Subject Material

Therapist In A Yellow Cab

Published: 11.10.2012, Updated: 04.03.2017
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Yellow Cab

Ray has been a yellow cab driver in New York for 7 years, and he owns  two cabs. Being a yellow cab driver is a time consuming job.  A shift usually lasts for 12 hours, and the cab is running 24/7. Ray is a cab driver with a vision: people should feel better when they  leave his cab than when they stepped into it!  In some ways Ray looks upon himself as a therapist. Listen to the interview and see if you agree.

 

Therapist in a yellow cab
Forfatter: Morten Serkland

After you have listened to the interview, have a look at the following 14 words and then do the 3 tasks which follow. This could be either an oral or a written exercise.

 

  • 10 miles long
  • vehicles
  • parking
  • hail
  • corner
  • 12 hours
  • snow
  • penny
  • level
  • contagious
  • apologetic
  • Queens
  • retaliating
  • tip

 

Ray, the yellow cab driverRay, the yellow cab driver
Fotograf: Morten Serkland

  1. Make a summary of the interview, using all the listed words.
  2. Use these words to tell the story of one day in Ray's life as a yellow cab driver. One sentence for each word.
  3. Sit in pairs and ask each other in what context these words appear in the interview.

Interview for a Job

Ray has two taxis and has drivers working for him. Now he is going to hire one more driver. Work in pairs and pretend that one of you is Ray, the employer, about to hire a new driver. The other person is the applicant, hoping to get the job.

Preparation: The employer should make an interview form with essential questions, and the applicant should find reasons for applying, and ways to present her/his own qualifications.

Perform this interview as a role play.

Discussion

  1. How does the interview with Ray, the cab driver, relate to the American Dream?
  2. What is the stereotype of a typical cab driver? Do you find that Ray differs from this image? Explain.
  3. How would you have communicated with the following passengers: A furious passenger? A passenger who is sad? A passenger who is threatening?
  4. Why does Ray look upon himself as a therapist?
  5. Discuss this statement: "Having a good friend is better than having a professional therapist."
  6. Ray has an education that he is doesn't use professionally. Do you think this is a waste of time and talent?

Question to Ponder

Reflect about your own motivation for choosing a career.

Writing

  1. Write a blog entry where you describe your first day as a yellow cab driver in New York.
  2. Write an article for a Norwegian newspaper where you consider the importance of the yellow cabs for New York City.
  3. Ray described an incident with a furious passenger and how he dealt with it. Write the story of this man before and after he met Ray. Point of view: first person narrator.