"Do you speak English?"

I was sitting at the airport one night waiting for someone to land (we have a special place where we have to sit for this so the 'port folk can keep their eye on us to make sure we aren't trying to solicit/steal rides). Incoming people are to take the next cab, we're kept in a line and we have passes to get through the gate. Without these we cannot pick up there.

Aside: If anyone has ever wondered; to be able to pick up at the 'port here you have to be able to pass a Homeland Security background check. This is why the majority of the drivers there aren't English-as-a-first-language type of folk ... most of the English/American cab drivers have some sort of felony on their records. ASSUming the foreigners are using their own names I'm guessing they don't bring their criminal records with them here.

ANYway. Was sitting waiting on someone that it looked like wasn't going to show (about an hr late) so I was just killing time when I hear someone in a car behind me slam their car door. I look in the rearview and it's a rival cab taxi sitting behind me (their drivers are notorious for not speaking a lot of English) and someone had just gotten out of the back. A moment later there is a guy walking up to my window and knocked.

He: HEY! Do you speak English?

Me: rolling down window Hi there. For the most part yes, just don't catch me after a coupla shots of Turkey. ;o) Can I help you?

He: Do you know where the State Fair Grounds are?

Me: In Salem? O' course. Need me to give your driver directions?

He: Can you just give me a ride there?

Me: looking at the people in the booth ... no one is looking my way. Sure. Hop in.

After about 10 minutes he calms down enough to explain to me what happened. He just flew in from OK to buy a horse being shown at the 'grounds, hopped the 1st cab in line and told him where to take him. Driver says "OK" and they're off. Turns out that "OK" is the only words in English the driver knows, he's waiting for the passenger to tell him where to turn.

When the pass. figured that out he made the driver turn him around, take him back to the airport and drop him off and he refused to pay him. Paid me just over a hundred to get him there though.

If only we could get more people to do this we might not be having such a controversy over what street in Portland to name "Cesar Chavez Boulevard". And ho BOY do I have an opinion on that one.

And today's drawing:


Manic Witch said...

And if more pass. did that, it might force other cab companies to hire better quality drivers.

Contrary said...

What is the deal with people refusing to complain?

Sure, there are complainers, but those are usually the ones who have nothing to complain about.

It seems the majority of people are too nice to complain.

I iz not too nice.

Mom said...

I already have a problem with illegal immigrants. I am tired of getting phone calls to my work and people assuming that I speak Spanish. Helllooo... this is America, we speak American. My husband's grandfather came over here from Holland and had the balls to do it legally. Raised him up a family of 15 kids before shedding his mortal coil. So is no one supposed to follow rules anymore? WTF?

Iron Fist said...

Speaking of renaming streets, you hear about the guy who wants to rename 42nd Ave after Douglas Adams?

whall said...

I'm glad he refused service. He didn't get the product he wanted - an English-speaking cab driver. It shouldn't matter that the 'english speaking' part has to be spelled out now. In spanish, no less.

At my local grocery store, they have the placards for Western Union - you know "send money now" or whatever. They only had the spanish placards out. I said "what does that sign say?" and they told me and I said "where's the english version?" and they said "oh, we have it around here somewhere, but we only get Mexican customers for that so we figured what they hay."

What the hay indeed.

Mad William said...

Why does Portland need a Cesar Chavez Blvd?

BarnGoddess said...

Yeah, us Okies only speak ENGLISH...poor fella. I wonder is I know him......?

horse buying huh? Must be a nice one!