Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Airport Adventures

Getting around New Orleans is...interesting. This one though was particularly special.

This past Saturday, it came time for Starbuck to go home. We take her to the airport, see her through security, blah, blah, blah. Go down, stand in line at the cab stand, get given our cab by the guy whose job it is to organize cabs, Cab Dude. 

Get in the cab. Say hi. Make pleasantries. Ask if his credit card reader is working, because we've learned to ask that. No, it's not. Reconfirm that his credit card reader is not working. Nope, not working. Oh, okay. So we get out. Go back up to Cab Dude, tell him the card reader isn't working, and ask for another cab. Cabbie #1 comes out of his cab and has an exchange with Cab Dude, where Cab Dude (respectfully, I may add) reminds Cabbie #1 that he is required to have a working card reader, and to get it fixed before he comes back to the airport or Cab Dude will have to report him. Cabbie #1 says that card reader "could come back up any time" but Cab Dude gives him a cash fare, reminds him to get it fixed, and sends him on his way. (Note: I think, but have no way to prove, that Cabbie #1 had a perfectly fine card reader, but didn't want to deal with card fees, so said no, not expecting us to call his bluff and get out of his cab. If this is so, it makes the rest all the more annoying because it was unnecessary.) We get into the next cab.

I say hi. Make pleasantries. Ask Cabbie #2 if his card reader works. He responds "Where you are going?" Which makes me wonder, but I tell him the CBD, and ask again if his cab reader works. He asks "where in the CBD?" 
"Name of My Street. But does your card reader work?" "Why wouldn't he take you?"
"His card reader doesn't work. Does yours?"
At this point, Cabbie #2 starts getting angry with me. "No, no, that's not how it's supposed to work. Why wouldn't he take you? Hold on this isn't how it's supposed to work. You stay right here!" And he gets out of the cab, goes over to Cab Dude. 

At this point, I can't make out individual words, but can tell it's heated. Then I hear Cab Dude, yelling: "They didn't refuse him. They offered to take his ride, but his card reader wasn't working. They don't have to take a ride if the card reader isn't working. (...Cabbie #2 yelling indistinctly, but angrily) No YOU look, I did MY job, you worry about YOUR job. They're a legitimate ride. Take it."
More Cabbie #2 yelling ~ as he get back into the cab to drive us. Oh hell no. At this point, I say to Lithus "That's it. Get out. I'm not riding with this guy."
Poor Lithus has been sitting there the whole time, trying to stay calm, not embarrass ME, not overreact. I said "that's it" and he FLEW out of the cab. Flew.

I go to Cab Dude and say "that's it, I'm not riding with this guy. We'll find another way home."
Cab Dude: "No, I got you, You stay here. I'll get you a ride that's got his stuff together." Yells over my head to Cabbie #2 "SEE?!!! And now YOU lost YOUR ride, too. Get your shit together and stop worrying about other people!" And Cabbie #2 screeches out of the cab stand, leaving the single, female tourist in line with us looking scared out of her mind and wondering why the hell she's come to this city.

Cabbie #3 is pulling up. I don't get in his cab. I don't make pleasantries. I walk up to him and ask "Does your card reader work?"
He, who has seen just enough of this to understand my exasperation, smiles and says "Everything works in this cab. I even have backup."

And so we got home. But good fucking lord. 

Those are I-feel-like-I've-dropped-into-a-weird-movie Pobble Thoughts. That and a buck fifty will get you coffee.