The other day, I took a cab back home from office. I got on, gave my destination and then became absorbed in my phone. I’d just had a long day of meetings that ended with a few hours of deep concentration working on some slides and materials, and I hadn’t had a chance to read the messages on my phone.
It was a while before I finally looked up at my surroundings. My taxi driver appeared to be turning into some small road. Now, I’m not a driver so I’m not very familiar with the roads, but I’ve cabbed home from around the area often enough to know that that wasn’t the right way to go. The taxi driver must have sensed my confusion because he said “there’s no place to u-turn”. That confused me even more, because I didn’t understand why he needed to u-turn. But I didn’t really want to say anything, so I kept my peace.
He then proceeded to drive me in the opposite direction of where I wanted to go. It got to a point where I was so confused that I finally asked what he was doing, to which he said that he was looking for the expressway. I then replied to say, well, if you had continue along that road and not u-turned back, you would have hit the expressway. His reply was that he thought the Thomson Road entrance to PIE was only to the direction of Toa Payoh.
I honestly couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I thought knowledge of the entrances and exits of expressways was something that all taxi drivers should know by heart, and I was amazed that he could so blatantly get it wrong. However, I wasn’t in a mood to take it up with him, so I just kept quiet.
I must confess that at some point I felt really annoyed. But then again, I reasoned that he could be having a bad day, and it there’s nothing I can do to make the situation better by getting upset. He eventually realized that I was right, and I think that made him feel very bad as well. In the end, he gave me a $6 discount, so instead of $28 on the meter, he only took $22 from me, which was quite nice, given that that is the correct amount to get me home. I hope his other trips turn out to be better.
We can’t always choose the situations that land upon our lap, but we can choose the way we react to it. And I want to choose the way that is best for everyone. That is the commitment that I will make to myself.