15 February 2010

"And me, I'm flying in my taxi" --Harry Chapin

See if you have what it takes to be our cab driver. Here's the scenario...

You are a cab driver. It is Valentine's Day. Your dispatcher has assigned you a 6:30 PM pick up in order to just get your passengers to a 7:00 PM dinner reservation, despite their voiced concerns that this might be cutting it close, what with city traffic and snow-related problems. What do you do?

(The answers from last night's trip are bolded below.)

A. Arrive a few minutes early, to play it safe.
B. Arrive on time.
C. Arrive 10 minutes late.

Knowing that your dispatcher has already called to find out where the hell you are, you greet your passengers with:
A. An apology.
B. A cheery "Good evening."
C. Surly indifference.

Your dispatcher has given you the address so you:
A. Whisk the cab away! There is no time to waste!
B. Show that you've pre-loaded the address into the GPS and assure your passengers that they'll be there soon.
C. Demand the address again.

Your passengers appear to be on a date--well, this is Valentine's Day, after all. You set the stage by:
A. Providing a little light banter and then leaving them alone to chat between themselves.
B. Softly playing a Sinatra retrospective.
C. Blaring the most sexually explicit music you own--and you own quite a bit.

You want your passengers to be comfortable even though it is so cold that the three feet of snow all around you has all the makings of a permanent exhibit. You:
A. Crank up the heat.
B. Inquire as to your passengers' temperature comfort.
C. Drive with your window completely down until one of your passengers says, incredulously, over the buffeting wind, "Is your window OPEN?"

One of your passengers asks if you might turn down the music so he can call and inform the restaurant that arrival will be at least 10 minutes beyond the reservation time. You:
A. Turn the music off.
B. Turn the music way down.
C. Turn the music down just for the duration of the call and then crank it right back up to 11 again, so everyone can enjoy references to "tearing that ass up."*

Oh, yes. It couldn't have been more romantic if it were a Disney-worthy coach and horses.

Which brings us to the question of the day: Let's say, instead of the cab driver, you are one of the passengers in this scenario. What do you do?

* One of the less offensive terms sung.


The Bug said...

I can be a pretty angry person, but my husband does NOT like confrontation. So I'd do all the things you did, then I'd call the cab company the next day & let them have it. And maybe even demand a refund. And no tip for him!

Kate said...

Cry. It's my response to everything these days.

But then call the dispatch and make a formal complaint.

Bowie Mike said...

No tip. I try not to get myself too worked up over things like this for fear it will spill over and ruin other parts of the evening.

Cyndy said...

It sounds like you got one of those people-hater cab drivers. I swear some of them just don't know the difference. But maybe that's giving them more benefit of the doubt than they deserve. Or maybe the poor guy was just having a bad day. Right.

I enjoyed your question to him about the window being open. That's totally the way I'd ask it too. It's kind of passive-aggressive with the underlying message "You seem to be such a big asshole that I don't dare politely ask you to close your window because you would probably refuse or turn up the music even louder or something." Well that's what would be going through my mind.

Sean said...

I agree with The Bug and Kate. There's not really more you can do than what you did during the ride itself. I'd call the cab company later that evening or the next day. Just make sure that you have the driver's name and/or the cab number.

Pancake City said...

I'd be happy that now I'd have a good story to tell on my blog. He does sound like a royal a-hole though.

lbluca77 said...

He was probably all cranky cause it was valentines and maybe he didn't have a valentine of his own.

Maya said...

Alas, I would grin and bear it, though in my head I'd be thinking of all the things I should be saying!

Mac and Cheese said...

I'm a grin and bear it type too if there is no other option. Nothing else will get me to the restaurant any faster at that point.

Titania said...

He ain't getting a tip. No way. And I'll ask for his name and whatever identification I can use so as to call the company the next day. The company may still do nothing (those guys are the mafia), so maybe I'll try to make the story public knowledge.

12minds said...

Was the dinner good, at least?

And I win at getting the most Valentine-sy word verification "er loin".

Er...loin, indeed.

Mike said...

Lots of good answers above. But the real question is, 'what DID you do?'

blueviolet said...

That would have affected the tip, if there was one!

Barbara said...

As a passenger here, your biggest responsibility is not to make that cabbie angry or he will probably just get you there that much later. You could say something surly after arriving, but really what good would it do? The guy behind the wheel unfortunately has all the cards.

Tracie said...

I'm non-confrontational. I would have kept my mouth shut and blogged about it later.

spleeness said...

You're kidding. This all happened? Holy kaw. Great material for a blog post. While it's happening though? I probably would not have said anything even though I generally speak up when I need to; with waitstaff and cabbies, I get all reticent, afraid they will poison my food or take me hostage. I might, though, write a letter to the cab company later, if you have the tag numbers of the car and can be anonymous.

Happy Valentine's! Got some good music for your evening lineup, it sounds like.

lacochran said...

The Bug: Demand a refund? Does that ever work? Huh.

Kate: Crying with action is better than crying with inaction. Check!

Bowie Mike: Exactly.

Cyndy: That's what was going through *my* mind, for sure.

Sean: He didn't display his license, which is illegal, right? But I totally get why he didn't.

Pancake City: YES! :)

lbluca77: Probably. Might be due to his charm, though.

Maya: Alas.

Mac and Cheese: Exactly what we said as we got in.

Titania: They've been so consistently good until now, I hate to smear the whole company.

12minds: The dinner was phenomenally good!

Mike: We cut his tip and laughed about it making a good blog post on the way in. Hubster said he was considering complaining to the company but I don't think he ever did.

blueviolet: Right!

Barbara: Sad but true.

Tracie: It is blogworthy. :)

spleeness: I'm not kidding. We got all of that, yes. Happy Valentine's Day to you!

Bilbo said...

Shoot the driver.

Matt said...

so tearing that ass up isnt romantic?


Pauline said...

I answered all C's (Hey its not my problem if they don't appreciate the sheer poetry of "tearing that ass up". ;)

Seriously though, I would complain. If not to the driver than to his company. You pay for exorbitant fees for this "service" and should be treated accordingly.

Kate said...

Hey, at least the cabbie stopped to pick you up. I once heard somewhere that the yellow ones don't stop. ;)