Taxing taxi calls.

I have had enough bad runs with Public Cab to dread morning flights to assignments outstation that requires me to hail a cab to airports.

Oh no, it is not the taxi drivers I have a problem with. In fact, most of them are quite kind and civil now. One even struck up conversation with me while driving me back home. So far, the worst kind of taxi driver I met in my short life was in Australia, and man, was he a bastard. So yes, kudos to the drivers, but the minutes leading up to going into these good people’s taxis, are just. Just. Sigh.

For one, their operators are pure bitches. Alright, so you have to work the morning shifts, but it’s not like I enjoy ringing you up at 5 in the morning asking for a cab either. I’d rather sleep in on mornings and not have your bad attitude ruin the rest of my day. And note that it’s not just in the mornings. Wee of the mornings I have to listen to soft-spoken mumbling Malay operators who get bitchy when I ask them to repeat themselves, while in the afternoons, I get snappy Chinese operators who just want to hang up as soon as they pick up.

I just think it is only common to have at least a tolerable tone when you ask your customer where you are heading to, where to pick you up, and a few simple pleasantries of “good morning”, “how may I help you” and “thank you for calling”. Not snappy “Call you back – click-” or just impatient replies to our pardons because you spoke so fucking softly on the other line.

Also, when the customer is trying to explain that she has cancelled her taxi booking to get an earlier ride, fucking stop and listen to her explanation. Don’t keep on going how she could have reached her destination already when her ride was to arrive 15 minutes ago, and why her destination is different. And then without pausing to wait for her explanation, conclude with a rude and (finally) loud, “It’s OK, miss, thank you for your call.” Oh, so the only time you want to be sarcastic, you show your manners? Nice, man.

A few times already I had been left hanging and almost missed my flight, so I would like to avoid that if that is possible, even if that means cancelling my booking and getting an earlier ride. And if you “would have gotten a message saying the taxi is cancelled, so it means you have not cancelled it”, well, maybe you would have gotten it if your colleague would have been woken up enough to actually hear me cancel it when she called earlier. Sheesh.

And the whole “sorry, no taxi” deal – I don’t get it. I am sorry. Maybe I missed out on the seminar on how to book a taxi right when I first came to KL, but it’s just silly. Imagine waking up at 4 in the morning, all showered and packed and ready to have a taxi bring you to KLIA, which is just far off – period – and the taxi company strung you on for about half an hour before calling you back saying “sorry, no taxi”.

Then what? Do I cancel my flight and forget about my assignment? Do I keep on calling you every minute and get the same response every time? I can call up other taxi companies but they might give me the same response, and of course, by doing all these calls, I have wasted quite some time already.

And if that does not work you into a corner, try ringing them up a day before only to have them say “we don’t do advance booking”. What the heck? Maybe that lady is lying, I do not know. If you don’t have advance booking, don’t fucking put up ads on your taxis about advance bookings, and have a website up with an advance booking option. And fix that page, will you? I cannot even set the date of my pick up right. Sheesh.

When former Tourism Minister Dato’ Azalina Othman Said was appointed her position to help with the Tourism industry in Malaysia, she said frontliners like taxi drivers should be educated on how to treat tourists with respect and manners. Well, perhaps she should have considered these bitchy operators too. So, I do hope the current Tourism Minister Dato’ Seri Ng Yen Yen would look into this matter at hand, especially the Public Cab company.

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