I’ve been a taxi passenger for at least 14 years now. Everywhere I go I need one of these beautiful yellow chariots. And in these 14 years I have had my share of everything; the really amazing and the really disgraceful of rides. I could tell stories till kingdom come about being in a taxi. But in general, I am able to cope with rides fairly well as they are benign.
Some of the really amazing things were talking about their life experiences, getting a free ride, being in a very clean cab. I must say 80% if not more of my cab rides are quite pleasant. It does help that I bury my face in a book or am on the phone for most of the rides.
This morning though, I had one of my few pet taxi peeves come true. And mind you I’ve experienced quiet a bit from smelly cabs, to really loud stuff blaring from the radio, to over friendly drivers, or the religious zealots, wrong way and the long way rides, as well as the occasionally very rude driver. I have even been in two taxi accidents, which were by the way the other driver’s fault. But that all is OK, I have a coping strategy for each one of them, even the cranky drivers. But the one thing that really really ticks me off is when they think they can not give change back.
It’s not about the value of the money it’s about how it’s done. Some will apologize and explain I don’t have change, those I willingly give the tip to with a smile. It’s the other breed of cab drivers that I hate, and you know who I am talking about. These are the worst offenders. They just sit there and wait for you to leave. You then seem petty and ask them for the change and they either tell you they don’t have any OR like this morning’s driver he says I owe him more and he is letting me off the hook!! How dare he! I take that ride EVERY morning. His meter was correct and he still had the audacity to say he wanted more than the meter and did not want to give me my change. The change was miniscule, the behavior wasn’t.
I wonder sometimes is it because I am dressed in a suit, or that I look foreign, or because I work in an affluent neighborhood, that taxi drivers think they can skim off of me the change? I take at least two taxis a day. If I give each of them the “tip” they think they deserve then I am out at least two to four cab rides in a week. Just like them I work hard for my money and I don’t find it on trees. I will give them a tip when I can and if they deserve it. But for them to just take it as theirs without even saying a word is just wrong.
Having said that, I am a champion of taxi drivers. I think they offer a great service to us all. I have had more pleasant than unpleasant experiences in cabs. And when asked what is my favorite car I usually say a taxi. I just wish they would not try to take me for the fool that I am not.