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Task

Listening Activity: Therapist In A Yellow Cab

Ray has been a yellow cab driver in New York for seven years, and he owns two cabs. As a sift usually lasts for 12 hours, it is a time-consuming job. Ray also has a vision: People should feel better when they leave his cab than when they stepped into it! In many ways he sees himself as a therapist.

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Row of yellow cabs in New York.

Therapist in a yellow cab

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Therapist in a yellow cab

Write:

Choose one of the tasks and write a short text.

  1. Make a summary of the interview using all the words listed in the box below.
  2. Use the words listed below to tell the story of one day in Ray's life as a yellow cab driver. Write one sentence for each word.
  • 7 years
  • 10 miles long
  • vehicles
  • parking
  • hail
  • corner
  • 12 hours
  • snow
  • penny
  • level
  • contagious
  • apologetic
  • Queens
  • retaliating
  • tip
Photo of a man sitting on the driver's side in a taxi.
Ray, the yellow cab driver.

Interview for a Job:

Ray has two taxis and has different 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.

Discuss:

  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 doesn't use professionally. Do you think this is a waste of time and talent?
  7. What is your motivation for choosing a career? Money? Status? Flexibility? A chance to use your talents? Other things?

Write a longer text:

  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.
Last updated 05/13/2018
Text: Morten Serkland (CC BY-SA)

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