The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Monday, January 13, 2003

I swear, I must have the absolute worst luck when it comes to the cab drivers I flag down.

First, a little background. I don't regularly take cabs. I live in the Tampa-St. Petersburg metro area, aka Tampa Bay. But there are metro areas, like New York City and Boston, and then there are metro areas, like Phoenix and Los Angeles. Tampa Bay is more like LA in terms of the lack of density: there are a lot of people around, but all spread out. So even in the downtown areas, it's pretty rare that you'd resort to taking a taxi as the primary form of conveyance. The upshot is, I take a cab in my hometown maybe once or twice a year, max.

Now, when I travel up to New York to visit my family, like I did this past weekend, I have more of a need to cab it. So it was this last trip, when I got a cab after setting down at LaGuardia. Since this was me getting the cab, of course the cabdriver was an absolute idiot. I told him right away that I wanted to go to Grand Central Station--not exactly an obscure address. He couldn't seem to wrap his mind around this, so I had to repeat "Grand Central Station" about three or four times. Geez....

So, naturally, he drives me into the City... and makes his way to Penn Station. Not Grand Central Station, but Penn Station. And then he argues with me, claiming that I had said Penn the whole time. FUCKING IDIOT.

After arguing with him for one minute, I decided that I was better off just ditching this guy altogether rather than hope that he'd be able to get me to Grand Central on a second try. So I paid him, middle-fingered him goodbye (well, not really, but I should have--it was Manhattan, after all), and found another cab in front of Penn. This one had a driver with a brain, and he got me to my chosen destination promptly.

I don't know, I guess I just have a weird knack for this. I'm always getting stuck with cabbies, here in Tampa Bay especially, who just cannot do their jobs. I can't tell you how many times I've told a driver to take me to a certain location or address, and then have him ask me how to get there. I mean, shouldn't a basic requirement for driving a cab be that you have an above-average knowledge of the city in which you work? Or am I crazy? Sheesh.