It’s not often that I take cabs, but when I am traveling in New York or in Europe, I rely on them often. Naturally, I was then interested to hear about a friend’s recent experience with a surly cab driver.
My friend was visiting New York City, where she was shopping for a while before meeting her husband for dinner. Suddenly she realized that it was time to head out and go to the restaurant, but the weather was bad and she wasn’t sure how she would be able to make it there in time in those conditions. She also wasn’t sure how far away the restaurant was, as it was “off the grid,” and not on a numbered street.
The smartest thing to do seemed to be hailing a cab. She told the driver her destination and he agreed to give her a ride. It was a relatively short journey that cost just over $5. But the entire cab ride was spent listening to the driver complain about getting nothing but small, low-paying fares all day, and how he was wasting gas by taking her such a short distance. When he gave her change she apologized (she didn’t know what else to say), at which point he snapped that she was a terrible person.
My friend was shocked! If she’d had her wits about her she would have gotten the license plate or identifying details to file a complaint, but as it was all she could do was shake her head. This man was performing a service, and had the option of saying no when he heard her destination, but instead acted like he was doing my friend a huge favor. It didn’t seem to register that she was paying for this service and that, as a customer, she shouldn’t be talked to that way.
I hope I never have a cab driver like this! So much for civility!