Sexy Beast

This isn't really a story per se, but touches on something that someone named "Shroudman" left in the comments for the previous post, and gets into the "what is it like, in a general sense, for Crabbie to drive a cab," side of things, which usually gets only tangential notice.

I don't hit on fares. I even avoid flirting with them as much as possible, especially the ones that I'm attracted to.

This probably doesn't seem like the brightest idea, as I'm young, single, and relatively good-looking. There's also the matter of my having a job (driving a cab nights), and an important aspect of my lifestyle (recovering alcoholic) that don't tend to lend themselves very well to meeting sexy young thangs. I'll admit to having moments where I feel like I'm wasting the youth, looks, and sexual prime, and that I'm going to one day wake-up as one of the dirty old men who hang around the garage and talk about how they like to work downtown so that they can look at the girls.

So why on earth would I adopt a pretty strict non-fraternization policy when roughly a quarter of my customers seem to be, well, exactly the single young women in my age group that I so rarely meet in my off-duty life?

The main reason is courtesy. My last semi-serious girlfriend was a stripper who had horror stories about creepy cab drivers who would hit on her and her co-workers, or try and demand private "shows" in lieu of fare, etc. I've always been pretty determined not to be one of those guys.

Even putting strippers aside, I tend to figure that a young woman who's getting a ride to or from the bar is calling a cab for one reason... she needs someone to drive her someplace. Now, this might just be me talking crazy (as some other drivers don't seem to be of the same opinion) but very few people order a cab because they're looking to spark a romance. They just want to be taken to another location in the surrounding area. The chances are very high that they won't even notice the driver, and very likely won't remember him if they see him again. I don't want or expect the grocery clerk to hit on me, and I imagine that my fares have the same attitude towards me.

Finally, a young woman who's coming home alone from a bar has very likely just spent the last few hours having drunk men hit on her - it strikes me that she deserves to end the night with a couple of funny comments and/or a safe ride listening to good music, not one last chump taking a shot in the dark.

But that being the case, there are women who flirt with me. Cases where, were I not working, I would happily participate. I don't, though. One concern is liability - I'm not a very suspicious person (probably not suspicious enough, given my job), but there have been cab drivers, at my company, arrested on suspicion of rape and/or harrasment (to allay customer fears, this hasn't happened in years, and is a very rare occurence). Some of these allegations were undoubtedly true, or rooted in fact, but many also seem to have been instances of a drunk woman waking up and realizing what she'd done, or almost done, or considered doing (with a cab driver, of all people) and seeing the enormous potential for unscrupulous litigation. The best way for me to avoid this is by dropping a blanket stance of non-flirtation, and allowing the security camera to document my not leaving the cab with the woman in question.

There's also the important matter of my having NO GAME whatsoever.

But still, there's the occasional woman that I really hit it off with. We have a fantastic and engaging conversation about some non-flirtatious subject, and obviously enjoy each other's company a great deal. We could be great friends, or lovers.

Then one of two things typically happen: she gets out to meet her boyfriend, or begins to tell me about her job as a prostitute.

If for some reason neither of those things happen, I will almost definitely forget to give her my card (asking for a phone number seems a bit forward, given the whole customer/service worker thing, but providing mine seems like an effective enough way of displaying interest).

And if, by some miracles of miracles, I remember to give her my card, she will never call or email me. Best case scenario: I'll write my address on the back of the card when she asks for it, and three weeks later get a postcard from Los Angeles with no contact information.


Because, despite all of my considerable awesomeness, who in their right mind would want to date a cabbie?


Blogger wil said...

I agree 100%.

My reputation with cocktail waitresses is that I am the one person who will get them home, safely, with no hassle. I figure that they have spent their entire shift fending off unwanted advances and the cab should be the one place they can feel safe. A place where they can relax and just wind down on their way home.

I am short, fat old and ugly. So, anyone flirting with me must be either very drunk or very desperate.

August 31, 2006 8:58 PM  
Blogger Cabbie X said...

Touched a good point here. I follow the same policy, after having been propositioned the first week I drove. One of the vets told me to always keep in mind you have no control over how the person will remember the liason the next day. And our company is the principal cab co. for the service industry here, and we have built a rep for making sure people get home safe. That rep is far more important to me than the occasional possibly-dangerous hookup.

September 03, 2006 7:30 PM  
Blogger DC Cab Rider said...

Thank You! One of my very first posts was how tired I am of drivers hitting on me when all I want is a safe ride home for the night. When I'm taking a taxi home at night, it's because it's dark, I'm not that big or strong and my neighborhood has issues.

So pretty much the last thing I want to hear when I get in that cab is, "you have a boyfriend? a husband?"

Thank you to every cab driver who resists the urge to hit on a woman in his cab.

September 04, 2006 7:14 PM  

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