The cab driver

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hubby and I gave Jumper our van when she went off to college as it is very manageable here to just have one vehicle. Besides being a smaller city, the cab company has something called "Share-A-Ride" which is only $1.75 per ride for seniors and disabled kids, which is cheaper than gas. Hub is the mechanic at the cab company. He knows everyone. Has been there ten years. Before the weather got cold, I'd drive him the five minutes to work then drive myself the ten/fifteen minutes to work.

    I have been choosing to take a cab to work as I like getting into a hot, cozy cab these days rather than a cold truck that hubby warms up for two minutes then drives off and I freeze easily. Most of the cabbies are really nice and I've met most of them by visiting hubby. But twice I have gotten a man I'll call J.

    J. was fired once before, but they hired him again. Neither me nor hubby know why he was fired the first time.

    When I would get into the cab after work, wanting to destress, he'd have the radio blasting. Now...I don't like loud music...but he wasn't even listening to music. He was listening to a very controversial and in my opinion very hateful and bigoted talk show host that I plain did not ever want to hear, especially after a hard day at work so I asked him if he'd please turn the sound down. The topic on the radio was making the other passenger, who was sharing a ride with me, blurt his own political opinions, which would not have happened had cabbie just had music on. I told my husband about it and he said the cabbies aren't supposed to be listening to the radio while driving passengers, although some do listen to very soft music. He told me to get the guy's name if it happened again. I said ok and basically forgot about it.

    Today at work, while I was waiting for a cab, some poor young woman passed out and had a seizure. Her mom and dad were screaming that she wasn't breathing and some good samaratan did CPR on her and it was highly tense and emotional and the mood was somber after the ambulance took her. Fortunately, she was conscious by then, but I couldn't get it out of my head. She was soooo young and her parents were soooo distraught and crying and were still hugging each other when the cab came for me. The ambulance hadn't' left yet and was still sitting there with lights flashing and the family was hugging and on the cell phones and still crying. Very sad and scary.

    So in that sort of freaked out mood, I got into the cab and, yep, it was the same cabbie who liked to listen to controversial radio on a very high volume. As he drove off, I plain out asked him to please turn it down...that I didn't want to hear it...I didn't agree with it and found it offensive. I was calm and my voice was quiet when I asked, but it was kind of a request rather than a plea this time. He started to bellow at me that he was not going to turn it off and that there was nothing wrong with it.

    I was not in the mood to argue with a difficult child. I was always told at work, any job I've ever had, that you try to please the customer. And I always have. I called my husband and told him what was going on. Husband could barely hear me because the cabbie's radio was so loud. Then my husband told me to talk to another man who is the boss of the place. I did and he could hear the loud radio and assured me it would be dealt with. Cabbie didn't seem bothered that I was talking to his boss.

    He kept the radio blasting. His next stop to pick somebody up was at Walmart so I told him to just let me out; I'd get another cab. He made some rude comment and Ig Occupational Therapist (OT) out and called my hub, telling him to just send another cab, that I'd shop a while. Instead, Hub took off work to pick me up. On the way home, he told me, "That's Cabbie's job. He's getting fired tonight. What he did was against the rules."

    Anywya, guess I got somebody fired. I didn't mean to have it go that far, but it is what it is. Am I sorry? No. I can not listen to that show or shows like it. I literally feel sick and like I'm being forced to hear bigotry (it may not be true but it's my perception), being the customer, I feel he should have done what all workers have to do...try to make the customer comfortable and happy.

    I am still shaking my head. Most workers are very courteous to customers on every level. I run into very little of this in real life. It's not like I told him he was a bad peson for listening to the show. I just said *I* didn't want to hear it. He could have shut it down or off for our ten minute ride.

    Just venting as I am wondering what kind of a difficult child he is and how much grief he probably caused his parents and is causing his wife. He literally gets testy if a freaken customer he doesn't even know asks him a request in a calm, collected way...

    I dunno. Maybe it was me, but, again, I'm not sorry I did it. I try very hard to please customers and I expect the same from other workers. Jobs are hard to come by and it doesn't make sense to fight with customers...ok, I'm done ;)
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2014
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    MWM, YOU did NOT get someone fired. You handled a situation where someone was acting badly and you handled it extremely well. I think that you did exactly the right thing and should be proud of yourself. If this man continued in this way, he could lose a LOT for his boss. The company could be sued for having offensive material on, or could lose the contract for the cheap fare program or even their licenses to operate cabs at all. What you did was allow the owner to know that he had a potentially serious problem on his hands, and an abusive employee on his hands. The owner was nice enough to give the man a 2nd chance, but the man CHOSE to waste that with rude, offensive and clearly inappropriate behavior.

    NOTHING about this is your fault except that the owner should thank you for alerting him to th problem. firing the employee for abusing a customer is, or should be, a given. The cab co here is a TON more expensive (around $8 per mile min $15 per ride per person!) except for those that certain programs pay for like your program. Part of those program contracts state no music or customer's choice of music only. At least that is what the driver's say. These are state contracts and breaking these rules could put a cab co out of business because private clients are few and far between.

    Put this out of your mind because it isn't about you except that you stood up for yourself in a totally and completely appropriate way. Kudos to you for not tolerating this idiot's abuse.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I don't really feel bad. I had no idea he'd be fired. I just wanted the radio to go away. I had no idea that the cabbies weren't supposed to listen even to music, let alone a loud mouthed, screeching talk show host. Even if he had turned on my favorite talk show, I would still have asked him to please turn it off. I didn't want to hear any noise. I was hearing noise all the work day.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Basic rule in customer service industries: nothing controversial. In other words, would they play that program in an elevator, for example? No. That's what "elevator music" is for... quiet, non-controversial, background. This was obviously NOT in that category.

    Whether it's against the rules or not, if I were a company owner, I wouldn't want that guy being in a customer service position.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, IC, I know. I've been in advertising/sales/customer service when I've worked. Now I just work part-time at Goodwill, although I love it. We pipe in low key music. I can only imagine the uproar we'd have if they piped in any type of political radio show over the intercom. I can tell ya one thing...we would not have half as many customers as we now! Nobody going shopping, taking a cab, strolling through a mall or working out in the gym wants to hear the most loud-mouthed radio host spewing his blood pressure raising mantra. Even if people agree with him, he is NOT a relaxing man. That should be saved for your own personal car or home, not the business world.
  6. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Wow, the cab driver must never have heard the customer is always right. How very rude of him to not honor your request. It's sad that he lost his job but he went against company policy. Another example of how some people do not think rules apply to them.
    Bravo to you for speaking up as I'm sure he has many customers who suffered in silence.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I found out today that this driver had been in prison.

    Nice. Everyone always wants to drive with somebody who had been in prison, but I guess they can't discriminate?

    Oh, well. He's gone.
  8. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I admire the cab company for giving him a chance. I know my difficult child has had his prison record held against him. You would like to think that if a company is willing to give you a chance knowing that you have been in prison that you would bend over backwards to do a good job. I know get my head out of the clouds.
  9. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    MWM, You did the right thing, and the cab company did the right thing. I have NEVER heard of a cab company that allowed cabbies to listen to ANY radio while carrying passengers.

    husband drove a cab part and full time for several years in Chicago and Milwaukee and I'm quite familiar with the routine. We have a "jitney" cab company like yours up here in Rhinelander, though our fares are a bit higher. I use them occasionally.

    They have been my first experience with shared cabs and even they do not listen to the stereo. My only objection to the cab company up here is that one of the drivers is thin-blooded and keeps the heat blasting in the winter to the point that I'm dripping sweat within minutes of getting into her cab.

    Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say.