Notes on a Scandal, Deaf-Blind style

Hi there!

Today I want to tell you about threefold story, a scandal really. It involves myself, a taxi driver and a, well thief is a strong word, but there ya have it; and a thief. Both gained from me, while I lost. How did this happen? You need to read…

The setting was a taxi ride from one location to my home, my son was with me. The taxi was not a regular taxi arrangement, but set up by HandyDART; a service in Metro Vancouver for persons with disabilities and seniors.

HandyDART charges $3.05 per ride. This fare applies to rides in HandyDART vans and, if necessary, taxis hired by HandyDART.

So, in essence; if I called a taxi, I would pay the full fare, but if HandyDART called the taxi, I would only pay $3.05.

I admit I was not cognizant on this detail because I infrequently use HandyDART, van or taxi.

Rest assured, I know it know!

Yet, I was unaware of the $3.05 fare payment for taxi on Saturday, September 18th. When the taxi driver demanded I pay full metered fare.

Being Deaf-Blind, I could’t see the meter, nor could I hear what he was saying, I couldn’t argue because I wasn’t sure if I had to pay full or “bus rate.” He kept gesturing at his meter, indicating that I need to pay that fare. I wasn’t even sure what that amount was, as I ran into my house, grabbed my taxi savers, and went back to pay the driver. I think I had about $15, maybe $13, maybe less in taxi savers.

When I asked him how much, I gestured “3, 4, 5,” he refused to gesture back, so I ended up giving him the taxi savers I had. He counted those, and pointed to his meter again; obviously I was short.

I verbally said “that is all I had” and walked away. Take it or leave it. The driver was obviously annoyed.

Eventually, he did leave, and he took my iPhone with him!

In that 30 seconds that I understood that he was wanting payment; I got out, closed the door, ran to the house to get taxi savers to pay. Never did I notice my phone not being in my pocket. I can only assume it fell out of my grasp, tumbled to the floor, where it landed screen-side down.

And now we come to the thief. Why do I use this word? Well, when I determined my phone was missing, I immediately tracked it using the Find My Phone app. It was not anywhere close, in fact it was in a different neighbourhood. Maybe the person was “holding” it, waiting for a Lost Phone announcement, so that they could profit: finders fee?

But, I doubt that, the person attempted to use Apple Pay. Subsequently, they were locked out! Obviously their face and mine did not match at all!

Sidebar: earlier that day I reset my bank password, due to some issues, I didn’t activate the Apple Pay or bank card on the phone. So there was no money available on the phone anyways! Score one!

After using, and failing, Apple Pay, they used data and wifi connectivity. My wife was able to deactivate the phone, and now it is just a red paperweight.

What a dilemma eh? So, you can see that the two people gained from my ignorance.

  • Taxi Driver who charged full fare, when I was only required to pay $3.05.
  • Finder of my iPhone, who attempted to use the device for their gain.

Who is at fault? Was any of this connected to me being Deaf-Blind?

Really, no. If I had known about the $3.05 cost of fare, then I would have it ready. If the driver confronted me, nd argued, I would have made note of the cab number, and notified HandyDART. I would not have paid him any more than was required.

I might have still left my phone, if he had confronted me. Had he been honest, and not demanding full fare, then I would have been more relaxed, and noticed my phone not being in my pocket.

And, obviously, if the person who found my phone was also honest, and gave it to the driver, regardless of his attitude, the driver could have held it for me, or turned it in to HandyDART.

I am pretty sure that this event could have happened to ANYONE. A driver could have bilked someone, who ran out of money, dropped their phone searching pockets for change, forgetting to pick up said phone…

To emphasis that this could have happened to anyone; my mum lost her wallet in the mid 90s, she left it in a food court as she ran after my niece who was zooming out the door on her toddler legs! And, it wasn’t until later that mum realized the wallet was gone. And somehow she found it.

So, I guess the moral of this blog is to always keep your head, know your obligations and plan ahead!

Thanks for reading!

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