We’ve never actually been fired on the spot. We were laid off once, and the guy had a hard time looking us in the eye. It was cool, though, because we just went to a diner and ate pancakes all day.
Where I hailed him: Hell’s Kitchen
Where he hails from:California
Years as a cabbie:10
Previous profession:Pizza delivery
I used to get stoned in high school. Like, a lot. I used to wait tables, and one time I got so baked that I stayed up all night and fell asleep right before I was supposed to go to work. So they call me up to yell at me and I’m like …fuck you! I quit!’ Then I went back to sleep until my parents found out. They made me go in the next day, and everyone was like, …Didn’t you quit and tell them to go fuck themselves?’ I’m like, uhhh. No, I didn’t get the job back.
Where I hailed him: Times Square
Where he hails from:Egypt
Years as a cabbie:3
I’ve never been fired. I did fire someone once, though. It was really hard. He got very upset, understandably, and since I liked him it was hard for me too. [Why did you fire him?] No reason. The company was a sinking ship, we just had to make cutbacks. Eventually I left too, but I had another job lined up. I left that one, too. It’s sad, all the people losing their jobs these days.
Where I hailed him: Midtown
Where he hails from:Brighton Beach
Years as a cabbie:7
I’ve never actually quit a job, except for the two-weeks notice kind of quitting. That’s because of my dad, who always told me to not burn bridges even for crappy jobs. So I never did. Even with jobs I disliked, I did the two weeks thing. So far I’ve never had to cross back over the bridge, though. [Have you ever wanted to do a big quitting thing?] Everyone does. Not here, I like my supervisor, but people in the… I definitely wanted to kick their trashcan through the window and throw them out after it.
Where I hailed him: Harlem
Where he hails from:Hong Kong
Years as a cabbie: 20
Previous profession: Always a driver
I’ve been fired many times. Not as a cabbie, as a mechanic, which is my other job. If someone yells at you, fires you, chances are good they have problems you don’t know about. Half the time it has nothing to do with your performance and they’re calling you the next week and begging you to come back.
Where I hailed him: Williamsburg
Where he hails from: Romania
Years as a cabbie:12
Previous profession: Always a driver
I have never been fired. I like to stay self-employed, so no one can even have the opportunity. We have a saying in Romania you might find interesting, though. It applies to being fired, or losing your job. In English it translates into “A kick in the ass is a few steps ahead.” Does that make sense? [Absolutely.] Think about this if you get fired, and it will make you feel better.
Where I hailed him: West Village
Where he hails from:Haiti
Years as a cabbie: 10
Previous profession: Parking attendant
I used to work in a hospital parking garage. I went to get coffee one time. The big boss came and he asked my partner, Where is the other guy? My partner says, He went to get coffee. So he took my punch card and said tell this guy to see me Monday. So I go see the big boss Monday. He says where were you, I say I went to get coffee, he calls me a liar, I say I am not, he fires me. I take him to court. I get 26,000 dollars. It’s bad. Right now it is very bad. You get a guy with a family, he’s barely making it, you fire him? He could shoot you. It’s not always like that but right now there are no jobs. If you fire someone right now it is like throwing gasoline on a fire. At least Obama got elected. I hear things in the back of this cab that would make your hair stand end on end.