I was at my desk at 09.05 this Monday morning. Nothing extraordinary there but considering I live in South West London and this particular desk was in Newcastle, this represented quite an achievement.

And this prompt start was only possible due to a considerate, thoughtful taxi driver.

I ordered a taxi at 05.45 on Monday morning. I slept downstairs on the sofa bed to avoid disturbing the household at that unearthly hour.

I got up at 05.30. The taxi driver rings my doorbell at 05.35. The following conversation ensues in hushed whispers. Thankfully, for his sake, it is quite hard to get really angry in a hushed whisper.

‘What time is the pickup ?’ ‘5.45’
‘What time is it now ?’ ‘5.35’
‘Why have you rung the doorbell ?’
‘To let you know I am here’
‘Why have you just woken my wife and children up at half five
in the morning ?’
‘Oh. Sorry’

And with that, he returned to wait in the taxi and any hope of a (paltry) tip disappeared into the chilly morning air.