Holiday stress

The holidays are full of the same BS from inconsiderate passengers, but it stings a little more because we’re supposed to be nicer to each other around this time of year… right?  So driving people home on icy roads for 25-30 minutes to get a $1 tip stings extra if it’s a day or two before Christmas (even if I don’t actually celebrate any religious holidays).  There’s an expectation that people are supposed to be aware of how demanding they’re being and how nice those around them are.  Not to mention the empathy of extra holiday stress on everyone, no matter their denomination, and commiseration of having to work during the holidays.  All of this is rarely given financial materialization.  I’m not saying it never happens, because some people really get it and I am so thankful, and I give these people genuine smiles and voice my appreciation…  It’s just that it’s pretty rare.

When it’s bartime and I pull up to a busy place looking for someone who I was assigned to pick up, other people who are milling around try to convince me to take them instead.  When this happens, I get several lines.  It’s like shaking a magic eight ball and getting one of 6 “can I get in?” lines, all of them with varying degrees of forcefulness.

“We’ll tip you big!!”
“They just left, I saw them get into another cab.” (obviously a lie)
“Don’t you want to make money?  We’re right here and ready!”
“We called you, you’re here for us.”  (Because they are obviously the only ones to consider calling or everyone else called after them)
“They were jerks anyway, we’re way nicer, you really want us in your cab instead!”

Last night I got a variation of the “we’ll tip big!” line:  “We’ll pay you double!”  I start to counter-argue that what she said was vague considering she didn’t say if she’d pay double for HER ride or what the ride would be of the passengers I was there for.  She tramples over my talking with “WE ARE SO COLD!!”  I say no, I’ll keep her in mind if my passengers don’t show up.

I wait 3-4 minutes and we’ve made a phone call and text message and received no reply.  I pull a few feet forward to where this girl is sitting with her two friends and let them know I’ll take them.  They spend the first few minutes in my warm cab thanking me profusely and reveling in the warmth of my heater.  When I get them home, they charge the $10 and tip $2.  Not a bad tip, but certainly not the double I was promised.  I mention it as the girl gets out and she shrugs, rolls her eyes, and slams the door like a big “FOOLED YOU!”  I wasn’t surprised in the least.  I’ve gotten that line countless times and it’s only paid off MAYBE twice.  I just resent that she felt the need to try and trick me.  Doesn’t she know that if she’s polite and I’m available, I’ll take her home without any promise of a tip?  ‘Tis the season to try and steal other people’s cabs via lies and deceit!  Oh wait, that’s every season.

Most of my evening was threaded with a theme of people just not listening to a god damn thing I said.  They would start a conversation with me, ask me a question, and my answer would either be interrupted with something off topic or completely ignored for something they wanted to continue to talk about.  This included directions to their houses.

“Do you want me to take XYZ route?”
“NO!  I want you to talke XYZ (restated route with different words) route!”

Being asked 3 times during the course of a ride how my night was going.

Me saying “no” to an offer of coming inside to smoke pot and play Super Mario Brothers 3, three times.

This last one was a gem.  Four video game developers from a local company get a ride to the West side.  The guy in the front thought he stole my cab from someone else I was waiting for (we called my original passengers and they said they had gotten a different ride home).  It took him several minutes to round up his friends, but once we were on our way, his polite demeanor turned loud and obnoxious.  He kept turning fully around in his chair, yelling instead of talking to the people in the back, and every time he turned around or back, his arm and hand whipped by my head while I was trying to concentrate on driving.  He asked about the smoking and Mario Bros. three times, trampling over my answers.  When finally after warning him twice that I was going to pull over and make him switch to the back seat, he kind of threw a temper tantrum.

Guess who was paying for the ride?  He wrote in $0.00 in the tip line and totaled it.  I called him on it in front of his friends and he said, “Well yea!  You were rude!”  Yup, because not putting up with a whole pile of bullshit is me being rude.  His friends were embarrassed but only had $1 between them in cash.  They offered to have me run one of their cards for just the tip, but that’s more paperwork headache than it’s worth.  I just let them know they should tip the next driver more instead and thanked them.

I’m not sure why this particular ride pissed me off the most, maybe it’s a straw-camel thing, because I’ve had a whole lot worse happen in the past few weeks that hasn’t phased me…  but after this ride I felt myself spiral down into this dark resentment.  That kid has a nice job, is fucking around with his extra money and living it up, but then turning around and treating people like shit.  Then when they don’t put up with it, THEY’RE the assholes.  This sort of situation is why people do bizarrely mean things like pooping in bags on porches and lighting it on fire.  I have never done this, but now I’m starting to daydream about it.

About yellowandblackmail

I pick people up and take them where they want to go.
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