We had our company cookout last Thursday for the taxi company I lease from. It was a nice day for a picnic and the company provided decent food (grilled Brats and burgers among other things) and the live entertainment of watching the president of the company (along with several supervisors) sit in a dunking booth and get dunked at the hands of some pretty competitive cabbies.
I took the opportunity to not wear my uniform (yeah, cabbies in STL are supposed to wear uniforms) and attended in maternity clothes that make it obvious that I'm not just getting fat. As I walked in the president of the company came up to me to chat for a few minutes.
He's a really nice guy who seems to have a knack for remembering the names of all of his 200 or so drivers (though I guess, being one of 5 females, mine is easy). He inquired about how I was feeling and then proceeded to tell me that I am the first pregnant driver he's ever had, and perhaps the first in St. Louis. He then wondered how long I planned on driving and if I thought there would be any safety issues to consider.
I assured him that I would not work if my belly made it hard to drive :) and that safety is one of my major concerns; that I have already accepted that I'm not going to be able to accept out of town trips after a month or so (though I've never yet had one really) and blah, blah, blah. Also that I didn't plan to work past late August at any rate.
He seemed relieved that I didn't plan to work up until going into labor (something cab driving would make pretty easy to do) and walked away happy with my plans.
It's kind of strange to be a pregnant cabbie. Well, I do tend to make better tips now :) and it's interesting to get parenting advice and stories from my fares. Just tonight a passenger was telling me about how he cried when he first held his 1 year-old daughter, but many people seem to be a bit disapproving of my occupation. Many people believe that cab driving is a really dangerous thing to do (and in some cities it is really dangerous), but I've been cabbing for over a year and have only gotten nervous a couple of times.
I'm actually much more worried about car accidents than passengers... I'm much more likely to get injured that way... and I think that driving a cab is a lot safer than working at a gas station (where you routinely see pregnant women) or delivering pizzas. In fact, I often wonder why more women don't take up cabbing for a living. It's a pretty high-paying job that doesn't require a college degree. It requires long hours and doesn't give benefits, but it won't break down your body, give you carpal tunnel, or make your feet hurt. Plus you don't have to take anyones BS (though they will try to give it to you) and kissing booty isn't part of the job description.
You're self-employed, free to make your own schedule, and left pretty much alone by the company you lease from, as long as you pay for your cab. In all, it's a pretty nice job (and many people in STL make 50,000$+ cabbing) and, if nothing else, you accumulate a lot of interesting stories to laugh about with your friends.
I was thinking, again, today that it seems strange to me to be the first pregnant driver in STL (if, indeed, I am). Actually, it's a bit strange whenever you find yourself the "first" at anything. It reminded me that I have led a pretty unconventional life and done a lot of things that many people never do... maybe I'll have to get around to writing my memoirs one day after all.