Cabbies Blow off Pregnant Women: Can You Blame Them?

Jeanne Sager
20

taxi cabA word to all pregnant women out there. Don't bother trying to hail a cab. Just call an ambulance to get you to the hospital. Cab drivers in New Zealand are making a name for themselves for refusing to pick up preggos on the sidewalk.

It's like gym class all over again. Except it's not the jocks picking the fatties last for volleyball. It's jerks in the comfort of a nice warm vehicle telling the women with the bulging bellies they can walk.

Is it wrong that I almost see the cabbies' side in all of this?

Yes, they're immature. And technically wrong. I get it. But when you've worked in the parenting world for years, the stories you've read about pregnant women in cabs start to add up. We can break them down into three different categories:

1. Pregnant woman in labor can't make it to the hospital. Cabbie ends up delivering a child on a busy highway for some stranger. If that's not bad enough, he feels like a shitheel leaving the meter running during the whole ordeal so he loses money. Oh, and can we talk about the mess in the back of that cab? What gets blood and fecal matter out of car upholstery?

2. Pregnant woman gets to hospital and hightails it out of the car into the emergency room, hell bent on getting this thing out of her ... completely forgetting that there's a certain very professional person who makes a living off of this gig. He gets stiffed, and now he's got a wet backseat, so he can't pick up any more fares for the night anyway.

3. Pregnant woman is just too tired to walk a few more yards down the road. She hails a cab, hops in, and then gets out a block later. It's such a short distance, she doesn't bother tipping, and the cabbie loses again.

The latter is the big problem in New Zealand at the moment, and it garners the least amount of sympathy. But I've known cabbies. I've heard some pretty horrible stories of customers who treat them like chattel. People tend to hop in the car, spout out an order, and then pretend there's a robot driving. At least when you hitch a ride with a friend, you care about the aftermath -- the state of the car when you leave it, the way they respond to your screaming to go faster, faster, get me to the G-D hospital!

So let's step out of our self-important, the customer is always right, and a pregnant woman is doubly right state. Can you understand why cab drivers are reticent to pick up a preggo?

 

Image dnewman8/Flickr

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