Jun 7, 2007

taxi driver's reason for living in Israel

Last night I was in a taxi going home from work at 2:30 in the morning. The taxi driver was a talkative one, and while I would have liked to sleep, he preferred to chat.

He told me how he had lived in the US for three years. Over the course of the conversation, he gave me his reasons for moving (back) to Israel. He gave me a reason that one could really break down into two or possibly three separate reasons, but maybe they all come from the same one point, so they kind of blur together.

Here is what Moishe the taxi driver thought about living in the US versus living in Israel.

Moishe the taxi driver told me he worked in the US. He said that while entrepreneurs can do well, employees work very hard for very little return. He said, in the US if someone comes 15 minutes late to a meeting or a scheduled call, he will be out on the street. It is unacceptable, and there are tons of people looking for work. Your position will be filled in a matter of a few hours and life will go on as if you never existed.

In Israel, he says, if you come 15 minutes late to work, your boss offers you coffee, chats for a few minutes and life moves on. You don't get fired for it. It is more easy-going. It is not as easy to find replacement employees in Israel (one has to find someone campatible which might not be easy, train them, etc..), Moishe claimed, so things are more easy-going. And here the entrepreneurs are not much better off than the employees, so everyone has an equal chance.

That is Moishe the taxi drivers reason to prefer living in Israel.


  1. of all the reasons to live in israel, that one is baloney. this is just a guy who doesn't want to keep his word and be told what to do. He drives a taxi so he can be his own boss and kol hakavod. he can get up when he wants and stop when he wants.

    As Mizellie once wrote about, it works both ways. I could write a book about employees abusing the system. In my life, I have never fired an employee because of tardiness, even habitual. I should have, but didn't. I just had a guy, who is desperate for money, call me on a sunday morning and tell me today is his last day because he's in a fight with his girlfriend and he's moving.

    Tell Moishe that maybe he ought to learn to keep his word. He agreed to show up and work hard, and the employer agreed to pay him for his time. when moishe is late, it falls on everyone else to fill in for his work and can be upsetting to other employees as well. starts bad habits and bad morale. tell moishe to look at the bigger picture.

  2. I actually think that's an interesting reason. It's also a good explanation of why certain fields in Israel don't progress well - people are too content and don't see any reason to improve, because they'll never get fired.

  3. I think moishe has a drug habit. Why else can't he ever make it to work on time?

    A drug habit would also explain his completely whacky view of both Israel and America.

  4. i always thought it was funny that israelis who scorn jobs like taxi driving as avodah shehorah then come to america and do precisely that.

    i agree with your brother about moishe. in america we have a strong work ethic and that is part of what made this the strongest economny in the world (in history?). the lack of a work ethic is part of the reason europe will soon join the third world.

  5. p.s. are you going to tell us what you really were doing out at 2:30 am?

  6. Pretty interesting to hear from a taxi driver's perspective.

  7. he actually might have had a drug habit. he looked like a bit of a druggie....

    ari - I was working (or you might say "working" :-) )

  8. what do you mean by "working"?

  9. did you kill thge goose in the dark of niht when you got home before anyone else awoke?


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