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The Work We Do: Tamell Lester, Classy Cab

My name’s Tamell — Tamell Lester. I am a driver at Classy Cab and we are based in Greenport, New York.

I’ve been working at Classy Cab since May of 2018. 

We are more than just a taxi. We’ll do chauffeuring, you can call us to plan winery trips, of course we do the airport runs, and also, we’re doing weddings.

It’s never a boring job. It could turn from you just being in a local area, to driving to one town to the next, to the point where you’re going all the way to Queens and dropping someone at the airport. 

It’s kind of different. You never know what to expect. Because people, they’ll walk right out and you have to be like, ‘Hey, um, pardon me, you didn’t pay!’ And they’ll be like, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry, I’m so used to Uber!’ We got a lot of situations like that, but it’s all about communication and we tell them ‘Yeah, I understand, but this is the fee.’  

To be able to have that personal, one-on-one sometimes of, you know, just driving, you talk about the day, you know, sometimes you get those same customers over and over again, and, you know, you build a relationship with them. 

I haven’t had any weird interactions with actual customers, but more of that weird environment of being in places where people would request a ride from you and then go, ‘Oh, that’s how much you charge?’ You know, and, ‘Uber charges this! Get out of here!” A lot of the craziest things are dealing with people who think they understand …how we service people. 

…An Uber coming out is usually an individual whose picking a ride from a log, or whomever comes up on their screen. When it comes to us, we know the area. We know the people, we know the places to be. We have competition out here, but we don’t really worry about it. 

A lot of our drivers have good knowledge of the area, we have strong relationships with the wineries, and we always want to make sure it’s a great time. 

With a lot of jobs, you can make as much money as you can. If you’re not happy with what you’re doing, it doesn’t really matter. This whole job allows you to experience different things, and here, you know, we look forward to it. 

“The Work We Do” is a Suffolk Times multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. It is made possible by Peconic Landing.