Women Taxi Drivers in Dubai
Why women opt to drive cabs.
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Would you take this job? A
Ms. Cab driver writes :
Must be able to work 12-hour or longer shifts for an undetermined amount of income, often far less than minimum wage. You must be able to work knowing that if you are injured on the job you will be paid no benefits, or workman's compensation, even though driving a cab is one of the most dangerous jobs, there is. You chose this profession, so don't come whining to us with all your trivial problems.
A tough call indeed. But her counterparts in Dubai would have it comparatively easier. Check this news-report.
Women Taxi Drivers Join Duty
Gulf Today, June 4 2000
SEVEN women drivers were inducted into the Dubai Transport Corporation's (DTC) force, which marked a major landmark for the corporation that commenced operations six years back.
"This is a new kind of job that I am venturing into," said UAE national Azza Mohammed, one of the women drivers, who is a former driving instructor too. "It is all the more exciting as it is the first of its kind in the region."
The women drivers will be available only for families and that too through the dispatch. The cars will be stationed at the DTC workshop and can be called for on 04-2080808. The drivers, drawn from various countries including the UAE, were trained in various aspects prior to being put on the roads. The drivers are free to transport passengers outside the emirate but must report to the dispatch unit when the job is completed. The working hours of these drivers have been fixed from 7am to 10pm.
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A Dangerously Interesting Job
Driving a taxi is one of the most dangerous professions around, especially if you're a night driver. It's the nature of the business: drivers work alone, carry cash, deal with customers in all kinds of altered states, and drive to remote areas.
So why do women work as taxi drivers? Probably for the same reason as men do it: to make money on a job that promises every shift will be different.
Flexible and Interesting
One female cab driver started driving five years ago when she grew bored with monotonous secretarial work and wanted a job with more flexibility. "Driving a taxi is very flexible. I can pick my own days and my own hours. I can be with my children during the day and drive a taxi at night."
"They ask me, 'Can I have your number?' or 'Can you come up to my room with me?' I just say 'no'." One Ms. Cab Driver says the amorous men usually respect her response to their requests and points out that the problem of being hit on isn't unique to female drivers. "I know a lot of male drivers who have female customers trying to pick them up. It works both ways."
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- The key to staying out of trouble is knowing how to read a customer before accepting the trip.
- In this job you have to have a lot of patience.
- Education helps. One Ms Cab Driver says her university background in sociology and psychology helps her to understand customers. In fact, many customers end up telling her their problems.
- Never get out of the taxi.
- If you've just picked up a creepy customer, let the dispatcher know the destination. "The person in the cab knows the dispatcher knows exactly where you're going."
- If you are in trouble, flash the top light on the cab.
- The general verdict on female cab drivers in the industry. - "They're all tough as nails and they know how to handle people."