Taking cabs these days has almost become a rarity, saved only for essential travel with the current restrictions in Ireland. Me and my partner happened to be in town for such an essential reason; we had just wrapped up our marriage notification procedure at the registry office.
We decided to order a FreeNow Taxi to have a quick ride home. The Taxi arrives, the guy was well in his 50’s. He said we were just his 2nd Customer all day and he had to wait over two hours till we booked him.
Very friendly guy, while talking my partner told him that we were just about to get married on the 21st of Jan and we were just in town for an appointment with the registry. He was genuinely happy to hear the news and went on to give us some wedding advice about never to argue in a relationship because that leads to worse things, its better to cool down and think straight. Naturally, my partner went on to ask “How is your family doing in these crazy times?”
The taxi driver sighed and broke into ramshackle state of grief. He told us he had to part with his family and that he lived all alone. We felt really bad and apologized to him for bringing that question up and were sorry for him. He kept saying don’t worry about me and said he was very happy for us. Then followed a moment of silence after which he decided to confide in us his story and share why he was in a state of grief.
He said he had a 13 year old son and he had saved up working through December to buy him an off-road bicycle. He had given his ex-wife money for the bike a few days before his son’s birthday as the kid was in his mother’s custody. Fast forward his son’s birthday he is excited for a call from his son, he gets the call but the kid is crying and says that his mom is heavily drunk..!
He goes straight to his ex-wife’s house and inquires about the money to which she said it’s all gone, she blew it. The kid is confused, sobbing and asking his daddy why didn’t he get a bike for his birthday. The man left the house defeated. He promised his son that he will go to the bank for some money and get him a gift within the next few days. He didn’t have much savings as business wasn’t looking good due to Covid.
This was the most life-changing taxi ride by far for us, at the end of the ride we thanked him for his warmth, politeness and genuine advice.
We entered our house and checked if could Tip him after the ride on the FreeNow app, to our discontent it wasn’t possible!
Never had we felt so heartbroken, we wanted to tip him, but we could not. We tried calling his number on the Freenow app and decided to give him whatever cash we had in the house for his son’s bike.
Alas we were not successful as the call didn’t go through after several attempts. Since we seldom carry cash, in this instance we would have appreciated if we could Tip this person contactless via our cell phones in the cab itself. Technology is only good if it benefits everyone.
• Just because a man is smiling and serving doesn’t mean they don’t have deep ridden sorrows.
• If you are in a more fortunate situation always be helpful and supportive to people working in the service sector in these difficult times. We are the most advanced species on earth because we have the power to empathize with one another, that’s what makes us human
• Always be open minded and all ears to a random stranger, who knows you might learn a thing or two about life.
Feel free to comment and share if you had a similar experience during the pandemic.
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We are offering our cashless tipping solution to all businesses in the hospitality sector for free to battle the economic impact of Covid 19.
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