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From Wall Street To The Streets: Taxi Driver’s Journey From High-Flying Banker to NY Cabbie

He worked as a trader before trading Wall  Street for the streets of New York, earning his living as a cab  driver.

More than a decade ago Jack Alvo, 49, was  working a $250,000-a-year job in wealth management for Morgan Stanley on the  73rd floor of the World Trade Center.

On September 11, 2001, he was lucky enough to  escape from the South Tower before it crumbled to the ground. He spent the next  months going from office-to-office looking for work.

In 2009, he lost his last finance job after  the markets crashed and with a wife and two kids to support, starting driving a  yellow cab around the very streets he lived and worked on for so many  years.

Changes: Jack Alvo drives the streets of New York City six days a week, working the 5am to 5pm shift a far cry from his days as a Wall Street banker

Speaking to CNN he said: ‘I got caught in-between and  things got tough. Never would have thought that I could do this, but being a  native New Yorker, I knew the streets.

‘I learned the streets a lot better when I  had to start paying attention to them.’

Working the 5am to 5pm shift, Alvo quickly  established a routine in his new job. Writing down his fares on an envelope,  calculating when he breaks even and then his net profit for the day.

He also learned of the ‘science’ to cab  driving.

‘In the morning, you don’t want to be caught  on the Upper East Side too early. They don’t wake up ’til 7:30. But down on  Hudson Street, they’re younger, more aggressive.

‘They’re going to work at Goldman and Bank of  America or wherever, and you take ’em,’ he said.

So desperate is he to get back into the  finance business that he keeps his resumes in a box in the back seat of his cab,  hoping a passenger will pick one up and help him land a job.

Though nothing has happened yet,  passengers  have been very helpful, helping him improve his resume and  make it more concise  as well as offering him advice.

‘It does keep my faith in humanity,’he told  CNN. ‘One thing you learn driving a cab is that it’s all  connected.’ He has had  a few leads and even some interviews from people in his cab, but nothing has  come through yet.

‘If you’ve ever been fishing, you know  you  can spend a whole day on a pond and never catch a fish. But if you  know the lay  of the land, your odds improve.’

Alvo explains why it was so hard for  him to  get a job after the recession and why he turned to cab driving  after a year of  unemployment.

‘Guys like me can be replaced at a much  cheaper rate,’ he explained. ‘You know, a guy who’s well into the six  figure  category, making 250 plus, he’s easily replaceable by a guy who  they can get  for a hundred grand who thinks it’s the best job in the  world. Or they can  replace me with two young guys.’

The 49-year-old said it’s his new year’s  resolution to finish cab driving and get back into a nine-to-five job. He also  wants to write a book.

‘I could call it From Street to Street – from  Wall Street to having to work to the  street, so to speak.

‘I think it  would be a story of survival —  understanding that you can have  everything at times and sometimes when things  get tough, you’re forced  to take other routes.

‘But there is light at the end of the tunnel.  And  if you stay focused you can get through anything.’

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Posted by on January 1, 2013. Filed under NY News,Slider. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.