Kirk Gleason At Ooober Would Never Stand For This

, , , , , , , | Working | September 25, 2020

I work with home-bound dementia patients. Due to health concerns with riding public transportation during the health crisis, my agency is paying for workers to take car services to work. I have used one particular app-based service with no problem… until one Friday.

I get the car and he picks me up just fine. We turn the corner and come to a two-lane street with a stoplight on red. There are two cars in front of us.

The minute the light turns green, the driver zooms into the opposite lane and passes the two cars! He clips the front car while doing so. He does this so fast — like zero to one hundred mph — that it takes me a good minute to realize he’s stopped the car on the next street and the clipped driver, a woman, has pulled up behind him, gotten out, and is now yelling at him.

Once I can move, I grab my stuff and get out of the car, hitting the “CANCEL” button on the app. The driver, meanwhile, is arguing with the woman, saying there is no scratch or mark on her car. She demands his information and he refuses, speaking very condescendingly and insisting there has been no accident. He sees me and asks that I get back in the car.

I respond, “H*** no! You almost f****** killed me!”

Seeing me, the woman comes over and asks if she can get his information on the app. The driver continues to tell her that there is nothing wrong and implores me to get back into the car. She takes a picture of him and his license plate and asks once more for his insurance. He gets in the car and drives off.

The woman is a nurse and has to get to an emergency pickup shift, and I, of course, have to go relieve another worker who is with a client. We exchange information and I tell her I will fill out the accident form on the app. We part ways to our jobs.

I do get a response from the app, saying someone will contact me about filling out a report, but then I hear nothing for almost an entire week. Finally, I have to call up the support line and remind them we have his license plate before they send me the insurance contact number. I pass it on to the woman and let her know to contact me for anything, as I’ve saved all the texts and files with screenshots.

The worst part is, when I checked to make sure I had the driver’s name right, he was still driving even though I had filled out a report on him!

Making An Offer No One Could Refuse

, , , , | Working | September 25, 2020

Around fifteen years ago, I am traveling around India with a friend of mine from graduate school. He is Japanese and I’m a white male from the US. It is the last call at the bar, and it is time to head back to our hotel. We summon a taxi and are on our way.

I am a little nervous because the ride is taking longer than I anticipated; something about the driver seems shady. My suspicions are confirmed when, halfway through the trip, the driver asks if we want to meet some girls.

Prostitution is not a slap-on-the-wrist crime in India. But since we are foreigners staying at a very fancy hotel — the kind with security out front — he knows we have money. Also, at the time, Japanese tourists have a reputation for being inexperienced travelers and for not being able to hold their liquor.

I tell the driver no thanks. The driver won’t take a no from me as a final answer, so he directs his question to my friend, who just laughs. The driver asks him again.

Friend: “What?”

He looks confused.

Me: “[Friend], say no.” 

Driver: *Loudly* “Do you want to meet girls?”

Friend: “I don’t understand!”

Me: “[Friend], say no!”

Driver: *Yelling* “Do. You. Want. To. F***. Some. B****es?”

There is a pause.

Friend: “Ohhhhhh! No, thanks!”

He laughs.

The rest of the very circuitous trip is spent in silence. I am on edge, but my friend just seems drunk.

When we get to the hotel, the driver announces the price, which is at least twice what it should be. I am about to go ballistic on the driver when my friend holds up one finger, indicating for me to stop, and speaks, dead sober and with a smile on his face. 

Friend: “You have a choice. You can either take [two-thirds of what the fare should be] and go away, or I’m going to go speak to the police officers over there by the front door, and I will tell them exactly what you offered us.”

The driver took what my friend offered.

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Should’ve Hitched A Ride With Santa

, , , | Working | May 18, 2020

We are tourists who have booked a reindeer-feeding experience directly through our hotel. The shuttle bus forgets to pick us up; when it arrives at the location and the reindeer park staff realise we are missing, they immediately send for a taxi, which is relayed to us by our hotel reception.

I should note that the name and address of our destination was listed absolutely nowhere on our hotel’s website when we booked the tour. We don’t know where we are going and don’t know the contact details of the location; it has all been handled via our hotel. Once we’re already in the car and moving, the taxi driver asks me:

Taxi Driver: “Where are you going?”

Me: “Uh, we don’t actually know; you were arranged for us by the park we are going to.”

Taxi Driver: “Yes, but where is it?”

Me: “I’m so sorry, we really don’t know. We were supposed to be picked up by a bus and they forgot us; we don’t know the location.”

The driver scoffs and starts laughing.

Taxi Driver: “What? You don’t know where you’re going?? Why did you call a taxi?”

Me: “I’m sorry. As I just said, we didn’t call you ourselves; it was arranged for us. Didn’t they tell you the address?”

The driver is still laughing condescendingly.

Taxi Driver:  “I can’t believe you don’t know where you’re going.”

He then proceeds to pull over and call the tour company. They try to give him the address and he hangs up before confirming that he’s spelt it right. Then, he starts typing it into his map and driving at the same time. It is worth noting that he is speaking to them in English, which seemingly is not his first language nor that of the person he’s talking to, and the trouble they are having communicating is evident.

I am only a tourist and not familiar with the local area, but I know for sure the address he has just typed in is a major city that is over a seven-hour drive away. I feel panic rising in my belly because I have severe social anxiety and his attitude so far is stressing me out. The driver realises the address can’t be right, pulls his phone out again, and calls them back.

Taxi Driver: “You expect me to drive these people to [Faraway City]?” *Pause* “Well, the address you gave me says it is there.” *Pause* “So, it is not there?” *Pause* “Okay, I will just guess, then, because your address is wrong.”

He hangs up on them again and makes no further attempt to fix the address in his maps. I am unable to speak at this point out of panic that he is not only driving us to an incorrect location but will expect me to pay him myself when he can’t find it. The driver speaks to me once more, quite scornfully now.

Taxi Driver: “Unbelievable that you call a taxi and don’t know where you are going.”

He continued driving and, gods be good, guessed correctly and delivered us safely to our destination. It turned out to only be about twenty minutes away from our hotel. The staff were ready and waiting to pay for the taxi and greet us.

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A Pregnant Pause In The Middle Of Their Ride

, , , , | Legal | May 13, 2020

I’m pregnant with my second child and I begin to feel a few contractions. I call my doctor and she wants me to get an exam before the upcoming delivery, so I take a rideshare to the hospital. I know, from my first birth, that I’m still hours away before the baby comes out, and the contractions are still manageable without much more than a grunt, but car rides are very uncomfortable under those conditions.

We get stuck in traffic a few blocks from the hospital, and I suggest the driver turns on a different street that, from what I can remember from the last time I went to that hospital, will get us there. But I’m wrong and the driver makes a U-turn to get us back to the right path. It’s a little residential street, and several streets just like this one are two-way streets in this area. But this is not one.

We come out, going the wrong way, to find out the cause of the traffic jam was a police block. The cop is very excited to bust my poor driver for going the wrong way.

Cop: “You are going the wrong way; what were you thinking?”

Driver: “Sorry, I—”

I know all this is my fault, and I feel awful, so I open my window to intervene.

Me: “Sorry, officer! It was my fault!”

I feel a contraction coming and I let out a roaring scream like in the movies. I catch my breath and continue.

Me: “You see, I’m having a baby and we need to get to the hospital—”

I point to the hospital, just a block away

Me: “—and I thought this street got us there.”

The officer gets very alarmed and tells us to follow him.

I’m very happy he let the driver go without a ticket, especially since cops here are notorious for asking for bribes. But my driver is almost freaking out.

Driver: “WAIT! YOU’RE IN LABOR?”

I let out a very relieved laugh and explained to him that, well, technically, I was, but the baby was still hours away. 

The cop got in his car and escorted us the short distance, sirens blazing. It was all very cinematographic and completely unnecessary since there was no traffic past the police block.

We got there in minutes and all was well with us. I even went back home and then back to the hospital — no wrong roads this time — before having my baby later that day.


This story is part of our Brazil roundup!

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They’re Speaking Both Physically And Mentally

, , , , | Right | May 7, 2020

I work at a taxi call center where we receive and send out the addresses of people’s whereabouts to the cab drivers. In all cases, we must receive an accurate address. This happens more than you would think.

Me: “[Taxi Company], good afternoon!”

Caller: “Yeah, hi, can you hang on for a moment? I don’t know where I am.”

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