“It was hard to see a grown man try not to cry……” Ms Sim Ann

It can be terribly frustrating to take a cab and wind up with a longer journey than you expected, because the cab driver took a wrong turn or got lost. Most passengers would refuse to pay extra for the trip. Some would probably even call up the taxi company and make an official complaint.

Mr T, who came to my MPS a couple of weeks ago, was one such cabby. He lost his job as a relief driver because he received a few complaints against him.

He was very sad because in all the cases, he had admitted fault, apologised to the passenger involved and refunded the difference. But the passengers decided to complain anyway. Which of course, they had a right to do. It doesn’t take many complaints before a relief driver is terminated. Which is not a bad thing if you are the customer.

The thing is, the customers did not know Mr T had a reason for being distracted. His wife was seriously ill with cancer. Not only did he face the pressure of being the sole breadwinner in a challenging situation, he was also exhausted from caring for her in the evenings. That affected his performance on the job.He brought his wife’s diagnosis and doctor’s letters to show me. When I offered financial assistance, he declined politely but firmly. He just wanted his job back, so that he can continue to provide for his wife and himself.

It was hard to see a grown man try not to cry.

I did what I could, and I was very glad to receive a letter from his taxi company today, stating that it had reviewed his situation and decided to reinstate his relief driver pass.

I wish Mr T and his wife all the best. And I thank you for having read till the end of this little note. If you ever are in a frustratingly long cab ride, please do think about forgiving the cabby, especially if he’s apologised and given you a refund!

**************************************************************

Dear friends, when I did my previous FB post, I had no clue that it would attract so many reactions and comments.

It is incredibly heartwarming and encouraging to see so many of you showing concern and support for Mr T and his wife. You guys rock!

Some of you have also suggested alternative solutions. That’s cool.

Some suggestions are practical (“Get a GPS!”). Others are well-intentioned but will take considerably longer, with less certainty (“Get him another job!”). Mr T was not able to wait long, and I think you can understand his preference to try for reinstatement.Some of you feel that he should not even be on the road. With due respect, I think that the company, with insight into his full service record, remains the best judge of whether he can continue working as a driver. In this case, after reviewing, they have decided to give him a final chance, and I respect that.Some have taken the opportunity to criticise cab drivers or complaining passengers. That’s not what the post was about, really.

Many of you have said it well: Everyone has their ups and downs. There are two sides to every story. Live and let live, forgive and forget.

I just think it is within our power to exercise a bit more kindness in general. I have to remind myself constantly too, but I try. Let’s all try.

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