Anyone who relies on taxis in NYC knows the overall experience of being a “fare” is pretty hit or miss. I realize that logging my experiences with NY Taxis has nothing to do with advertising, however, my JOB in advertising is located in a very inconvenient location. Which means I take a lot of taxis. And I work a lot of late nights, which means I take a lot of taxis.

So, this topic is somewhat relevant.

I’ll start the score at 5, on a scale from 1 to 10. (10 being awesome, 1 being ass-some.)

I’ll also backpedal through a few recent experiences to kick off this column.

+2 … the helpful cabbie. The driver really spent a few minutes trying to figure out how to get my folding bike in the cab late one night going home. It didn’t fit in the trunk, so he tucked me into the back seat with it over my lap. Actually worked pretty well. And he even helped me get it out of the car and onto the sidewalk when I got home. Definitely unexpectedly-nice service.

-2 … the payment nazi. This driver yelled at me for not having cash. He told me to get out of the car and get cash at the ATM. I told him I didn’t have an ATM card. He didn’t believe me and yelled at me further. I told him, “You have 2 choices: You get payment by credit card or I leave and you get nothing.” He then grumbled at me as I paid with my corporate card that I should have told him I didn’t have any cash when I first got into the cab. This pissed me off — his credit card machine worked FINE. The only reason I’d ever have to tell a driver that information was if his credit card machine wasn’t working. I should have gotten his medallion number.

+0… the stopper. I didn’t hail a cab the other morning on the corner of Allen and Stanton. I was simply waiting to cross the street. But a cab stopped for me anyway. Then I realized I was dressed pretty well – for a meeting. Pig? Gentleman? Eh, who knows. Who cares.

-1… the cursed driver. Some drivers either are cursed or really unskilled when it comes to picking the right streets to take. It’s like they have a natural talent for sucking at their job. I had a driver the other day who took 45 minutes to get me across town. It was pitiful. And expensive.

This makes today’s grand total… -1.

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To my fellow New Yorkers – if you’ve been missing genuinely cheesy cheese fries, burgers, brats, and seriously chocolate shakes from the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park, STOP IT. The famous burger hut is now reopen for winter – with heaters installed around the shack to keep patrons warm. The hours are shorter, but there IS a new menu item: Warm Vanilla. Sort of… Hot Chocolate’s cousin… but made out of melted Vanilla frozen custard, heated up. Weird? Sure… but every new food is weird at first. I mean, whoever thought to eat the first EGG? Now THAT is weird.