I took a chance and gained lots
I noticed recently that I haven't been engaging in conversation with my passengers as much as I used to. I also noticed that I haven't been enjoying cab driving as much as I used to. I was sure that the two were related. I don't remember ever regretting venturing past the small talk threshold with a passenger. Once you go there, there is usually something interesting to be found there. I think I have just been feeling tired and withdrawn. So I resolved to engage in conversation more and to push myself if I have to.
This week a youngish man flagged me down at Van Ness and Ellis. He was friendly and talkative. I was not feeling friendly or talkative. I felt like he was on a higher energy level than I was, and I didn't know if I could match it. He commented on my Prius taxi and how I must be saving a lot on gas. I am a little bored of talking about the Prius and how much money I am saving on gas. But I decided to push myself and stay in conversation with this guy. So during a break in the conversation, I asked him if he had ever driven a Prius before. He said no. And then I decided to ask him something that has been on my mind lately.
"Have you ever been to a third world country?"
And that's when we started talking about traveling, and that's when he told me that he was leaving for his honeymoon later today. He said that maybe I could drive him and his wife to the airport, and I gave him my card.
Later I received a phone call from a woman who needed to go to the airport and who was at the same address where I had dropped the guy off. I told her that I would come pick her up and asked her if her husband had been in my cab earlier. She said no, that was her brother-in-law.
When I arrived to pick her up, I found out that my earlier passenger's sister-in-law and her husband needed to go to the airport first. They had been in town for my passenger's wedding and were now heading back home. After dropping them off, my passenger wanted me to come back for himself and his wife to take them to the airport as well.
So for opening my mouth and continuing a conversation I had thought I was done with, I gained not one, but two airport fares.