Thursday, August 14, 2008

Well That Was Fun - Not!

I am stupid - because I didn't write down the driver's cab number (was one of those with great black card with the person's name on the side).

I got in cab, all is going well as we're driving along Eye street late last night heading west. I should mention that I'm not a tall person. So folks may not be able to see me sitting in back there. Anyhow, on with story.

We're going along on Eye street. There's a woman 1/2 block ahead of us trying to hail a cab. A driver on the far side of my cab speeds up, cuts in front of us to pick up the woman hailing the cab, so we slam on our breaks. I figure he didn't see me and was trying to beat out my driver to the fare.

She gets in 2nd cab and by the next block we're side by side at a red light. My driver rolls down the passenger window and starts yelling at other driver. Who of course starts yelling back. Woman & I staring at each other with "can you believe THIS?" looks. The light turns green and the drivers don't move! They're still yelling at each other. Light turns yellow and they yell more.

I check out my meter, grab the exact change toss it in the front passenger's seat and get out of the cab. Driver now screaming at me - I turn around and scream back "are you KIDDING ME?" and walk behind both cabs to get into a third (non screaming driver) cab for rest of trip.


At 9:14 PM, Blogger Philip said...

Was one of them Diamond #926? That guy is always yelling at people.

There have been times when I wanted to give Unlicenced Abdullah a piece of my mind, but when there is a customer in your back seat, your obligation is to the passenger. You should avoid doing anything that might cause discomfort to the passenger, even if that means that Illegal Igbwe gets away, this time, without someone's letting him know what a buttwipe he really is.

I have had it happen that Faceless Tesfaye starts yelling at me when I have a customer in the back seat, but I must roll up the window and ignore him, instead of telling him 'blow it out your posterior, illegal!' or some such thing that he so richly deserves. The customer must come first, that is who pays our bills.

You did the right thing. With so many cabs out there these days, thanks to the large number of unlicenced drivers, you really do have a choice and should not put up with substandard service.

Did you share the cab with the other passenger? If so, the driver could get into trouble. Shared riding is no longer permitted except at the Station or 'other times as permitted by the Commission'. There is no ptovision in the Regulations that exculpates the driver if both passengers agree. But then, if the third driver had no licence, it does not matter, the Authorities here do not do anything to unlicenced drivers.

At 10:05 AM, Blogger Mad Cabbie said...

No, I think it had to be Diamond #66 Phil! Years ago some brothers robbed him around Union Station and every time he sees me he yells "Your people robbed me! Maybe your cousins did it!" He has a big mouth but I like him!

At 7:10 PM, Blogger Philip said...

My old friend Manaf has a big mouth? Are we thinking of the same guy? You know., the slew-foot guy from Afghanistan? I never knew him to have a big mouth. A whiner, yes, but not a big mouth. How do you know him, anyhow? He does not work at night.

Yeah, you are right that he does not like the 'bros', allright, or the 'sistas', for that matter. We had one really bad incident with him, one afternoon, it was Leroy, or some good regular like that, I forget. The customer was in Georgetown, and I made the mistake of sending this guy (he drove a different number, at the time). First, he did not want to pick up the customer, then he did not want to take him where he lived (from where this customer called us every day). Then he whined all the way there. I kept trying to tell Manaf that this customer rode at least twice every day and paid well, and that he should be quiet and just drive the customer to his address. It was all in vain. Later, the customer called us and told us he was ashamed to flat the driver, even though he so richly deserved it. Hazel and I both told the customer not to worry, we would have been on his side if he had not paid (and it takes QUITE A BIT to get me to feel that way about a driver).

There were other incidents with him, too. It is a wonder that he still has a hacking face. He used to get into more fare arguments when we had Zones.........I wonder how he does with the meter.......

At 9:51 AM, Blogger DC Cab Rider said...

No Diamond cab anywhere in the story - thanks to Mad, I notice Diamond cabs. Judging by accent, neither of the two screaming drivers were native born US. The third (and not involved in any of this mess) driver said he was from Ethiopia, was a nice guy and very amused by the fighting drivers as we chatted after I got in his cab. I have no idea what the woman in the 2nd cab ended up doing, she was still sitting there when I left.

At 7:46 PM, Blogger Mad Cabbie said...

That's right Phil, it's the same guy we're talking about. I used to catch him early in the morning before I go home. Nowadays I leave very early so I don't see him that much. Diamond drivers are usually pros DCCR, the average Diamond driver has been with the company for 90 years!

At 9:02 AM, Anonymous roy said...

Great post DC! You'd think driving a Taxi and this type of thing happening all the time he'd have a silent strategy for dealing with such annoyances.
Mine would be to garner as much sympathy for my daily toil from you! hoping for a better tip!

At 9:19 PM, Anonymous Lugosi said...

Next time just ask for a non-screaming cab.

At 12:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, so what are the rules on sharing? I was just 'forced' to share a DC cab from Union Station w/ 2 others going to the same general vicinity as me. The cabbie took the longest route possible and dropped me off first. He charged me the full amount on the meter and gave me a dirty look when I inquired why the fare wasn't split. I asked him if he was going to charge the other passengers the full fare as well. He said yes. I asked him how that was fair given that he'd just brought them out of their way to bring me home. He ignored me. The digits on the guy's plate were 91239. I'm very curious as to what the actual rules are.

At 2:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sharing? You don't have to share. All you have to do is walk up to ANY cab in the cab stand and say, "I want to hire your cab.", and that's the end of it. Oh, there was only 1 cab and 3 people wanted rides, well you could have waited. It should be obvious that he couldn't restart the meter from your stop, so he'll charge the other people around the meter rate from the source of the ride to the destination. Thing is, he probably high flagged those rides (didn't log them, didn't run the meter, won't give the company their percentage).

Also, in a metered cab, you the passenger are entirely at liberty to say, I want to take thus and so a route unless your proposed route would take the meter beyond the max fare.

BUT!!! Before you complain about getting ripped off, let me ask, do you know the right price for your ride? Roughly? I'll bet you do. You are also at liberty to say to the driver before you get in the cab, "The right fare for my ride is around $10.00, I do usually tip, ok?"

Cab drivers know train, plane, bus schedules. Another cab will come along pretty quick. Save yourself the agrivation, discuss the ride before the ride, not after.

At 12:53 PM, Blogger Real cab driver said...

You've inspired me. Thank you. Your tale of a wild ride prompted me to start a blog, and my first wild ride story tops any you will ever have. Do add me to your cab driver blog links, if you're willing, and I will thank you in advance. Best of luck to you.


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