This Twitter post by my friend Carissa left curious.
Was the driver moonlighting as a guru or VC. Regardless it reminded me of all the great conversations I have had with taxi drivers.
This isn’t about taxi drivers though. Really it is about being present enough to your surroundings to engage in conversations with everyone you come in contact with. I think we miss so many opportunities to learn from others by just ignoring people throughout our day.
My stepdad Glen, who I count as one of the most influential people in my life, led by example in many ways but this was one that I love to practice. He would engage with the grocery clerk, gas station attendant, janitor and anyone else that came across his path. What stood out to me were the people who could not possibly benefit him as a salesman. And a good salesman he was. Better yet though he valued people. Over time all of these people came to know his name. So when I would travel with him it seemed he knew every one in the world. Now I do know this. He always got the best service wherever he went because he had invested in people that served him.
Now back to taxi cab drivers. It is very easy to ignore them. When I get into a cab, no matter what my first impression is, I strike up a conversation and usually try to learn a bit about the driver. It has been rare that I have been disappointed. There have been times that I have been disturbed by the cab driver. One in Vegas stuck with me. He gave my business partners and I a history (his own sordid version) of the decline of the city since the mob lost control. Oh the good ole days. I was hoping not to see a shovel in the trunk when I went to get my bag. Yeah. Mostly the drivers are great.
So next time you take a cab surprise yourself with an opportunity to connect. Try to learn a little something about the person pumping your gas (we can’t pump our own where I live). When the check out clerk asks you how your days was, reply and then honestly inquire about theirs.
Share some of your cab stories (both great and crazy) or how you have connected with people you encounter throughout your day. I would love to hear them.