Cabbie on the Street
Cab drivers have a pretty good racket going. I took a taxi home from the ballpark last night because I wanted to get home quick and go out to meet the gang at my corner pub. As we’re driving, the cabbie gets a call on his cell phone and starts chatting away to his buddy. Naturally, since one cannot really drive and talk at the same time, he slows down. I’m forced to sit there in increasingly annoyed silence since, dude, WTF?
He is capitalizing on the natural politeness of people to not interrupt someone on the phone. Pavlov would have a field day with the way phones have conditioned us in many different ways. When you pick up a phone, you instinctively say hello, or, if you’re Mr. Burns, ahoy hoy. When you hear a phone ringing, you actively have to force yourself to not pick it up.
Cabbies already prey on the natural inclination of people to not know where they’re going. I was once in a TO cab that took an overly circuitous route to the Eaton Centre, when even I (who was a bumpkin tourist at this point in my life) knew a shorter way. In matters like that, however, I have no problem in openly giving him directions and being a back-seat driver. If you’re going to try to rip me off, I see no reason to be civil, jerk store.
I’m glad I didn’t tip much of anything. The way I see it, the extra money I spent for the extra few minutes his gabbiness cost me can pay his damn phone bill.