I came to D.C. from Jamaica in 1983, through the sugar cane program. A couple thousand Jamaican guys come over every year to cut in Florida. Cutting sugar cane is one of the hardest jobs, other than working in a coal mine. They test you to make sure you can handle a machete and all that. I was very athletic in school, so I was good. It was like the NFL, when a rookie comes in and everyone asks, “Who is that?”
After working in hotels for 29 years, I started driving part-time. I tune in to people, so I always have stories. Every day, you tell riders your story and they tell you theirs. When someone gets into your car, right away you can tell if this person is having a good day or a bad day. I just say something to them to get them started. Most of the time, that’s all they’re waiting for.
When I get home, I tell my wife about riders and conversations and everything. One evening she said to me, “You know what, I’m very happy you found something you like so much.” That was my confidence booster right there.
This year my wife and I won a dance contest together. We hadn’t practiced anything. We just went out on the floor. She’s my partner like that. I did this move from my neighborhood in Westmoreland. We used to call it "the Flambo."
I notice more about life than ever before. I think that with driving, I get more of a chance to kind of sit, relax, and focus. When you get comfortable with what you’re doing, it makes all the difference.
Photo: Magda Zofia
People | Place | Community