At McGuinness Management in Greenpoint, drivers pick up their cabs at the beginning of the day and drop them off at the end.
What year did you start?
1989. Less than a year in, a woman gave birth in the back of my taxi. She got into the car, and I started driving, then I hear her say, “The baby’s coming!” I notified my dispatcher over the radio to send an ambulance, jumped in the back seat, told her to push, push, push, then the head was coming out and I grabbed it, pulled it out with my own hands. The water came all over my body.
Wow. What are your hours?
I used to work 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., but nowadays I have to do noon to midnight. Because of Uber. Early in the morning and late in the evening, Uber takes over. Do you know what the name Uber means, where it came from?
The German national song: “Deutschland, Deutschland, über alles, über alles.” (“Germany, Germany, above all, above all.”)
Have you ever had a passenger not pay?
Only once in five years. Two teenagers, they jumped out and ran. But it’s okay. They’re teens; they don’t know better.
Have you ever had to reprimand a passenger?
Once, halfway through the ride, a couple wanted to have fun in my car. I said, “No! You cannot do this in my office! There are hotels everywhere, but not here!”
Ever picked up a celebrity?
Once, the prime minister of Canada’s sister. When I drove a limo, Ivana Trump, the Yahoo founder, and Jack Black — he didn’t talk to me.
Would you ever work for Uber?
Well, it’s all headed that way, whether yellow-cab drivers like it or not. But the percentage they take from you — I wouldn’t do it.
*This article appears in the October 28, 2019, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!