I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. – Jimmy Dean
This week, I’m going to tell you the story of two taxi drivers. Both of them live and work in gorgeous San Miguel de Allende. Both of them are Mexican and in their mid forties.
Taxi driver A is a hard working man. He is taciturn, doesn’t speak or smile much and his face displays a nearly permanent – yet subtle – frown. A passenger gets in, and she makes a comment about how many tourists there are in town because of the Semana Santa festivities. “It’s a bit chaotic, but I’m sure it’s great for local business, and perhaps for you as well, right?”. For the first time in the whole day, Taxi driver A speaks. “Why do you say that? For me, it doesn’t matter how many people are here. Most of them come from nearby cities such as Celaya or León; many of them don’t have that much money to spend anyway, and prefer to walk. Then there are the rch ones who bring their own cars. All of them just serve the purpose of crowding the streets and making traffic impossible! Just this morning I lost two clients because I couldn’t make it in time to pick them up! For me, all those tourists would be better off in their homes. Why come here at all?!”. The passenger, regretting her question, nods and remains quiet; hoping that Taxi driver A’s bad temper won’t mean that he will overcharge her. She is now feeling a lot less happy herself.
Taxi driver B is also a hard working man, and even though he is well aware that not every day is perfect (far from it!), he likes to take it easy. On hot days, he carries a water bottle and tries to stop once or twice throughout his shift, get out of his car to stretch his legs and get some fresh air – even if he has to drive a bit further away from downtown to find a peaceful spot. He is also aggravated when the traffic gets really bad, but at the same time can’t help but notice that if there are more people, there are more potential passengers for him. Taxi driver B likes to keep an eye on the road and another one on the sidewalk; where he glances a few times in well-transited areas just in case any people seem tired of walking and in need of a taxi. When he gets stuck in traffic and misses a pick-up with a client, he calls and apologizes, explaining (sometimes in bad English) the reasons and offering his services for later that day or for another day; in those cases he makes extra sure he stays alert in order to make up for the money lost – sometimes he calls his friends who work at hotels or restaurants and asks them if they have any patrons or guests who need a taxi.
It’s all about the attitude, isn’t it? I’d love to read any good anecdotes you have about attitude adjustment at email@example.com!