Anyone who knows me will attest that most of the time I love what I do. But every once in a while, there’s that one customer that…for whatever reason, just manages to get under my skin.

Tonight, it was the person at EDITED.  Texting from phone number EDITED. And apparently going to EDITED.

The story goes like this. Right around 2AM, at the busiest time of a Saturday night, I got a text message (yeah, that’s how many of my customers come to me now) to come get someone deep in the hills of Westlake.

I was with a customer, and quite a bit across town at the time so fired off a quick “Busy” message at 1:54am with an ETA (20-30 minutes) & request for confirmation. “Yes” he said.

When I dropped off my current customer, I fired off another quick message at 2:12…”Enroute”, with another ETA (15-20 minutes). This time, all I got was a simple OK.

Thirteen minutes, thirteen miles, and a bit under a gallon and a half later I was just pulling onto the street leading to his house when I got…

“Another cab just arrive, we are good”

2AM on a Saturday night & I’ve just wasted the majority (by the time I could get back into town) of the busiest part of the night. Quickly I pulled over & called him.

“Hello”
“Did I really just drive all the way across town for nothing?”

His response…was to hang up on me.

I’ll admit, I lost my shit a bit at this point & sent a scathing text.

“With that kinda f*#!ing, I’ll be listing you as Dick in my phone”.

Nearly half an hour later I get his response…scathing in its own way. But also very telling of type of character this person has.

“Look it’s 230 am and we want to get Hm. You are a cab that’s what you do. Don’t pretend. We pay you for your f#@%ing ride. Good night.”

It’s like he’s saying “You’re just a cab driver, why should I care”, as though he’s better than me in some fashion.

It’s exactly this entitled bullshit attitude that has caused me to all but swear off of picking up at Fraternity Houses in West Campus, as though any suffering they cause to us is irrelevant because we’re so far beneath them…and now I see it from someone who’d ridden with me earlier in the night & professed to have the time of their lives riding in The Land Yacht.

Normally, I’d let an incident like this roll off my back & just get back to work…but even after finishing my night and getting a good day’s sleep, I’m still brassed off. Not over the no-show, although I’ve got my reasons for being pissed about that.

No, what pisses me off is that response.

So, my message to anyone out there who’s gonna ride with me.

I send those ETA messages out for a bunch of reasons.

  • First & foremost, because I’m a bit obsessive about staying in contact with my customers.
  • Second, obviously I want my customers not to worry. I’ve got their back…and they’ve got a (relatively) ironclad estimate of when I’ll arrive.
  • Third, and most important in this instance…it is done in the hopes of preventing that person from picking up the phone & calling another cab company when they know I’m already on my way.

My first message always gives an ETA and asks for a confirmation. I do this because I don’t want to waste this customer’s time if they don’t have the time to wait. I also don’t want to waste my own time if they’re really in a hurry & I know I can’t meet their schedule.  And I make sure to let my customers know I have no problem with them using another service if I can’t get to them when they need me.

Because…let’s be honest, if he’s being picked up deep in the hills of Westlake before I can even arrive, and still within my original estimate…then he called more than one cab in the first place. Why?

If you “pay me for my fucking ride”, WHERE is my pay? It’s on the way to a destination in another cab, well within the ETA I originally gave you…twice.  In downtown, I might be able to shrug it off (oops, 5 minutes I’ll never get back).  But halfway across town during the busiest time of night?

My message to this person: Do you call multiple sources when ordering pizza? Why would you think it appropriate with ordering a cab? And then why would you think it appropriate to insult or belittle that driver, who you just essentially robbed (there’s no other word more appropriate for what you did)?