Saturday, September 25, 2010

Dishonorable Mention: Kams Taxi of Charles Town WV

So yesterday at about 1:30 PM, I stop off at the local 7-11 to get a paper and a cup of coffee. As I pull into the lot, I notice that the one handicapped parking spot is occupied, not by a car, but by a silver Toyota taxicab belonging to Kams Taxi , a local cab company. The driver is sitting in the cab and a passenger is in the back seat, and the car is completely obstructing the handicapped spot.

Now I don't lay claim to needing the spot. In fact, despite missing a leg, I refuse to use those spots as I can get around quite well even on a bad day. However I have not forgotten the day when I did need them, or the many actual disabled people that I've met during my own rehab who really do need those spots. As a result, I don't think too highly of selfish scumbags who cavalierly zip into those parking places just because it's convenient for them.

So I parked my vehicle and walked into the store, stopping to give a nasty look at the Kams driver--an older prune-faced white woman. I looked at her, then looked up at the Handicapped Parking Only sign that was right in front of her cab. Then I walked on, making sure that she was able to get a good look at my prosthetic leg, which wasn't hard as I was wearing cargo shorts. I said nothing to her, because quite frankly, some people just aren't worth talking to.

This should have been the end of it, but a minute later, as I'm standing in line in the store, the cab's female passenger came inside and loudly accosted me while I waited in line.
"The driver wants to know if you have a handicapped parking pass," she announced.
"What does that matter?" I asked. "If I do or if I don't, it still doesn't excuse her being in that spot."
She then started rambling non-stop about how they both looked at my car and didn't see a handicapped placard so I have no right to complain that they were in that spot. I merely pointed to my nice plastic leg, which is visible for all to see. She yelled: "Well I'm sorry that you're handicapped, but you deserve it for being such a nasty person. God bless you!" And with that very Christian demonstration of kindness, she stormed back out of the store and hopped into the waiting cab. The cab driver then jammed the car into reverse and bolted back without looking, very nearly slamming into another car that was approaching the handicapped spot. Both vehicles had to brake sharply to prevent the collision that the Kams driver nearly caused, but the cab driver didn't stick around to apologize--she just sped off.

Oh--and the woman in the car that the Kams cab nearly clobbered? A real handicapped woman who got out of her car with a walker. She wasn't amused, either.

You can't make drama like this up, folks.

So for rudely and inconsiderately taking up a handicapped parking spot, and for sending a passenger into a store to pick a fight over the driver's conduct, and for operating her vehicle without due care and nearly causing a totally preventable crash, I am awarding Kams Taxi Dishonorable Mention here...and I'm also forwarding a complaint to the county licensing commission and the Sheriff's Department.

And if you found this story because you were trying to look up the phone number to Kams Taxi, take my advice and get a ride from someone else. That Kams driver could easily get you killed, either by crashing or by picking fights with people that she doesn't know anything about.

Oh, and a bit of follow-up investigating suggests that the woman driving the cab was none other than Dottie, the actual owner of that two-cab company. Not impressive. Not impressive at all.

And to be fair, I delayed a bit before posting this to give Dottie or someone else at Kams a chance to respond to my private complaint letter, but as it appears that a response isn't going to be coming any time soon...

6 comments:

  1. Another horror story of a small town cab company... They have the market cornered, so they don't care...

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  2. So it seems as though I am not the only one who has this gut hunch (not yet, to the best of my knowledge, substantiated by any scientific statistical sampling) that able-bodied drivers who park in and/or otherwise obstruct parking spaces reserved for people with disabilities have a high tendency to be arrogant.

    Typical comments I have encountered over the years include, but are not limited to: "I'm just here for a few minutes!" "There are empty regular spaces available!" "It's not that far for the handicapped people to walk from the regular spaces!"

    I saw what my own grandfather, an amputee, went through during the 1960's and early 1970's, before these reserved spaces and special license tags became standard fare. It really, really, rubs me the wrong way whenever I see unauthorized use of the special reserved parking spaces.

    And it isn't so much the space occupancy that irritates me -- It's the attitude!!

    And Dottie, who could have tendered a private apology and ended the matter, definitely has "that" arrogant attitude!

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  3. "She yelled: "Well I'm sorry that you're handicapped, but you deserve it for being such a nasty person. God bless you!"

    Holy Crap. You have got to be kidding me. I am usually amazed at the lazy ass morons who pull up and park right in front of the gas mini mart stores because they can't walk the extra 20 feet from the empty parking spots which are right there and vacant while they go in to buy their pack of smokes or beef jerky, but THIS? This takes the cake.

    And then for the jackwagon woman to invoke a religious smart ass comment instead of the F. U. that she meant ....what a class act right there.

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  4. If the passenger came in to complain, I'd be willing to bet they are related to Dottie.

    You did good. Keep up the sneering!

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  5. Well ... where to start.... First I will say that I am truely sorry that the passenger would say anything like that to anyone! However, the lady taxi driver that you are talking about IS HANDICAP and is terminal!I dont think it would be right for me to put all of her business on here, just know that she has every right to park there! That being said... I will ask her to stop parking there while she is driving the taxi.I am also sorry that I didnt see this sooner! It would be nice and much easier to fix problems if people would attempt to call the owner rather then try to ruin a persons business when you dont even have all the facts yourself! In closing I think everyone should be careful to point fingers when you dont have all the information or only one side of the story!

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  6. Kams, I do appreciate the reply, but please note that I did send your company a letter about this before going public with it. I waited for a reply, but getting none, decided to post the story. This also would not have been a story at all had your driver not sent the passenger into the store to call me out. That was the shocking and unprofessional part and it was what made this whole episode memorable enough to write about.

    And not to get into that driver's personal business, but just because she might have a handicapped placard, that doesn't entitle her to park in those spaces when her able-bodied fares are the ones going into the stores and she's sitting in the car. That's not how it's supposed to work.

    I'm sorry if your business is taking a hit because of this, but you're the one who hired that woman and gave her the cab with your company's logo all over it. If you're mad about the bad publicity, thank your employee who gave it to you.

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