Like cabbies all over the world, Singaporean taxi drivers are favorite punch-bag for complaints.
-We're stupid, greedy and rude.
-We have no idea where we're going and we deliberately take a longer route to cheat you. When you specified the "3 in 1" (Shortest, Cheapest & Fastest) route, our brain must equal to "Google Map" or we're stupid or unscrupulous cheats. You're always a gullible victim for an easy ripe off.
-We're are money-face because we always spurn your requests for a discount. You've every right to a discount when you feel that we have taken a longer route instead of the one you've in your mind. Customer is always right. Like a restaurant, we must provide free water.
-When you request us to drive faster, we should drives like a maniac, cutting in and out of lanes and stop whenever and wherever you like...We're the most horrible, reckless drivers from hell, other motorists are angels from heaven. And when we don't obey your commands, we are belligerent and obnoxious.
-Our cabs are filthy all the time. It should be kept sparklingly clean with a refreshing aroma like the toilet of a boutique hotel. When you are inside our cab, you want to feel that you're inside the toilet of NKF ex-CEO, not a shit shade with bucket latrine of the sixties.
-Our cashless payment terminal is always faulty when you want to pay by Nets or credit cards. It then becomes our problem, not your fault when you've no cash to pay. We should let you off, if possible, if the amount is small or wait for you patiently to withdraw from ATM or your home.
-We seldom return lost valuables and if we do return them, its unethical to ask for extra taxi fare incurred. It's our duty to return lost items and a criminal offense to keep them, (Fine $500 , Vocational License will be revoked). Preferably, we should let you know where we stay so that you can pick up the lost item from our house or meet you somewhere convenient for the handover.
-We cannot feel disappointed when no tip is given for extraordinary service because it's part and parcel of our job to always provide good service at all time. No tipping. please?
-We barely speak good English, or if we do, we never shut up, especially when the subject is about PAP or LKY.
-We cherry-pick our passengers like PAP's gerrymandering in redrawing electoral boundaries after a general election. Damn "kaisu"!. Always afraid to loose out to others. Think of self benefits only.
-We're present everywhere except, of course, when you really need us. Long queues of customers are always present at popular places like Vivo City, Great World City, etc..... but we prefer to park our taxis at horses betting centers at Bukit Merah, Kranj Race Course, etc...or drive our families and KTV mistresses around, depriving you of an essential public transport service. We use our taxi like personal car. We're really pathetic, stupid and irresponsible.
-When we don't help to load your luggage into the trunk, you can kick and trash the interior of our cab, like Mdm. Quan Yifeng of MediaCorp (Link) and get away with it because she is somebody in Singapore. Is loading and unloading baggage mandatory?.
-When you see the "BUSY" sign on the roof of our taxi, you know we're cheating the system to get into CBD for the extra $3 and surely not for other good reasons.
-We hid ourselves like mice when surcharge is not-applicable but appears like swans of bees when any surcharge kicks in. We're greedy like pigs but reluctant to plough the rice field like an obedient buffalo.
-When your boss gave you a hard day in the office, it's easy and good to let off your steam at us. It's the fastest way to DE-stress after work.
-When you can't book a cab through the call center on rainy days or peak hours, you're exasperated and complain.
-When a cab arrives late or never arrive after your booking, you're infuriated and complain.
-And when a driver arrived punctually and saw you got onto another empty cab, the taxi driver complains (to whom?).
-In Singapore, it's so easy to complain. In fact, there is a "brilliant" website specifically dedicated for all complaints on taxi drivers at http://singaporetaxi.20m.com/. (Link). It's very popular with thousands of members. Quick, sign up to be a member. It's free. LTA is always happy to entertain your complaints. Our Transport Minister is paid millions a year to help you eradicate nasty and lousy taxi drivers from the road.
-My dear readers, I invite you to add a few more complaints about taxi drivers under "comments". I'll not feel offended, I promise! In fact, I'll take your complaints seriously and try to improve my services to you. Without customers like you, I'll be out of business and job. Customer is always right! right?. My motto at work is "I'll do the impossible at once, miracle takes a bit longer"
Taxi drivers are like rats or street bums. Unfortunately, they are a part of the city----a necessary evil.
I don't like to be a taxi driver if I can find other suitable jobs but driving a taxi isn't for everybody. It takes a certain temperament. I for one, find it dull and tedious. But it gets me out of the house to meet some really good people, put three meals on the table and put my two children through university. Driving allows me to socialize a bit and is relatively mindless. I don't need to use a lot of my brain.
As the saying goes, if I can't take the heat, I'll get out of the kitchen. How long more will I drive a taxi? I don't know, but as long as I do, I'll try my best to do a professional job and keep this blog going.