While in Cape Town I used Uber on the daily. It was all kinds of awesome to get into a car and talk to the driver because so many drivers weren’t from South Africa. I met men from all over the continent, and just being able to hear their stories as to why they were in Cape Town and what their country was like was truly wonderful. And then there was Joe. We are gonna call him Joe to protect the crazy that is…well…Joe. Ready?
I was leaving the airport in Cape Town when Joe walked up to me. I was in the middle of ordering my Uber when he asked,
CRAZY JOE:”Do you need a taxi?”
ME: “No thanks.”
CRAZY JOE: “I am an Uber driver as well. I can take you.”
ME: “How does that work if I don’t order you?”
CRAZY JOE: “It’s ok. There is a spot outside of the airport where you can order it and I can accept.”
So I said ok and got in the car. Now, in hindsight I shouldn’t have done this but I was tired, cranky, a bit sad and I just wanted to get back to my apartment.
I’ll spare you all the boring details but after I got into his car and we started driving, Crazy Joe couldn’t get connect with my Uber request. We tried several times and no matter what we did, whenever I requested an Uber, his car would not show up. I must have ordered no less than 8 or 9 Uber rides in hopes that he would get chosen. He didn’t.
This whole time we are driving back into the city and getting closer and closer to my apartment. At this point I’m not bothered because I did my part to try and follow the rules he set.
As we get to my apartment he says, “So what are we gonna do?”
ME: (trying not to laugh at him) “We?”
CRAZY JOE: “Yes. We. You can’t possibly think I’m going to do this for free?”
ME: I tried to do what you wanted but it didn’t work. I don’t have any cash on me and I’m not going to the bank to get money. I don’t know what you want me to tell you.”
This exchange goes on for a while and we get to my apartment. As I’m getting out he says, “I need you to think like an adult and not a child. You have to pay.”
It’s always a constant battle for me to NOT curse people out when they piss me off. But I’m trying to live by biblical principles so I haven’t cursed anyone out in a while. But I do have a death gaze.
ME: “Think like an adult?”
CRAZY JOE: “Yes. You are being childish and I need to get paid. That was a long ride and you have to pay me. Here is what we will do. You will order an Uber and I’ll accept. I will drive back out to the airport and stop it when I get back to where I started. Order it now.”
Do you have any idea what my face looked like while he was talking? Oh, he wasn’t finished.
CRAZY JOE: “If you don’t order it I’m going to call the police.”
ME: “Call the cops! They are gonna call you a little punk for being ridiculous over this fare that was your idea in the first place. YOU are the one who approached me. YOU are the one who said you would be able to get the fare. This was all your idea. Go ahead, call them.”
Now at this point I’m furious because he is being so condescending and truly feels like he’s in the right. I mean…like any part of me was going to let this
fool I mean Uber driver take off and drive to who knows where on my account.
By now I have taken all of my bags inside of the foyer and we are standing face to face. He is starting to scare me because I realize it’s dark, he’s a man, I’m in a foreign country. I can’t call my uncles to come beat this man up (Ok I try to be non-violent but my uncles don’t live by the same creed as I do so it’s fair to call them) and he knows where I live. I need to end this conversation.
I said while closing the security gate, “I’m not paying you. I tried to do what you wanted and was even willing to have you come back tomorrow to get some cash but now you’re being a complete jerk and I’m not giving you one Rand. Call the cops if you want but I’m done with this conversation and the next time you try and be slick think about how this turned out.”
I can’t lie, I was scared. I mean…he was standing outside of my apartment and he was on his phone. I had NO idea what would happen if the cops came but I knew I wasn’t answering the door no matter what. I turned off all the lights in my apartment and starting tiptoeing (which was silly. He couldn’t hear me so I had no idea why I was doing that). I looked out of the window after several minutes and he was still there.
Now I did call my lawyer because I was a
little scared that this man was gonna go wild, call his friends and harass me. But my lawyer explained I was in the clear and I had nothing to worry about. The cops never came and he eventually left and thankfully he didn’t come back the next day.
What would you have done?
Have you ever had a crazy taxi/Uber ride?