...Yours Truly. This happened a couple of years ago, but I remember this incident like it was yesterday. With that said, here we go!
So, I'm leaving the computer lab at school in downtown Chicago, right? And I'm waiting for one of the myriad of buses that pass by Roosevelt to take me up North. After standing on the corner of Congress and Michigan like a bookworm hooker for twenty minutes (gotta love CTA), I decide that I'll take a taxi home, as my brain hurts from deciphering the puzzle that is my Statistics homework. I flag a cab - number 5061, Choice Taxi Association - and he is immediately surly. I then proceed to tell him where I'm going.
The first warning sign that I was gonna have to choke a mofo was when he took a route other than that which I had given him to travel. I told him to take the Kennedy to Fullerton, and what does he do? He takes Lake Shore Drive to Fullerton, thereby making the trip three and half miles longer than it needed to be. And before you ask, NO, the Kennedy was not congested. This bastard just tried to squeeze a few more dollars out of me. Nonetheless, too tired to argue, I let him have this round.
We exit on Fullerton and Stockton, not too far from Lincoln Park Zoo, and proceed west on Fullerton. Now, I have to ask: Why in the bloody fuck do taxi drivers peel down the street like demon bats out of hell? I swear, if I had eaten anything prior to that ride, the driver would've been wearing it. I think I may have dislodged an ovary because of all of that jostling!
Anyway, we're going...and we're going...and we're going...and we make it to my building without incident. I see the fare, I take out my debit card and ID, and hand it to the cab driver. He snatches it from me, then slides it through the screener - verrrrrrrrrrrrrry slowly. It reads "Error." I tell him to make sure that he has the magnetic strip facing the right way, and he ignores me, and proceeds to swipe it again - verrrrrrrrrrrrrry slowly. I tell him to swipe it quickly, the way it's supposed to be swiped, and he continues to ignore me, muttering something under his breath. I then tell him that he can enter it manually, as that he has that capability, and he tosses my card back to me and said, "You give me another card! You give me another card, you bitch!"
Imagine hearing the needle scratch across a vinyl record at a house party - skrrrrrrrrrrt!
I look up at him, and his nostrils are flaring so much that I can see the underside of his parietal bone.
"Excuse me?" I say.
"You heard me, bitch! You give me 'nother card, or I'm calling the police!"
Now, normally, I wouldn't mind having the driver take me to an ATM so I can withdraw cash, but a) I do not pay cab fares over $25 in cash unless I already have that much cash on me, and b) this guy called me a bitch.
"Sir," I say, surprisingly calmly. "I strongly advise you to enter the numbers manually, as the Riders Bill of Rights posted back here states that if my valid credit card is refused, the ride is free, and I know that you do not want to lose such a large fare." (FYI: debit cards w/ a Visa or Mastercard logo apply here too - mine is a Bank of America Visa)
Then he says, "You n-----s are all the same. Don't wanna pay. You n-----s never wanna pay."
I say to the guy, "I beg your pardon?" And before I can let him retort, I get out of the cab, slamming the door hard enough to shatter the window (it didn't, but you get the idea). I walk to the front gate of my building, and I've got the Department of Consumer Services (after-hours switchboard operator) on the line, reciting my name, my address, my phone number, the cab number, the cab company, a physical description of the driver, a run-down of the incident, and a connection to the police, all while he's still screaming at me.
At the behest of the woman at DCS, I call the cab company, and tell the dispatcher what happened. And he...is...PISSED. He tries to radio the driver while on the phone with me. Though I'm standing near my front gate, I can hear the dispatcher on the cabbie's radio, and I'm watching this jackass ignore him. The dispatcher guy then tells me to tell the cabbie to call him...NOW. I comply. About seven minutes later, the cab driver looks at me, apologizes, says "Thank you," and then drives off. Forty-five seconds later, the dispatcher returns to me and said that he will be off the street for a "nice long while because he KNOWS that he can enter the numbers from a credit or debit card manually." I then told the dispatcher that that is exactly what I told the driver to do when he said that my card kept reading "Error." The dispatcher then apologized for the inconvenience.
My best friend jokingly called me a troublemaker - prior to my telling her and my best guy friend the (short version of the) story. In hindsight, perhaps I was being a bit of a troublemaker - but not without reason. Like I said before, any other time, I'd have the driver take me to an ATM to get cash. And I probably would have this time, if he hadn't been so disrespectful. I'd rather be spit in the eye than have my race or sex attacked. It's the principle of the thing.
The moral of the story is: Dont fuck with Yaddle.
**ASIDE: The police NEVER showed up. Gotta love Chicago's Finest.**