Sunday, September 2, 2007

People don't listen

Here's an oft-repeated theme in my cab. Somebody gets in and gives me an address or the name of a business I don't recognize. When I ask where it is, they invariably say the name of the neighborhood or suburb. I can always get within a mile of the place based on that info, so I tell them: "I'll take XYZ freeway, then XYZ St, and then you can give me directions to the exact location, okay?" They always say okay.

And that's where the problems begin. I have made it clear that, while I may not know the exact cross streets, I can get very close before I need assistance. Somehow they heard me say: "I have no knowledge of San Diego. I just got off the boat. I'm an idiot. I don't know what freeways are or where they might be located. We're in Kansas, right?"

They often begin their directions immediately, even though they already know, had they been listening, that that is not necessary. "Go up here until you see the I-5 freeway, then turn when it says 'southbound I-5'." Wow, you mean there's a freeway up there, and it goes south? Say it ain't so! Because I don't happen to know where 16241 Emu Crap Lane is, I must not know the freeway system, either.

Do I yell at them? No. Do I re-explain that I only need help after we make a certain exit? Sometimes. Do I play dumb and oooh and aaaah at every turn they tell me to make? Yes, more often than not. What else am I going to do with idiots who don't (or can't) listen?

Another strange phenomenon: when people tell me which route to take, whether I know the place or not, it's always the long way. Most people don't offer their opinion on the route, but 100% of the time when they've got a plan, it costs them money. I'm greatly amused by this. When I first started driving cab I would politely point out that I know of a way that's faster and cheaper, but people actually get put off by that. They want to be right, even when they're quite wrong. Now I don't correct people about the route.


Coldfoot said...

"Take a left here."

I take a left.

"I said left!"

"I did turn left."

"I mean right. Are you going to charge me (the extra dime)?"

OR (much less common, but common enough)

"I'm not paying since you went the wrong way."

Cabbie X said...

When did you install a mic in my cab? I hear this same stuff a dozen times a week, and always chuckle inside when they pay the extra dollars for being right :)