So, this is aimed NOT at cabbies themselves, who I have found to be generally awesome and friendly and helpful (with a couple notable exceptions - and yeah, I mean the ones who invite me to go to Vegas with them and/or drive in such a way as to make me both carsick and afraid for my life). I have no problem with cabbies. It's their fucking dispatchers I have a beef with.
So, last night, I wend my way to Target to get cat litter and various crap I probably could live without (but choose not to). I do my shopping, and - like I always do - park my cart outside and call my go-to cab service. The dispatcher takes my info, and ten minutes later (praise be!), she calls back to say the driver is out front and will be there shortly.
That's lightning-fast for a cab! I'm so excited. For once, maybe I have good taxi karma - it's a miracle!
Minutes go by. Five. Eight. Ten. I call the dispatch and sit on hold, trying to ind out what the fuck happened between "he's out front" and "will be there shortly." As I'm sitting on hold, the dispatcher calls me. I switch over the call, and she start groveling...apparently the cabbie had engine trouble, and they have to send me another cab. She apologizes profusely, and says she'll get someone right out to me. I'm cool with that; it's only been ten minutes, and this dispatcher is treating me as though I am a customer worthy of her courtesy. AWESOME.
So, ten minutes go by. Twenty. Nothing. I call the dispatch to check in. I get a different dispatcher (and with this small company, that means it's probably shift change. Fuck!), one I've dealt with before and did not have a great time. She says, "We're still trying to find someone for you. Do you still want to wait?"
UH, HELLO? I called a cab. This means I probably don't have a whole lot of other transportation options. ('Cause if you engage a brain cell, you might realize that I'm at a Target, and probably bought a bunch of stuff that doesn't travel well on a bus, or on my back. MORON.) I mean, if my magic carpet wasn't in the shop, I'd just whistle it up and get on with things, but since it IS in the shop, yeah, I'll keep waiting for a fucking cab!
Jeebus. Fucking people!
So, time goes by, and still nothing. Twenty more minutes (which makes almost an hour total I've been waiting), and I call dispatch again, where the lady gives me this pissy tone and says she just doesn't have anyone in that area, and do I still want to keep waiting. I say, "Well, could you send someone over here?" And she says she just can't seem to get anyone. So, I say, in a not-so-happy voice, "Well, if you can't get me a cab, I'll have to call another service..."
And she says, "Sorry we couldn't help you," and HANGS UP.
Holy shit, I was so pissed. So I dial my back-up cab company, wait on hold, and put in my order. I prepare myself for another twenty minute wait. It's been over an hour now....I'm hungry....I'm cranky....I'm seriously considering looking at how I can fit a car in my budget, 'cause this shit gets old fast.
I wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. Half an hour passes, and I hear nothing from the dispatch. So I call them up, sit on hold, and finally get someone. I tell them I'm following up on an order I placed earlier, and she says (can you believe this?!), "I still haven't found anyone for you. Do you want to keep waiting?"
I PRACTICALLY LOSE MY MIND. I tell her, yeah, I don't have another good option. I tell her I'll pay double fare (she immediately says, "We're not asking you to do that" and I say "I know, but I'm just saying that I will"). She says, "Well, ma'am, I'll try to get someone over there."
Now, I've worked dispatch before (for a wrecker company, not a cab company, just to be transparent). I recognize that it's a little different with cabs, since they're much more independent about how they operate, and I get that they probably want to stay in areas that have more customers. But for fuck's sake, I'm a goddamned good tipper - good enough to merit taking a little jaunt out of Lincoln fucking Park and the Mag fucking Mile to drive a girl and her Target swag home! Plus, hello...I know it's Saturday night and I'm supposed to be out drinking my weight in tequila, but does the fact that I'm not make me less worthy of decent fucking customer service?!
Finally, about ten minutes after the last phone call, a cab shows up. He was just coming on shift, and lived in the area, and did me a huge favor by swinging over my way before heading down to tourist-and-drunkard town. He was kind of an ass about it, but I gave him $20 for a $9 cab ride, and I say that is fucking fair. He was very nice after that, helped me carry my stuff, gave me his cell number so I could call him specifically if I got stuck like that again. (I kinda wanted to be like, "Dude, I don't pay that well every time. Only when I'm desperate.")
So, yeah, I made it home. And my ice cream was only slightly melted.
So, Chicago Cab Companies: FUCK YOU!
Loud-mouthed liberal feminist. Anarchist knitter. Tequila-drinking artsy-smartsy fat chick. Bluesy folk-rock singer-songwriter. Rebel with too many causes. Quirky eclectic pagan poet. Paradoxical intuitive smartass. Sarcastic brainiac insomniac. You know, for starters.