Friday, December 21, 2007

WFI: Fake cabs, real Haitians.

Sometimes when I am late for work, I hop in a cab at back bay station and take it a few blocks to my work. It's only like $4, takes 5 minutes...gets me to work on time. On Tuesday most streets were coated in 3 inches of ice and slick slush and where they weren't, there was an obstacle course of mountainous snow to get there. On a day like Tuesday the walk from Back Bay to work would have taken 12 minutes or more. So, I got in a Top Cab.

In Boston, there are several cab companies: Boston Cab, MetroCab, Independent, Town Taxi etc. As a somewhat of a cab aficionado, Top Cab is always my least favorite. But in the pecking order line up, a Top Cab was the front car, so I got in. When I told him 11 Newbury Street he scoffed, "Why don't you get out and walk?" I take enough cabs to feel comfortable saying 90% of drivers are Haitian and 90% of Haitian drivers have an awful attitude. That's racist to some I'm sure, but it's just fact to me. I realize it's only a few blocks, but who cares? What does this guy know? Maybe my knee is busted? Maybe there's a hole in my shoe? Maybe I am just lazy and feel like it? He's not allowed to refuse a ride. I know this because, one time, an undercover cop lady stopped my cab and asked if I was refused a ride from another cab in front of the one I got in. She told me it's illegal for a driver to refuse a ride. Plus, when was the last time you made $6 in 4 minutes? So, I said, "Why don't you just drive? I'm late for work." He replied, "Why don't you walk there? You don't know where it is?" "Please drive." "Which way you want to go?" "I don't care which way as long as I get there on time." A few minutes later he said, "I hope you have change." I didn't respond. "Did you hear me! I said, I HOPE you have change!" I didn't say anything. Then I touched a plastic part of the partition and he turned around and said, "DON'T! TOUCH! ANYTHING!"

Well, now I was just pissed as fuck. I got out my notebook and pencil to write down his cab number and name and ID, which, to my surprise, HE DID NOT HAVE! I asked for his information. "What you need that for?" "It's supposed to be posted. I need your cab number and your license." "What for?" "That doesn't matter. I need your information. Now." Then he pulled over and said, "You pay me! You get of my cab! Get out!" "Give me your information." I kept asking and he kept saying "You pay me, you get out, you pay me, you get out." I'd had enough and I was going to be late for work, so I screamed, "GIVE ME YOUR FUCKING INFORMATION NOW!!!!!" This really pissed him off. "Don't you talk to me that way!" he yelled back at me. "Don't you talk to ME that way! Give me your fucking cab number and I want to see your fucking license. This is FUCKING ILLEGAL!"

Next, he backed up Newbury St (a one way) and drives down Berkeley and parks in the middle of the road. I repeated myself 100 times. "Give me your information now! It's supposed to be posted!" He gets his cell phone out and calls what I assume is the owner of the cab and starts angrily click clucking at him. "Get off the fucking phone and give me your FUCKING INFORMATION!" He tells the person on the phone, "I don't know what's wrong with her...I don't know." "OH YEAH?!?!? GIVE ME THE FUCKING PHONE AND I WILL TELL HIM MYSELF." I banged repeatedly on the partition: "GIVE ME YOUR GODDAMN CAB NUMBER RIGHT NOW. I NEED TO SEE YOUR FUCKING LICENSE YOU PIECE OF SHIT!!!!"

Then! He gets out of the car, comes around, opens my door, and reaches in to grab at me and I SCREAMED "GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME! IF YOU FUCKING TOUCH ME, I WILL FUCKING SUE YOU FOR ASSAULT MOTHERFUCKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" The people on the sidewalk in front of Valentino just gawked. I took this opportunity of him out of the car on the cell phone to get out, write down the number on the side of the cab, the cab name and call Top Cab. I explained what was happening to the dispatcher at Top Cab and he said if he doesn't have the medallion paper posted in the backseat it's not a real cab and I need to get out, not pay him, and call the police and he gave me the number to call. Meanwhile, a meter maid comes over to tell him he can't park IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET! and the piece of shit fucking fuck is telling him I won't get out of his cab and am harassing him. So, the meter maid dude comes around and asks, "Why are you giving this guy a hard time?" I got out and said, "HE REFUSED A RIDE, DOESN'T HAVE A LICENSE, AND REFUSED TO GIVE ME HIS CAB NUMBER WHICH IS" I then leaned into the cab and screamed,"FUCKING ILLEGAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FUCK YOU, YOU FUCK!! I'M NOT PAYING YOU! EAT SHIT AND FUCK OFF!" I slammed the door and walked away, noticing I had gathered a small crowd.

I ran to work and ended up getting there on time. I called the police, described what happened, she looked up the information I gave her, and asked for a description. I wanted to say he was a stout BAD WORD with shit for brains in a black fleece with a tan knit cap, but instead, I said he was african american, short, stocky, no facial hair, no glasses, with a black fleece and a tan knit cap. She said, great, that's all we need, I'll put the word out and we'll suspend him right away.

I've never felt so exhilarated in my lifetime. I felt amazing! The whole time I was thinking, 'what is wrong with me? let this go! you never do anything like this! where is this coming from?' I was having uncontrollable rage. And I've never felt better in my life.

SO! I've decided to become a serial, albeit selective, complainer! When shit is going down and I would otherwise hold it in and fuss and fume internally and mentally write caustic editor's letters, I am instead, going to go straight to the top and let the fuckers know what Meghan thinks! Just this morning, when I ran down a flight of slick steps in plain view of the front car train conductor only to get to the 1st door and, as he closed them, get my jacket sleeve caught in the door! I pulled it out and banged on the door trying to get his attention, but the train just pulled away, leaving me in the freezing dust. So, what did I do? Did I get pissed and imagine my email to the MBTA? Did I have fake conversations about my train incident with fake clients? No. I walked over to the train map and dialed the customer service number, waited on hold for 10 minutes and told the dude I had a suggestion for the orange line. OK, what is the suggestion. I suggest train conductors NOT pull away with someone's clothing caught in the doors. He said he agreed, got all the timing info, exactly what happened, my information and promised to address the issue across the board with all train conductors. YES! VICTORY!

So, even if these people are blowing smoke up my ass, it feels so fucking good. I don't care one bit if they are lies. I feel amazing. Like I could complain about anything and there would be someone to listen and tell me sweet little lies. Well, someone besides Sasha.

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