Cab Drivers Hate Me, But I'm Okay w/ It
After waiting for a bus for over 20 minutes in the bitter wind and cold last week, I opted to cab it instead of the 20 minute walk. I hopped into the cab, the driver was both fluent in English and friendly (a real rarity), and we were off. During the easy conversation, I slipped in the question that is apparently the death sentence for any fare in Boston; “Do you take credit cards?”
“No.” His reply was curt, any trace of the earlier friendliness gone. “But I see the machine-“ he cut off my protest by saying, “It’s only a $7 ride, you really want to pay w/ a card?”
I don’t give a flying expletive what my fare is; the fact of the matter is, I want to pay w/ a card. I am so sick of being made to feel like the bad guy b/c I don’t carry cash. It’s fucking 2014. Direct deposit is the norm. Stop making me feel like I’m putting you out by trying to pay you.
Who are all these people who just carry around loads of cash? That’s not exactly a smart move in a big city. It’s also a giant hassle. Never mind that there are nearly as many Bank of America ATM’s as there are Dunkin’s in this city; I don’t want to deal w/ swiping my card to get into the vestibule, which never works the first five times, and then having to wait behind three usually sketchy folks, just to have cab fare for these rude ass drivers.
Pretty much the only time I’ll make a point to stop and get cash is if I’m going out w/ a big group and I know we’re all going to want separate checks. The hassle of the ATM is at least less than the hassle I get from friends who are all “I don’t want to be that group and split the check between 8 cards, blah blah blah.”
Let’s face the facts, we’re a plastic society. Anywhere you go should take credit, if they know what’s good for them. I get how a little mom and pop store might not take cards, w/ all the fees eating into their profits, but w/ Target and Rite Aid right around the corner, neither of which give me a dirty look for paying w/ plastic, I don’t have that guilt of racking up the card fees for mom and pop’s cobbler shop.
I was in Tedeschi a few nights after my disgruntled cab ride, stopping in for a quick snack for the drunken train ride home. I got in line w/ my bag of Cheetos behind a girl w/ a bag of Doritos; her total was less than $3 and she paid w/ a card. My total was less than $2 and I paid w/ a card. The cashier didn’t even bat an eye. B/c you know what? Money is money and any smart business isn’t going to turn down money.
Screw you, Boston cabs. W/ the new late night train service, you really shouldn’t be alienating your customers. Next time I’m not even going to ask; I’ll just swipe my card and you’ll like it.