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The Blank Top Chronicles

12 comments, 6084 views, posted 5:33 pm 10/01/2009 in Funny Stuff by Flee
Flee has 27338 posts, 167 threads, 216 points
Shoutbox Whore

This blog used to be blanktop.blogspot.com but is sadly now gone. This is all I could find on web.archive.org. I am putting it here so whats left of it has a home.
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The Blank Top Chronicles
The world is full of crazy, stupid assholes. And every single one of them calls my company when they need a taxi.

"Blank Top Taxi, may I have your phone number please?"
I ask that question about 500 times a day. I answer the phone for a taxi company in Arlington, Virginia. I do this because I spent my eight years in college drinking ludicrous quantities of beer and fishing, often times both at once. But those days are gone forever.

After I ask the above question, any number of things will happen. Usually it's just somebody who wants a cab. Sometimes it's sombody wanting to know how much a cab costs, one of these clever consumers who want to shop around even though cab rates are about the same everywhere. Sometimes it's a wrong number. But every once in a while, it will be the begining of a journey into the depths of lunacy and stupidity that lives in so many around us.

Those conversations are recorded here for posterity. I hope you enjoy reading them more than I enjoyed having them.


Thursday, June 28, 2007

A few weeks ago the office people told me that we were canceling one of our accounts with an organization that had run up an outstanding balance of over $1000. They were disputing the charges and it was apparent that they were not going to be paying up. The charges were legitimate, and we'd had all sorts of problems with them in the past, so it was decided to cut them off. I was told that if they called again I was to make it clear to them that we did not want their business anymore. And boy, have I been looking forward to doing just that. I had almost given up hope that they wouldn't call again, but they finally called today.

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
GUY: I need to arrange a cab pickup, I'm from -------- and we have an account with you.
ME: . . . . Ahhhh, yes. Actually no, you do not have an account with us.
GUY: Yes we do.
ME: No, technically speaking you all HAD an account with us, but not anymore.
GUY: Why not?!
ME: Oh, lots of reasons. For one thing, what you did just now when you called. When I answered I said, "Blank Top, you phone number please," and what did you do? You said, "I need to arrange a cab pickup!" I KNOW you need to arrange a cab pickup, you're calling a CAB COMPANY aren't you?! Do you have ANY idea how irritating it is when people do that?! And you guys do it ALL THE TIME when you call! It drives me NUTS! I'm sorry, but there is just no way that I personally can continue to do business with you.
GUY: Are you joking? You're canceling our account because of THAT?
ME: Well, not entirely. The office people wanted to cancel your account because you owe them over a thousand dollars. The drivers wanted to cancel it because you frequently waste their time by no-showing on them when you call. The janitor and the mechanic in the shop wanted to let you stay on for some reason, but I cast the deciding vote because of the phone thing.
GUY: . . . I'm sure if there ARE any overdue charges you can take it up with accounting.
ME: Believe me, there are, and believe me, we tried. Apparently it was an "Oh, you need to talk to this person, oh, you need to talk to that person, oh, you need to talk to the first person again, don't worry, the check is in the mail, no we never did send the check and we are disputing the charges," situation. They gave our accounts receivable lady the runaround like that for weeks. I believe her comment was, "a troop of retarded rhesus monkeys could run a more streamlined organization."
GUY: Hey, we've had problems with you in the past too, you know. You guys are frequently late.
ME: Boy, don't I know it! I hear about it every time it happens, too; you guys will make a reservation, then change the pickup time four times, then call angrily demanding to know where the cab is if it's even one minute late. A few times you've called saying the cab is late BEFORE it's even due! And then there's all the no-shows, if any regular customer did that as often as you guys did we wouldn't just blacklist them, we'd egg their house.
GUY: So that's it then, you don't want our business anymore?
ME: You took the words right out of the manager's mouth.
GUY: Alright, whatever.
ME: But listen, can I tell you about some more things you guys always did that pissed me off? It feels so good to unburden myself. Like this one time this damn woman called from the middle of D.C. during rush hour, and called back FOUR MINUTES later asking where the cab was, and she was in Georgetown for Christ's sake, right between . . .
GUY: (hangs up)

Friday, June 01, 2007

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
LADY: Yes, there has been a taxi across the street in front of my neighbor's house for like ten or fifteen minutes now.
ME: Uhm, okay. Your neighbor probably called for a taxi.
LADY: But the driver has just been sitting there. What's he doing?
ME: He's probably waiting for his passenger to come out.
LADY: For fifteen minutes?
ME: Sure, maybe he just told the driver he was running late and to wait for him.
LADY: Well I know my neighbor, and I've never seen her call for a taxi before.
ME: There's a first time for everything.
LADY: Well I am going to get to the bottom of this. (she hangs up)

Five minutes later . . .

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
SAME LADY: It's me again. Listen, I went up to your driver and asked him what he was doing in front of my neighbor's house and let me tell you he was VERY rude to me. I asked him why he was in front of the house and he asked really rudely if I was his passenger, and when I told him no he told me to mind my own business! Then I demanded to see his identification and he refused! Well?!
ME: . . . Well, what?
LADY: Well what are you going to DO ABOUT IT?
ME: What in the hell do you want me to do?! The driver is probably waiting to pick up your neighbor!
LADY: If that's the case, why did he refuse to show me his identification?
ME: You don't need to see his identification.
LADY: What?
ME: These aren't the droids you're looking for.
LADY: Excuse me?
ME: Never mind. Look, the driver is not breaking any laws, and as a private citizen you don't have the right to stomp up to somebody and demand to see their ID, okay? I suggest you just do what the driver said and mind your own business.
LADY: Well I think this whole thing stinks to high heaven. I'm calling the police.
ME: Knock yourself out.

A few minutes later . . .

ME: Bank Top, your phone number please?
LADY: It's me again, listen, I have a bad feeling about what's going on here. The cab is gone and now my neighbor isn't answering the door.
ME: And you find this suspicious?
LADY: Yes, I do.
ME: Did the thought cross your mind that perhaps your neighbor TOOK THE CAB SOMEWHERE?
LADY: How do I know that? For all I know she was kidnapped.
ME: . . . . Kidnapped.
LADY: It's possible.
ME: . . . . By a taxi.
LADY: It's been known to happen.
ME: (changing to a dodgy, panicking tone) No . . . no, it's not like that . . . . who's ever heard of anything like that happening? What, do you think we're some kind of CULT? Do you think we're a cult who uses taxicabs to kidnap and brainwash people to enslave them and help us run our global greeting card pyramid scheme? Because it's not like that, I assure you.
LADY: Uh, sorry?
ME: (whispering harshly) Look lady, you're digging to deep! If you keep this up you're going to get us both left out in the reeds! No one can help us, they're all in on it; the police, the math teachers, the bakers. . . the BAKERS for God's sake!
LADY: The bakers?
ME: YES! It's all a huge conspiracy to take complete control of the entire . . . Oh my God, did you hear that?!?!
LADY: Huh?
ME: That clicking sound! They were listening! They've heard every word I've said! Oh Christ help me, they're coming down the hall! I've got to get out! I've got to. . . Oh Hile Saihi, how does the day find . . . WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!?! OH MY GOD NO!!! DON'T PUT THAT THING IN MY BRAIN!!! AHHHHHHHHH!!!

I hang up in mid-scream. Just in case she calls back, I answer the next couple of calls in a somber, measured voice. Luckily just a few calls later. . .

ME: Blank Top taxi, may I have your phone number please?
LADY: Yes, what was all that commotion when I was talking to you a second ago?!
ME: Be joyful and do not let yourself be troubled. All is well.
LADY: What do you mean?! It sounded like you were being attacked!
ME: No no, I had simply committed an wrong. I was. . . corrected.
LADY: . . . . . . . .
ME: Now if you will please give me your address . . . . so that you may also be . . . . corrected.
LADY: Oh my GOD!!! (hangs up)

Monday, May 21, 2007

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
GIRL: Yeah, actually I just got out of one of your cabs, and I have a complaint about the dispatcher, I think his name was Tommy?
ME: Yeah, he's the head dispatcher.
GIRL: Yeah, well, he was like, YELLING at my driver over the radio, and I think he was like, being very rude.
ME: Oh, were you just in cab XXX?
GIRL: Yeah.
ME: Well, what happened was somebody else had called for that cab, we gave the driver a specific name to pick up, and he picked you up instead.
GIRL: Well I don't see what that has to do with anything.
ME: You see, somebody else had called for that taxi and was waiting for it in the lobby of the building. The driver should have asked you for your name, and when he realized you were not the passenger who had called he should have waited for them.
GIRL: Uh, that's bullshit, I was there outside, it should be first come first serve.
ME: Ma'am, they had called for the taxi and they were waiting for it. The driver was in the wrong to not ask for a name. How would you feel if you had called for the cab and somebody else had snatched it right from under you without asking a name?
GIRL: Well, like, he did ask for a name, he asked, "is your name Caroline?" or something, and I said, "sure, whatever."
ME: Ah. And I take it your name isn't Caroline.
GIRL: Yeah, well, what's the difference?
ME: I see. Well, your right, the dispatcher shouldn't have been yelling at him. The driver was wrong to ask "is your name Caroline?" rather than just "what's your name?" but I guess the lion's share of the blame is on YOU here.
GIRL: Huh?!
ME: Well you clearly got in a taxi that you knew damn well wasn't for you. You knew somebody else had called it and you took it anyway. The dispatcher should have been bitching YOU out.
GIRL: Hey, it's not my fault your fucking driver picked up the wrong person!
ME: Well, you did misrepresent yourself as the person who called for the cab, and that is what triggered the radio bitch-out you initially called to complain about. In fact, if you can wait on hold for a second I can conference you with the driver and the dispatcher, so you can apologize to both of them for initially causing this screw up, and they can both give you a piece of their minds. You know what, maybe I can reach the people who had originally called for the cab so they can bitch you out too, then I guess everything would be square. Would you like that?
GIRL: Oh shove it up your ass. (hang up)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
LADY: HELLO?
ME: Yes, this is Blank Top Taxi, do you need a cab?
LADY: I'm inquiring about cab service, yes.
ME: Sure, whats on your mind?
LADY: Do you service Reagan airport?
ME: Yes we do.
LADY: And how do I go about booking a cab to pick someone up there?
ME: Well, you can't really book a cab for a time call at the airport, I mean you don't really know when your flight is actually going to arrive, how long it's going to take you to get your bag and get out to the curb and everything, you know? Just give us a call when you get outside the door with your bag and I can usually get somebody in like five minutes or so, no problem.
LADY: Excuse me sir, you say you can "usually" get a cab in five minutes?
ME: Sure, I mean, sometimes it can take longer during rush hour and such, but we always have cabs in that area, it won't take long.
LADY: You see, that's what we need to avoid, my client will be on a very tight schedule and he will need the cab waiting for him as soon as he gets outside.
ME: In that case just have him grab a cab off the taxi stand there, it shouldn't take him more than a few minutes to pick one up there if he's in a hurry.
LADY: No, are you listening to me? He wants a taxi WAITING for him as soon as he exits the terminal!
ME: Well, I'm sorry, but that's pretty much impossible, a cab can't wait outside the terminal for long at all unless he's in the taxi stand line. The police chase them off.
LADY: Listen, I have his flight schedule right here in front of me, his plane will arrive at 7:35, so if you just have the cab waiting at about 7:50 everything should go perfectly smoothly.
ME: . . . You don't travel very frequently, I take it?
LADY: Well I don't see what business that is of yours.
ME: No, I guess it really isn't, but to be completely honest with you, if your job involves making travel arrangements for people, you really should try traveling yourself, or at least pick up a few harlequin romance novels on the subject.
LADY: Excuse me, what are you talking about??
ME: Well it's just that in real life, you see, sometimes planes can be late, flights can be canceled, it can take a while to get your bags, or any other number of things can delay you. In the romance novels this usually leads to steamy romantic encounters with laid-over stewardesses behind the ticketing counter, but in reality it leads to you cab getting chased away by the cops. I'm sure your boss appreciates every effort on your part to try to make the thing with the stewardess happen, but just to make sure the thing with the cab doesn't happen, why don't you just have him call us when he gets outside the terminal, okay?
LADY: . . . . . . .
ME: Alright then, you have a good one sweetie. (I hang up)

Monday, April 30, 2007

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
GUY: Yeah, I took a cab over the weekend and I think I dropped a $100 bill in it, did anybody turn it in?
ME: Did you get the cab number?
GUY: No.
ME: Where did he pick you up from and take you to?
GUY: It was between two bars in Clarendon, I don't really remember.
ME: Let me put you on with lost and found, they might have it.

So I transfer him. A few minutes later. . .

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
GUY: Yeah, I just talked to you about losing a $100 bill?
ME: Yeah?
GUY: Well your lost and found people said they didn't have it, is there any way you can call your drivers on the radio and ask?
ME: Do you know what company this cab you took was from?
GUY: You know, I'm not really sure.
ME: So then you're basically just calling every company in the phone book asking if anybody found a $100 bill over the weekend.
GUY: Uh, you know, come to think of it, it might have been a $50.
ME: Oh. No, the only thing anybody turned in was a $20 dollar bill.
GUY: Yeah yeah, that was mine.
ME: Okay, great! I'll just need you to confirm to me the serial number.
GUY: Huh?
ME: The serial number on the bill. I mean, you didn't know the cab company you were using, you didn't know the cab number, you didn't know the denomination. For all I know you might be some asshole calling every cab company in the book fishing for a few bucks.
GUY: No, it was definitely a twenty, that's gotta be mine.
ME: Again, I'd just need you to confirm the serial number.
GUY: Who knows the serial number on their bills? I just know it was a twenty.
ME: Do you know what president is on the front?
GUY: Uhhhhhh. . . . shit, it's, um. . . . .
ME: YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! You don't even know what president is on the $20 dollar bill?!
GUY: Man, it's my fucking money asshole, you need to give it back!
ME: Hey, I would if I could, but you can't even identify the cab company, cab number, denomination of the note, serial number, or who's picture is on the front. Put yourself in my shoes: what do you do?
GUY: Uhhhh. . . . Give it back?
ME: Oh, I'm sorry, the answer we were looking for was "keep it". Keep it.
GUY: OH NOW YOUR FUCKING KEEPING IT HUH?
ME: Yeah, that's right. What do you think I should spend it on?
GUY: You got no right to keep that man!
ME: Maybe you're right. Should I give it to charity?
GUY: YOU SHOULD GIVE IT TO ME!
ME: I'll tell you what: How about I just burn it? Then we have nothing to argue about.
GUY: YOU CAN'T BURN IT!!!
ME: Yeah, that seems to be the best thing to do here. (I take my cigarette lighter out of my pocket and flick it next to the phone) Whoa, there we go! Man, these fucking things burn fast. . . . OW! Singed my finger a little there. . . Okay, the bill is gone and we have nothing left to discuss. But hey, while I've got you on the phone, would you like to take a customer satisfaction survey?
GUY: FUCK YOU! (slams phone down)

For those of you who haven't figured it out yet, no $20 bills were harmed in the filming of this episode, no one actually turned one in.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
GUY: Yeah, so your drivers, they can just pretty much decide for themselves who they want to take and who they don't want to take, huh?!
ME: What do you mean?
GUY: I just flagged down one of your drivers in D.C., cab XXX, and told him I wanted to go to Georgetown, and he refused to take me!
ME: We can't take people from a D.C. address to another D.C. address, we're a Virginia cab company.
GUY: No, the LAW says that you have to take a passenger wherever they want! That's the LAW!
ME: No, the law says that it's illegal for any cab other than a D.C. cab to go between two D.C. addresses.
GUY: That's BULLSHIT. I've taken Virginia cabs between two D.C. addresses before!
ME: Then the driver was breaking the law.
GUY: Why the fuck would that be against the law?
ME: The D.C. Taxi Commission regulates it, to protect the business of D.C. taxi drivers.
GUY: Yeah right. I know for a FACT that there's nothing illegal about it, your driver just didn't want to do a short run, and I want him reported!
ME: Look, if you will go and get your facts from someplace other than your imagination, why don't you call the D.C. Taxi Commission and they will tell you everything that I've just told you.
GUY: Yeah I'm going to call them. To REPORT YOU!
ME: Be my guest. Of course since we're a VIRGINIA taxi they haven't got any authority over us, but maybe they'll send us a nice letter thanking us for not breaking the law.
GUY: Are you this much of a prick to everybody who calls you?
ME: No, I'm only this way with the retards.
GUY: FUCK YOU! (hangs up)

I didn't even think I was being that much of a prick. This guy's lucky he caught me on an off day.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Technically speaking we are allowed to pick up people outside of Arlington county if they are traveling into Arlington, but I try to discourage the practice. I mean, you're a lot less likely to encounter problems with drivers being unfamiliar with your area and having trouble locating you, whereas drivers from a more local company will have less trouble finding you. This lessens the likelihood that your driver will run late, and thereby lessens the probability that you will start calling me back bitching that your cab is late. It's a win-win situation, but some people are delusional enough to believe that we're reliable.

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
LADY: Sure, it's XXX-XXX-XXXX
ME: What's the address you want to be picked up from?
LADY: It's 1234 X Street.
ME: What city is that?
LADY: Oakton.
ME: That's a little far away for us to pick up from, we're an Arlington county cab, let me give you another number to call, okay?
LADY: No, you've picked me up from here before.
ME: Where are you going?
LADY: National Airport.
ME: Well technically, yes, we can pick you up if you're going into Arlington, but you're going to be a lot better off going with a local cab.
LADY: Why?
ME: Because most of our drivers are not going to be familiar with your area, and you've got a much better chance of your cab being on time if you go with a local company.
LADY: That's okay, I'm calling in advance for a pickup at 1:45. I trust you.
ME: Quite frankly it's not a matter of trust, it's a matter of our drivers not knowing your area, whereas a local company will be familiar with it.
LADY: No, I want to use you, I really like your company.
ME: . . . You do?
LADY: Yeah.
ME: May I ask why?
LADY: You've just always been very reliable for me.
ME: Uh, how many times have ridden with us?
LADY: Once from here, and two or three times from National Airport.
ME: Seriously, you're going to be a lot better going with a local company,they're going to have drivers in your area who are familiar with the territory, there's a whole lot less chance there is going to be a problem.
LADY: That's okay, I'm sure everything will be fine.
ME: . . . Listen, I've really got a bad feeling about this, I'm honestly thinking of your benefit here, I don't want you to miss your flight because you blindly trusted us.
LADY: Don't worry, I'm sure there won't be any problems.
ME: Okay, but seriously, don't say I didn't warn you, okay? Please don't call me all upset if your cab is late, because in all honesty it probably will be.
LADY: I have every confidence in you.
ME: Well, that's misplaced confidence if I've ever seen it. You said you want the cab at 1:45?
LADY: That's correct.
ME: Okay, I'll do my best.

I don't think I need to tell you what happened next. We started bidding the call a half an hour before it was due, and still there was no one who was readily available to cover the call who I trusted to not get lost. We finally found somebody, but he was pretty far away. And right at the stroke of 1:45. . .

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
LADY: Hi, I called for a cab at 1:45 and it's still not here yet.
ME: Oakton, right?
LADY: Yes, 1234 X Street in Oakton.
ME: Yeah, I didn't have anybody close, it's cab XXX, he should be there in maybe ten or fifteen minutes.
LADY: TEN OR FIFTEEN MINUTES?!?! But I'm going to miss my flight!
ME: Ma'am, you might recall that when we originally spoke together I was STRONGLY encouraged you to call another company that would have drivers closer to you and familiar with your area. I worked very hard to accommodate you at all, quite frankly I'm amazed I found somebody who knew how to get to you.
LADY: This is unacceptable. I called far enough in advance, you should have gotten me somebody on time!
ME: It wouldn't have mattered if you had called a WEEK in advance, finding a driver to pick up a call that far away from our normal area is not easy, and I TOLD you that in EXQUISITE detail when you first called!
LADY: Okay, you know what, forget it then, I'm just going to have to drive myself. Cancel the cab, you've really failed me here.
ME: I TOLD YOU WE PROBABLY WOULD!
LADY: Well thanks for nothing then. (hangs up)
ME: I wish I was dead.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
CALLER: (nothing but background noise)
ME: Hello?
CALLER: (background noise)
ME: (hangs up)

We're pretty busy, and I have other calls to answer. After a few of them. . .

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
CALLER: (background noise)
ME: HELLO???
CALLER: (background noise)
ME: (hangs up)

Still have a full board of calls to answer. A few minutes later. . .

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
LADY: YES HELLO, HELLO, HELLO, do NOT hang up on me this time, you understand?
ME: Huh?
LADY: I just called you TWICE and you HUNG UP ON ME!
ME: Oh, that's because you didn't speak when I answered the phone.
LADY: Yeah and now in total I've been on hold for something like TEN MINUTES! What's the matter with you?!
ME: What's the matter with ME? You're the one with the speech impediment, if you had talked I wouldn't have hung up on you.
LADY: You can't just HANG UP on people for no reason you know!
ME: Sure I can! Watch this! (I hang up)

I'm too busy to deal with this crap, but she apparently has all the time in the world. A few calls later. . .

ME: Blank Top, your. . .
LADY: YOU DID IT AGAIN YOU LITTLE SHIT!
ME: Look, do you need a cab or not?
LADY: No, I want to talk to a MANAGER, I'm going to COMPLAIN about you.
ME: That's interesting, was that what you were originally calling to do? Kind of like one of those temporal causality loops in Star Trek?
LADY: Just put me on with your manager right now.
ME: Fine. (I put her on with the manager robot)

A few minutes later. . .

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
LADY: No you must have misunderstood me, I want to talk to a PERSON, not a fucking VOICEMAIL!
ME: Jesus, not you again. Look, if you got his voicemail then he's not in the office, just leave a message describing whatever trivial bullshit you are so toweringly pissed off about and he'll be happy to ignore it when he gets in tomorrow morning, okay?
LADY: So I'm supposed to believe that there nobody else in there I can talk to, huh?
ME: That's right. I could lower my voice a few octaves and pretend to be the manager, but I'd really only be doing to to antagonize you, and it would just piss you off even more. So just leave a message on his voicemail, okay sweetie?
LADY: You know what? I've never used your service before, but I'm damn fucking well never using it again!
ME: Excellent, then we've lost nothing. (I hang up)

Bitch.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
GUY: I called for a cab to pick me up from 1234 X Street in D.C. and hasn't shown up yet.
ME: . . . You only called four minutes ago.
GUY: Yeah? Well how much longer?
ME: I don't know, probably like ten minutes or so. I mean, it's rush hour right now, you know, that area is pretty much a parking lot, you can't expect a cab to be there in four minutes.
GUY: Oh? Well then why did you tell me the cab would be "right there," huh?
ME: You must have misunderstood me. I meant we would be right THERE, as in right where you are standing, not RIGHT there, as in we'll be there in four minutes.
GUY: Cute. So it's not going to be more than ten minutes is it?
ME: I don't know, there's no way to tell. The driver bid from about eight blocks away but with all the one way streets and the rush hour traffic there's no way to tell how long it will take.
GUY: Look, I'm late for a meeting, okay? Can you make him come quicker?
ME: Are you even listening to me? Rush hour traffic does not operate at your beck and call, no matter how late you are.
GUY: This is unbelievable! What do I have to do to get a cab quickly?!
ME: You know, you sound like you're a prime candidate for helicopter ownership, would you like me to send you some brochures?
GUY: You know what? Forget it, I'm calling somebody else (hangs up)

I look back in the computer check this guy's record. Turns out he's a fairly marginal customer, he's only called about a half a dozen times, canceled twice, and no-showed once. I consider blacklisting him but become distracted by some idiot calling about a lost cell phone. Then a few minutes later. . .

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
SAME GUY: Yeah, I had called a while ago about a cab to 1234 X Street. . .
ME: Ah! I'm glad you called back, are you still interested in buying that helicopter?
GUY: What? Oh, no, it's just that I was wondering if you still had a cab in the area, the other company I called said it could be as much as twenty to thirty minutes.
ME: So you wanted us to send you a cab also?
GUY: Yeah, that would be great if you have somebody close.
ME: So you're just going to take the first cab that comes.
GUY: Yeah, I'm in a hell of a hurry.
ME: And you don't have a problem with screwing over the other company if we get there first.
GUY: Well, it's not like it's that big a deal.
ME: Of course. Well, tell you what we're going to do here. I'm going to blacklist you to make sure we never send you a cab again. . .
GUY: WHAT?! What for?!
ME: . . . and I'm going to follow that by calling you an asshole and hanging up on you. You with me so far?
GUY: YOU CAN'T DO THIS!
ME: But I want you to know that just because we can't send you taxis anymore doesn't mean you and I can't do business about that helicopter, okay?
GUY: What the fuck is wrong with you?! Why are you doing this?!
ME: Because you apparently call two companies when you need a cab, and we don't do business with people who set up our drivers to get screwed over. Asshole. (I hang up on him)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Blank Top Rants
There are a lot of things that morons who call here do on a regular basis that simply piss me off to no end. Sometimes these conversations devolve into something worthy of posting on the blog, but the vast majority of the time I just have to soldier through them, since they literally happen all the time. I know some of these are going to seem trifling to a lot of you, and you might think I'm being a little nit-picky, but you should try having to deal with these things twenty times a day for the better part of two years.

Let me get a pen. . .
LADY: I'd like a cab to 1234 X Street in Reston.
ME: That's too far away for us to pick up from, we're an Arlington county cab. Let me give you another number to call, okay?
LADY: Okay, give it to me.
ME: It's area code 703. . .
LADY: (interrupting) Hold on, let me get a pen.

Followed by a thirty second pause while she looks for a pen. Honest to God, get the pen first, before you say "Give it to me"!

What's your address?
ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
GUY: It's XXX-XXX-XXXX
ME: Is that address 1234 X Street?
GUY: Correct.
ME: Are you ready now?
GUY: Yes I am.
ME: Okay, we'll be right there.
GUY: Wait wait wait, I haven't told you where I am!
ME: 1234 X Street right?
GUY: Yes, that's my home address, but I'm not there right now.

Then why in the hell did you acknowledge the other address?! Why would you think I was interested in anything other than the address you need to be picked up from?!

I passed the first grade you know
ME: What's your name?
GUY: John, J-O-H-N, Ward, W-A-R-D

Here's a short list of names that I've had people spell for me just in the past week or so:

Ann
Mark
Bob
Joan
Dave
Eric
Ford
Pete
Gary
Dan
Sue
Rob
Zack
Tom
Ed

I could go on and on. I'm a very well-spoken guy, why do these people think I'm retarded? Or do they think they need to specify that they spell their name J-O-N, because if they don't the cab is going to show up and say, "Sorry, I'm here to pick up John, spelled J-O-H-N." THINK people.

Yes, YOUR phone number
ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
LADY: . . .You want MY phone number?

AS OPPOSED TO WHOSE?! What other phone number could I POSSIBLY want when I ask for YOUR phone number? And at least once a day somebody will give me OUR phone number! What is going on in their heads?!

Don't quote me
ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
GUY: I'm just calling for a rate quote.

Hearing the word "quote" now makes my skin crawl. Sure I can give a rough estimate, and I'll tell the person that's all I can do because the cab goes by a meter, but they'll still press me to determine exactly how much it could be, with traffic, various stops, additional passengers, and so many other factors that I can barely computer even a rough estimate. Then they're sure to call and complain if the fare goes even a cent over what I guessed.

Luckily only about one in twenty people who call for a fare estimate actually order a cab. Most of them are shopping around trying to find the best deal, oblivious to the fact that every cab company in the county has the exact same rates, and even in the surrounding area it's pretty much the same.

Pick a number
ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
LADY: It's XXX-XXX-XXXX. . . no wait it's YYY-YYY-YYYY.

Of course I've already entered the other phone number and I have to clear it and start over. I don't know where these other numbers they give or start to give come from.

No, your NAME.
Places with courtesy phones should be a no brainer. It's a big brightly colored phone that says Blank Top Taxi on it. The people know their call is going in on a dedicated line and I instantly know where they are, so if they just give me their name when we call we can complete the transaction in less than four seconds. But plenty of people want to drag it out.

ME: Blank Top, your name please?
GUY: Yes I'd like a cab to go from the ------- Center, address 1234 X Street, Arlington Virginia, zip code 22206 taking me to 5678 Y Street, also in Arlington, zip code 22202 in five minutes please.
ME: Okay, what's your NAME?

That's the other thing: zip codes. Why would you possibly think that anyone other the the Postal Service, UPS and FedEx would have the slightest use for your zip code? We aren't mailing the cab to you. Sure, it's better when the customer has all the information as far as the pickup address, it makes it a lot easier when regular people are calling, but you called on a COURTESY PHONE so wouldn't you think I'd know where you are? After all, I only asked for your freaking NAME! Pay attention!

One conversation at a time
ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
LADY: . . .because if they aren't going to be here until tomorrow then maybe we should. . .
ME: HELLO?
LADY: . . . schedule the meeting for a little bit later, hold on a second. . . Yes, can I get a cab please?

Finish the damn conversation before you pick up the phone! Some jackasses will even try to pick it up again in the middle of the call. I have a very low tolerance for this, and usually if I hear them talking to somebody when I pick up I'll just assume they're not ready to talk to me yet and hang up immediately.

Speaker phones don't work
ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
GUY: Helloelloelloello, I wantawantacabpleaseeesesse
ME: Hello? Could you pick up the handset, I can't understand you.
GUY: Helloelloelloello?
ME: (slams phone down)

I know, we've put a man on the moon. We've cracked the human genome. We've made fantastic advances in every field of human endeavor, but NO ONE has yet made a speaker phone that actually works. Pick up the damn handset!

Cell phones aren't much better
ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
CALLER: piercing shriek buzz static static
ME: Hello?
CALLER: static static buzz HEAR ME? piercing shriek buzz static
ME: Your cell phone isn't working, call back from a land line, okay? (I hang up)

A few seconds later

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
CALLER: CAN YOU static static piercing shriek
ME: Look, your cell phone is out of range or something, just call from a land line.
CALLER: static buzz static piercing shriek HELLO?!?! static static
ME: (hangs up)

A few seconds later

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
CALLER: static static static piercing shriek ME NOW?? buzz static
ME: WILL YOU GIVE IT UP ALREADY? YOUR FUCKING CELL PHONE ISN'T WORKING!
CALLER: piercing shriek static static buzz piercing shriek
ME: (slams phone down)

The record for people calling again and again like this with defunct cell phones is twelve times. TWELVE. Are people even aware anymore that there are still pay phones, or that the receptionist in any building will be happy to call you a cab? I can only imagine what would happen if everybody's cell phone and WiFi service suddenly went down, it would be freaking anarchy.

I'm not your travel agent
ME: Do you want the cab right now?
GUY: No, for in the morning, going to the airport please.
ME: What time do you want the cab to come?
GUY: I don't know, my flight is at 8:30, what time should I leave?

How the hell should I know? I don't know if you're flying international or domestic. I don't know how far in advance you like to get to the airport, some people like to give a wide margin of error, and some people like to cut it close. I myself always go for a wide margin for error, and I know that what you're really trying to do is get me to use my knowledge of the area to figure out the latest possible time for you to get picked up and still catch your flight. I don't do that for myself, and I won't do it for you just so you will have someone to blame if you miss your flight.

Just hail a cab you idiot
ME: What's the address you want to be picked up from?
GUY: I'm at Arlington Cemetery / the Iwo Jima Memorial / the Lincoln Memorial / the Jefferson Memorial / any of the museums / any of the monuments / just about anywhere in downtown D.C.

Throw a rock in any direction at any time of day near any of the tourist attractions and you will probably hit a taxi. What could possibly possess people to call for a cab when there are dozens of perfectly good cabs driving by them? A good number of people figure this out while they're waiting for us and hail a D.C. cab instead. Of course, they rarely bother calling us to cancel.

Standing around
ME: What's the address you want to be picked up from?
GIRL: The East Falls Church metro.
ME: Are you outside now, at the cab stand to your right as you exit the station?
GIRL: No, I'll be there in about an hour, at four o'clock.

People get surprised and angry that I won't take time calls from metro stations, the airports, and the train stations. Why is it so hard to understand that 1) You have no idea when your flight or train is going to arrive, and the driver is not going to wait for you for thirty minutes because you got delayed, and 2) All the metro stations, as well as the airports and train stations, have taxi stands. There are plenty of taxis there just about all the time. Call me when you get outside the place if there's a line and you don't feel like waiting in it, but don't try to tell me that you know exactly when your train or plane is going to arrive.

Area code
ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
LADY: It's XXX-XXXX, my address is . . .
ME: Hold on, is that area code 703?
LADY: No no no, 571!

The day of the seven digit phone number is over. Honestly, you had to dial ten digits to get ahold of me, so don't you think that when I ask for your phone number you should give me all ten digits? And don't go getting snippy with me acting like it's my fault that you're an idiot.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
GUY: No no, I don't need a cab, I think I left a snake in the cab I just took.
ME: . . . A snake.
GUY: Yeah
ME: How in the screaming HELL did you manage to leave a snake in your cab?
GUY: I had six of them in a shoe box, I think one got out in the cab, because I've only got five now.
ME: Did you get his cab number?
GUY: No.
ME: Great, so one cab in our fleet is driving around with a snake in his backseat, wonderful. Did you call for the cab or hail him off the street?
GUY: I just hailed him off the street.
ME: Then I wouldn't have his cab number in the computer. Incidentally, what kind of a snake are we talking about here?
GUY: It's just a little garter snake, it's completely harmless.
ME: Well, that's good at least, if we were talking about a cobra or something I'd have some pretty harsh words for you. Where did he pick you up and take you?
GUY: He picked me up outside 1234 X Street and took me to 5678 Y Street.
ME: Okay, let me get on the radio and see if I can find him.

ME: (over the radio) Hey who picked up from 1234 X Street and took somebody to 5678 Y Street?
DRIVER: I did that sir.
ME: Could you check the back of your cab, your passenger says he left a snake in your backseat.
DRIVER: Eh? A what sir?
ME: A snake.
DRIVER: A snake?? A SNAKE?!?!?! AIEEEEEEEE!!!!!!
ME: Hello? You still there? HELLO?? Oh, wonderful.

The driver calls the office a few seconds later and says he had screeched to a halt on the side of the road and absolutely refused to get back into his cab until the guy comes and removes the snake. I try to convince him it's a harmless garter snake but he is having none of it. So I get back on the phone with the passenger.

ME: Okay, the good news is that I found the guy who took you. The bad news is that he is terrified of snakes and pulled to the side of the road, and he is refusing to get back in his cab until you come and get the thing.
GUY: How am I supposed to do that?
ME: I can send you a cab to take you to where he is.
GUY: Well, like, would I be charged?
ME: Well, yeah. And quite frankly I think it would be pretty discourteous of you to not come back and retrieve the damn thing.
GUY: Look, tell the driver that the snake is completely harmless, it's probably just curled up underneath the seat or something, it's not going to hurt him if he just drives it back to me.
ME: That's not going to work, this guy sounds like he's really scared of snakes. Telling him it's lurking right beneath his seat is just going to make this situation worse.
GUY: But it's completely harmless!
ME: Yeah, I know that, and you know that, but some people are just afraid of snakes, okay?
GUY: Isn't there anything else we can do?
ME: I suppose we can call animal control and have them come get it, but I don't know if they'd give it back to you. Also I can practically guarantee that as we speak the driver is on the phone trying to find some friend of his to come get the snake out of his cab, and if that's the case they'll probably do it the hard way, if you get my drift.
GUY: Oh. . . . . Uh, yeah, go ahead and send me a cab.

So the guy went back and found his snake, which is good, because the driver was so freaked out that I seriously think he would have quit on the spot if it hadn't been found.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
GUY: I'm sorry?
ME: What's your phone number?
GUY: I'd like a taxi pickup please.
ME: Okay, what's your PHONE NUMBER?
GUY: Oh, oh my phone number, yes. Well, the one you would have in your system is XXX-XXX-XXXX, but that's been disconnected.
ME: Okay, uh, do you have a phone number that HASN'T been disconnected? One that we can call you at if we have a problem finding you or something?
GUY: But that won't bring up my address.
ME: That's no problem, I can enter your address after I enter your phone number.
GUY: Oh, well it's my wife's cell phone, the number is XXX-XXX-XXXX.
ME: Is that 1234 X Street?
GUY: Oh, yes it is. I guess my wife must have called you before.
ME: I guess so, do you want the cab right now?
GUY: Yes, right away please.
ME: Okay, we'll be right there.
GUY: Wait a minute, I haven't told you where I am yet!
ME: 1234 X Street, right?
GUY: Yes, that's my HOME address, but I'm not there right now.
ME: Alright, what's the address you want to be picked up from?
GUY: I'm not sure what the address is.
ME: . . . Are you actively trying to avoid getting a cab or something?
GUY: Pardon?
ME: I mean you're trying to give me a disconnected telephone number to bring up and address that you're not even at, and then you don't know the address you ARE at.
GUY: . . . . . . . .
ME: You know, it seems like a lot of people who call me, at the instant of hanging up the phone, immediately destroy their cell phone, lock their doors and windows, and hide in a closet with their fingers in their ears, because when the cab gets there they aren't outside, there's no answer when I call them, and they don't come to the door when the driver knocks. Then a few minutes after their cab leaves they'll call back asking why their cab isn't there yet! Now is that what you're going to do? Be honest.
GUY: . . . . . . . . .
ME: That's what I thought. (I hang up)

That's the trouble with the ultra-stupid; when I start going into my act they freeze up like a deer in the headlights and become unresponsive. Usually that ruins the exchange and makes it unworthy of being posted here, but I think this guy made the cut.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

We have courtesy phones in a few apartment complexes, and some of these employ doormen. Most of these guys are pretty much on the ball, but there's this one guy with a THICK Indian accent that I've always despised talking to. Mercifully these conversations are usually short.

ME: Blank Top, the apartment number please?
GUY: MY FRIEND? (he always pauses and makes me acknowledge that we are friends rather than just giving me the damn apartment number and letting me get back to screwing around on the internet)
ME: . . . Yes?
GUY: Apartment XXX, please!
ME: Alright, we'll be right there.
GUY: SIR???
ME: What?
GUY: Requesting a cab that takes credit cards, sir!
ME: I've told you at least twenty times that all our cabs are required to take credit cards
GUY: Ehhh? What's that you say?
ME: We'll be right there. (I hang up)

The cab gets there in just a few minutes, and nobody was there. He waited for a little while, then left. About ten minutes later, the line rings again. . .

ME: Blank Top, the apartment number please?
GUY: MY FRIEND!
ME: . . . . . . .YES???
GUY: Apartment XXX, please (same apartment)
ME: Yeah, the driver was there, waited ten minutes, and left.
GUY: Yes sir, customer was NOT ready yet!
ME: Okay, well, is he outside now?
GUY: No, he left!
ME: Well, okay then.

The way I translated this was that the guy had taken another cab after our driver left, and the doorman was calling back to explain what happened. A few minutes later . . .

ME: Blank Top, the apartment number please?
GUY: MY FRIEND!
ME: . . . . .. . . . . .WHAT?!
GUY: Yes, the cab for XXX, it is still not here!
ME: I thought you told me that the guy had left already.
GUY: Yes sir!
ME: Well if he left already why does he need a cab?
GUY: Ehh?
ME: YOU SAID THE PASSENGER LEFT ALREADY!
GUY: Oh no no sir, I said the CAB had left, the customer is still waiting.
ME: Is he outside now?
GUY: No sir, he left.
ME: . . . Listen to me very carefully: Is the CUSTOMER . . . OUTSIDE . . . RIGHT NOW?
GUY: Yes. He is coming down right now!
ME: Okay, we'll be right there.
GUY: SIR???
ME: Yeah?
GUY: Requesting a cab that takes credit cards, sir!
ME: (slams phone down)

I swear to his various gods.

-------------------

ME: Blank Top, your phone number?
LADY: (really snippy tone) HELLO????
ME: Yes, this is Blank Top Taxi, you need a cab?
LADY: Yes, I want a cab right away.
ME: What's your phone number?
LADY: It's (she gives me OUR phone number. This happens from time to time)
ME: No, that's OUR phone number. What's YOUR phone number?
LADY: You want MY phone number?
ME: Yes please, I already know OUR phone number.
LADY: It's XXX-XXX-XXXX
ME: What's the address you want to be picked up from?
LADY: It's the ------ School
ME: What city is that in?
LADY: Arlington.
ME: I've never heard of it, what's the address?
LADY: You've NEVER HEARD OF IT?
ME: No, though I try I am not an encyclopedia of every school and business in the county, what's the address?
LADY: It's XXX Acton Street.
ME: Acton Street?
LADY: That's right, at the ------- School
ME: I'm not familiar with Acton Street, what's the nearest cross street?
LADY: It's right off of Appleton Street, which is off of Massachusetts Avenue.
ME: Massachusetts Avenue in D.C.?
LADY: Huh? No, Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington!
ME: There's no Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington, Mass Avenue is in D.C.!
LADY: Uh, NO, it's in ARLINGTON!
ME: Wait a second, are you calling from Arlington Texas?
LADY: Arlington TEXAS? No you idiot, I'm calling from Arlington MASSACHUSETTS!
ME: Ah, I see. Well there is one idiot in this conversation, but it ain't me. This company you're calling is in Arlington VIRGINIA.
LADY: Virginia?
ME: Yeah, it's a big pointy state south of Maryland, I guess you've never heard of it. Incidentally, I'm curious to know how you found this number, was it poor communication with the people at 411, or incompetent internet navigation?
LADY: (hangs up)

This happens from time to time with callers from Arlington Texas, but apparently idiocy knows no red state / blue state boundary.

So thus far I've had people call from Arlington Texas, Arlington Massachusetts, and just yesterday Arlington Heights Chicago. I just did a quick check on Wikipedia, and it looks like about half the states in the country, as well as several Canadian provinces, have towns named or incorporating the name Arlington. I think I need a new job.

Monday, February 26, 2007

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
GUY: Huh?
ME: This is Blank Top Taxi, do you need a cab?
GUY: . . . Uh, no.
ME: Okay, goodbye!

If only it were that easy.

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
GUY: I just called a second ago and you HUNG UP ON ME?
ME: Well, you said you didn't need a cab, I don't see what else I can do for you.
GUY: I want to speak to Julia.
ME: Never heard of her, there's nobody in this office goes by the name.
GUY: I was told to call her at this number.
ME: I don't know what to tell you, she might be a driver, but I don't know all the drivers by name and I can't connect you through this line.
GUY: Is your number XXX-XXX-XXXX?
ME: There's a number of lines that come into this phone, I don't know them all.
GUY: Oh.
ME: Sorry. (I hang up)

A few seconds later. . .

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
GUY: Is Julia there?
ME: No, this is Blank Top Taxi again.
GUY: You sure there's nobody there named Julia?
ME: Yes, I'm sure.
GUY: I dialed the number just like she wrote it for me.
ME: Look, there's nobody here named Julia, alright?
GUY: Are you sure?
ME: As sure as I am that you're retarded. (I hang up)

A few seconds later. . .

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
GUY: Is Julia there?
ME: Oh for the love of God. . . You know, Einstein once defined insanity as doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result. Do you see what I'm getting at?
GUY: There's no need for your attitude dude.
ME: Really? It sure seems to me that there is. Forceful words appear to be the only way to get your dumb ass to stop calling, since I've already told you several times there's nobody here named Julia.
GUY: Well this is the number she gave me to call her at.
ME: Have you considered the possibility that she gave you a fake phone number? Because she realized you're a retarded loser and she doesn't want to talk to you again?
GUY: Do you treat all your customers this way?
ME: Of course not! But you see, you aren't a customer, you're just some moron who is apparently such a worthless specimen of humanity that some girl decided to give you a fake phone number.
GUY: Yeah well I think you're an asshole.
ME: And I think you're a retard.

Hey Julia, quit giving out our number as your fake. Instead use 703-527-4077. It's the Arlington suicide hotline.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Before you read this, let me just let you know that 95% of people who call looking for a "rate quote" never ask for a cab. For this reason I feel entitled to screw with them, especially when they have already clearly proven that they're idiots.

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
GUY: Uh, I don't know what the phone number here is.
ME: Do you have a cell phone?
GUY: Yes.
ME: . . . What's the number?
GUY: Oh, it's XXX-XXXX.
ME: Is that area code 703?
GUY: No.
ME: . . . Are you going to give me a hint as to what it IS?
GUY: Oh. Ummm, I think it's 202.
ME: You think?
GUY: Yeah, it's 202.
ME: Okay, what's the address you want to be picked up from?
GUY: I just wanted a quote.
ME: I can give you a rough estimate, from where to where?
GUY: I'm going to Reagan National Airport.
ME: From where?
GUY: Excuse me?
ME: Where are you taking the taxi from?
GUY: To National Airport.
ME: From WHERE? Where are you getting picked up from to take the taxi to the airport?
GUY: My home.
ME: . . . If you're not going to start taking a more active role in this conversation I'm hanging up right now.
GUY: What's that?
ME: HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW WHERE YOUR HOME IS? What's the ADDRESS?!
GUY: Oh, it's . . . uh . . . 1234 X Street.
ME: From there to National would run about $12 roughly.
GUY: Oh . . . but it wouldn't be any more than $12, right?
ME: It could be, the cab goes by a meter.
GUY: Yeah. . . Uh, what if I went with a cab that doesn't use a meter?
ME: Every cab in Arlington is required to run by a meter.
GUY: Nuh uh, I've seen cabs that don't use meters.
ME: Yeah, and they're unlicensed. Look, do you want a cab or not?
GUY: Can you tell me what the cheapest way to get to the airport is?
ME: Sure! Walk.
GUY: Uh . . . what?
ME: Walk! It's only a few miles, just a good stretch of the legs.
GUY: I don't want to walk.
ME: Then have a friend drive you.
GUY: Yeah, I tried to do that, I can't find anybody to drive me.
ME: I see. Do you have a horse?
GUY: Huh?
ME: Going to the airport on horseback is always an economical option.
GUY: I don't own a horse.
ME: You really should look into buying one, it's a very economical mode of travel, and it'll keep your grass neat and trimmed.
GUY: Are you just fucking with me now or something?
ME: Hey, you're not as dumb as I thought you were!
GUY: You don't have to be an asshole, I just want to know the cheapest way to get to the airport.
ME: Ah, get a horse. (I hang up)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Adventures of the Stupidest Bitch in the World
*Note: this woman was not elderly

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
LADY: (for about 20 seconds) Uh. . . . oh. . . . . uhhhhhhh. . . . .um. . . . . it's a cell phone.
ME: That's fine, what's the number?
LADY: Let me think. . . . . . .uhhhhhhh. . . . Oh? Ummmmm. . . . . I don't know the number.
ME: You don't know your own phone number?
LADY: I can't remember it.
ME: Okay, what's the address you want to be picked up from?
LADY: The address?
ME: Yes.
LADY: (again, about 20 seconds) Uhhhhhhhh. . . . . . .oh. Let me . . . . . .ummmmm. . . . no. . . . . No, I don't know what the address is.
ME: (done) If you don't know your address or phone number there's nothing I can do to help you. (I hang up)

A few moments later. . .

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
LADY: I don't know my phone number, I just called and you hung up on me?
ME: It's going to happen again if you haven't figured out what your address is yet.
LADY: I don't know the address, but listen, I'm at the -------- Building.
ME: Which side?
LADY: Excuse me?
ME: There are two entrances to that building, one on X Street and one on Y Street, which entrance are you standing at?
LADY: I'm not sure.
ME: . . . . . Could you FIND OUT?
LADY: Christ, hold on a second, hold on. . . .

Forty-five second pause. . . .

LADY: Okay, I'm at the -------- Building on the X Street entrance, and I want to go to the Lincoln Memorial, which is in Washington D.C.
ME: . . . Really, I didn't know that. What's your name?
LADY: Smith, S-M-I-T-H. How much is this going to cost?
ME: Not much, like five bucks maybe.
LADY: Good. Send the cab right away.
ME: Yeah, we'll be right there.

About an hour later. . .

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
LADY: My phone number? Uhhhhhhhh. . . . . .ummm. . . . oh. . . . I don't know my phone number.
ME: You're the lady we took to the Lincoln Memorial?
LADY: Yes.
ME: Do you want us to pick you up now?
LADY: Yes.
ME: Okay, we'll be right there.

Now something interesting happened. The dispatcher informed me that, while I had been up having a cigarette a little while after this woman initially called, the driver who picked her up called in and reported that this woman had stiffed him. Her fare had been $4.25, and she didn't have a quarter, he didn't have change, and she didn't feel like parting with one dollar more and tipping him seventy-five cents. He didn't feel like wasting his time niggling with this stupid bitch over twenty-five cents, so he just let her go. I know we're only talking about twenty-five cents here, but it's the principle of the thing that enrages me.

Now I don't want to hear any of you, "Well he should have had change ready," or, "Tipping is optional" people chiming in here, you are in the wrong place to talk that crap. I've never had a job where tipping is involved and I still tip well because it's the right thing to do, and you are a complete bastard if you don't. And in this case, where the choices are between tipping or forcing the person who rendered you service to absorb a loss just because you are too cheap to tip, what can I say. You're a scumsucking asshole. And you deserve to be punished.

Like maybe by being made to wait for a half an hour in the cold for a cab that isn't coming.

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
LADY: I don't know my phone number, I'm at the Lincoln Memorial, and I've been waiting twenty minutes now. Where my cab?
ME: Still haven't found you one yet, sorry.
LADY: YOU HAVEN'T FOUND ME ONE YET?
ME: Nope. Your original driver told the rest of the fleet about how you stiffed him, and now nobody wants to pick you up. What was up with that by the way?
LADY: I didn't stiff him, he told me it was alright.
ME: Yeah, that's because he didn't think it was worth it to argue with you over twenty-five cents. I'd have called the cops on you myself. Tipping isn't just a city in China, you know.
LADY: I don't believe in tipping.
ME: Yeah, that's great, you're a wonderful person.
LADY: I don't have to tip if I don't want to.
ME: Yeah, and our drivers don't have to pick you up if they don't want to.
LADY: No, you have to make them.
ME: I don't want to. See, now nobody is having to do anything they don't want to do! This is great!
LADY: So what am I supposed to do?
ME: Whatever you want!

Tip your cab driver folks. Also your waitress, bartender, barber, masseuse, pizza deliveryperson, blackjack dealer, drug dealer, stripper, and prostitute. It's going to come back and bite you in the ass if you don't.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Abysmal weather brings out the retards in the D.C. area like nothing else. Today had been solid sleet and freezing rain. D.C. drivers are notorious for being crappy in winter weather, or hell, any weather. Everybody knows the area becomes a textbook clusterfuck when the weather turns bad, and yet morons are still calling back five minutes after they initially called wanting to know why their cab isn't there yet.

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
GUY: It's XXX-XXX-XXXX.
ME: Is that 1234 X Street?
GUY: Yes.
ME: Are you ready now?
GUY: Yes.
ME: Okay, we'll be there as soon as we can.
GUY: Excuse me? As soon as you can? What is that, like five, ten minutes?
ME: No way to tell, you're probably looking at something like ten to thirty minutes.
GUY: Ten to THIRTY? Excuse me, why is it taking to long?
ME: Are you kidding? Look out the window.
GUY: Well yeah, but come on, thirty minutes? You can do better than that.
ME: Look pal, the roads are skating rinks, D.C. is a parking lot, and most of my drivers decided to knock off early.
GUY: Well don't you keep any cabs in reserve? You know, for V.I.P.'s?
ME: Why, are you a V.I.P.?
GUY: I could be.
ME: That's a no then. Hell, you're not even a regular customer.
GUY: Come on man, I'm in a hell of a rush here, can you please get me somebody soon?
ME: Look, we don't reserve cabs for special people. I'll get you somebody as soon as I can, but everybody who calls here gets the same crappy service no matter how very important their pee is.
GUY: . . .Oh. . . Uh, okay then. . .
ME: We'll be there as soon as we can.

Actually we had somebody pretty close, and we managed to get there in about twelve minutes. I would have bet money he was going to no-show on us, but he was actually there. My faith in humanity was briefly restored until the the next "I've been waiting almost ten minutes and my cab isn't here yet!" asshole a few minutes later.

Monday, February 12, 2007

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
LADY: I actually have a question.
ME: Sure, fire away.
LADY: I need to arrange to have my dog picked up and taken to the animal hospital. Could you do that?
ME: Sure, I'll find you somebody who will take a dog, that's no problem.
LADY: Oh, good. I know a lot of your drivers are Muslims and I've read that they won't take dogs.
ME: Yeah, I've read that too, but that particular little tidbit of idiocy has yet to find it's way here, I can find you somebody that will take a dog without any problems.
LADY: That's great. Now how would I pay?
ME: You would just pay the driver at the end of the trip.
LADY: Oh, but you see I wouldn't be going with the dog to the hospital, they are going to take custody of him when he gets there.
ME: The dog would be in a cage or carrier then, right?
LADY: Oh no, his cage would be too big to fit in a car.
ME: . . . Uh, what kind of a dog are we talking about here?
LADY: He's a Rottweiler.
ME: Are you serious? You want someone to pick up your gigantic attack dog without you there to keep the thing under control?
LADY: No, he's very docile right now because he's sick.
ME: Oh goody, so it's going to be throwing up all over the place too? This is just getting better and better.
LADY: No, don't worry, he's not throwing up, it's just. . .
ME: Oh I can't wait to hear this.
LADY: It's just that he's having some diarrhea problems right now.
ME: I think I'm starting to see why you don't want to ride along with it.
LADY: No, don't worry, I can put a diaper on him.
ME: I didn't know that they make diapers for Rottweilers.
LADY: I was just going to rig a baby's diaper on him.
ME: . . .Ma'am, can I ask you a question?
LADY: Okay.
ME: Are you completely insane?
LADY: . . . No, I'm not insane.
ME: Are you sure? You're asking a stranger to pick up your sick attack dog wearing a diaper.
LADY: I'm telling you he's not going to be a problem, he's sick and there's no way he'd attack your driver.
ME: He might not be angry now, but I'm pretty sure that's going to change when you try to slap a diaper on him.
LADY: So there's no way you can do this?
ME: No. In fact, it's probably things like this that have convinced so many Muslim drivers to stop picking up dogs and claim it's for religious reasons.
LADY: Okay, well, thanks anyway.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Okay, this guy had a foreign accent, but his English was perfect. This cannot be written off as a language barrier, this guy was either stupid, drunk, high, or a combination of the three.

ME: What's the address you want to be picked up from?
GUY: It's XXXX Mitchell Street.
ME: Mitchel Street? What city is that?
GUY: Arlington.
ME: There's no Mitchell Street in Arlington.
GUY: It's Michell Street, M-I-T-C-H-E-L-L
ME: I'm telling you, there's no Mitchell Street in Arlington.
GUY: Yes there is, it says right on my lease, XXXX "E" Mitchel Street.
ME: E? Like as in East?
GUY: Yeah, I guess.
ME: That can't be Arlington, is that Alexandria?
GUY: No, I'm telling you, it's in Arlington.
ME: No, it's not, I have no idea where the hell you are. (I hang up)

Thirty seconds later. . .

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
GUY: I'm at XXXX E Mitchell Street.
ME: God, not you again. Look, that's not an Arlington address, okay?
GUY: My address is on Mitchell Street, near the University of Texas and I'm here at ------- Hall.
ME: The University of Texas.
GUY: Yes.
ME: So you would be calling from Arlington Texas.
GUY: Yes.
ME: The company you are calling is in Arlington Virginia.
GUY: Yes.
ME: . . . .VIRGINIA.
GUY: So how long before the cab gets here?
ME: We're a company located in Arlington VIRGINIA, near Washington D.C.
GUY: So is the cab coming?
ME: . . . Sure, we'll be right there.
GUY: Okay.

Now the last guy who called from Arlington Texas got the upper hand on me. And hey, I told this guy three times we're in Arlington Virginia. He's fair game. So about ten minutes later. . .

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
GUY: Yes I'm at ------- Hall and no one is coming.
ME: You were at XXXX Mitchell, right?
GUY: No, that was my home address. I'm at ------- Hall at the University of Texas.
ME: Wait, you gave me your home address, but that's not where you are?
GUY: No, I am at ------ Hall.
ME: Well then why the hell did you give me your home address?
GUY: You asked for it!
ME: No, I asked for the address you wanted to be picked up from!
GUY: Oh. Well I'm at ------- Hall.
ME: Alright, we'll be there as soon as we can.

Okay, any doubt in my mind that this guy does not deserve to get fucked with has now disappeared. About ten minutes later. . .

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
GUY: Yes I have been waiting almost half an hour and nobody is coming.
ME: You're at ------- Hall?
GUY: Yes, how much longer?
ME: Hard to say, probably like ten o'clock tomorrow night if the driver doesn't stop to sleep.
GUY: Pardon me? ten o'clock tomorrow night?
ME: Well yeah. I told you three times we're an Arlington Virginia taxi. It takes a while to get from Virginia to Texas. If you wanted it sooner you should have called a company in Arlington Texas.
GUY: Uhm, how much is this going to cost?
ME: Hard to say, probably somewhere around $4000.
GUY: Oh. . . is there any way I can cancel that?
ME: CANCEL IT?! The driver is probably all the way to Manassas by now! You can't cancel that far on! I'll have to put in the computer that you canceled on us when the driver had already gone a fair way. This might mean that we can never send you a cab again, you sure you want to do it?
GUY: Yes, cancel it.
ME: You jerk.

Monday, January 29, 2007

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
LADY: I'm at the ------ store.
ME: What's your PHONE NUMBER?
LADY: oh, it's XXX-XXX-XXXX.
ME: What's the address you want to be picked up from?
LADY: I'm at the ------ store.
ME: Okay, there are three of those in Arlington alone, what's the address?
LADY: I don't know.
ME: . . . Well, could you ask somebody?
LADY: Uh. . . hold on a second.

25 second pause

LADY: Um, okay, it's on route 50.
ME: There are two of those on 50 that I know of, are you at the one in Seven Corners?
LADY: I don't know.
ME: . . . Well do you think you could find out?
LADY: Uh. . .
ME: Listen, could you please just ask somebody what the address is and call back? Thanks. (I hang up)

45 seconds later. . .

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
SAME LADY: Excuse me, did you just hang up on me?!
ME: You would be the gal at the mystery ------ store?
LADY: That's right.
ME: And can I take it that you have used this time since our last conversation to find out the store's address?
LADY: So you did hang up on me!
ME: Yes, I had other calls waiting, and listening to you um-ing and uh-ing didn't seem like a very productive use of either of our time, when I could be answering other calls and you could be finding out the store's address.
LADY: That was extremely rude of you!
ME: Not at all! After all, I was only concerned about you wasting you cell phone minutes. You should be thanking me really.
LADY: Whatever you fucking smartass.
ME: Yes, that's me. So did you find out the store's address?
LADY: No.
ME: Okay, we'll try it again. (I hang up)

a minute later. . .

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
SAME LADY: YOU JUST HUNG UP ON ME AGAIN!!
ME: Do you have that address yet?
LADY: IT'S THE ------ ON ROUTE 50, I DON'T KNOW THE GODDAMNED ADDRESS!
ME: (sigh) Well, they say third time's the charm. (I hang up)

For some reason she didn't call back again. Maybe she decided to go with another company. Or maybe she got hit by a bus.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
GUY: I'd like a cab.
ME: Okay, what's your phone number?
GUY: It's XXX-XXX-XXXX
ME: What's the address you want to be picked up from?
GUY: It's 1234 X Street, apartment A.
ME: What city is that?
GUY: Reston.
ME: That's too far away for us to pick up from, we're an Arlington County cab, let me give you another number to call.
GUY: What do you mean it's too far away?
ME: We're an Arlington cab, we don't have cabs circulating in Reston.
GUY: Your company takes me from Regan airport back to here all the time!
ME: Yes, we can take you from Arlington to anywhere. We can take you to New York if you want. But we can't pick you up from New York, or from Reston. It's not even within radio range. Let me give you another number to call.
GUY: So this is just, like, a matter of you not wanting to run a cab all the way here, right? Don't want to go to the trouble?
ME: Look, I have the number of a cab company in Reston, do you want it or not?
GUY: . . .Fine, give me the number.
ME: It's XXX-XXX-XXXX.
GUY: XXX-XXX-XXXX?
ME: That's right.
GUY: (hangs up)

That's right, no "Thank you" or anything. This does happen from time to time, but something about this guy really pushed my buttons. I still have his phone number up on the screen, so quickly I dial it with the finger speed of a master banjo player.

GUY: Hello?
ME: Hi, this is Brian over at Blank Top Taxi, you just called for a taxi and I couldn't help you, so I gave you another number to call?
GUY: Uh, yeah?
ME: You forgot to say thank you.
GUY: . . .Excuse me?
ME: I gave you the number of a different company to call.
GUY: And?
ME: And you forgot to say thank you.
GUY: Are you insane?
ME: Insane? Me? No, of course not! If I was insane I wouldn't have called you, I'd have gone to the address you gave me in the middle of the night with an ax and hacked you to death while you slept.
GUY: Are you threatening me??
ME: Of course not! I'm just saying that you have to be careful these days. I'm saying I COULD be an ax wielding maniac. But I'm not.
GUY: . . . .
ME: So what do you say?
GUY: Uh. . . Thank you?
ME: You're welcome!

You can never be too careful.
posted by Brian @ 2:17 PM 8 comments

Thursday, January 18, 2007
ME: Blank Top, you're phone number please?
GUY: No, I don't need a cab, I'm calling because I think I left a cell phone in my cab.
ME: Did you get his cab number?
GUY: Yes, it was cab number XXX.
ME: Sweet, you have no idea how often people who lose stuff in cabs didn't even bother to remember what the cab number was, let me call him.

I call the guy on the radio and miraculously he has the phone.

ME: Alright, we're in good shape, he has the phone. Where are you now?
GUY: I'm at the ------- building.
ME: Okay, he's in Roslyn right now. He can go back to where he dropped you off and deliver the phone for a charge.
GUY: Excuse me, a charge?
ME: Yes, he would run the meter from where he is and bring the phone back to you. It would run about $14
GUY: . . . That's outrageous.
ME: Alternatively he can drop it off at our office and you can pick it up tomorrow.
GUY: Would you please explain to me why I have to pay for this?
ME: Well it's quite simple really. It's your fault for leaving the phone in the cab, and the driver deserves to be compensated for making a trip for you just like if you were in the cab.
GUY: No, that's not the same.
ME: Sure it is.
GUY: . . .Christ, alright, whatever, but just so you know I think this is a ripoff.
ME: Yeah, well then don't leave your phone in the cab next time.

I tell the driver to bring it back to the guy, and suggest that he get the money in his hand before he gives up the phone. Guess what. . .

ME: Blank Top, your phone number please?
GUY: No, I'm the guy who lost the phone, and this guy is refusing to give it back to me.
ME: Is that so? Did you pay him?
GUY: I'll pay him when he gives me back my damn phone!
ME: Yeah. . . Tell you what, why don't you just pay him now? Not that I would ever think you are the kind of person who would skip out on their cab fare or anything like that.
GUY: Hey, and another thing, you told me this would cost $14, and he's telling me it's more than $15!
ME: Yes, that's because, and you must have noticed this when you took the trip in the first place, the cab goes by a meter. I told you it would be ABOUT $14.
GUY: Well I'm not paying.
ME: You're going to have to if you want the phone back.
GUY: He HAS to give it back to me! This is blatant theft!
ME: No, it blatant you being a douchebag.
GUY: EXCUSE ME?
ME: Listen asshole. . . Do you mind if I call you asshole?
GUY: YOU CAN'T TALK TO A CUSTOMER LIKE THAT!
ME: You see, asshole, the trip he just made for you constitutes a cab ride, the same as if you had been in the cab yourself. When someone skips out on their cab fare, we call the police. Then the police come and either make the person pay the fare or arrest them. I've never had to do that before, but being the charming character you have proven yourself to be, I'd love nothing more than to bust my cherry on you. Your call.
GUY: God damnit . . . you know what? I'll pay. But I'm filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau about this.
ME: Yeah, you do that.

And I'm sure the Better Business Bureau will take a profound interest in the matter. If we stop sending them our membership checks.

Comments

1
6:12 pm 10/01/2009

HeadOfPins

Fucking brilliant read

Too many funny bits, but I lolz'd at

ME: These aren't the droids you're looking for.
LADY: Excuse me?
ME: Never mind.

Genius

1
11:39 pm 10/01/2009

griffin

Your original driver told the rest of the fleet about how you stiffed him, and now nobody wants to pick you up.

Ouch!

2
12:47 am 11/01/2009

QuickTime

Quote:
Tip your cab driver folks. Also your waitress, bartender, barber, masseuse, pizza deliveryperson, blackjack dealer, drug dealer, stripper, and prostitute. It's going to come back and bite you in the ass if you don't.

I deliver pizzas as a second job. On New Years Eve we had a bad snowstorm and the resteraunt was not giving delivery times as we were slammed and the roads were bad. We got an order from a woman who never tipped at the edge of our delivery zone. She waited for two hours and the pizza was luke-warm at best when I got another delivery in the area. We do reward those that tip with faster and priotity service

Of the $1.75 delivery fee the resteraunt charges I only get $.65. Tips are the only way I make any money to justify delivering. If you don't tip, that is fine but don't expect priority service anytime soon.

0
12:52 am 11/01/2009

Flee

Word. I tip delivery people well. They tell you on the phone it will be 40 minutes. I end up getting my food in less than 30.

1
1:16 am 11/01/2009

VoN

Quote:
These aren't the droids you're looking for.

0
11:35 pm 28/02/2010

DarkHelmet

very bump-worthy post

0
11:48 pm 28/02/2010

Flee

too bad I couldnt save the whole site

0
3:43 am 01/03/2010

6h057

wonder if the guy would have any offsite backups...?

0
4:02 am 01/03/2010

aion_z

Quote:
the bakers. . . the BAKERS for God's sake!


bwahahaha!!!

Quote:
ME: Now if you will please give me your address . . . . so that you may also be . . . . corrected.
LADY: Oh my GOD!!! (hangs up)


ZOMFG..... Bwahahaha!!!

0
4:02 am 01/03/2010

aion_z

PAR, bub.. Thanks for the laugh!

0
4:11 am 01/03/2010

albatros_3

This kept me entertained for quite a while. Nice post!

0
7:41 am 28/11/2010

DarkHelmet

BUMP

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