VANCOUVER’S yellow Cab driver Harjinder Singh, who is in his early 30s, returned an envelope containing $10,000 to the passenger who had left it in his cab and refused the $1,000 reward offered to him by the grateful man.

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I could not meet him because he took leave to attend to some personal matter I cannot disclose. Yellow Cab manager Carolyn Bauer clarified that his name was ‘Harjinder’ and not ‘Sarjinder’ as reported by a news agency.

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Unfortunately, the only time we generally hear about cabbies is when something negative takes place and the usual stereotype of a South Asian cabbie is splashed in mainstream media, much to the delight of racists.

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But Bauer, who’s worked for some 24 years in this industry, said people would be amazed at what all cabbies turn in all the time: wallets with money, cell phones – even antique silverware.

She told me: “These guys work so hard. They are so loving towards their families. And if you see the photos from our lost and found [section], you’re going to go ‘My God!’ Like look at what people leave behind and these guys bring it in.
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“They will take people and all of a sudden people won’t have money to pay. So then they will give them a set of keys and say ‘hold that as collateral until I come in and pay.’

“And when you see the cell phones that are lost – oh my goodness! And my guys turn them in.”

Bauer said that just last week on Friday, a cabbie turned in a wallet with $900.  She added: “It happens all the time!”

She said: “I can’t say enough about them. They work hard. They work so many hours for their families. They take such abuse at times – we all know that … when people are drinking. I know guys that have had knives held to them. I’ve gone to scenes myself personally where I’ve seen guys beat up with blood coming out of them.”

She added: “They are all just so honest. I mean not everyone is perfect. I wished we lived in a perfect world. … But I’ve got to tell you that 95 per cent of them are great. … They show so much respect to people and they get trashed all the time.”