Posted: 21 January 2005 at 4:58pm
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THIS WEEK'S COLUMN: read on...
CABBIES WHO WON'T TAKE YOU FOR A RIDE"
Come on, admit it. If you were on a quiz show and asked to
name a job you associate with honesty, your first answer
wouldn't be "taxi driver." You might say "priest" or "police
officer" or even "used car salesman." Before you got around
to "taxi driver," you'd probably say "lawyer" or
"politician" or even "carnival game operator."
Face it, you still remember the time you asked a cabdriver
at JFK Airport in New York to take you to Manhattan and he
decided to take a shortcut through Montana. By the time you
arrived at your destination, you owed the cabbie more money
than you owed on your mortgage. And so you just let him move
into your house.
Perhaps all your encounters with cabdrivers have been sour.
They don't stop for you, and if they do, the only place they
seem interested in taking you is to the cleaners.
But before you pass judgment on the millions of cabbies in
the world, you need to realize that some of them are so
honest, they'll return almost anything left in their cabs,
even Harry Potter books.
Glenn Sher, a Long Island, NY, cabby, returned a woman's
purse containing $13,300. That's a lot of money, almost
enough to take Paris Hilton on a date.
"I could have used the money to pay bills or whatever," Sher
told The New York Post. "But it wasn't mine. I can't take
what's not mine." The mayor of New York was truly impressed.
"That's amazing," he said. "I didn't realize we had a
cabdriver who spoke English."
Another New York cabby, Benjamin Adjepong, was commended by
the Taxi and Limousine Commission for returning a bag
containing $7,000. "It makes me feel good, and my wife is so
excited," he told WABC TV. Now that's a good wife -- excited
about her husband's honesty, not even thinking about the
number of shoes she could have bought.
Cabbies in other countries have been just as honorable.
Ashraf Qureshi, a Pakistani immigrant in Australia, drove a
tourist around for three weeks, even let the man make long
distance calls on his phone and eat meals in his
apartment -- allowed him to do everything but sleep with his
The man paid Qureshi $50,000 for various expenses, according
to an Ananova.com report. But after the cabby deposited the
money in his bank account, he began to feel guilty about
accepting so much and returned $40,000 to the man. "It was
all getting too much for me," Qureshi said. It's a good
thing he's a taxi driver, because with integrity like that,
he could never be a corporate executive.
"I made $5 million last year. Some of my
employees made only $11,000. Maybe I should share some of my
money with them."
Wife: "Honey, here's an aspirin. You'll feel better in the
Another honest cabby, Mohammad Sajid Noor Mohammad of
Mumbai, India, returned a woman's handbag containing 6,000
rupees, debit cards, credit cards, membership cards,
sunglasses, receipts, and thousands of other items that
women carry in their handbags.
Though Mohammad lives in a small room with his wife and
three children, he wasn't tempted to keep the money and even
refused a reward, according to a Mid Day report. "We could
have spent the money, but it would have been over in a few
days and we would have had to live with the guilt for the
rest of our lives," Mohammad said.
While all the celebrities are giving themselves awards,
perhaps they should save a few for taxi drivers. "And the
nominees for best performance in a taxi cab, front seat
only, are ..."
Edited by cdesai12 - 21 January 2005 at 5:00pm