Thursday, May 17, 2007

Kevin Rudd draws blank on taxi drivers

This story has appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland Shire, Queensland, Australia. Image from Australian Federal Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd's House of Representatives page.

THE Redlands and indeed much of the nation is pondering two major questions just now.
Does Kevin Rudd have the ticker to keep up the momentum and push John Howard out of office? And, perhaps with equal importance: When will the rain come to fill the dams?
At one time, the political journos always had a means to stay in touch with opinions of the masses.
They would simply yarn with their cab driver as they filled in a publisher’s voucher on the way from bar to bed, and a day or so later the inspiration would appear in print, sometimes even with the driver giving thumbs up or down from a big photo.

THE tradition, however, has been dwindling. Sadly for some, taxi drivers are saying "no comment" or "I will neither confirm nor deny" when asked a curly one on politics.
But the neutral responses do not reflect "political correctness" as much as the training that cab drivers receive nowadays.
Politics, religion and a few other sensitive subjects are off the agenda for drivers with the Capalaba taxi management firm Belker.
Belker, with a depot on Redland Bay Road, Capalaba, runs about 20 Yellow cabs, employing about 50 drivers.
The firm’s trainers at least leave the weather off the "don’t go there" list when they run their courses every few weeks.
Recruiting through our Classifieds, Belker has spots in its two-shift roster. Drivers can work from 3-4am to 3-4pm or vice versa.
The operation works on two divisions, one for "city" cabs and the other bayside.

OFFICE manager Robyn Fowler, who joined the firm in November, loves the "hustle and bustle" of such a service industry after commuting from her Birkdale home to a health products company at Nudgee.
And now she can even get a cab home.
Robyn actually has her own taxi licence to let her stay in touch with the firm’s on-road presence, and regrets she did not experience the industry sooner.
The emphasis on professionalism over the years has attracted more women cab drivers, she says. The Belker roster now lists seven women drivers, one of whom does a night shift. Such a 14 percent component would compare with a minute figure a decade or so ago.
Robyn says one of the benefits of cab driving is choosing a shift and the amount of work that suits personal needs, with a lot of semi-retired people topping up their weekly budget with a shift or two.

THANKS for joining me in the marvellous community of classified advertising. More stories on the archive links at right of page.

No comments:

Post a Comment