Friday, December 10, 2010

Ways to Make Your Super Shuttle Driver Mad

Coming from the south, I tend to have a bit more patience than those living in the north. Not that having loads of patience is a great thing, but I’m a firm believer that everyone should have at least some. Well, that was most certainly not a trait that one New York City man obtained. No, this man seemed a bit more easily agitated, not one for lateness, and most of all…downright rude.

While my sister was living in New York, I went to visit her during the Christmas holiday season. Never having been to New York at Christmas, I was in complete awe of the city and its vast array of decorations. Not only was Saks lit up with lights, but Macy’s in Herald Square, donned window-to-window scenes of Miracle on 34th Street. The Empire State Building lit up in green and red and to top it all off, there is nothing like seeing the granddaddy of all trees, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

Going into the city, my sister invited her best friend Erica, to join us for a day of shopping and sightseeing. Erica lived outside of Manhattan, so we met her at Grand Central that morning. Our day was full of shops, sights, and belly-aching laughs due to certain events that occurred throughout the day. 

You see, there was a certain little burger joint that Erica was just dying to visit so, my sister and I decided that a burger sounded pretty good and we made our way towards the “restaurant.” I won’t mention the name but I will say that Sarah Jessica Parker once visited this hot spot and claimed to have loved their burgers. Well, Sarah Jessica Parker must have horrible taste because the moment we stepped into the burger joint, I was ready to leave.

Sitting down, I felt as if I was crammed in like a sardine, unable to move. I was afraid I might need an oil can to help me get out of my seat. Of course, the seating was only the beginning of what would be one of the worst and one of the most hilarious moments of my time spent in New York. Ordering our burgers, I was prepping myself for the most delicious, juicy, monstrous burger one could imagine. Imagine my disappointment when our meal arrived and on my plate, sat one of the smallest and lousiest burger I’ve ever seen. No wonder Sarah Jessica Parker is so tiny…the burgers at this place could be taken down in two to three bites. As if the meal wasn’t bad enough, upon leaving, we asked our creepy waiter where we could find the bathroom. Directing us towards the back, we started down the stairs and into what looked like a hallway full of trash, junk, food and who knows what else. Half way down the hall, we were giving each other that, “uh…are you sure about this” look.

“Oh my gosh…what is that smell?!” I can’t remember who yelled it out but it was by far, one of the worst odors I’ve ever smelt in my life. A mixture of greasy burgers, gas, and someone probably doing more than just a number one, filled the hallway and I literally started to gag. This in turn caused my sister and her friend to start laughing hysterically. Unable to stand the stench any longer, we high-tailed it up those stairs and out the front doors of the restaurant. (We paid for our meals…don’t worry). Trust me when I say, I would take the smell of New York City air over that, any day of the week (and that’s not saying too much).

Reaching Fifth Avenue that night, I had been walking in my handy-dandy Wal-Mart snow boots that I bought out of desperation, for fear that snow might fall by the feet while I was in New York. Well, the weather played a nice little trick that year and decided that New York was going to have a mild winter, so all in all, the boots were unnecessary…but I digress. I don’t know whether it was the exhaustion from having walked all day long, but once we reached FAO Schwartz, the excitement that should fill you when you step inside the doors; it just wasn’t there for me. Instead of running around like a five-year-old and jumping around on the mega keyboard that they have, the three of us decided to take a break and try out FAO Sweets. Mmm…I can still taste the yummy goodness of that five-freaking-dollar cupcake I bought! Me being the generous type, I even bought my sister one, and the three of us drinks. Now please explain how two cupcakes and three drinks can equal $25?

Once again, I digress. Upon leaving the over-priced cupcake land that can’t hold a candle to Sprinkles cupcakes (at least in my opinion), we made our way towards Rockefeller Center. I kid you not, the moment I turned the corner and spotted that enormous tree, I felt like Clark Griswold in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation when he finally gets the Christmas lights to come on. My eyes lit up and at that moment, I couldn’t believe I was actually standing in such a popular spot.  The sounds of Christmas music played in the background, people were snapping pictures left and right, children were squealing as they continued to ice skate, and me, well, I just stared and took in the beauty of the tree itself.

After taking multiple pictures, we decided that it was getting pretty late. Knowing that we had an early morning flight (ahem…like 6 a.m.), we needed to get back to the train station to see Erica off. Her husband, Josh worked at the Hyatt in Manhattan and he was to meet us at the train station as well. Sitting around, we waited and waited…and waited. The next train was to leave around 10:30 or 11:00 I believe, and the three of us continued to look at our watches, hoping that Josh would make it in time.

Due to the fact that our feet were aching, the three of us sat on the floor and waited some more. The later train was beginning to look like it would be their ride home; however, Erica’s cell phone suddenly rang and she was up on her feet in seconds.

“Josh is coming!” She spouted. As soon as the words left her mouth, we saw a man sprinting towards the train, wearing a white chef jacket and black pants…it was Josh.

“Erica let’s go!” He yelled. He managed to yell a quick “hi” and “bye” to both my sister and me, and with a quick hug, we watched her sprint off behind him.

By the time we caught the subway from Grand Central to my sister’s apartment, it was quite late. We were hoping for maybe 2 hours of sleep before we needed to be downstairs for our Super Shuttle guy to pick us up at 3:20. Thankfully, we had already packed our bags, except for the few things we would need when getting ready when we woke up.

Before we fell asleep, my sister set her alarm for 2:00 maybe 2:30 a.m., so we could get up, throw some clothes on, and go. Well, anyone who knows my sister knows not to trust her when it comes to setting alarms, etc…Not only is she an incredibly deep sleeper, but she is also the type of person that, when she hears an alarm clock go off, she finds it necessary to get up, turn it off, and lay back down to go to sleep. Completely disregarding the fact that we needed to get up right then, she told herself that she would just sleep a few more minutes…yeah right.

A loud buzzing noise and the sound of my frantic sister rushing into the bedroom, yelling for me to get up, had me up and out of bed in seconds.

“Oh my gosh! Nicole get up! The Super Shuttle guy is here!” She yelled.

“What?!” I screamed. Due to my horrible eyesight, I couldn’t see the time, so throwing in my contacts, I looked to see that we had overslept and it was now after 3:00 a.m.

From the point on, things got a bit fuzzy. I’m fairly sure that I threw on my clothes, grabbed our suitcases and ran out the door of her apartment. Her building had no elevator and at 3 a.m., most people would be courteous and carry their bags down the stairs…not me. We were in such a panic that when my sister told me to go meet him downstairs and that she would be right behind me in a minute, I took those two suitcases and pulled them down the stairs with me, all three flights.

“You’re early,” I told the driver, who was now looking pissed off because we weren’t waiting on the steps when he arrived.

“Yeah well we have other people to pick up and you’re supposed to be ready,” he spat back at me.

Now putting me in a ripe mood, I handed him our bags and prayed that my sister would get her butt outside so we could leave.

“My sister is coming, she just had to grab our carry-ons,” I told him. Rolling his eyes, you would have honestly thought we were 30-45 minutes late, if not more. By the time I saw her fly out the front doors of her apartment building, I didn’t see her carry-on.

“Kree! Where’s your carry-on?!” I yelled. Surprised that she had forgotten it, she ran back towards the building, only to climb the stairs to the wrong one.

“Isn’t she going in the wrong building?” The driver asked me.

“Yes,” I said as casually as I could, but trying not to laugh at this point. I looked up to see what I thought was a flying chicken, come racing down the steps of the wrong apartment building. My sister had both of her arms out to the sides, flailing them as she rush down the stairs and up onto the correct ones leading to her apartment. This visual brought back reminder of a photo that was taken years ago at my aunt’s house. She, for some reason, owned a hat that had a turkey sitting on top of it, and well, my sister put it on and started flailing her arms. Turkey…chicken…it’s all poultry.

So anyway, back to the story. She finally joined us and the moment we opened the door to the van, the people sitting inside literally glared at us. Taking our seats, I looked down at my watch to see that it was 3:21. We were one minute late…that’s it.

“You didn’t forget anything else did you?” The snarky girl in the front seat asked. I looked at my sister and rolled my eyes, obviously not wanting to listen to anyone’s comments. By the time we reached the airport, my stomach was killing me and I didn’t want to exactly breathe on anyone since I had yet to brush my teeth. Thankfully, the first place we visited at the airport was a bathroom.

In the end, we boarded our flight on time and made it home for Christmas in one piece. Luckily, in Arkansas, we don’t have Super Shuttle. Instead, our parents were there to greet us warmly; a vast change from the last person we greeted.

In no way am I saying that all New Yorkers, or Northerners for that matter, are rude, but would it honestly kill you to take a chill pill and relax a bit? People in the south, with the exception of my sister, seem to be more laid back and willing to wait (at least a little). However, because it was the holidays, I think that might seem to put a little kink if everyone’s daily routine.

Everyone’s trying to get home, rushing, pushing, pulling…maybe the driver’s attitude was valid but come on man, we made you one minute late, not ten. Maybe his holiday bonus was a year long, free membership to the Jelly-of-the-month club, maybe he was irritated that he had to be at work during the wee hours of the morning, who knows. Either way, during the holidays, if you’re traveling in New York and relying on Super Shuttle to be your mode of transportation, make sure you are sitting outside (no matter what the temperature is) and waiting for your driver to arrive, because if you don’t, you might just meet this guy.

So, to sum up the point of this story…if you ever want to know how to piss off the Super Shuttle guy, just leave the alarm clock setting business to your sister, confront him on being early, and well…I guess, attempt to fly like a chicken in order to hurry your pace.


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