Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Annoying customer

Last night I was belled to a residential address. It was dark out, but I could see the address number on the side of the house. Through a picture window I could see about five adults and one little girl, perhaps six, watching TV. I backed up, pointing the car at the windows, and flicked my high beams twice. Legend has it that it's illegal to use a spotlight or flashlight, and it's frowned upon to use a horn after 10 p.m. I immediately put the car in a normal parked position on the street, making sure all my lights were on -- normal car lights and the taxi light on the roof.

The little girl came to the window and looked at me. After about a full minute, she went and sat down, deciding not to alert the adults that a taxi was in front. I flashed my lights several times, and toggled the roof light (I left the car on the street, not pointing towards the house). The little girl came to the window again (nobody was more than ten feet from the windows), and this time spoke to a woman. She pointed at me, and the woman looked. Then the little girl sat down and they all watched TV some more.

I started my meter and turned off the car and lights, and began to read a book. I had officially made contact, which is when HQ allows us to start the meter. Undoubtedly some drivers start it immediately, and we also have some drivers who never start the meter until people are in the car. I only do it if people are rude.

After several more minutes a woman came out to the car with the little girl. It was the same woman who saw me. She asked about the meter and I explained that I turn it on when contact is made, which is ethical and legal. In many circumstances we can turn it on before making contact (such as a reservation with a specific time). "Oh," she said. "But you didn't come to the door, or call." Me: "The girl told you I was here." She said "Oh" once more, then let it drop.

I don't let customers like her change the way I treat everyone -- which is very well. Some drivers let it get to them, and those are the stereotypical guys everyone knows about. They're surly and only respond once, with a nod.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

well..no tip for you. meter milker.