I’m seeing a continuing trend of people who don’t need to apologize for anything apologizing for things… and over-tipping. This is so backwards. These people are awesome customers who are aware and courteous and considerate. These people are a pleasure to have in the cab and they don’t need to compensate for anything with apologies or overly generous tips. I want the douche bags to do that. But obviously they’re douche bags because they aren’t courteous or considerate, therefore they’re completely unaware they should be making up for their shitty behavior. The awesome people shouldn’t have to pull those douche bags’ weight, though.
Here’s another small batch of short stories. I’m sure I’ll have more to write about after tomorrow (St. Paddy’s Day), but I’ll get these out before they get lost in the shuffle. This entry is an example of what a roller coaster some weekends are. Rides speckled with really awesome people and also really shitty people.
Sometimes I get lucky when there’s a group of idiots in my cab. Sometimes one of them was raised with manners and tries to subdue his asshole friends into behaving for 10 minutes, long enough to get them to their destination without getting kicked out. This poor dude should find new friends. Very rarely am I lucky enough that this dude is the one to sit in the front seat, because inevitably one of the asshole-idiots takes a look at me, perks up, then calls out loudly, “SHOTGUN!” This generally isn’t the first instinct of a nice guy.
This ride I picked up 4 gentlemen from a downtown bar and they were on their way to an East side bar. Before we left the parking lot of the first bar I was asked loudly three times what my name was. I had answered in a normal speaking voice each time, the guys were just too scattered and not actually interested enough in the answer to remember my name. I had to tell one of them no smoking in the cab, and another yelled out loudly when I drank from my water bottle, “HAHA YOU HAVE BEER!” My water bottle looks nothing like a beer.
Eventually, like with most idiot rides, it came down to a dude sitting directly behind me who had no clear view of me saying, “you know, YER HOT!” I asked him gently to please settle down and his friend started trying to shut everyone up and tell them they were being idiots. The guy behind me repeated himself and so I said to him, “Look. I’m a driver here. You’re allowed to compliment my driving and that’s it.” Overall these dudes were just dumb. They weren’t touching me or getting into my space, they listened to me once I started driving, and their demeanor was cheerful, so I kept mine cheerful as well.
Nice guy gave me a new, closer bar to drop them off at, kept apologizing to me for his friends, and ended up paying me $20 for a $7 ride.
“Are these seats heated?”
I had two gangly, early-twenties dudes in my cab from a convenience store downtown to a hotel on the South side. They were drunk from the bars and had just picked up a bunch of weird junk food to scarf in their hotel room. Two ladies who were probably about forty came out of the hotel and were waiting to get in. I didn’t have another call, but this hotel was next to a convention center so it wasn’t peculiar that people would be seeking rides out front.
Two dudes get out, two ladies get in and one of them says, “Wow these seats are warm… are these seats heated?”
“No… maybe it’s just that those guys were so hot?” I reply with a chuckle.
“PPPPPFFFFFFFFFFTTTTTTTTTTT! Yea, RIGHT!”
I thought it was HILARIOUS. It felt less of a malicious put down of the kid’s looks and more of the blatant disparity in age and social class. Those dudes were barely out of college and could be sons to these two middle class ladies. It would have been like walking into a high school and hitting on the students to them.
There’s this bartender that’s super cute and nice who is always a pleasure to take to and from work. He works at a bar that I would never go to (the clientele are college student party-goers), but he himself is respectful and pleasant. I’ve seen less of him lately because he’s gotten himself a girlfriend with a car, but when I do see him we talk about how life is going for either one of us.
This is the kind of person I was talking about in the beginning. This is the passenger who is so pleasant to have in my cab I don’t even WANT a tip. It’s like a mini-vacation from a busy poopy night. I want to go to his bar (if it were tolerable) and tip HIM too much. I had him in my cab twice in one night last weekend. He gave me $20 on a $7 ride to work, so I tried to give the return ride for free… but he threw a $20 on the front passenger’s seat and left before I could throw it back. I bet the Germans have a word for happy frustration.
Three drunk college kids from a downtown bar to some student apartments at bartime. One keeps repeating, “YER SEXY!” He’s seated directly behind me. I ask him nicely to stop. He doesn’t. I pull over and ask him nicely to stop or get out. His friend says he’ll get him under control. He stops until a block before our destination and does it again.
“Do you tell your waitresses this?”
I get tipped $1, they get out, I’m thankful it was a fairly short ride. I’m also pretty sure I went through this same thing a few months ago with this same group, but sometimes it all just blends together.
Sun Prairie Birthday Party
I was in a minivan so I got sent to a bar in Sun Prairie (a town just outside of Madison) to pick up a party of 6 going home to a different town outside of Madison. The ride was on a Safe Ride account, which is a program with the Dane County Tavern League that helps prevent drunk driving. Honestly, it does an awesome job at it and I’m thankful that there are less drunks on the road for me to maneuver around.
This group of 6 is loud because they’ve been having a lot of fun, but they’re also really respectful and nice. They don’t require much of me other than driving, they give me solid and concise directions when I ask, and they entertain themselves. One of them apologized for all the trouble (WHAT TROUBLE?!). They KNEW (and I told them twice when they were shuffling money around to tip me) that the ride was paid for, but they still handed me two twenty dollar bills. Happy birthday!
Don’t. Touch. The. Driver.
I should have known that the four dudes were going to be trouble when they started heckling a crying woman sitting on a curb on their way to my cab. I wouldn’t let them in until one of them spit out a dip in his mouth. He said, “ok,” walked away for ten seconds, came back and still had it in his mouth. After reminding him he needed to spit it out and after he tried the door handle again, he finally spit it out.
It took a few minutes to get everyone into the cab, partially due to heckling a CRYING WOMAN, but once we were on our way, the dude in the front seat kept hitting my arm. I don’t know why, maybe he was saying something he thought was funny and was trying to get me to laugh, but instead I said gently, “please stop touching me.”
IMMEDIATELY he got on the defensive and yelled that he had barely grazed me, how could I have thought he was trying anything? He then put his hand on my headrest, directly behind my head, turned around and started talking to his friends with his head very close to mine.
I pulled over and told him, always very gently, that he needed to calm down and stay in his own space. He continued getting defensive and how could I think he was trying anything, etc… “Look, you are a stranger and I am a cab driver and your hand is RIGHT next to my HEAD.”
One of the guys in the back seat looked sympathetic to my plight and offered to switch seats with him. “Yes, please,” to which defensive bro got even more defensive. When the switch was made, he got even more in my space somehow, yelling and putting his hands all over my seat from the opposite side of the car.
“Why don’t you get out? I can take your three friends, but you have to stay here.” Everyone protested, saying they couldn’t just LEAVE their friend behind, but eventually the defensive bro capitulated with, “I don’t even want a ride from this bitch, I’m going to call someone else!” Because it was my fault the ride was ruined, obviously. How dare I not want someone touching me.
We had gotten four whole blocks.