Have you ever avoided getting in a cab because you see the vehicle bears the scratches and dents of a fender bender? Yet have you ever heard yourself saying to a cab driver: ” I’m in a hurry so the quicker you can get there the better.”?

I have.  But until a cabbie started ranting about it to me the other day I failed to realize how often they are asked to hurry. The cabbie told me that he’s sick of being stuck with red light camera tickets and speeding fines for a couple of extra dollars.  Since then, I’ve tried to refrain from mentioning my time crunch when I slip into a cab.

I also have this fear that the cab will get in a car accident. As a result I’m always surmising from the outside and inside of a cab what I believe to be the driver’s recent road record. And in the interest of full disclosure, I’m always a little disappointed when I get in a cab that is slightly run down… just because I like to feel posh.  Silly me.

Today, for example, I climbed into a dark blue cab that on the outside seemed to look safe enough. Yet when the driver started moving I heard this grinding noise of metal on metal and felt every little bump in the road to the point that my back started to ache. The guy was driving fine but his car wasn’t in the best condition. It felt like his alignment was off and that something was loose under my side of the engine. I tried to ignore the rattling noise until we arrived at my destination near Georgetown.  It was with a sigh of relief that I paid the driver my $6.50 and exited the car at my reporting event.

Oh and one more thing. Even though I’ve lived in the area most of my life, I never know how much to tip a cabby. If the trip is bad, I usually give them a dollar but if they get me there fast and without making me reach for the “oh sh*t handle,” I sometimes give them $2.

On Friday night I caught a cab from near DuPont Circle out to Glover Park. I didn’t end up leaving the guy a tip and he made a noise of disgust at me that sounded something like the air being let out of a tire for a split second. I felt guilty when I realized I’d failed to tip the guy but from the way he acted it didn’t make me feel too bad.

Still, I must admit that today I gave an extra dollar to a cabbie just to get my cab Karma back in sync.