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It’s Either A Volkswagen Or A Folks-Walkin’

, , , , | Right | July 30, 2022

One evening, a young couple got into my taxi. Back then, more than 80% of the taxis in Copenhagen were Mercedes-Benz.

A couple of minutes into the ride, the young man asked:

Passenger: “What kind of car is this?”

Me: “It’s a Volkswagen Passat.”

Passenger: “As this is not a Mercedes, I suppose we will get a better price?”

I had already noticed his dialect, which clearly told me that he was from the part of Denmark that the rest of us would politely refer to as “thrifty”.

Me: “The best I can do is to promise that if you behave, I will take the direct route to your destination.”

I was, as always, taking the direct route, but what was I supposed to do? The meter decides the price; I don’t.

The Toenail Tax(i)

, , , , , | Working | July 27, 2022

I was second in line in a row of taxis at a major hospital. A couple of women went to the taxi in front of me, looked in, and then walked to my taxi.

Woman: “Is it okay if we prefer driving with you?”

Me: “Sure, but what’s wrong with the one in front?”

Woman: “He is sitting in his driver’s seat, busy clipping his toenails.”

Drivers Lice-nce

, , , , , | Right | July 15, 2022

I drive a taxi. I picked up a mother and her six- or seven-year-old daughter one evening. We got to their destination, and while the mother was paying, the daughter asked:

Daughter: “Mom, why didn’t we take the bus today?”

Mother: “Oh, you know we can’t. Remember, you’ve got lice.”

I was so outraged at her indifference that I ended up just staring at her in disbelief. 

I have never had lice, but I remember back in my school days when we were told that some pupils in the school had lice. I immediately felt a need to scratch an itch all over my body. That exact feeling came back when I heard her reply.

I spent a significant amount of the evening disinfecting, cleaning, and vacuuming the car.

Pay For Your Own Bad Behavior, Or You’ll Really Pay For It

, , , , , , , | Working | July 5, 2022

In the first half of the eighties, my first job was working for a newsagent at a local train station.

After every shift, we counted the money and checks we’d received during our watch. These were put in special paper pouches, which were then placed in our strongbox. A couple of times per week, the strong box would be emptied by our boss, and the pouches were taken by one of us to the deposit box outside our local bank. One summer, the bank reported that an entire pouch was missing from the last deposit. That pouch had contained roughly 10,000 kroner.

Everything was, of course, searched, and our second-in-command, a very nice woman in her fifties, who had taken the money to the bank on that day, was blamed. Nothing could be proven, but we could tell that the suspicion really got to her.

Over the winter, everybody working in the newsagent somehow learned that our boss had a mistress at the other end of the country. Then, we noticed that money was never taken to the bank until at least two days after we put it in the strong box. We worked out that our boss took part of a day’s earnings and used it to pay for some of the earnings from the day before. This went on for quite a while. None of us doubted that something similar had happened the year before and that one day, our boss just got tired of doing this every day. He then just let one pouch go missing.

One day, I knew for certain that my pouch from the day before was missing from what I was asked to take to the bank. After my shift, I called the district manager and told him what we thought was happening. I didn’t want to end up being blamed for money going missing just because my boss needed his extramarital affairs financed.

The district manager showed up within the hour, went through everything, and sure enough, close to 10,000 kroner was missing. My boss was fired on the spot.

An Expert In Wait-y Matters

, , , | Right | June 29, 2022

Close to 5 am one Saturday morning, I stopped at a taxi stop near a train station in central Copenhagen. There was a long line of customers as well as lots of mostly young people everywhere trying to flag down a taxi.

At times like this, I prefer to only pick up people at taxi stops. My logic is: If they’re sober enough to find their way to a taxi stop, they’re probably sober enough not to get sick in my car.

I drive to the front of the slightly disorganised line, roll down the window and ask: “Who has waited the longest?”

Just as two young women were about to open one of the rear doors, a young man skipped the line, shoved his way past them and slid into the back seat.

Me: “I don’t think it was your turn.”

Passenger: “How about a fare to [place ten miles away]?”

Me: “I don’t care where you’re going. You skipped the line.”

Passenger: “I don’t wait in lines.”

Me: “And I don’t drive people, who don’t wait in lines.”

He complained a bit, but eventually left. The two young women got in and I took them to their destination.