10 Clients Taxi Drivers Hate
Driving a taxi in Tampa Bay is different than in Manhattan or Chicago, where clients just flag a taxi down on the street. That gives drivers the chance to ignore people they can tell will be trouble.
Here in Tampa Bay, we mostly rely on dispatching systems to get us calls, either old fashioned radio dispatching or computer system based on GPS. Some companies are toying right now with taxi booking applications for smart phones which supposed to connect potential passenger to nearest cab. The point being, most taxi drivers in Tampa Bay don’t get to choose their customers, which allows Manhattan drivers to avoid some particularly high maintenance customers.
At some point between calling a cab and getting in, many people seem to lose common sense and generally forget how to act like a human being. While many clients are polite and tip, there are a few that we all hate picking up. Here are the top 10 clients taxi drivers hate.
This person is convinced their time is more valuable than anyone else’s. I get a call and get to the address in five minutes and blow the horn. The “Executive” shows up at the door and says “Give me a sec! I’ll be right there!” After another 5 minutes, I blow the horn again. They stick their head out the door “Give me another minute!” A full 10 minutes later they finally get in the cab with an attitude like I ruined their freaking day. WTF?!
Mother Knows “Best”
I pull up in front of a house and a lady with a baby in her arms tries to get in the cab. I ask, politely, if she has a car seat. She replies “I don't use car sit for my baby and nobody in your company ever ask me to have a car seat!” I say “Ma’am, I cannot take you and your baby without a car seat”. I hear slur of insults followed by "What is your cab number and what is your name? I am going to report you to your company! I am never using your company again!!" She doesn't realize, or doesn't care, that not using a car seat is not just unsafe for a baby, but also illegal!
The “High Roller”
Sorry ass loser comes out of Derby Lane Poker Room and
tries to haggle his way back home to North Tampa for $25. Which wouldn't be all that unusual if not for the fact that he is a taxi driver for United Tampa and he knows that this taxi fare is worth at least $45! He still claims that meter run is only $30 and the $25 he offers is a good deal. "At least you gonna be making money!" Do you think I am stupid?! I rather be sitting here for free and waste my time than deal with losers.
The Drunk “Comedians”
You get a fare of young guys or girls in their late 20's or early 30's looking for a ride home after the club. They are laughing and falling all over each other. They figure that trip back home in a taxi cab is an extension of their night and try to play games or try to be funny. "Hey cab driver, you are going in wrong direction" or "what is going to happen if I puke in your cab?”
The Short Changer
Someone gets in the cab and wants to go on $25 trip but, after we start to move they say they have only $10. I think "Hey asshole, why did you call for a cab in first place?", but I try to be nice and say "Give me the 10 bucks and I'll see what I can do for you." So I let the meter run up to $12 or $13 bucks, then drop them off.
Besides trying to get me to work for free, they also don’t tip.
This person is well dressed, gives you destination address to good neighborhood, but then starts to complain about everything – your cab is dirty even though it just got cleaned, you don’t know where you are going, their ride only costs $10 and the meter already shows $13. In reality, these are just rich assholes who don’t want to tip.
I get a call for $3.60 ride, wait for an hour, and the people act like they are doing me a favor. They claim they have been regular customers of Independent Taxi of Saint Petersburg for last 10 years. I don’t’ care how long you’ve been using us, that doesn’t give you the right to be an asshole. Inevitably, they still demand $1.40 change from $5 bill
The Bar Hopper
Sometimes I get called to the bars and someone tries to put a drunk ass in my car that can’t even walk - I simply refuse them. I am not your falling down drunk friend’s baby sitter.
The “Accidental” Non-Tipper
I don't like people paying with credit cards for taxi fare to begin with, but then they play ignorant on how system works and don't tip. I guess they think the credit card gives a magical no-tip discount. They sign Square app and press the continue button “overlooking” the tip button. In reality, the credit cards cost more. And you, my friend, are a jerk.
The “Big Money” Man
This one never seems to fail. 3 or 4 people get in and one guy is trying to be smooth “I’ll take care of the cab, guys. Put your money away!” Most times he’s trying to impress a girl or a big shot client. What ends up happening is he waits until everyone gets out and then pays exactly what’s on the meter. Or, if I’m lucky, throws in an extra dollar. He looks cool to his friends and I get screwed. After all, whole situation stays between him - the cheap shit, big deal, “rich” man - and me, the (in his mind) third world cab driver.