Got dispatched to a call to pick up this fairly young looking man late Saturday/early Sunday and took him from the east side o' the river to the west in Lake Oswego. It was about a 20 minute ride and we chatted about all kinds of things on the way. Pretty amusing conversationalist.
He: OK. Hold on a second. I have to go in the house to get my money.
Me: Ah. You aren't going to pay me are you?
He: WHAT? Of course I am. Why do you say that?
Me: Because every time I get someone to where they're going and they say 'I have to go in the house to get my money' something always happens and somehow they don't have it.
He: Man. It must suck to have your job. So many flakes out there. NO. I'm straight up. I'll be right back ... with cash. I promise.
Me: mmmm hm. I'll wait right here. You have 3 minutes then I'm calling the cops. Just so you know. *grin*
He: Wow. So untrusting. That's sad.
Me: What's sad is that so far I'm batting a thousand with this particular situation. It would be nice if the city would allow us to ask if a body actually HAS the money when they get in the car to pay for their fare, but they won't let us. They say that everyone KNOWS when they get in a cab that they are paying for a service and we call the police if you don't pay. One of the many reasons why they put cameras in our cabs. So. See you in ... 3 minutes ... right?! *grin*
He: Of course you will. I'm not one of those people that swindle people out of their money. I have a business I run. You can trust me. I'll be right back.
I wait for a few minutes. I call my dispatcher on the phone and tell him the situation and the address of where I am, just in case, and am still talking to him when the young man comes back out of the house and gets in the car.
He: I am so sorry, but my sister took my money.
Me: just staring at him
He: Really. She does this all the time. She knows where I keep my money and goes in there and gets it sometimes.
Me: Ah. And I thought you were going to surprise me here and do the right thing. Can't you go wake her and get your money?
He: No. She went out.
Dispatcher: You want me to call the police now? in my earpiece
Me: No, not yet. Let me see if he has some other form of payment.
He: You take cards right?
Me: Yup. As long as it's good.
He: Of course it's good. Um. It won't clear until Monday right?
Me: No. It's going to clear before I leave your house.
He: Well. Um. It won't be good until Monday.
Me: Not good enough. OK J, call the police. to the dispatcher
He: Wait a minute here. Really. I am being straight with you here. If you let me go until Monday I'll tip you large to wait. I'm not kidding. This is the account I run my business out of. I'm being honest here. etc etc about the sister.
Disp: Well, whaddaya think? You gonna do it?
Me: All right. But only so you know, if this isn't good by Monday I'm calling the police to come here, to your house and arrest you.
He: No problem. You won't have to do that. I promise. It'll be good.
Me: Don't promise me. We tried that. yup. you get jaded driving a cab.
He: Wow, thank you soooo much etc etc
Disp: I can't believe you're going to do this.
Me: I know. Gawd. I'll call you back.
So the kid gets out of the car. I head on my way. Call the disp. back and we chat until I have to go do something else.
Monday comes, card is no good by late in the afternoon. I call the kids cell phone.
Me: Hey Brooke?
He: Yeah. Who's this?
Me: This is your cab driver from last night. Your card isn't good.
He: Hey. What?? No way. I JUST used it. Can you run it again?
Me: Nope. It's been ran 2X. No good. What are you going to do about it?
He: I'll get cash. I'm going to be out of town tonight with my folks, can I hook up with you first thing in the morning when we get back and I'll give you the cash. I'm really sorry.
Me: I won't be around during the day, but the guy that drives my car will be downtown all day tomorrow, how about you hook up with him and give it to him to give me.
We work out the particulars, etc etc.
Tues: Card is still no good, he never contacted my driver and now isn't answering his phone. Go figure.
Me: I call his vm and leave a message. Hey. This is your cab driver. I just wanted to give you one last chance before I call the police. It's 6p now. I'm heading over to your house and will call them from there. Just letting you know.
He calls me back about 5 minutes later.
He: Hey. Sorry, I was on the other line. I'll be here. At home, when you show. I'm really sorry about that. I'll see you in about 1/2 hr right?
Me: Probably closer to an hour. But I'll be there.
I drive over there. Knock on the door. His Dad answers the door.
Me: Hi. Is Stephen around?
Dad: No. He just took off. and just gives me that look like 'what do you want?'
Me: My name is ... and I tell him the whole story.
He has a cell phone in his hand, picks it up and calls his wife.
Dad: Hello. It's me. I have a young lady here says she's a cab driver and that Stephen gave her a bad credit card after telling her some bullshit story about his fake sister taking his money.
Mom: I can hear her over his phone. AGAIN????!! God DAMN it!!
Dad: This has got to stop Patty.
Mom: Don't air our business in front of the CAB DRIVER FOR CRISSAKES!! Just pay her before the neighbors see her out there!! This is a pretty affluent neighborhood.
Dad: Patty, we ...
Mom: PAY HER DAMN IT! I'LL DEAL WITH IT WHEN I GET HOME. and she hangs up on him.
Me: I'm really sorry, I hate doing this kind of stuff. I told him I was going to call the police, so he had plenty of warning. Sorry to disturb your night like this.
Dad: It's not you. I'm sorry he did this, again. Damn kid needs to learn some damned sense. He's been doing this for years. He's 32 years old. We just married 4 years ago and I've been having problems with him ever since.
Me: Really? Wow. He didn't look that old.
Dad: That's why his mom lets him get away with it. Anyway. I don't have that kind of cash on me. Will you take a credit card?
Me: Well ...
Dad: Dont' worry. MY card is good.
Me: Ok. I need to run it in the car.
We take care of business.
Dad: I'm really sorry you had to deal with this.
Me: Ya know, I could always give you your card back and I could call the police anyway. It sounds like he needs a little ... help.
Dad: You know what? If I hadn't already told his mother I'd pay you then I probably would. Thank you. You seem like a nice enough woman, might I suggest you think about another line of work?
Me: Thank you for that. I'm not that nice. *grin* You seem like a nice enough gentleman, might I suggest some family counseling to get rid of the 'adult child that is still living at home and sponging off the family?'
Dad: Touche. Good evening.
Me: You too.