Cab Race …

Before I begin to write about this incident, let me thank the invisible soul-God, who might have been pleased now by his own benevolent act in restraining fate from playing any mischievous role in depriving my life in the last couple of days. Ok enough of my gratitude let me begin the story.

If I was made to answer the question: Are you interested in taking car race in the Chennai dashed hot roads precisely in the morning traffic hours 8.00A.M – 9.00 A.M? My answer would be blatant “NO, DEFINITELY NOT”. Only fellows who want to commit a heroic suicide would prefer to entertain the thoughts of taking cab race (or any other vehicle race) in Chennai’s traffic. I was not given a chance to answer that question. Instead, unknowingly I was forced to that daring act.

For the past couple of days I had the sneaking suspicion that something wrong with my office cab driver. Because his manners were not appreciable as it used to be. I hope others who are traveling along with me might have had the same suspicion. It is not something hard to fathom because it was very evident in the way our cab danced along the city roads.

I guess my driver tired to experiment some new driving techniques and it indeed helped us reach the destination (my office) earlier than before. He attempted to drive the cab like a race bike. Of course, like how much it is hard for a train to flew like a plane it is hard for a cab to run like a bike. If a cab acts like a bike, it would certainly cause inconvenience to the fellow travelers on the road and so is ours. Some gentle passer by’s forgave our driver’s mysterious cruel driving, but some chased us to shout at driver’s arrogance. Nevertheless, our escort did not give up, whenever the shout gets louder; our driver would engage himself in the act of obscenity.

We are perplexed by our driver’s sudden harshness and alacrity but still no one questioned him because of his dark mood. Later in the evening when he regained his temper, he told us that he had earned 200 rupees because of his driving. I was stunned because I only expected some cops to fine him and definitely not 200 rs. Then he told us the story behind all this and the dark mystery unveiled.

It seems some blighter in our transportation department announced to our drivers that here after the first three cabs that reach our office premise in the morning would be sent for an additional pick-up at the very nearby railway station. This provoked a tough competition among the drivers, on whom to reach the office first and grab the 200 rupees for that additional trip. At present, it is not just our cab, but all our company cabs are violently vibrating along the city roads. Instead of this 1,2,3 competition if this offer is given to each driver in some round-robin method this problem can be resolved but our transportation executives mind doesn’t think that way.The blighter who introduced this intelligent scheme overlooked the fact our lives are something more than 200 rupees . Now again I am forced to do the horrible act “COMPLAIN” !!!

8 thoughts on “Cab Race …

  1. Hi Vani,

    Your point about maintaining road safety is well taken, however, please consider the following points:

    1. Rs. 200/- could be 5% of somebody’s monthly salary.

    2. If the driver makes it once a week, then it means 20% bonus for him. In most industries, including IT & Finance, people would take seemingly ‘reasonable’ risks for a 20% bonus. So, he has acted humanly to a carrot of an additional bonus.

    3. What we feel risky, the driver may not feel it to be risky as he is in control of the vehicle. You can feel the difference when you are in a driving role and you are in a pillion role.

    4. This concept of rotation of drivers will not work as the initial pick up timings of the drivers are fixed and the pick up time for the station near the railway is also fixed. So, even if there is a turn for a particular for a particular driver and he comes just 2 minutes before 9:00 am for a 10 minutes ride to the railway station, it does not help the purpose.

    5. The issue is primarily floated by the people who have provided the incentive scheme. Those are the people are probably not in the best judgement as to where and how to cut the costs and to what benefits and risks.

    6. May be, the finance department is also equally to blame because in turn, they are forcing the transport department to cut costs such that the travel department is coming up with these incentives to reduces costs, so that the people in the finance department may get their ‘bonus’.

    7. While your complaining is correct, if I were you, I would complain about:

    a. Wrong areas/ways for cost rationalizations in the travel / finance department. That is the issue to be resolved.

    b. Driver going beyond a reasonable speed limit, if he is doing so. This is a minor effect. If the issue is resolved, this will disappear by itself. This is not what needs to be solved.

    Hope you see my thought process….Complaining about the driver is easy and harmless….Would be interested to know if you would take your ‘COMPLAIN’ to somebody above, who can deal with the finance department / travel department to set things right. Let me know.

    – Discoverer.

  2. @Discoverer,

    Thanks for taking time and posting this.

    This issue is escalated to higher officials… have to wait and see how effective it is.

    I do see your points. Even though the transportation/Financial honchos are blamed for this, shouldn’t the drivers be more careful?
    It might sound justifiable for drivers to take risk (in our life) as long everything goes well. Complaining drivers might even seem meaningless but unfortunately, if something fatal happen to us then all the hands (including the intelligent behind this bizarre scheme) will point to the driver.

  3. @Vani, I do agree, the drivers do need to be more careful, however, if you focus on the driver’s behaviour and complain, then they may slow down but there will be some other similar policy which will affect something else for you and then you will complain about that. There will be lots of occassions to complain.

    Instead, it needs to be escalated that the cost-cutting or cost rationalizations are not in the right areas and any cost optimization policy needs to go through a review cycle where in, the effects of it should be analyzed more carefully, so as not to risk staff safety.

  4. நன்றிகள் வாணி ,

    அடலேறு வலை

    பக்கத்தை தங்களின் நண்பராக வருதடங்களில்

    அறிமுகபடுத்தியதற்கு.

    அழியாத அன்புடன்
    அடலேறு

  5. hey complainin is not an horrible act at all!!!!Its ur safety that matters.
    Though that round robin method which u have proposed may not work…..the drivers may be assigned those normal routes itself on a round robin basis….so that a particular driver gets a longer route for a week & a shorter one for the next 7 this will automatically implement a round robin thing in that extra trip!!!& the drivers may easily get acustomed to a route in 2 or 3 days….

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