I picked up a middle-aged fella t'other night from the Hilton downtown. Nice enough guy, just talking on the phone the entire time so hard to get any info out of. He gets in and is so busy talking that he doesn't have time to talk to me I try to get info out of him but he keeps giving me the finger (you know - the hold one finger), after about 5 minutes of this (patience level: 4) I finally just start the meter. I'm nice, but I'm not that nice. Our meters make a noise when they start so he heard that.
He: to caller Hold on a second. to me Did you just start the meter? Why? We haven't gone anywhere.
Me: You've been sitting in my cab for 5 minutes. Technically I was to start it when you got in, but since I'm a nice person, up to a point, I waited.
He: But we haven't GONE anywhere. to caller Are you hearing this? She wants to charge me for sitting in her car. No. No. No, we haven't gone anywhere.
Me: Sir, (level 3) you flagged down my cab as if you wanted to go somewhere. If you'd like to give me the address we can be off and you can continue your phone conversation. If you want to just sit here it's $30/hr.
He: to caller Oh. My. Gawd. the whole time he's talking to his friend he's staring me in the eye Are you hearing this? Tell me you are hearing this. I KNOW. I can't believe it either.
Me: (Defcon 2) Sir, AGAIN. If you want to just sit here while talking to your friend on the phone it's $30/hr. I WORK for a living, driving this cab, if you want to sit in it, it's going to cost you... Thirty. Dollars. An hour. If you would just give me the address you can insult me all you like while talking to your friend on the phone AND getting to your destination. If not, kindly get out of my car.
He: I can't BELIEVE you think THIS is work. to caller Can you believe she's talking to me this way? I wonder if she knows who I am. She should feel privileged to have me in her car. I can't believe this. No wonder people think badly of cab drivers.
Me: (Defcon 1) SIR. I don't KNOW who you are, nor do I CARE who you are other than some snob that thinks the world needs to wait on him. YOU are in my cab because YOU flagged me down because YOU wanted to go somewhere. I did not solicite you to ride in my cab. You know what, just because of your self-important celebrity status I'm going to go ahead and turn off the meter for you because ...
He: to caller, while looking at me I KNEW she would change her mind. People always do when they're confronted with superior skills.
Me: If you and your superior skills of interruption would be calm for just one minute, what I was trying to say was I going to turn off the meter for you BECAUSE I no longer want you in my cab. Have the valet call you another cab.
He: ... Can you ...
Me: And before we have another round of "can you believe it's" would you just get out of the car because really, you're wasting your "superior skills" on this ignorant cab driver.
He sputtered a bit, but got out talking about how he wouldn't want to ride in the car with such a rude person to begin with, etc.