Monday, January 27, 2014

Just back from London

                "Dream car raffle"at the airport  Aerial Atom
           Outside the Victoria and Albert museum...A taxi drivers shelter
                                                     Samori warrior

           Inside the V&A

Just back after 4 days in London on business.
It is a great city to get around in for sure.

Back to work.

Business is slack now.
I use this time of year to prepare myself for the future !!!!!!!!!!!
(Repairs and maintenance)
So I checked in to have my tyres and shocks replaced after 300,000 Kms.
I have 2 winter grade tyres to put on the front, then 3 new shocks (Got one before the hols)and a new tyre on the back. There was also such an imbalance on the front 2 wheels that I thought I might have a kink on one of the rims. So I brought a spare wheel with me in case.

You will be shocked to learn that the guys in the garage must all be on drugs.

They put odd tyres on each axle and balanced the alloy wheels with clip on weights which will fly off in no time.
Then I asked where my spare wheel was?
They said it was in the boot !
They had put the rim into the boot !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where is the good tyre from the wheel?

I thought it was candid camera when he said.

"I didn't think you needed the tyre on the wheel so I took it off !!!"
A good tyre, you took it off ? leaving me with the rim as a spare wheel?

There has to be a TV program in it. Where the car is fitted with hidden cameras and the garage is challenged at the end of the job and really exposed for what they are.

Some day I might explode    ....

So today I had to give a blood sample at the hospital, so I got up late and when I came home I changed my oil and filters, I did very little taxi work.

Over time trusting garages has cost me a lot of money.
I have learned that the very best way is just to do it yourself as far as you can.
Work charged for by the hour done by a Junior apprentice or not done at all.. Nuts not tightened up,  cheaper oils used,  charged for the gallon where 6 pints were used, filters not renewed but charged for...It all adds up.

When I was 18 I bought a socket set.
The first time I used it it had paid for itself, then it pays for itself again and again.
Tools when used pay for themselves every day.

My Fiat Scudo taxi.
I used to have serviced by "A professional"
One day I filled it up with petrol in error and drove it until it cut out!!!
Not just any working day.
It was the Friday before Christmas which fell on the following Wednesday.
(Plenty of time to fix things)
So I rang Paul in the garage.

He told me.

"Go to another garage. When I drop the bonnet on this car I am finished until the 2nd of Jan.
There's more than one garage in Dublin"

So all the business he had been getting from me was worth nothing to him!

I syphoned out the petrol myself and put it into my central heating oil tank.
Then I filled it up again with fresh diesel.
Then I cleared the petrol from the fuel lines and put in a new filter, next to purge the air out.
2 hours later from the start I turned the key and worked on through the night and on through Christmas and the New Year..
Never to darken Pauls garage door again.

A few years later we met again in a motor factors,
"I haven't seen you around, did you give up the taxi?"
"No Paul, I just found out that there was more than one garage in Dublin when I needed one most of all"
I said
He walked out of the motor factors without waiting on to be served.
I told the boss of the motor factors the story when he asked me and he said .
"Day by day he sows the seeds of his own destruction,
look after your customers or someone else will"

Some people think they can scam and rob people without any comeback.

Bad service kills all business...From the smallest to the biggest.
Go that little bit more to look after people and you have a customer for life.

Spec Savers are a prime example of the worst kind of service you can get.
No means of complaint.
The boys in Guernsey (their base)don't care either.
But the small claims court will listen to you.

Back to cars
Even modern engines with all that electronic gizmo system can be read by a relatively cheap tool.
$150 will buy you a small hand held system which will read and reset most faults.
The first time you use it its paid for.
Car mechanics mag. is a great read.. Look here

A fellow taxi driver called Paul (Good Paul) picked up a job and brought them into town,,,...€15 which he put into his shirt pocket..Later he went to get petrol and pulled the money from his shirt pocket only to find €55 there. A €50 folded is easily mistaken for a €10.
A simple mistake has been made !
Nothing could be proven but...................
Paul went back to the pick up address and gave the €40 back to the mans daughter.
The guy was really impressed by his honesty that he took Paul's number and he wants to use Paul for all his work in future.... What are the chances of a wealthy person handing back the money I wonder?

Perhaps the years are making me cynical, but I believe that the poor people look after the needy and the rich look after themselves..

 A taxi driver told me the other day that he got into a taxi at the airport to go home and the driver went all over the city pushing the €15 fair to €30+
He then asked the driver to waken up and "turn left...right ....straight on
Now stop at the lamp post where the house is with the taxi in the drive.

It is only a €15 from the airport to here,


I normally give €20 for the €15 journey.
Today you are getting €15 and tomorrow I am taking your receipt into the carriage office.

Why do you do it?

Is the business not fucked up enough that you have to add to the bad feeling that everyone has towards taxi drivers?"

The taxi driver just said

"You should have told me you wanted to go the other way instead."

The only car that Clarkeson ever loved..

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