Yellow Cab is too slow for busy me
Here We Go Again
I think I can probably call this column a public service warning. After all, I did tell the guy I was going to do this, and what good is a threat if you don't follow through?
You are wondering, I suppose, what I am talking about. Let me tell you.
It is Tuesday night of last week. I have just finished working five hours at the dining hall, and I am a tired puppy. It is 10 o'clock p.m. I am supposed to meet a friend at a place on 31-33 as soon as I can. Since it is 10 p.m., there is no way, short of God himself commanding me and making himself visible in a fiery cloud, that I am going to walk over to 31-33 via St. Mary's Lane. So I call a cab.
And the trouble begins.
I call Yellow Cab. The barely intelligible man says that my cab will be here, and I quote, "Soon." So I settle down to wait. I call my friend so he will know when I leave. I get off the phone with my friend after 20 minutes.
And I wait some more.
It is now 10:40. I call Yellow Cab again. I ask where my cab is. I am told that there was some confusion, but now they have more drivers, and my cab will be there in 10 minutes. All right, I think. Fifty minutes is a bit excessive, but what can I do?
Fifty minutes was just the beginning.
I call back at 11:10, a full 30 minutes after the 10-minute estimate, and I am told the cab will now be here "very soon." However, he absolutely refuses to give me an actual time estimate.
My friend is now calling me every 10 minutes to see if the cab has arrived. I think to myself, if Domino's doesn't make it in 30 minutes, the pizza is free, so I think that if Yellow Cab doesn't make it in 30 minutes, they ought to have to build a time machine and get you there on time for free.
One 10-minute call goes by, then two. Three, and on the fourth call, at 11:50, my friend tells me he will come get me and walk me over to 31 so I will be safe. You know what happens next. The cab shows up.
Of course, I no longer need the cab. So I tell the guy why I don't need his cab; he took too long. He says, "Oh." I say that he told me it would be "soon" and I do not consider two hours "soon." To which he smartly replies, "it wasn't two hours. Your call came in at 10:03." I apologize. Only 1 hour and 50 minutes. Oh, the vast difference.
However, I tell him, 1 hour and 50 minutes is still not soon. It's not? he dares to ask.
I almost have a conniption fit on the phone. "No!" I yell, "that is not soon!" I am a busy college student, and I do not have two hours to spend waiting for a cab. Besides that, he lied to me. If he had told me it would take two hours, I would have called someone else.
He tells me he did not lie. I reiterate that two hours is not soon, and he definitely said soon. I say something more about being a busy Notre Dame student. I am then treated to a tirade from him about how his mother worked at Notre Dame for 50 years and when she retired all she got was $91 a month for a pension.
I am sorry, I tell him. That's awful. But I have no control over her pension, and he does have control over cabs. No, he doesn't, he tells me. What?! You work there! I say. Of course you have some control over cabs.
He asks me what it is that I am after. I tell him that I want him to stop lying to people. He says he wasn't lying. We have the two-hours-isn't-soon exchange again. I tell him that I am a columnist at our paper here, and I am going to write about this experience in my column next week. I also tell him that I hope no one ever takes his cab company ever, ever again. I tell him good night and hang up.
So that's why I had to write this column about this topic. What's the point of being a columnist and threatening to write a column about being treated badly by a local company if you never follow through?
And I do hope no one ever takes his Yellow Cab company ever, ever, again.
Marlayna Soenneker is a freshman psychology major.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.
All Viewpoint Stories for Thursday, April 20, 2000