Thursday, November 10, 2005

How Taxi Drivers Supplement Their Income in Armenia

Today my wife and I went to a funeral of an 82 year old woman that is related to my wife’s sister’s husband.

We called a cab, who took us to the funeral and back home, waiting 50 minutes. The cab was a 1995 GAZ Volga and there was a sign in it’s window indicating that it was for sale for $2,700.

When we returned home, the taxi had driven 30 kilometers and the charges including the waiting time came out to 4,100 dram.

I gave the driver 4,500 dram, which included a 400 dram tip for good service.

As we started to walk from the cab, the driver opened his door and asked my wife that if this office calls to ask them how much we paid for the cab service, to tell them 3,000 dram.

So not only did the guy get a 400 dram tip for providing us with good service, but he is going to skim off the top 1,100, which he should have turned into his office.

Fortunately for him, when we got home, the power was out, so our phone was not working, as if the taxi company had called, I was not about ready to lie to them for someone who misappropriated 1,100 dram from them.

So here is another example how people supplement their income in a dishonest way. It’s called stealing from your employer.

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