Friday, September 25, 2009

Story: When Your Cabbie Needs No-Doz

Story by anonymous: I had just flown into JFK after a hellish week working in Brazil – 20 hour workdays, including weekends. Not only was I exhausted, but it was April 15 and I hadn’t done my taxes. Then, when my plane landed, I received an e-mail from work telling me to go straight to the office. So I was tired and not too happy.

I get in the airport’s taxi queue, and the dispatcher assigns me to the third cab in line. I walk over. At this point, the cabbie would typically pop the trunk, and nicer ones would even help you with your bags.

Not this guy. This guy was asleep. And I guess I can understand that – it was probably 6 a.m. So I tap on the trunk to wake him. He jolts awake and hits the gas, lurching away from me. So I lugged my bags back to Sleepy’s cab. At this point, he was conscious enough to open the trunk, and I loaded my bags.

We start driving away from the airport when the cabbie looks back at me and says, “I need to stop and get some caffeine or pills, I can't stay awake."

Um, what? I’m pretty sure staying awake is part of their job.

So he takes the next exit and stops at some gas station. "I won't charge you for this stop," he mutters as he pauses the meter.

Yeah. I haven’t studied the Taxicab Rider Bill of Rights, but I would imagine "not being charged for random stops that delay your trip" should be on it.

He comes back to the cab, then starts driving in the wrong direction, we hit traffic, and I’m late. Nice.

I’m also angry. I only tipped the guy a couple of bucks – I normally tip more – hoping to irritate him. But looking back, I was a sucker. Today, I would probably contest the entire fare.

When I got home, I saw one of my bottles of cachaça, Brazilian rum, was broken. I’d like to blame that on the cabbie, too, but I think it happened on the flight.

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