Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Cab con

Last Thursday I was coming back home on a late train. I overslept my station and ended up having to return by cab. This is an analysis of what happened next from the perspective of the theory of verbal warning signals.

As I'm walking to the car, a stranger approaches me:

- "Can we do halves?" he asks. Premature introduction of the "we" is called "forced teaming".
- "Sure. Were you on the same train?" I ask.
- "Yes, I fall asleep."
Before getting into the cab:
- "I will need the cash so we need to stop at a cash machine," he informs me.

This is when I first thought that he will not pay his half of the fare. But I wanted to see what happens next. I think that such explicit comment is a perfect warning of a problem but not necessarily of violence.
Inside the car:
- "The quote was for one person, but since there is the two of you, I will need to charge you more," says the driver.
- "OK," I say.
- "Well, maybe you could give us a ride for free?" jokingly asks the stranger.  Dark or negative humour reveals true concerns of a person.
- "Haha," everybody laughs politely
- "Well, it was worth trying," he concludes.
- "Yes, no harm asking," says the driver.

While on our way:
- "So what made you take the last train?", I asked.
- "Something I should not be doing. I'll show you."  

He pulls his Black Berry and shows me a picture of a lady in red lingerie, my understanding is that she is a prostitute he has just visited. Giving too many details is a sign of a person concealing their true intentions.
The car stops next to a cash machine about half way to our destination. The guy gets off a spends about a minute at the mash machine. Then he shouts to the driver that his debit card did not work and we should continue without him.

This is how he breaks the contract with me and therefore steals my £5.

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