Taxi cab driver story: The day a Haitian made me cry

I always take the bus. However, today was raining like crazy, so I had no choice but to splurge on a cab ride. This is theย taxi cab driver story that developed.

Taxi cab driver story rainy day

Taxi cab driver story begins (Flickr Photo: Clint)

My alarm went off at 6 AM. I hit the snooze button…so many times that I had to jump out of bed like a possessed soul at 7:30 AM. Ten minutes ’til the bus, phew! Then I looked out my window.

Torrential rain. Damn. I guess I can’t walk to the freakin’ bus after all.

Knowing how cabbies take forever in this city, I quickly called one in, hoping it would arrive just in time to make it to work early. I took a shower, came out, and ACK! My cabbie was 3 miles away, TEN minutes ago! I ran out of the bathroom and almost fell flat on my tile floor. I looked out the window but no one was there. So I called the company…apparently, cab 475 was nowhere to be found. Operator dialed and dialed.

No answer.

“Cab driver will be seriously reprimanded, I am so sorry m’am. I’m calling a different cab your way right now.”

Le sigh. Late to work. On first day of the month. As a marketing manager. Didn’t look like a bright Friday.

Surprisingly, as I looked out of my window in frustration, I see cabbie 475 – YAY! I ran out in the rain and asked him to please wait, I’m here, let me get my purse!” Five mins. later, we were on our way.

Where the taxi cab driver story took a sharp turn

As I hopped in, Charlie quickly apologized: “sorry for the wait, m’am!” I then went to tell him the ordeal, and Charlie lamented that his phone broke down and hasn’t been able to answer some calls. This has happened all week and he’s about to lose his job, even though he’s right there to pick up customers a few mins. after the assigned time.

At this point, I call the cab company and tell them about cab 475’s technical issues, to please not reprimand him, that he made it despite the rain, and was very professional andย courteous.

Taxi cab driver story tear

Photo: smilla4, Flickr

My cab driver teared up: “I can’t believe you just did that. That call just saved my job. That’s the nicest thing anyone has done for me in a while”

Naturally, given how much of a softie I am, I teared up too. “But it’s simply the right thing to do. Who wouldn’t do that?” Charlie responded: “Two other customers I had today were in your same exact situation, but didn’t even bother to call my boss to say everything was OK. Instead, they complained the whole way and told me how I needed to hurry the hell up, that they were late as it was because of the rain”


Charlie went on: “I just can’t believe you did that. I know you must also be late for work, yet you have been so nice to me. You saved my job. You are such a good person. It is so hard to find people with such a kind heart as yours nowadays.”

Yep, you guessed it: I teared up again. Just yesterday I had the most horrible day, deep within my life after travel depression, even yelled “I just fucking hate this country!” while sobbing in my gringo boyfriend’s arms last night. And then…I find a beautiful soul that makes my day (besides my boyfriend). But this not it for this taxi cab driver story.

Where this taxi cab driver story got funny

Charlie started asking where I’m from and if I’m a Christian. I say Puerto Rico and that yes, I’m a Christ follower. We started going about how we’re both just trying to follow Jesus footsteps and hoping that spreading our kindness however we can may hopefully transform some lives daily. We then went off about how hospitable Caribbean people are, how we rejoice on daily life and are not so sucked up on material things, like the new American Dream trap and such. I digressed, saying not many Puerto Ricans are like that, but we laughed it off. Live day by day. “Live that your memories will be part of your happiness.” That sort of thing.

Then he told me a funny Haitian tale and my top taxi cab driver story:

Back in Haiti, there was this good old man with 4 sons: Three were rich, one was very poor. One fine day the good old man dies. At his funeral, his 3 rich sons dropped $20,000 cash, EACH, inside the good old man’s coffin, so he could take riches to heaven. Can you believe that?! All that cash! Haitian beliefs and materialism, bad bad mix most times. Anyway! All that cash is in, then the 4th son of the good old man, the very poor one, goes by the coffin, writes a $100,000 check and tells his good old man: “Father, God doesn’t accept that much cash in heaven. I’ll take the $60,000 — here’s a $100,000 check, with $40,000 just from me, because I love you so.” Then the poor son walked away rich, with $60,000 … whilst his bank account had NO FUNDS!
But hey, there’s no cash and no banks in heaven either, are there? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Lol! I died! We both laughed so hard! Charlie continued:

“You see, many times, many rich people not so smart, but many poor people very smart too. Depends where you go. But I see it here in the USA too: People with so much money, buy so many cars and big houses, put away so much money, work so so so many hours, barely live until just a few years before they die. Then they die and where does all that money go!? WASTED! Most true rich people, rich people in the heart, live instead of exist. Live much happier life. Enjoy much more life. Not saying being rich is bad, but it is like Jesus said: ‘For where your treasure is, there yourย heartย will be also.’ย Only the humble in the heart will enter heaven. To me, only the humble in the heart, too, have true heaven on Earth.”

I nodded and teared up a bit again as we rolled into my company’s building. I said farewell, took his card, and went into my office. I know who I’m calling on another rainy day.

Taxi cab driver story

Got a taxi cab driver story? (Photo: presta, Flick)

Do you have a good taxi cab driver story? Share it below!

22 thoughts on “Taxi cab driver story: The day a Haitian made me cry

  1. Great story! I think its important that we do random acts of kindness as a way of life. A taxi driver life can be short,one bad fare, and Boom!! Its ovah! Pray for the family of30yr Karl Green of Morrow,ga who died in a terrible car wreck on I85 north…there was an.argument..driver drIVes off,the lady c
    hases him,cuts in front of hiim…theres an explosion!! Driver dies Instantly! The lady was charged with homicide!

    • wow, I will definitely pray for Karl. That’s horrible–but then again, a reminder that life is too short. God bless Jerry

    • One of my favorites ๐Ÿ™‚ thank you! It’s always nice to see when a seemingly-random act of kindness does so much

  2. I’d been on the road a few weeks when I got a call from my regular cab driver. I was a little surprised as he’d never called before. He wanted to find out if I was okay as he hadn’t seen me in a while. I was really touched. Friends from NYC who were staying with me were shocked.

  3. That’s so sweet of you!

    I once started talking to my cab driver and when he found out that I teach and that I’d been to India (2 totally random facts) he started telling me all about his family. After he helped me with my bags, he gave me the warmest handshake and said “I feel like you’re one of my daughters. I have a safe flight, and best of luck to you.” It was so sweet, especially right before disappearing into the airport, becoming just another anonymous traveler.

  4. I also have a number of taxi stories that I would like to blog about. Here in the Philippines, I think you’d encounter all sorts of drivers. I always say thank you to those who didn’t try to rip me off or who were really nice and genuine ๐Ÿ˜€ So nice how the simpliest things can touch and help others ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. Hi Maria,

    Really enjoyed this story when I first saw it a few days ago….. Would you be willing to allow us to post it on our blog as a guest post?

    Please drop me an email if you are interested. Thanks!


    • Thank you Roberta. Unfortunately, my blog posts can’t be republished elsewhere, but I sent you an email about what we can do to share this story in a different way ๐Ÿ™‚

    • aww, thanks Sebastian! But I really thought it was more of my duty to be honest with the company than not

    • Thanks Cherie! I thought the same too – incredible how a seemingly-simple act can be so life changing ๐Ÿ™‚

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