Monday, August 07, 2006

Stranded on Saturday

This is from my friend Marcus.

Marcus & his gf got a cab to go home around 1 or so Saturday night/sun morn. They'd been partying in Adams Morgan (a neighborhood not that far from me that is full of bars/restaurants and such) and were going home in Tacoma Park, just over the line in Maryland.

All was fine until the cab just stopped by the side of a pretty deserted road through part of Rock Creek Park. He pulled over and said something they couldn't understand, then he got out of the cab to look at his car. Marcus doesn't know much about cars, but he's a guy so he got out to see if he could help. The driver's English or accent was just tough enough that Marcus couldn't figure out what he was saying was wrong.

They all got back into the cab, and the driver got on his phone and made a call, speaking in his native language. Marcus assumed he was calling for help and another cab for them. So they waited (instead of calling a friend with a car to come get them). About 20 minutes later, a guy shows up in a regular car and the driver/new guy go to look at the engine again. Marcus gets out and asks when another cab is coming for them. The driver said "nobody else, we'll go." And they set to work on the car. Whatever is going on, Marcus figures out that it's not a quick fix and asks the guy to get another cab to come for them. He says that there isn't anyone else (he's not part of a company).

Gf has joined them at this point, and is getting a little freaked out about being on the side of a dark road at night, not wanting to get plowed into by some drunken fool speeding around those curves too fast. Marcus uses his cell to call info & gets a number for a cab company, then spends about 10 minutes trying to explain to the dispatcher just where they are. He asks the driver to get on the phone to say where they are, but he brushes Marcus off.

Finally, about 40 minutes later, another cab finally shows up to pick them up and take them home. And their first driver?

Asks for his money before they leave. He actually wants the money for driving them to the deserted side of a road in the park before his car dies. Marcus cursed him out and they took off in the second cab.

2 Comments:

At 4:09 PM, Blogger bob said...

Never broke down with a fare in myself but have picked up from cabs that have broken down and we just charge for that bit of the journey.

 
At 6:38 PM, Blogger wil said...

Once I had a flat tire, just after I started my run. Got another cab there immediately. No charge for my portion of the trip.

As a driver/dispatcher, I think we have had maybe a half-dozen cabs fail to complete a run do to mechanical problems. Depending on the distance traveled, some drivers did ask for the fare and other did not. One guy had the transmission fail one-half mile from the airport (after a 16 mile trip). He got another cab, a different company from that side of the island, immediately. The customer didn't have a problem with that and he made his flight on time.

 

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