Comedy and Tragedy in the life of a Cabdriver


By Steve Kim - Posted on 15 June 2008

The One Day, One Fare Career of One Chicago Cabdriver

There once was a man who heard from his cabdriver friends in Chicago that it was easy enough to get a chauffeur’s license. He also heard that the money was decent, the job was low key, and for independent-minded hard workers, it was ideal. It also served the public well, as a cabdriver helps people get where they need to go, and they also pay you, and they are usually grateful. All this sounded pretty good to him…

So he went to get a chauffeur’s license and leased a cab, and as soon as he got in his cab, he went to O’Hare Airport. Even though he got an education from Harold Washington College, he didn’t even know how to buy the airport stamps and give them to the starter. Even this was already making him a little nervous.

He went to the terminal and picked up a fare to Marriott Suite Hotel in Rosemont. However, he didn’t know where the Marriot Suite Hotel in Rosemont was, so he just asked another cabdriver. The other cabdriver said “when you take I-190 going towards the city, you’ll see the hotel from the freeway.” “Easy enough!” he must have thought.

So without detailed directions he left the airport, thinking that he could just see the hotel off of I-190, and he didn’t even bother to get confirmation from the dispatcher. The situation turned disastrous from the first moment. Unfortunately, he didn’t know that when he was driving from I-190, he could not see the hotel, because he only looked to his right, and the hotel was barely visible anyway. The hotel is small and lower than other hotels, so its difficult to see it from I-190, so he passed River Road and went all the way to Cumberland Ave. Realizing he had already passed Rosemont, he turned around at Cumberland North, and got back on I-190 West

But unfortunately, still he did not find that hotel- he wasn’t sure where to get off and went back all the way to the airport, and he turned around at terminal 1-3, starting all over again. By the time he was back on I-190, the passenger was infuriated and started cursing and yelling at him.

The poor cabdriver was even more freaked out and nervous- he just kept driving and didn’t even talk, and he was so nervous. He didn’t know how to deal with upset customers, as he was a new driver. Then as soon as he passed the River Road North exit, and was around 20 feet away, then the customer said “you should turn here!!” But he couldn’t turn cause he already passed the north exit- however, he nearly lost his mind with this comment and turned around against traffic to get to that exit. I have no idea how he survived this dangerous maneuver.

He must have felt relieved when he finally saw the Marriot Suite Hotel- but at the entrance of the hotel, he saw a barricade. That is the only hotel, which has a barricade- after he got a ticket he could go in. But instead he lost his head and decided to swerve and go through the lawn.

The cabdriver and passenger bumped their heads as they went over the curb, and his passenger as you might imagine was screaming by this point. Of course the customer didn’t pay him! Instead of getting a payment he only paid fines to the police and complaints from the hotel. And so was the end of his cabdriving career: One day, one fare!