Saturday, May 29, 2021

Its like early Spring

 I was in town yesterday and saw pubs,restraints and other shops getting the windows cleaned and painting their facades all in preparation for the big reopening.

The Lord loves an optimist.

For myself I do not see an opportunity to resume in the taxi business. 

On the bright side I do not have a landlord breathing down my neck looking for rent.

Oh for the joy of being an old fart !

Our woes will pass and in 10 years we will be able to laugh about our present fix.

I broke a tooth, one of the big ones at the back. It was not sore for 2 days and then it got a bit soreer.

I rang my regular dentist but he was busy, booked up, no vacancies..

1asked Mr.Google for help and he said Smile Hub Dental Clinic in Bayside.

They are just starting up.Open 7.30am  to 10 pm 365 days a year, with a doctors surgery and skin a treatment place in the same building.

That is one great idea. I really hope that it takes off.

Are you old enough to remember when the banks opened up at 10 am closed for lunch from 1pm until 2 then closed again at 4 pm for the day? Banks are closing down for good now all over the place.

The Central bank is keeping them under their thumb so they are not getting away with the sharp stunts they are used to pulling. I got my bank fined €200 by complaining to the financial ombudsman. Perhaps the next time they will not dismiss my request so easily.

Just on my local bank. The teller was very dismissive. "Put in your pin number now" The account opened with more than a €40,000 balance.Her face lit up like a Christmas tree. "Well hello. How are you keeping today?"

I was importing 2 cars from Japan so I had a fair poke of money and the next day all the money was gone.

I did OK with those cars.Toyota Prius forever.

One of my sons was on the phone just now and he told us about a guy he used to work with in Northern Ireland.

His specialty was tree removal and he was good at his job.He had an accident and his 2 year old son was killed..

Now that is real disaster God bless them and keep them.

Ask your God to pray for them

Thursday, May 13, 2021

The days before I drove a taxi

You will have to click on the link yourself

Well I have been sick in bed for around 6 days,different symptoms every day and my "Doctor" tells me its nothing. 

Ah the war of the sexes.

So I was thinking about what I did in another earlier life.

I drove an armored car moving cash and gold and other valuables around the world, 

I never had a day like that guy but I did have some strange moments.

So you sit in a van surrounded by steel plate and 3 inch thick bulletproof glass. The assistant is called the back man and he stays in the car while the driver collects the cash. Everyone starts off as a back man to learn something about how the system works.

In my time driving nothing ever went missing on my watch, but there were dickheads in charge who were sowing the seeds unknowingly for the destruction of the company.

One such bonehead came up with the rule, the last person to receive a package is responsible for it.

If it goes missing. Without further thinking the rule was adopted by the company..

One of the oldest and most respected guys was sacked when a packet of cash went missing from the vault. We all protested that at least 6 people had access to the vault and any one of them could have misplaced it. The bone head was delighted with himself until around 4 months later cash went missing on his watch.

Wow you should have heard him protest about his kids going hungry and he really needed the job.

He was kicked out and a more normal governance came into force,

I love when a company is run from the top down, that everyone knows the workings of the company, who the people are and how it all fits together.In my mind this formula breeds great success.

So I was there a few months driving and foreign guys came along. Many of them were great but some of them were missing the most basic thing, they didn't speak English. 

I never had any problems, but you can see that something might happen,

Each car had a radio and your backman was in charge of that. But he didn't know the city and with limited English there was a big problem. Your personal mobile phone would ring "What time will  you be at the King stores?"So you would give them the next one on the list and ask HQ to ring the next one and have the cash waiting. Then they would keep you 40 minutes waiting for the cash to be made up.

One day I had 5 calls from the HQ as to what time I would be at the same certain stop. 

I blew up. 

Just ask any of the other girls beside you in the office. This phone is being turned off.

On my return to the depot I was called upstairs to face the big boss.

I told him that he should have a tracker system on the armored car and not to be ringing me 5 or 6  times with the same question because the girls are not cooperating with each other.

Also I should have a hands free system.

His reply to me was classic.

"When we need a new manager we will call you, until then keep your ideas to yourself"

 Things went back to normal for a while.

The motor tax office was in a building behind the 4 courts back then and it was the beginning of the month, credit cards had not caught on so it would be a pick up of around £1

I went in with my helmet and my ID.and was told that there would be a 10 minute delay, no problem. When I went down to reception I was met by a guy in  a suit and the nicest pair of dress shoes I have ever seen.

"The regular guys are off I have the key of the door" He said. I nodded OK.

This is a robbery, a trick of some kind I thought.

To this day I did not have a plan when I went upstairs to collect the cash.But it came to me on the way down.

The procedure was that you should enter a room to which the security man had the key.

He locks you in, then you empty out the sack of money bags and bring them out in your explosive transport box 3 bags at a time out to the armored car.

As I hit the bottom step I tossed him my helmet to the guy and said "Waste paper for shredding" Out to the van and rang 999, 1/2 hour later they arrived. No security guard could be found, CCTV cameras all turned off .

\i had a perfect set of prints from the helmet as well.

When we got home they never said thanks to me, but one old guy who worked for the company asked me a few days later how I knew it was a robbery. 

I don't know anyone who would wear such good shoes to work, Is that all?. 

No there other lesser factors at play. No thank you John, no well done we will buy you a pint..

The police never asked me to look at mugshots of the usual suspects.

They never asked about other staff either.

In my own mind I think it could easily have been an inside job after all  £! million would have bought 5 houses back then.

I often drove into shopping centers where I noticed robbers waiting for me. Once I drove up to them and turned on my siren and blew the horn..

It is complicated some people are just dishonest, just live with it.

There was so much good work that could have been done there to make things great.


Sending out your trip sheet up to the office, Hello Tesco the cash in transit van will be with you in 10 minuted. then ring the second number we expect your collection in 40 mins .Are you ready?

This would have streamlined the whole operation

A sure what would I know ?.

Then one day we were waiting outside the Credit Union in Lucan I got out of the car and went inside the newsagents and bought the Evening Press. There I saw Taxi for sale 99 Fiat Scudo for £12,000.

I thought that it was a mistake as a taxi plate just a few months earlier might cost you £90,000.

Deregulation was the word and things changed fast.

There were around 2.600 taxis in Dublin within 5 years it had mushroomed to 12,000

New York had only that same number of taxis for a population of 8 Million.

Oh Ho but the Russian mafia owned the plate or Medallion and the "Value" of the medallion was over $i million. 

What happened?

Uber came along and it was happy days for the drivers and the customers.

So I told them on the job that I was handing in my notice which caused a panic on the day.

You did not work out your notice! Just tell us when you are finished today and good luck.

So on the very next day I had my badge around my neck and I went to the Sackville Place rank and I got my first job. She directed me and I told her as it was my first job driving a taxi it would be free,,No No she paid and I was hooked.

It has not been bad to me I learned an awful lot and if I had paid more attention I would have loads of money as well.

Sometimes the lads from security would come over to me when I would be parked at Foster Place and stories of robberies would come out weekly and sometimes daily. One of the guys jokingly asked me to make it stop as there had been no robberies on my watch.. Just luck Just a bit more than luck.?

Then it happened!

A hold up with guns. The driver was not trained and he gave the van  over to the robbers.

The panic button was not pressed!

The isolation key which grounded the car was not deployed.

He never blew it in on the radio.

3 Days later the van was found in The middle third in Killester.

No the van.

The insurance company inspector came in from the UKwith his big note book and asked the questions about staff training. How there was not a second more experienced operator in the back.?

Then the big question.

Why did it take 3 days to locate the vehicle?

The satellite tracking was not working.

It is a condition of your insurance policy that the tracker in working

With that the insurance agent drew a line over the insurance policy.

Null and void.

God I would never have wished such an end to any company.

The owner was in the taxi the following Christmas and he did say how sorry he was not to have listened to me.

God they lost a lot of money.