In the good old days of the Celtic Tiger tips were plentyfull. The average tip 

was a couple of Euro. Not everybody tips though and it's generally not expected 

by taxi drivers anyway, about 1 in every 5 people will tip. The Irish, British 

and Americans are the best at giving a few Euro as a tip. Some Americans think 

that because it's the practise of giving a tip in America that they should also 

tip in Ireland and will often give 12 percent of the fare as a tip which is 

very generous when the fare is over  €20. The Irish and British will give 

about  €2. Irish men tip more than Irish women. It took me a while to figure 

out that at the end of the journey if the woman and the man offer to pay the 

fare to always accept the fare from the man because you have more of a chance 

of getting the few extra euro from the man rather that his partner. The meanest 

people for giving a tip, well in my experience were the French. Not only will 

then not tip but they will wait for ten cents change, even if it holds them up 

for several minutes while the driver is rooting around for the 10 cents. In 

general, older people are more inclined to tip.

Eating In The Taxi

This was always something that got on my wick. It's something I wouldn't dream 

about doing myself. Why would anybody in their right mind think it's fine to 

eat their dinner or supper in a taxi ? Yet it happened to me on a daily basis. 

It wasn't just the late night chips and Chinese food after the pub closed but 

mothers and children having been to McDonalds then deciding to eat their food 

on the way home in a taxi. These were the one's I dreaded the most as if you'd 

let them eat the grum they would wipe their greasy hands on the seats. I would 

usually say, I prefer if you didn't eat in the car. Some would do as you ask 

but other would prefer to argue the point until you'd be sick listening to them 

complaining and say ''Ah Go Ahead'' . But you'd always regret letting them eat 

as when they get out of the taxi the evidence would be all over the back seat. 

Some people are by nature filthy. Did I ever try getting the soiling charge from 

gluttons ? No, the reason being is you'd be wasting your time. If it was a late 

night eater they would just tell you to f''' off.

Getting Into Fights With Passengers.

This is something you want to avoid at all costs. Heated exchanges are common between taxi drivers and passengers. This can start over very little at all but the biggest cause is not going the way the passenger assumed you were going to go to get them to their destination. Sometimes the quickest way of getting from A to B is not the cheapest way. Most of the time the driver will choose the 

route without asking the passenger. So the passenger sits there saying nothing 

until it's time to pay the fare and that's when the confrontation starts. 

They'll usually say the fare was much smaller the last time I took this 

journey, but the last time the taxi driver may have taken a different route 

which was shorter in distance but took longer to reach the destination. An 

example of this is going from Blancharstown to Dublin Airport. The shortest 

route is by going through St. Margarets using the so called ''Back Roads'' , 

but some drivers use the M50 Motorway which is much longer in distance but much 

quicker. The extra miles using the motorway will cost more on the meter.

If you challenge they you'd end up in a verbal or at times physical fight as 

they always had drink taken anyway. At times it's best to just let things go as 

your head would be racing thinking about it for the rest of the night. Even 

when your shift was over and you go home you'd still have these nasty incidents 

floating around in your mind when your trying to sleep.

Shoplifters Using Taxis

This is one that surprised me. I was not only surprised that shoplifters would 

use a taxi, and actually pay the fare but the way they'd boast about how much 

they stole from the shops. I got my first shoplifter soon after I became a taxi 

driver in the year 2000. They were always a happy bunch of people and quiet 

proud of what they done to make a living. I'm not talking about stealing sweets 

from a corner shop but rather taking from large shopping centres. Several of 

the one's I picked up were into stealing small expensive items like jewelry, 

cameras and the like. I once asked a robber how they got their ill gotten gains 

to which the reply was ''Sure I Have A Key For The Glass Case''. These robbers 

are all well known to security staff around Dublin and are barred from entering 

most shopping centres. What they do to get around this is travel all over 

Dublin and the surrounding counties and into shops where they are not known.

The Drug Run

Just like the shoplifters these people who hire taxis don't care that the taxi 

driver knows they are hiring the cab to go and sell or buy drugs. But unlike 

the robbers the drug dealers and buyers don't boast about what their up to. 

They know that the taxi driver knows where and what they involved in. A lot of 

the time it would be the same men you picked up from their home where you'd 

drive them to a secluded area or a car park of a shopping centre or pub so the 

deal could take place. These drug heads never made me feel uneasy as I knew I 

was going to get my fare off them. Little would be spoken on the trip, just a 

bit of small talk to pass the time. The trip was usually a return fare which 

taxi drivers love.

One Sunday morning I was doing a job on the Northside and the passenger was a 

man in his 30's. He was my last job of the day. While cleaning out the car that 

afternoon I came across a lot of white powder on the floor beside the back 

seat. It was most likely drugs of some description. There was about a cup full 

in total. So what do you think I did with it ? well as the hoover was in my 

hand at the time that's where it ended up, inside the hoover. As I'm not into 

that kind of thing it was of little use to me. My friends said after I told 

them that I was a stupid gobshite and that I should have sold it,,so what would 

I have been then I say ?.

How I Became A Taxi Driver

I never set of to be a taxi driver, I sort of drifted into the job. I had being 

driving lorries for years. One day I was off loading a pallet from the back of 

a Lorry out in Dunlaoire. It was a boiling hot hay and the sweat was pouring 

down my face trying to get the pallet free from the other stuff on the lorry. 

Eventually I got the pallet onto the pallet truck and onto the tail-lift for 

the forklift driver to take away. Just then a taxi pulled up behind the lorry 

and I watched as the driver got paid. ''That Looks Like A Handy Number'' I said 

to myself. How hard could it be ? I already knew Dublin like the back of my 

hand for years. Just then I made the decision to become a taxi driver. I 

started off driving the hackneys as to buy a plate at that time would have cost 

80 grand. Well I took the P.S.V. test and passed with flfing colours, bought a 

car, got a radio installed and I was away with the mixer. Deregulation then 

happened, which ment one could buy a taxi plate for £5,000.

Taxi Drivers Hated Hackney Drivers

I remember the first couple of years driving the hackney before I got the taxi 

plate to be an argumentative time. Taxi drivers assumed us hackneys were 

robbing their work and each day a new debate or argument would take place in 

the Dublin city with some tool who thought they knew it all. After explaining 

the fact that people living in rural areas of North County Dublin cannot get a 

taxi to the Airport for love 'nor money, they would sort of cool down and. Now 

if only I could have gotten all the taxi drivers in the whole of Dublin 

together and explained that hackneys were needed on the outskirts of Dublin my life for those couple of years would have been a lot less hassle.

The Kesh At Dublin Airport

The Kesh is a nickname for the taxi holding area at Dublin Airport. It's named 

after Long Kesh prison in Northern Ireland which became known as The Maze 

Prison. Drivers using this holding need a pass from the Dublin Airport 

Authority. Each driver pays the D.A.A. a couple of hundred Euros a year for the 

privilege of taking the D.A.A.'s passengers away. One thing I noticed about 

this carp park is the fact that if a driver became ill an ambulance could never 

get close to the drivers car to treat him. The reason is that the cars are 

packed so close together in one long queue. Personally I never really used the 

place much and say it as a place for lads to go and doss off work. During the 

good times of the Celtic Tiger when work was plentyfull there were still drivers 

sitting for a couple of hours waiting to be called to the arrivals at the main 

terminal building.