To consolidate all of my horror cab chronicles, I am writing this blog post in fury. (And some ice cream.)
Here is a list of asshole taxi drivers who I wish were on the death row. I am sure you have met one of them and you may also have your own story too. Don’t hesitate to share your own anecdote below and let’s all start a movement against these warts of mankind!
1. No Choice, No Change – There are drivers who purposely hide their coins and then tell you they don’t have change when you get out of the cab. This is so they can charge you a little bit more of what was actually displayed in their antagonistic meters when the car stopped. Some of them aren’t even good liars but you cannot do anything about it anyway.
How to Outsmart: My advice is to keep change all the time and if you’re not in a hurry, ask him to look for change until he realizes that he needs to get going and charge you less instead. That, or wait in the cab while he looks for change (hey, he might be telling the truth after all) and stop the meter yourself. They might charge you more for the time that you spent in waiting. Which brings me to my next rant…
2. Stop the Meter, Bieber – Sorry Justin. I just had to create a nice-sounding title for these a-holes. Some cab drivers, while they’re fumbling for change or going outside to have your money changed, they keep the meter running and charge you for that little extra time. While some may deem this as negligible, I do not. The reason why there is a meter in the first place is to measure the time and distance that the cab spent in fetching you from point A and then sending you (safely) to point B. THAT is what you should pay for. And not his carelessness, his failure to keep change or his urgent need to pee or gas up. (Yeah, I hate it when they gas up when the meter is running as well.) I usually get into fights with cab drivers because of this. When I start speaking English, they back out. When the argument heats up, I am left with no choice but to tell him that that is the reason why he won’t rise up the social ladder. He’s STEALING. It’s not that I am holding on to the coins myself. It’s because I want to make them understand that it’s wrong and that not everyone can just sulk in silence and let them get away with it. I mean, seriously, wanna get insulted for P3.50?!
How to Outsmart: Ask for a receipt as soon as the cab stops and just before you pay. This way, the meter actually stops.
3. Loose Change or Lose Your Change – If the meters say P78.50 and you give a P100 bill, they’ll automatically assume you’d forgive the P1.50 and give you P20. Whenever a cab driver does this to me and tries to extend his income by a few pennies, I look at him with my very annoyed bitch face and say, flat out, that he did not give me the exact amount for change. Some of them act as if they forgot and some give you the poker face and say that they don’t have change. You bastards, if you don’t have change, tell me and don’t shortchange me right away, assuming it’s alright with me. If the meter says P78.50, it’s P78.50. Not P80. Heck, not even P79, if you wanna be technical. I can forgive those who apologize, offer to just get P75 and tell me nicely that they ran out of change. They may still lie but at least I *felt like* I was treated well.
How to Outsmart: No other way but to keep loose change in your wallet.
4. Concert King – Then there are cab drivers who seem to get a kick out of having their own concerts while they have passengers. I mean, sometimes I take the cab to buy some peace time for myself and there he is, singing like he’s Air Supply incarnate. Sometimes you have no choice but to put up with it or simply grunt and pretend to receive calls from your cellphone so he stops singing.
How to Outsmart: Here is the best advice anyway: politely ask him to stop singing and let you enjoy the silence. Tell him you’re having a bad day and just want a moment of peace.
5. Deo Please – While you hurried off the bathroom this morning and left your planner behind because you were running late but you still had to go through your morning regimen, some people never bothered. And yes, I’m talking about that taxi driver giving out poisonous fumes from his underarms. One time, the smell was so bad that I had to roll down the window during the first kilometer and then get out of the cab on the second. All the fuckin’ time, I was also fighting my urge to puke. Now that I think about it, maybe I should have puked in his cab anyway and tell him it’s his fault.
How to Outsmart: You inhale during your first few seconds inside the cab. When you smell it, apologize and say that you forgot something and that you immediately had to get off the cab. Most likely the meter hasn’t moved yet so you’re safe and your alibi is believable.
6. Chatty Varsity – Sometimes, when you get on a cab, close your eyes for a while and take a deep breath anticipating some peace of mind, the taxi driver starts talking to you and seems to enjoy it like he’s Kris Aquino’s mouth on steroids. They ask you personal questions and tell you their whole life story. Sometimes, it’s even a lousy love story or stories about the girls who *used to* chase him.
How to Outsmart: Put on your headphones or play some music on your phone. Tell him you’re memorizing some dance steps in your head.
7. The Classic Manyakis – Just like the bastards on commute, the manyakis as a jeepney passenger, some of them did a career shift and took up cab driving instead. This way, they get to have the pretty girl to themselves. They will start by telling you green jokes and then try to solicit love stories from you and your “lover”. They just try to gauge if you have a lover at first, and then ask you questions and look at you while simulating rape in their heads.
How to Outsmart: There are mild ones, those you can let slide off because you have better things to do and think about. However, there are also times when it is too obscene that it just scares you! First, remember his name, text it to someone or save it on your phone. After that, say you want to get off the cab and when he does slows it down just enough for you to go out, leave some change (just enough for the distance traveled but a little less coz maybe you have to catch another cab and that’s another flag down). Say, manyakis ka before you slam the door and make sure you’re being dropped off in a very public place.
For every horror cab incident, you can always choose to report it to the operating company. That is why it is better to pick cabs under big names like Holiday, Maligaya, Mabuhay, Krizia, etc. Drivers in these cab companies have more to lose than those fly-by-night ones. Remember the name of the driver, the time and date of the incident and the plate number.
If all else fails, keep a bottle crown (tansan) in your bag all the time and as he drives away, scratch his car for some payback. LOL! JUST KIDDING! 😀 (Or maybe not.)