The grocery call in outer Southeast has been sitting for a while—it’s the middle of a shift change, it’s a Friday rush hour, and horrible weather has us even busier than normal.
As I pull into the parking lot, I see one of our competitor’s cabs already idling in the fire lane. I pull up next to the other car, roll down my window, and smile to the other driver.
“Hey, this guy call you, too?” I nod toward a bald man waving frantically at me.
“He says he wants you, now that you are here,” grumbles the pissed-off-looking Ethiopian behind the wheel. He’s a young guy, about my age.
“But he called you, too?”
The other driver nods with a scowl.
“How does that make you feel?” I ask him.
“It is no good when they play this game.”
“Now that’s what I’m saying. If I hadn’t of showed up just now, he’d screw me the way he’s trying to screw you.”
“Are you thinking that maybe we should leave him?”
My smile widens. “Yeah man, that’s exactly what I think. Fuck this dude.”
My compatriot gives a serious and solemn nod as he puts his car in gear and drives off. Out of the corner of my eye, I catch the bald guy wildly gesticulating in enraged frustration as I do the same.
I enjoy refusing the call when it pops up again, and I monitor its continued presence on the board for another 20 minutes.