Wednesday, March 05, 2008

What is the Worst Job?

There are many bad jobs in the city I live in. But what is the worst? A difficult question to answer with so much to choose from, but consider for a moment the humble cab driver. Imagine working all day in today's full-on snowstorm, cruising about endlessly on expensive gas, in slow-moving bumper-to-bumper traffic, wrecking ball-joints in fresh potholes springing up all about you as the asphalt heaves, and working on commission only all the while.
Then there is the clientele, who may be a pack of assholic drunk guys threatening you or just being verbally abusive, and let's not forget the police and parking enforcement waiting to write you up on that moving violation, the insurance issues, fares not showing up when you drive way out of the way to find them at home somewhere. And this is only a short list of their problems, saying nothing of licencing fees, criminals, dispatchers, fares who don't pay, and in some cases starting everyday $90 (!) in the hole to the cab company. Ugh. Let's face it, taxicab driver is the city's worst job for stress, hassle, and general workplace misery per dollar earned.

Amazing that a 'hardcore' winter cyclist like myself suddenly expresses this outpouring of grief over the lot of the displaced Pakistani dental technologist behind the wheel of a Buick in the next lane, but there it is. Of course bike messenger is a short step behind taxi driver in the long list, but there at least, there is no ongoing slavery to the customer involved. It's a momentary interaction, usually. And little to no regulation and no licencing at all.

So be happy you're not a cabbie.

1 comment:

knarf said...

Cabbies get to stay warm and dry in the snow.

I'd much rather do that than be a bike messenger in a snowstorm. I can't imagine a worse job, except maybe high steel worker (if they even work in such conditions).

That being said, I was a messenger for 10 winters, and I have never driven a cab, so I've never seen both sides...