Monday, 15 June 2009

I'm A Coward

Not the usual kind, I don't think. I faced with equanimity the Doc in her lair this morning; nothing dire showed up as a result of last week's scan, but I am now being propelled into a round of blood tests, gynaecological specialist appointments, and pill popping prescriptions, all of which I can accept with my usual un-flappable sang-froid (apt choice of words, in the circumstances! Think about it , ladies).

No, I'm a coward when it comes to Taxi Drivers. For many years, it has intrigued me how the price between A and B varies, not only between drivers working for the same firm, but also according to whether you are travelling from A to B, or B to A.

Does the road shrink and grow? Are the car tyres of different circumferences and the journey counted in revolutions to calculate price? Either of these theories could explain the discrepancy, but are each as unlikely as the other.

For the five minute ride from my house to the Health Centre, I was charged £2.80 this morning - a pretty average amount, though I have occasionally had a driver charge £2.70 for the same trip in the past few weeks.

The taxi firm I use has been part of the Havant scene since I moved here in 1964, and many of them are so used to me, they tell me where I live...

So the drill goes like this; I ring and book (usually a day in advance) when a Doc's appointment is coming up, and when it's over, and I leave the surgery clasping my bag of goodies to my chest, I give them a call from my mobile, and pretty soon, my chariot awaits - although, come to think of it, in those circumstances I do the 'awaiting' for the chariot. Be that as it may.

Because today, I emerged with a raincoat over one arm, a bulbous bag of goodies, a sheaf of forms and papers plus a hardback book purchased from the surgery which sells second hand ones in aid of a local hospice, using a mobile would have necessitated an extra special balancing act.

I chose the easy option, and used the phone in the vestibule which connects directly to another local cab company - no dialing, no money required. My overloaded left arm could continue balancing with no danger of an avalanche, while my right hand unhooked receiver and placed call. Fine.

Rival cab ( I think of them in this way, as my usual firm have been around longer) duly arrives and whisks me back to my front door. "That's £2.70, love, thank you" says he, as I try to make an elegant an exit as possible. He then begins waffling on about 'not asking passengers he picks up from the Health Centre whether they are Old Age Pensioners, or Disabled, as both options entitle them to reduced fares'. He, apparently, assumes obvious wrinklies will come under one or the other heading, and charges accordingly. OK - that's fine by me, and £2.70 is definitely better than OK. I give him £3.00. He makes absolutely no attempt to give me 30p change.

Coward that I am, I say nothing...

I certainly didn't say 'keep the change', and am left feeling cheated by him, and annoyed at myself. I now feel browbeaten, all over a measly 30p. Does this make me a miser? Or him a bully?


  1. No he definitely should have offered you the change.... You shouldn't need to ask.

  2. He's a cheeky devil. Tips should also be reduced for seniors. :)

  3. Hmmm.. I don't know. I am a Coward (by marriage) :~) BUT,at times, in action or reaction, I am in fact, a coward!!!

  4. He should definitely have given you the change, or at least offered it to you. I don't think you should feel obligated to tip a taxi driver for such a short journey either! I know in Luton, where I live, when in England, we have an airport and the charges from the airport to my house are horrendously uplifted. I do think that's unfair because a journey is a journey. Next time, keep your wits about you and ask for the change.
    Blessings, Star

  5. I agree with all of the above comments ;-)
    Glad they haven't found anything, hope they will find nothing in future tests. Have thought about you this morning.
    And, come to think of it, this taxi driver is a big fat bully! Even if he isn't big or fat.

  6. Hi, Jinksy, just to let you know that the wanderer has returned. ;-) x

  7. I am madly subservient and ingratiating when it comes to taxi drivers, so I am not one to judge whether you are a miser or he a bully. Suffice it to say that I tip taxi drivers enough for them to retire on.....and for me to live under a bridge with the homeless.

    Anyhow, hello, dear Jinksy. I've just spent a lovely half hour catching up on Napple Notes - the prose, the poems, the stories, life's little ups and downs, your acute and witty observations regarding the latter ..... all a delight.

  8. gosh, this is something i've never thought about. here you don't use taxi's. they're dodgy. don't know what i would have done though... probably said nothing too. until one day...

  9. Makes him an arrogant poop head who will never get repeat business from one Jinksy! When restaurant servers do that to me, or ask, "Do you want change back?" their tips are severely reduced.

    Come enter my poetry contest!

  10. You are wiser,he has a bit to learn.

  11. He has a cheek, not offering you the change. I don't tip anyone now as a matter of principal. Being a pensioner you are limited to how much you can have as a weekly income, so those few pence are very important. I would be inclined to be a real sour puss and call them again, have plenty of change and then give the fare less the 30p!
    Oh dear, I am not painting myself in a very good light am I?

    Love [grumpy!] Granny

  12. Hi Nups, I think I would of waited until he offered me my change now I may have told him to keep it but I feel I should of been given the option of giving a tip or not. You are not a coward my friend but I love how you question and learn as you go........:-) Hugs

  13. jinksy....I'm so glad that the results of the tests so far have shown nothing to worry about. That's a blessing and a relief.
    I'm sorry the cabbie didn't return your change... That was wrong of him.
    I hope that you have a good day today.

  14. Just had a catch up Jinksy. Sorry to hear you have been under the weather - good to hear the blood tests show nothing up. I hope you are feeling a lot better. I am also concerned to hear about your son. It's the second time this week I've heard of someone being diagnosed with depression - and it's only Monday. It must be hard for you to deal with this. I wish you strength and send wishes of wellness to you both!

  15. It's the same as stealing in my eyes. You had change coming. It's up to you to tell him to keep the change or not.

  16. it was definitely wrong of him, and theoretically could have got him into trouble with his employers. He should have given you change.

    I do tip these days, especially with times being so hard - but that works both ways, doesn't it? How was he to know you weren't relying on that 30p for some reason? It was dishonest.

    And yes, I tend to be a coward about things like that too. I feel mean, so I give in and say nothing.

    Glad the tests were OK!

  17. I'm a social coward too. I could never 'protest' in the street for one thing. And it's wise not to cross swords with taxi drivers! They may run over your toe on departure!

  18. Most people are cowards faced with a taxi driver. The calculations necessary to determine the fare are more complicated than the tide tables and the results vary much more than time of high tide. Also, they have the status of holy writ, and we don't want to be arguing with the scriptures, now do we?

  19. I drove a taxi for a while. Ask for your change if it's not offered. If the driver is nice about it, surprise him by giving him MORE than the change you got back! You'll have a taxi driver friend for life! If he's nasty about it, f*** him. Give him nothing. You don't owe ANYONE a tip. It is a boon granted, not something you have to give.

  20. He's an opportunist. And it was your money to give or keep. (Crossing fingers for final results.)


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