Well, what a weekend. I got out to work nice and early to make the most off my night’s efforts. I was working from the Friargate rank which has a reputation among us drivers as being one of the less problematic places to ply for trade. It is the place you might work if you wanted to avoid the sheer weight of numbers and the problems they bring.
I was as surprised as my colleagues that, half an hour into my shift on Saturday evening, I was caught up in an unfortunate incident, the type of incident you might expect at 4am.
I was waiting in my cab for the next customer. As the cab in front of me got hired, he made off for his destination. I then started slowly rolling down the hill to the front of the rank. As I was rolling down, at walking pace, I became aware of someone in my periphery.
Some guy had just came out of Tesco with bags of shopping. I was jolted into immediate action when he decided he wasn’t waiting for me to stop. I didn’t have time to apply my brakes to halt my vehicle. And my front wing gently brushed the tail end of his jacket.
Well, that was it. His reaction was to punch the side of my cab and come to my cab window to enquire why I had hit him. This guy hadn’t been drinking, he was out getting some provisions. So I was taken aback by his approach. As he made his enquiries, I asked him not to punch the side of my cab if he wanted to take issue with me over something.
He didn’t get the message first time round, and decided to punch the cab for a second time.
As he was venting frustration on my cab, I jumped out and challenged him to do it again. I lost my temper but was still in control of myself. This was now a battle of wills. I took offence to his over reaction and now he insisted on using my cab as a punch bag. For me all reason went out the window. I simply wanted to protect my cab.
I was now face to face with the guy. He grabbed me, I grabbed him. There was an explosion of possessions in the resulting melee, and, to boot, the guy’s shopping had now escaped from its carrier bag.
I felt the point for pushing and pulling had now been exhausted. At this point I had already decided that, even if he did punch me, I wasn’t going to retaliate. I knew it was a matter of time before the situation was diffused.
Thankfully, one of my colleagues, an ex-member of HM forces, sprung into action. He got a grip of the lad and kept telling him to calm down. Mature words, which thankfully had the desired effect. I was warmed by the courage of him.
Some of my colleagues thought it funny the guy’s shopping was all over the place as a result of his aggressiveness towards me. But I failed to see the funny side at all. I was too busy licking my wounds for the remainder of the evening.