Now being published as a novel. Click the picture to find out more:

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

From Stud to Dud

Alright, the title may be a bit too presumptuous. Allow me to indulge, though.

I am without wheels for over a month now. What looked like a scratch turned out to be far more than that. Further, courtesy the long importation time, my fancy car is gethering dust at a service center as it awaits its limbs. It exposed me to the KL public transportation system yet again. This post is a crib.

So, I call cabs whenever I have to go anywhere. I use two call-a-cab services. The first one is relatively professional but extremely uncouth. I have a feeling that they believe their real customers are the cab drivers. Given a choice, I would rather start my day by banging my head open than talk to the operator. Unfortunately, there is no choice, and so I call them. Here is how the very first call went (Paranthesis denote what the person really wanted to say):-

Me: I need a cab.
Operator: Wherefrom? (We can also deliver pizzas if you want)
Me: Pickup location
Operator: Going to
Me: Drop location
Operator: Ok. Bye.
Me: Huh?

Not sure of my groundings, I call them again. This time, there is a different operator on the line.

Operator: Yes.
Me: I just called for a cab but the person hung up on me.
Operator: Wherefrom?
Me: Pickup location (An apology would have been nice)
Operator: Going to
Me: Drop location (Do I have to go through it all over again?)
Operator: Ok. Bye.
Me: Oi, wait up. (Not again)
The line goes dead.

I wonder whats going on and in between I get a call from the first operator who confirms that a cab is on its way. We are halfway to office when the second operator calls me to confirm that another cab is already arrived and I better get my ass down there. I try to explain the confusion and I realize that she is not in the mood for any such explanation. I panic and switch off my phone.

Next day, thinking that I am probably black-listed at the first call-a-cab service, I find a new number and call them.

Me: Hi, I need a cab.
Operator: Now?
Me: Yes. (No, I want to book for 2017 AD)
Operator: Wherefrom?
Me: Pick up location
Operator: Where to
Me: Drop location.
Operator: Hold on
And there is music....for fifteen minutes, before she confirms a cab. Another ten minutes of waiting confirms that there is no cab in the vicinity. So, I call them back again.

Me: I was given a taxi number XXXX. I have been waiting for over 15 minutes but the cab isnt here.
Operator: You called a cab?
Me: Yeah. The number is XXXX but its not here. (How many times do I have to repeat myself?)
Operator: What was the number?
This is when I realize that I have to speak in small sentences and really slowly to get to her. Somehow, I explain the situation to her.
Me: So can you check where is the cab?
Operator: Nearby, nearby. (What an idiot. Just wait, la. Cab will be there)
Me: Can you call him up and check?
Operator: I know. Nearby, nearby.
Me: How do you know? (Like you know where each and every cab is)
Operator: Ok. I check for you. (You want to listen to music, be my guest)
Music on for 5 minutes.
Me: (I am a donkey)
Operator: Taxi nearby. Go down now.
Me: I am already down here for over half an hour now.
Operator: Ok.
The line goes dead.

The cab did arrive on the same day.

Anyhow, after being exposed to this stupidity for over a month, I have become an expert customer. I know, for example, that they dont maintain detailed database of their customers linked to their phone numbers (since I have to give my pickup and drop location every time). This also means that they cant blacklist me in the system even if they want to. So, I do get my revenge every now and then. Lets say that the cab has not arrived even after confirmation, I immediately call the same service for another cab and then take off in whichever cab arrives first. At such times, I make sure that my phone is switched off. Sometimes, on a lazy saturday afternoon, I call up an operator just to have a good old chat with her and in the process driving her nuts. Here is such a conversation:

Me: Hi, do you sell cabs?
Operator: Yes. Wherefrom?
Me: How much?
Operator: First you tell wherefrom?
Me: Does it come with four wheels?
Operator: Whats wrong with you? You want a cab or not?
Me: Yes.
Operator: Wherefrom?
Me: First how much?
Operator: Where is that?
Me: Its not a place. I asked How much?
Operator: Depends where you want to go.
Me: My office.
Operator: Where is that?

And on and on and on.


Anonymous said...

u evil lil moron! but i like!


Anonymous said...

hahaha! this is hilarious!