For those who are keeping a tally of grumpy old taxi drivers versus cool Uber drivers who are full of fascinating stories to tell, add this regular taxi driver that I met today under “non-Uber drivers who are not grumpy and old, but pretty fascinating too.”
Before he picked me up, his fare was a thuggish guy who turned out to be a loanshark on his way to collect a debt. He needed to make two stops, he told the driver, and because it wasn’t a legal debt collection, the driver needed to drop him off at a distance.
As they were reaching the first stop, the taxi fare was coming up to nine dollars. The loanshark had a proposition — the entire trip was probably going to cost no more than twenty bucks, and since he needed $30 change to return to his debtor who was going to pay up his loan of $820 with only $50 notes, why not have the driver give him $30 first, and when he comes back with the money, he will pay the driver $50. The math is sound, so it must be legit, right?
The little scam there sounds really ridiculous. I wonder if any driver would actually fall for it. Not this driver, luckily. Cool as a cucumber, he told the loanshark to get off the cab, which he immediately obliged. I was pretty impressed that the driver wasn’t angry at the scam attempt, but was very amused and happy to just chalk his $9 loss up to bad luck and laugh it off. Well, he could have been scammed almost $40, so he has something to smile about, after all.
Photo credit: John Cobb