Wednesday, September 13, 2006

CHANGE FOR A HUNDRED?

Ali is one of my best cabbie friend. They call him "Ali two fingers". After getting his degree in physics in Pakistan he decided to be a butcher and not by choice as you may know, and I don't need to tell you why he has only two fingers left in one of his hands. Ali claims that he used to be one of the best butchers in his village but I don't think his missing fingers testify to that claim. Sometimes I call him "the stick'em up man" having only his thumb and index finger his hand always looks like he is doing the stick'em up bit.

About six years ago he picked up two well dressed Latino guys at the corner of 16th and K streets around 8 o'clock at night. They wanted to go to around Briggs Channey road which is far north in Silver Springs Maryland, they agreed to pay $40 fare and paid him with a hundred bill in advance, after getting a $10 tip he gave them their $50 change and started driving north on 16th street towards Maryland. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

As a cabbie, I don't care if your passengers are mother Teresa and Jesus Christ holding hands coming out of a church, you never admit that you have a change for a $100. That could be a life costly rookie mistake. You just drive the passenger to a place where they can get their own change and make an extra buck or two doing that. The law in DC is a cab driver should have a change for $20 max that's it or you don't have to transport the passenger at all.

To make the long story short when they got to the destination which was the back of an apartment complex one of the passengers pulled out an ugly big ass gun pointed it to the side of his head while the other asshole robbed him. After taking all his money including that $100 bill, they pistol whipped his ass until he was unconscious and left him in the parking lot for dead and drove off with his cab. Ali was lucky that night that he wasn't shot dead and a car almost ran over him before the lady stopped and called Montgomery county police.

When Ali woke up he found himself at Suburban hospital with lots of pain, he had a cracked skull, a crushed jaw and a couple of teeth knocked out. It took him about a couple of months to recover and get back to work, and Ali always say that those two months are the only moments that he missed his butcher days in Pakistan. Didn't I tell you cab driving is fun!

Don't forget the homeless.

Mad Cabbie.

9 comments:

Jamy said...

I just read an article about how taxi drivers decide how to pick up passengers--basically, it's about how they decide who to trust.

It's based on this book, Streetwise: How Taxi Drivers Establish Their Customers' Trustworthniess. You might find it interesting...then again, you can probably guess what it says. :)

MJ06 said...

Thats horrible. I have seen the cabs in Cleveland have stickers on the door saying driver does not give any more then $5.00 in change.

MasterCard of the Obvious said...

You want to avoid cash and muggings?

Good. I want that for you, too.

So go plastic.

Anonymous said...

God...bless Ali...how can people go so low? I want to join an army and start shooting people who do stuff like this! I'm a damn good shot, too. My dad taught me. But gee...that's the wrong thing, right? Peace!

Peggy's old violent mom...

lugosi said...

Fairfax has the same law: Cab drivers need only carry change for a twenty. Invariably some idiot will hand us a fifty or a hundred on a $7 fare, then act surprised when I tell them I don't have change (even though I usually do). Then I make them pay the fare to go get change. That's what they get for not having said something in advance.

Oh, and as far as credit go: I hate 'em. First, it's time consuming to fill out the damn slips. Second, if I'm running low on gas, I can't just go into a gas station and hand them a cedit slip for $14.75. Third, the cab company skims 6% off every credit card slip. In other words, for every ten bucks in credit card transactions, I'm only getting $9.40. May not sound like a big deal, but that crap adds up after a while.

Peggy said...

Please be careful out there!

Those horrible people didn't have to be violent. Just showing Ali the gun was enough to get all his money.

I assume that the (insert very foul words here) were never caught? Cab recovered?

Mad Cabbie said...

Thanks Jamy, I will check that book out. It might be worth it even if I learn a single situation that I didn't know about. It's a jungle out there Jamy!

Mj, even Cleveland is bad uh? I don't blame them, there are some freaks out there who will kill you for a couple of bucks.

I agree Mr. Master Card, not getting shot is priceless!

Peggy's Mom for DC Mayor! forget Mr Fentey!!!

Lug, I thought people in fairfax let you keep all the change? with all that money in fairfax county! and why don't you get your own credit card POS terminal? I only pay 1.9%

Peggy, I will do my best to be careful but usually my passengers are worried not to be robbed by their driver:) Those low lives were never caught, it's a matter of time because they did found some evidence when they found the cab a week later in Landover stripped down to the frame!

ny'er said...

You need to move to NYC. It's much safer here.

Anonymous said...

Some drivers wont even make change for a $20. I learned this when I tried to get a cab at Union Station. Three drivers decided they didnt have enough change for a mere $20. They all refused to take me.

But overall DC cab drivers are educated. They know where to go even if you name an obscure street somewhere in the middle of a dead end.