The angry & the abused

A cabbie angry about something and behind the wheel is the last person you want to encounter. I was sitting by the side of one a few days back and I have to admit the guy scared the hell out of the ten or eleven of us in his cab. He complained about anything and everything. The world was out to get him!

He said all the traffic police were out get him; the way he was driving, they should. The guy scared the daylight out of not only us the passengers, but the other drivers, too. And the blame was on everyone except himself. “They drive with purchased their driving license?” Oh really! what about you? I mean don’t tell you got yours on ‘these’ skills!

As angry as he was he shouldn’t have been behind the wheel! He should have nursed his anger with whatever ‘medicine’ he’s familiar with! Should we have felt sorry for him! Hell, No! Not while he brought our hearts to the base of our throats with his reckless driving. I mean the way he drove he seems to be destined for some sort of martyrdom; at our expense!

Just imagine your barber who for some reason is the angriest guy on earth and fuming nonstop. And all that, while he is busy with your hair! I mean barbers are famous as unofficial ‘breaking news’ sources; so his nonstop talking might not raise any eyebrows.

He was swearing, threatening invisible enemies and cursing the country for his problems. Of course you could ride out his oral mumblings, but the way he drove was so chilling it was an experience you don’t want to test. I can’t put in numbers the close calls where he almost crashed into other cars. And he was the one berating the other drivers

 You’re not his problem; why should you be the subject of his rage? The obscenities rain down on anybody and everybody. He made use of The Finger so often you wonder what his better half at home was enduring.

An elderly woman tried to intervene. “Don’t get so angry my son, everything will be alright. Don’t hurt yourself. “It was that motherly tone you would not tire hearing a hundred times a day. But what followed was stuff you’d expect in a badly climaxing story. He flew of the handle and, hold your breath, he called the innocent lady names! You could imagine what she must have been feeling being called names she never heard of.

The shock among the passengers turned into anger and things started to go out of hand. A not very muscular young man sitting just behind the driver poked the back of his head with a finger or two and in reverse called him names so blood chilling you wished you flew out one window. and the abused elderly tried to calm things. But her voice was drowned by the commotion.

Then right in the middle of the road the minibus comes to a screeching stop and the visibly angry driver started opening the door. His intentions probably were to come around the passengers’ door and deal with the young man’s jaw. But the horns of other cars nudged him back to his senses. This very attempt brings a couple of other youngsters in the back seat. “You try to touch him….” I can’t tell you what came after. It seems we’ve more than our share of his breed in many places.

The angry cabbie; the angry policeman, the angry clerk, the angry shopkeeper; the angry doorman…they are all over the place. And all this time the victims are the innocent public.

Let me tell you a bizarre story which happened in a busy part of the city. This man we know was going about his errands when a guy twice his size bumps into him. A pair of helping hands saved him from hitting the ground. “What the hell is that? Can’t you see where you’re going?” Before the heavy fellow could react a guy who was with him steps in; “Sorry, he’s angry about something.” What! Just because some would-be Mike Tyson is angry should our shoulders be dislocated.

A month or so back a fellow I know had an appointment with the GM of a certain organization. There was an important which needed speedy intervention of the official. So, since it was an official appointment and thinking nothing will come in the way this was hope in flesh, when he arrives at the office. In fact, he came an hour earlier and has been whiling the time away at a nearby café.

Right at the top of the hour he politely knocks on the boss’s office door and enters. No, ‘enter’ isn’t the right word. In his own words, he moved as if he’d wheels under his feet and was gliding at a hundred meters per hour. Even that was too fast!” He’d learned from experience that he might offend virtually anyone except a secretary of a big boss. And I mean that! (How many times did you, taken aback by the attitudes of ‘executive secretaries’ asked yourself “who’s the real boss around here?” Don’t ask me!

The guy he very delicately shuts the door and manages a broad smile. The secretary didn’t respond in kind. Not usually the shy type, you still keep your head down.

“What’s it?” This took the wind out of the guy. He says right then he knew she was angry about something.

“I have an appointment with the general manager.”

“What appointment?”

By this time, he said he was sure she wouldn’t let him in whatever he says.

“He gave me an appointment to come at nine in the morning today.”

“I know nothing of such an appointment.”

“Bu…but, you wrote it down…”

“Please, we’ve a lot of work here; can you leave now!”


She picks up the phone; “I’ll have to call the guards.” This guy who had previously nasty brushes with such people gets out. “I practically somersaulted!”

The interesting part of the story was yet to come. Early that same afternoon he gets a call from a number he wasn’t familiar with.

“Hello!” Surprise! Surprise! Can you imagine who was at the other end? The secretary! He says she was near tears apologizing for mistreating him. She told him she was very angry about something and didn’t want to talk to anyone at that time. She promised he can come any time he likes. A couple of minutes later he was in one of those meter taxis!

What that lady did was something of a fairytale of sorts. A secretary who treated you badly apologizing on the phone? No way! Anyways, angry service providers should sat first do some ‘service’ to their anger before scaring the hell out of us or treating us like some troublesome street bums.

The Ethiopian Herald July 4/2021

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