Let’s talk taxis

Went downtown today to sign my security clearance forms for a recruiting agency, deposit my final paycheque, and bring in my ROE to HRDC. My right knee, which I hurt in January, feels weird today (cross between seizing up and threatening to buckle) so I decided to splurge on a cab home.

Despite most cabbies arguing otherwise, the customer is rarely considered right. I had a cab driver last year sometime pull over to the side of the road and threaten to kick me out of the cab into a downpour because I had the temerity to suggest he move into a differnt lane than he was in (*he* was the professional driver and how dare I question his driving ability). I had another cab driver, despite me telling him in great detail the route I wanted him to take, take me down a number of side roads because he thought they would be faster (they weren’t). I had another driver who, after grudgingly taking me the way I wanted to go, decided he was going to test my assertion that the way we went was cheaper (after ALOT of experience on my part going pretty much every way possible between home and work at various times of the day, I might add) by dropping the flag on his meter and seeing how much it cost him to get back to our point of origin going his way. (I saw him later and he admitted that it did cost him a dollar or so more to go his way.) Ultimately, you, as a cab driver, should be driving the customer the way the customer wants to go. If it takes longer or costs more than the route you’d personal choose to take, well, the customer is the one who pays for it so who cares?

Today, I told the driver to take a specific route but I wasn’t detailed. He was about to turn to take the rather boring Driveway when I asked him to stay on Elgin, which we were already on. He wasn’t happy. I think he was hoping to get the trip over with more quickly but Elgin, though shorter, had more traffic lights and so the trip could end up a bit longer. Sometimes it isn’t about the cheapest route or the fastest route. Sometimes, when all else is relatively equal, it’s about the more interesting route. I don’t often get to go down Elgin and I love it — it’s full of character and life and so is a more interesting trip. The Driveway is pretty during the summer but all you see right now driving along it is a canal half-covered with dirty snow and residences. Yawn.

So, we drive up to my apartment building and, despite me showing him where he could pull in right in front of the building to let me out (and conveniently for him, he’d already be turned around into the right direction to leave), he tried to let me out on the street. Now, we’ve made this trip in absolute silence so far. Not even when I paid him (with a decent tip, I might add) and thanked him (my mama raised me polite) did he say a thing. Not “Thanks.” Not “Have a nice day.” Not even “Stupid bitch.” Nada. Zip. Zilch. I mean, seriously, you’re going to nurse a grudge just because your customer wants you to drive down a different road than you’d choose yourself? It’s like it’s a personal affront to some drivers if you know how you want them to take you from Point A to Point B.

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