Family Life came in the mail today, and as I was flipping through its pages, one article in particular caught my eye.
An Amish taxi driver (that is, an English person who drives Amish people) named Debbie gives a short account of her experiences for this month’s issue.
Unlike a lot of the fictional or loosely-based-in-reality teaching tales in the publication, this account is described as “a true story, by an observer.”
I read that to mean it is either Debbie telling the story, or someone who know her well doing so on her behalf.
The reason this got my attention is of course the fatal accident Monday involving a van full of Amish travelers. As Tom Geist noted yesterday, Amish taxi driving experiences can…vary. For better, or for worse.
Yet sometimes, good driver or bad, things just “happen”, as an Amish woman I spoke with about the accident yesterday stressed.
With that in mind, I thought it might be worth sharing a few snippets of an English driver’s perspective. As you’ll see from these excerpts, the job has its ups and downs.
If you subscribe to Family Life, you can find the entire story (“Debbie, the taxi driver”) in this month’s issue. If you’d like to get Family Life in your mailbox, you can find out how here.
“I am Debbie, the taxi driver. I take Amish to places they need to go. It’s an interesting life. I’m a middle-aged lady on my own so it’s a worthwhile way of providing for myself. I have problems with a sore back; I couldn’t do just any kind of work, and this is not too hard on me.”
“You soon get to know the people who are “regulars”. There’s one couple that always brings me a coffee when they stop for one. Oh, that’s so nice! I can’t afford to treat myself every time someone else wants something, but I sure do appreciate being treated. Especially with the aroma of someone else’s cup of coffee teasing my nostrils.
There’s another thing I’ve noticed. You’d think the people who are well-off would be the ones to give you a tip every now and then, but not so. A young wife and mother recently slipped me an envelope with a generous donation inside. I know they’re still struggling to make farm payments, so I really appreciated and felt unworthy of the tip.”
“Most folks are friendly and talkative. I’m not one to openly eavesdrop, but I do glean certain facts. I can tell you of some people who always have aches and pains (real or imagined) and never feel well. Then there are those who like to run down other folks. I don’t enjoy being around people who think they’re better than everybody else. They make me nervous. What do they say about me when I’m not around?
But worse than hearing people grumble or gossip is if I have no clue what they’re saying. Some folks deliberately talk German around me so I don’t understand it. Can you imagine sitting in front of a dentist’s office for a few hours with a car load of people and you are the only one not included in the conversation? Being totally ignored is not my cup of tea. Feeling like an intruder in my own vehicle, I got out and sat on the curbside, waiting until everyone was ready to go. Later I heard one of the ladies make the remark that I was rather quiet that day. Sorry, but I can’t speak German!”
“As I said, most folks are friendly and kind. I’ve gotten treats of home-baked goods a few times which I certainly appreciated. (Only, please don’t give me your rejects. One lady once handed me a loaf of homemade bread, apologizing profusely about how “hard” it got. It was hard all right — I threw it out to the birds and they didn’t even eat it!)
Having said all that, most days I do enjoy my job and I’ve made lots of friends. Yes, it takes all kinds of people to make a world!”
–Excerpts from Family Life November 2014 issue, pages 21-22