#OurYYC Apprentice: Jordan Witzel as a taxi driver

Global Calgary Meteorologist Jordan Witzel is heading out in the community to experience some of the many careers that make up our dynamic city.

Through the #OurYYC Apprentice series, Witzel will try his hand at different jobs for one day – to see just how challenging they can be.

Starting a new job is tough, but becoming a taxi driver brought about a whole new level of stress and frustration for me. The job tested my ability to handle small-chat with customers while remaining focused on the planned route. I faced extra demands of side stops for coffee – something I’m told most professional drivers prefer not to do because it costs them money and creates a possible mess in their cars. Advised by the pros to depend on my knowledge of Calgary streets rather than GPS, I faced the realization that it’s very tough to know every little part of the city. And while I didn’t get lost, I did take a few wrong turns and ventured down two one-way streets in the wrong direction. Solid start to a new job!

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I had the pleasure of meeting a handful of taxi drivers who work in Calgary – some veterans and some relatively new to the job. They all have something in common; they love meeting new people and are focused first on customer service. I’m told that it takes time to learn every quirk of the roads in Calgary. Driving a taxi is a whole lot different than your usual day behind the wheel. On your personal time, you have the opportunity to stop and check your route without offending a customer. As a professional driver, you’re expected to know every location. You may even face questions about any number of events happening in town. I quickly found that I didn’t know as much about Calgary as I thought I did!

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