Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Driving us mad (Part 2)

Looking after the disabled

(Warning - strong language!)

One of the obligations placed upon Corner Shop owners and other retailers by the Disability Discrimination Act, is that any parking bays marked specifically for disabled users should be monitored and as far as possible kept clear for those who have a special need for them. At the Corner Shop we have six such bays, just a matter of yards from the front entrance, conveniently situated for disabled and wheelchair users. I like to play my part in monitoring these bays from time to time, but the job does not permit time for constant surveilance. I believe it is a matter of simple courtesy to refrain from using these bays if one is not entitled to do so, others can be so less fortunate than ourselves and have greater needs.

So at around 7.30 p.m. today, as I was helping one of our customers load their van, a taxi came rushing into the car park, headed straight for the disabled bay area and parked there. The driver was shaven headed and had an elderly lady with him. As he got out of the car I asked him if he had a disabled badge to display in the vehicle? His reply was (verbatim):

"What the fucking hell are you on about! It's half past fucking seven, how many fucking disabled fuckers are going to come out shopping at this time of bastard night?

"Sir", I replied
"If you aren't entitled to park there, would you mind moving forward into the next vacant bay?"

"You can go and fuck right off, you little fucking jobsworth, who the fuck do you think you are? Little twat, I'll take this to the top, the head man! You're not going to fucking well tell me where to fucking park!"

As he and the lady made their way into the shop he muttered "I'll rip his fucking head off, stupid little c**t"

I was left wondering whether I should bar him completely, or have further words with him when he left, however, other customers intervened and vociferously shouted that he shouldn't be talking to anyone like that. The most annoying parts of the whole episode are that (a) I did not believe that we allowed such pig headed so and so's to drive taxis in this borough, and (b) I couldn't believe that he seriously thought that disabled people ought to kept at home when it's dark!

I feel that I ought to get in touch with the authorities on the Licensing sub-committee so that they can consider his less than helpfull and considerate actions when his Hackney Plate becomes due for renewal, I feel too that somewhere hidden away in South Tyneside there is a code of conduct for taxi drivers (albeit voluntary) which needs to be reiterated and in some way reinforced.

In conclusion, may I say, Driver with South Tyneside Hackney Plate number 173, you are a self-centred obnoxious foul-mouthed individual, you are a disgraceful representative of South Tyneside's fleet of taxis, and you don't care a jot about the disabled, you are undeserving of your badge and no tears will be shed if you lose it!

Go Curly go! Good on you for naming (in so far as you possibly can) and shaming.
What a jerk that driver is! Good for those other customers for standing up for you against this bully - we need to all unite to prevent our daily lives from turning into a nightmare landscape. Something like that can really rattle a person for days. Or at least it would shake ME up for days.
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