Wherever The Taxi Went, We Hope It Was Away

, , , , , | Right | November 12, 2019

(I work in a call center for a taxi company as a dispatcher, which means that in addition to taking customer calls, I handle complaints and deal with drivers directly. We often get calls from hotels for guests, and a small motel has just reopened under new management. The phone rings:)

Me: “Good afternoon, [Taxi Company]. May I start with your phone number?”

Customer: “Hi, I own [Motel] and I’m just calling to let you know I’m giving you all my business.”

Me: “Thank you; that’s very kind.”

Customer: “Remember my phone number; it’s very important. I’m very important and I will be calling you all the time. I’m going to be calling all the time for all my customers, so make sure to remember my number. It’s very important and you’ll get lots of good business.”

Me: “Thank you, sir; have a good day.”

(I can already tell this guy is crazy. That afternoon, he calls and one of my coworkers answers, and the guy screams at him for not already knowing who he was before ordering a cab for a guest. I find out later he called again soon afterward and was as happy as can be despite no difference in the calls, confirming my diagnosis of crazy. The next day, he calls again and wants to speak to a supervisor. The call is transferred to me.)

Me: “Hi, dispatch, how can I help you?”

Customer: “Hi, I’m [Customer], owner of [Motel].”

Me: “How can I help you, sir?”

Customer: “Last night, I ordered a taxi for [Female Customer].”

(I go through the system and find the order, assuming it’s about a lost phone or something.)

Me: “Yes, sir?”

Customer: “Okay, I want to know exactly where she went. I want to know what route they took, who met her there, any stops on the way, and I want that driver’s name and number so I can call him for details.”

Me: “Sir, I’m not allowed to discuss any of that with you.”

Customer: “I ORDERED THE CAB!”

Me: “Yes, sir, but it’s against the Privacy Act for me to discuss any information like that with anybody other than the actual customer.”

Customer: “THERE IS NO PRIVACY ACT! YOU TELL ME!”

Me: “No, sir, I’m not allowed to.”

Customer: “THERE IS NO PRIVACY ACT! I AM INDIAN! YOU TELL ME!”

Me: “It doesn’t matter what race you are, sir; it’s illegal for me to—”

Customer: “NO, IT ISN’T!”

Me: “Yes, it is.”

Customer: “FINE. I WILL NEVER CALL HERE AGAIN! YOU’VE LOST ALL MY BUSINESS! YOU’LL BE OUT OF BUSINESS WITHIN A WEEK!”

Me: “Have a good day, sir.”

(He ordered a few more cabs, but then stopped phoning. We never heard from the lady, so I hope she recognized his crazy and fled. I still don’t know what his race had to do with anything, or what he hoped to accomplish by just insisting the law didn’t exist.)

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