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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Beware: Do Not Take SMRT Cab SHC 4055E

I had a terrible encounter with the driver of SMRT cab number SHC 4055E. He's the rudest driver I've ever met, and here's my story:

I hailed the cab this morning near where I stay. It was at 0726 hrs. Destination: Jurong East MRT Station. I was on the way to International Business Park (IBP - which is very near the MRT Station) to conduct a trip rate study. My intention was to meet my IA students at the MRT Station to brief them, and then make our own way to IBP.

However, there was a slight jam along the PIE and told the cab driver to drive to the MRT station to pick up the students and then carry on to IBP. I sensed from his reaction that he wasn't too happy. Come to think of it, he asked some stupid questions like 'Is your MRT station on the left or right?' I mean, come on... he's a cab driver. He doesn't know where the MRT station is? Nevertheless, I gave him the benefit of doubt and directed him to the MRT station.

"Are your friends there already or not?"

"Yes, they are already waiting at the taxi stand. Just need to pick them up and then we go to IBP."

True enough, my students were there and Mr Driver didn't even have to wait. And so we were off towards IBP.

Now... we were supposed to be stationed at various locations within IBP, and the road system within is a loop anyway. When my first student alighted, Mr Driver made it quite clear that we was unhappy.

"Can you tell me where you all going or not? Now is peak hour!"

"Uncle, don't worry. Only 2 more places within this place. Very short distance. Sorry ah. Okay turn left in front please."

As my 2nd student was about to alight, Mr Driver became very impatient, "Eh, don't waste my time. Now is peak hour. You all get out of my cab! I want to earn money!" I directed my student to alight at her stop immediately.

I was shocked! "Excuse me, the last stop is just ahead. Uncle, I don't want to argue with you. Please do not start."

"No, you get out of my cab. You never tell me where you want to go. Get out!" He stopped in the middle of the road yelling at me, and then turned behind to stare.

"No! You send me to my destination. You cannot tell me to get out with no reason."

"Now is peak hour! You are wasting my time! Get out! I want to earn money!"

"It's only in front."


I lost my cool! "Give me the receipt"


"What makes you so sure I'm not paying you? YOU give me the receipt NOW!"



"You complain! Go! Go! I don't care! Don't waste my peak hour time!"

"Don't worry, I WILL COMPLAIN!"

and so the transaction was completed, and I was left stranded in the middle of IBP.

Bastard. The more I think about it, the more I want to make this a case against such hooligan behavior from a cab driver. Sigh... perhaps it's the system that he's like that: an over-reliance on peak hour surcharges to make ends meet? Was he scared that I would take him for a ride (no pun intended). What the heck!

Some of my colleagues said that I shouldn't have paid him. Alright, I did think about that. I didn't want him to make a claim against me that I didn't pay. I want to make sure I'm clean and that he should be taken to task and punish accordingly. After all, he's not proud to do his job and obviously he's a bully.

Think further: cab drivers like him are perfect poster boys of road rage. He's also likely the type who will turn you down if you want to go to far-flung places like Tuas or Changi Point. Simply put, he has no right to treat customers like that!

I urge everyone to spread the news around about this cab driver. DO NOT TAKE HIS CAB!
He doesn't deserve his keep if he's not up to par with simple service.
I urge everyone to spread the word out.

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