A Positive Fare

August 2, 2008

Ever heard of a taxi driver who wants taxi fares to come down? I met one in Mumbai – on one of my recent visits to the city. He said his cost had come down ever since taxis have begun to ply on CNG. In his view, part of this reduced cost of operation should be passed on to the passengers. Pointing towards a number of taxis waiting by the kerb and to the relatively long queue at the bus stand, he said a good number of people would take to traveling by taxi, if made more affordable. According to the gentleman, taxi drivers will earn more in the day even if less per trip and their waiting time between trips would shorten. Passengers would then have more options, and buses would eventually be less crowded. A win-win situation for all.
He had a point, I thought. But what appealed to me most was that he was solution-oriented, his perspective covered not only his interest but the interest of people at large. Sitting inside his taxi, listening to him talk I noticed how impeccably clean the vehicle was. When I remarked on the interiors, he explained that he was very particular about getting his taxi serviced regularly as it was his sole source of income. In fact, the man was very tidy himself. He liked his work and said God has been very kind to him. As I got down and paid the fare, I realized I had never paid so less an amount for that specific distance in Mumbai in recent years. It obviously meant that the man was also honest and ethical and hadn’t tampered with his taxi meter.

During the short 20-minute ride I developed respect for him. I liked the way he thought and did business. What an example of a person with a positive attitude.

People with a positive attitude can be found everywhere. Look for them in your surroundings and ask yourself: Why do we spend time with some of our friends/colleagues but avoid others? Why do we like to go to a particular doctor/nurse? Why do we prefer to engage a particular carpenter, electrician or driver? Why do we prefer to be served by a particular waiter in our favourite restaurant? Why do we buy goods from a particular shop even if it is a bit far off? Why do only a few cabin crew stand out in our memory even when all are equally trained in hospitality.

It is simply because of their attitude. Attitude matters and matters a lot. It is a test of an individual’s likeability. Attitude opens doors to growth and success.

It comes back to what I wrote in an earlier post on Attitude. If people like to spend time with you by choice, you have a positive attitude.