Owns These Streets

| Sweden | Related | December 19, 2015

(I am driving a family to a restaurant. There is a mother, father, their teenage son, and his grandfather.)

Grandfather: “Hey! You need to turn; you’re going down the wrong street!”

Me: “I know that, but in order to get where we’re going we have to go down this street first, AND THEN turn. From where we came from I couldn’t pull directly onto the street we are going to, but we’ll be back on track in no time.”

(There are a few seconds of silence.)

Son: “Owned, Grandpa.”

Minus 25 Degrees For Plus 25 Minutes

| Ottawa, ON, Canada | Working | December 4, 2015

(The following takes place on a day when the temperature is -25 degrees Celsius.)

Me: “Hi, can I get a cab at [Address], please?”

Dispatcher: “Is that an apartment or a house?”

Me: “It’s a townhouse, but the complex I live in can be confusing. It would probably be best for me to meet the driver in the parking lot.”

Dispatcher: “Sounds good.” *goes to hang up*

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, do you have any idea how long it will be?”

Dispatcher: *annoyed* “I don’t know. Why do people always ask me that?”

Me: “Well, in my case, it’s because I can’t see the parking lot from my window. I’m going to be standing outside… in Canada… in the winter… and I want to be out there for as little time as possible.”

Dispatcher: “Well, I dunno… 5-30 minutes, anyway.” *hangs up*

Pizza Is What Drives You Home

| Kyoto, Japan | Working | May 6, 2015

(It’s midwinter and raining, and I’ve gotten off work quite late, so I decide to pick up a pizza for my family and take a cab home to save time. I ask the cabbie if it is okay, and he says no problem. We start driving toward my apartment.)

Driver: “To be honest with you, I’m starving. I was just thinking about taking a break and grabbing some dinner. I hope you don’t mind me cracking the windows? The smell’s driving me crazy.”

Me: *awkwardly* “Haha, no problem! Sorry about this.”

(As he drives, he keeps making small comments about how hungry he is. I’m feeling really guilty, and I half-considered trying to leave him a slice. We get to my apartment and I pay.)

Driver: “Thank you for riding with [Taxi Service]. Make sure you don’t leave anythi— Actually, it’s fine if you do.”

Won’t Go Down For Downtown

| MI, USA | Right | April 7, 2015

(We occasionally get calls from hotels to arrange transportation for their guests. This happened on a Sunday evening.)

Hotel Clerk: “Hi, I was wondering if you could take a guest of mine? He wants… Where do you want to go, sir?”

(I can hear the guest in the background, very loud and rude.)

Hotel Clerk: “He wants to go downtown. How much is that?”

Me: “With us, that’s $30, one way. I can speak with him, if you’d like.”

(The clerk proceeds to hand the phone over. The customer is audibly drunk.)

Customer: “How much is it to go downtown?”

Me: “It’s $30 with our service, sir.”

Customer: “No, no, no, no, no. No. I’ll give you $20.”

Me: “Our prices are firm, sir. We are a luxury service.”

Customer: “Well, aren’t you just precious. You’re so sweet; I’m going to give you $20 for it and that’s all.”

Me: “No. We will not go below $30 for this trip, sir.”

Customer: “Who do you think you are? I can call up any cab service for less, but I’m offering to give you $20 for this.”

(At this point, the clerk grabs the phone away from his guest.)

Hotel Clerk: *clearly desperate* “So can you take him?!”

Me: “He’s drunk, isn’t he?”

Hotel Clerk: “Yes.”

Me: “I’m sorry you have to put up with him, but he’s not getting in one of my vehicles. Here’s the number to a cab service. They’re going to be cheaper and they might actually put up with him. Best of luck. He cannot be easy to have right in front of you.”

Hotel Clerk: *defeated* “Okay. Thanks.”

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A Global Imposition

| Rochester, NY, USA | Working | January 30, 2015

(While in college I relied on trains to get to and from my home for breaks. I had a car, but didn’t trust the area of town the train station was, and instead elected to take taxis from campus to the station. On this occasion, I called for a taxi a few hours in advance to be sure they’d have time to reach me.)

Me: *calling dispatcher* “Yeah, my taxi was supposed to show up about 15 minutes ago, and he’s still not here.”

Dispatcher: “Well, he says he’s on his way.”

Me: “Well, okay, but I have a train to catch, so this is kind of time sensitive.”

Dispatcher: “I’ll let him know.”

(Fifteen minutes later and still no taxi. I’m getting really anxious now as the grace period I left myself is running out, so I call again.)

Dispatcher: “I’m sorry, miss, but all I can say is he’s on his way. I’ll try to contact him again.”

(A few minutes later, my phone rings.)

Driver: “Yeah, I’m just trying to find your apartment… it’s kind of hard.”

Me: “My apartment is ON CAMPUS! On the academic side!”

Driver: “Oh… OH! Okay! I gotcha. I’ll be there in a minute.”

(Finally the cab pulls up and I all but throw my bags into the trunk.)

Driver: “Sorry about the wait. What time is it, anyway?”

Me: *noticing a GPS on his dashboard displaying the time* “It’s [time]. And you know, it says right there on your GPS.”

Driver: “Oh, that thing. I never look at that.”

(Well, maybe you should have, buddy! I almost missed my train!)

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