Y’all may remember that back in May I had an Evil Cabbie Experience. At the time I wrote:
He went out of his way to belittle me, and there was a definite air of leering intimidation about it as well, as he was a big dude and I…am not. There was no doubt that gender played a role here. As one of my (middle-aged male) colleagues said the next day: “If you’d been a 200 lb. man, this would not have happened.”
In years past, I might have scowled, handed him the money and left. But I knew that he was counting on just that response: I would be humiliated, but I would just seethe and give up and it would be a WIN for him. Fuck that. It was time to–you guessed it–BE A BITCH.
So I dialed 311 to report this asshole (Non New Yorkers: we can report cab drivers’ ”rude or abusive behavior” to the city and request a hearing.)…[the cabbie shouted and cursed at me the whole time] I got my confirmation from the city today that the complaint was filed and I would be notified of a hearing date. You can be damn sure this bitch is going to show up and have her say.
Last Tuesday, I had the hearing.
I first talked with customer advocate from the Taxi & Limousine Commission, who would represent me. He had that unfazed, rat-a-tat attitude typical of New York civil servants, and he’d clearly heard this story a thousand times before. When he said, “Did you feel physically intimidated?” I told him that I didn’t, but that the driver clearly wanted to intimidate me, and that if I had been a man, this never would have happened. Without missing a beat he agreed, “Yeah, that’s what it sounds like. Hear it all the time.” I bet.
After I talked with him, the hearing began. I was sworn in by the hearing judge (a woman) and put on speaker phone. The cabbie, who was present in the hearing room, was also sworn in. I told my side of the story–I’d also submitted a one-page written testimony back in May–and then the cabbie was allowed to tell his side of the story. According to him, he’d been totally pleasant to me the whole time and “I don’t know, maybe she had a bad day, but she was just in a bad mood.” Ah yes. I was just being a shrill harpy. Hey, maybe I was having my period!
It made no sense at all–if he’d been so polite and accomodating the whole time, why would I have filed the complaint, let alone pursued it for five months? I said as much to the judge.
The whole thing lasted about five minutes and we were both dismissed and told that we’d receive the judge’s ruling in the mail.
Today I got it:
Complainant testified credibly that the respondent was hostile to the complainant. I find that the respondent was discourteous to the complainant and find respondent guilty of 2-42a [discourtesy to a passenger]. I do not find respondent’s action rise to a 2-61(a) violation [actions against the public interest].
Evil Cabbie was fined $150 and given two points on his license. This bitch was delighted.