie:4
Previous profession:Worked with computers
This job is incredibly stressful. You know how much it sucks to be in traffic? My whole day is in traffic. Customers want you to find a way around it, but you can’t and they get pissed, which sucks because you need tips to pay the rent. Then you have to worry about something happening to your car, or running out of gas, or finding a fare quickly after dropping one off. The night shift is less stressful with the traffic, but it’s harder to find people. Always something.

Where I hailed him:Midtown
Where he hails from:Kenya
Years as a cabbie:8
Previous profession:Always a driver
Most days it isn’t bad, but it is a lot of the time. Pedestrians make it stressful by not crossing at the crosswalks or crossing when they’re not supposed to. I’m very afraid of running someone over. Also, it isn’t always safe. I’ve been robbed twice, and once by a guy with a gun. People know that drivers carry cash and we don’t have security guards like banks do. Sometimes people jump out without paying, which is the same as robbing you.

Where I hailed him:Chelsea
Where he hails from:Oregon
Years as a cabbie:2
Previous profession:Sold insurance
Not really. I like driving. I get to talk to interesting customers and the scenery changes. When I was a trucker, I only ever saw interstates. It can suck to find parking and sometimes the customers are assholes, but it’s not bad. I’d rather be doing this than waiting tables or working in a McDonald’s. The money isn’t great though, especially for how expensive New York is. But look at me: I’m sitting. I practically have a desk job, only my desk can move.

Where I hailed him: Park Slope
Where he hails from:Jamaica
Years as a cabbie: 26
Previous profession: Always a driver
It’s a very difficult thing to change your stress level. This is a stressful job and a stressful city. What do you think I do? I’m not going to tell you because you’re writing things down. I’ll just say I try to move away from stress by listening to reggae and jazz.

Where I hailed him:LES
Where he hails from:Bangladesh
Years as a cabbie:12
Previous profession:Bread factory worker
Part of what makes this job stressful is you never know how people are going to treat you. I give it a solid 7 out of 10, with 10 being the most stressful. I think even a brain surgeon has it easier. No one is going to yell at him while he is working. People love the brain surgeon. Not everyone loves their cab driver, even though we are doing the best we can, too. I am a singer. I sing for two hours a day and it makes me feel better. A lot of people don’t know my songs but still I can do it. When I sing, I forget I am a cab driver.

Where I hailed him: Williamsburg
Where he hails from: Staten Island
Years as a cabbie: 15
Previous profession: Always a cab driver
My girlfriend suggested yoga [to relieve stress], and I thought it was stupid at first but it’s actually pretty great. It’s really hard. Harder than you think. It’s good for me to try all those positions so I don’t go all weak sitting down all day. There are also lots of cute hippie chicks in the class. Not that it matters. It just makes it a little more fun to go.