Thursday, March 19, 2009

Life Lesson #2,573

I had (what I consider) a major life experience last night. For the first time that I am aware of, I got cheated, hoodwinked, taken for a ride, swindled- by a cab driver.

I went to have dinner with my dad at the Ritz Carlton in Battery Park and he, being a good dad, didn't want me to take the subway when I left. He wanted to give me money for a cab. He handed me a twenty dollar bill and five singles. Then he said, "wait, I want to use the singles to tip the doorman." So I gave the singles back and he gave me a five dollar bill and I put it in my pocket with the other bill.

I got in a cab and when we arrived, the meter said $14.50 so I reached into my pocket and pulled out the two bills, put the five back in my pocket and handed the other bill to the driver. I gathered my bags and then the drive said "Excuse me, miss?" He was holding up a one dollar bill with an inquisitive look on his face.

"Oh, wait, let me, uh..." I floundered, confused. I checked my pocket and took the other bill out of my pocket- it was a five.

"Crap," I thought. "I must have given Dad the twenty back when we exchanged the ones for the five."

"I don't have any other cash on me, I'll have to pay with a card."

"No," he replied. "I already set the meter for cash."

"What? You really can't take a card even if I don't have cash?"

"No, I can't, oh man. How much do you have?"

"Um," I wasn't thinking at that point, I was flustered and tired so I didn't question him. "I have nine dollars."

"Ok," he said. "Just give me what you have, not your fault, don't worry about it."

"Ok, I'm so sorry about that."

I gave him the rest of the money I had and walked away.

Then I called my dad and had the following conversation:

"I can't believe this, I gave you back the twenty dollar bill by accident when I gave you back the ones."

"You did?" he said.

"Yeah, I thought I handed the driver a twenty but I actually gave him a one and then he couldn't take a card so he just took whatever money I had..." My voice trailed off as I realized what I was saying.

"I only had one twenty on me and I don't have it anymore- and I have those five ones in my pocket."

"Son of a bitch, I've been had!"

"Yes, yes I think you have."

"Eh, at least it wasn't my money."

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