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Taxing Taxiing, Part 9

, , , , , , | Working | November 19, 2022

My mom and I are vacationing in Ireland, and the plan is to check out a local castle. We’ve been informed by our [Vacation Rental] hosts to take the bus to the nearby town and walk up the hill to the castle from there.

We go to the central train station to take the bus to said town, but it’s a no-show. We ask some other drivers and they tell us it will be another hour. Having time to kill, we head for the beach and promenade nearby to take in the seaside views, but disaster strikes on the way back. My mom loses her balance stepping down from a curb, collapses, and scrapes her knee, and her ankle starts to swell up. She’s a real soldier, though, and is determined to not have it ruin our plans.

Because of the hassle of the fall, we end up by the wrong bus stop and see the bus we’re supposed to take leave without us. Not wanting to spend another hour waiting, we decide to take a cab, instead. This is good thinking, it turns out, as the road from the town up to the castle would have been too long and too steep to climb in my mom’s current condition.

The cab driver is very friendly and advises us to download the app for his company for the ride back. We spend a lovely afternoon at the castle and surrounding gardens, but my mom’s ankle is getting worse, and by closing time, I use the app to arrange our ride. The app informs me at the end of my reservation that a cab will arrive in about twenty minutes, so we stand by the front gates by the road to wait.

Forty minutes later, there is still no cab. By this time, my mom is almost unable to stand and there are no seating options anywhere. I call the cab company and explain the situation, asking how far off our driver is.

Employee #1: “You are [My Name], yes? You have ordered two cabs, is that correct?”

Me: “No… just one cab. I don’t know where you got the second, but apparently, my reservation has gone through twice somehow.”

Employee #1: “Okay, I’ll cancel the one cab, and the other should be on its way to you.”

Me: “Great. Any idea how long it will take to be here?”

Employee #1: “About twenty minutes.”

At least we have a timeframe now, so we opt to wait some more. Half an hour later, there is still nothing, so I call again. I say my name and explain the situation, and there is a loud sigh on the other end.

Employee #2: “[My Name]?”

Me: “Yes?”

Employee #2: “You told us to cancel the ride, so we cancelled, and now you still want a taxi after all?”

Me: “Hold up. You accidentally send two, and I just needed the one. You said there was still one on the way.”

Employee #2: “There never was. We have no drivers left available.”

I’m stunned. We’ve been out in the cold rain waiting for over an hour, my mom is in visible pain, and the man on the phone is acting curtly and rudely. I’m out of patience.

Me: “If you have no drivers left in the first place, you could have told me that half an hour ago.”

Employee #2: “I told you, we have nothing.”

Me: “Well… do you happen to know an alternative company that operates around here that can help us out?”

Employee #2: “No. Besides, I tried to call you twice to tell you your cab wasn’t coming…”

I’ve received no incoming calls whatsoever, I’ve been glued to my phone all the time, and I’ve had full bars of service, so I know he’s lying.

Employee #2: “…and you didn’t pick up, so that is on you.”

Me: “On me? Are you kidding me right now?”

Employee #2: “Now quit calling us. We have no drivers!”

I’m seething at this point. The castle is since closed, and we’ve seen the employees leave for the day. There’s no one around, and I have no clue how to get off this hill.

Me: “Just so you know, your service is f****** abysmal. Thanks for nothing.”

I hung up. We limped back into the castle, hoping to find someone to help us. We just caught the receptionist before she left, and she took pity. She called a friend of hers from town who happened to drive a cab for a rival company. The friend — an elderly gent with a heavy Irish accent — showed up five minutes later and neatly dropped us off at our [Vacation Rental]. We made sure to royally tip him.

Mom’s ankle was thankfully fine the next day, just slightly sprained.

Taxing Taxiing, Part 8
Taxing Taxiing, Part 7
Taxing Taxiing, Part 6
Taxing Taxiing, Part 5
Taxing Taxiing, Part 4

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