WHY do taxi drivers balk at €50 notes? I cannot understand this at all, and I have had so many harrumph moments with them over the fact they
a. have no change
b. have just started
c. that’s the third/fourth €50 note they have had in a row
Which ever it is, I do not care. Their job involves the exchange of money, so have change and if you don’t, get some, it is very easy.
I got one taxi today after having lunch with Tetra to get back to work on time. As we drove around a very packed Stephen’s Green where the traffic wasn’t moving, I realised I only had a €50 and of course the driver had no change.
He wanted to bring me right around the block, the block being down Dawson Street, by Trinity and back up Merrion Square, did I mention the traffic wasn’t moving and I got the taxi so I could be back in work on time.
I had one suggestion where he could call to Tetra and get the tenner I owed him but he wasn’t having saying he couldn’t possibly drive back to Meath Street because he wanted to go on the rank at the Green.
It was then I went ‘look I am not being arsey but money is a tool of your trade and you need to have change, I need to get back to work and driving all around the place in very slow moving traffic won’t help me’.
He eventually parked on one side of the Green while the Young Wan ran down Baggot Street to get change from one of the shops there.
But the onus is not on me to have change, not at all. I don’t arrange to take photographs of someone and ask them do they have a camera. A painter and decorator will not come to your house and be annoyed that you have no paint or tell you that this is the third job where people have had no paint. You do not expect to go into a shop and buy something for them to tell you they have no change so why is it any different for taxi drivers when they are being paid for a service they provide. They cannot come to work without their taxi so why would they come to work with no change or realise the last job has left them with no change without getting change. And why would they start a day without at least change of €50.
If they get three €50 notes in a row, tough, a pain in the arse it might be but hey we all have moments like that in our jobs, get change and give my head peace.
Besides which €50 might feel psychologically like a lot of money, we know it isn’t. It is only worth £35 odd in old money. It is not like I am handing them €100 which I might understand them being annoyed at, but €50, come on.
Just after the euro changeover I had an incident with a taxi driver whom I told when I got into the cab that I only had €50 (though in the spirit of what I am saying here, I shouldn’t have to even do that) and he told me I would need to stop in a shop and get change.
I told him ‘no I don’t need anything’ and he said I should get a paper. I waved my Irish Times at him and said ‘nope I don’t need anything’.
He must have thought by my Northern accent that I didn’t know the worth of the money and tried to tell me it was a big note. I wish it was it isn’t.
So taxi drivers get your act together and come prepared for work, like the rest of us.