I have recently been cursed with the Driver From Hell (DFL). I was living abroad for a while (hence the long silence on this blog, nothing to rant about) and when I moved back, my dad had hired someone in what I can only describe as a moment of gross misjudgement. The signs were there from the beginning: My friendly hello was replied to with a grunt, the BO was overwhelming even at night, and he took the most confusing route home back from the airport. He avoided most main roads and lights and kept zigzagging all the way back through these small ill-lit side roads. Creepy to say the least. I don’t believe that this saves time it just fools you into thinking that constant motion is faster/better. Bull.
Anyhow, I digress….
My first clash with DFL was the very next day. I was on my way home from visiting my uncle, trying to breathe through the open window past the BO, when I had a craving for Barnie’s Coffee (Now Barn’s). So I asked him to pull into the drive through on Malik Rd. with ample time to take the exit, which he pushed till last minute (picture me frantically repeating “Take the next exit. Exit on the right, the RIGHT, THE RIGHT! HERE! EXITTTT!!!”). We barely made it. Up till now its all pretty normal…. but then he started honking while in line for the coffee, which is super rude. After I got my coffee, he declared “We get benzine now, you pay. Take money later from your father.”
We were 5 minutes from home, and apparently he saw it fit to give me orders on when to fill up the tank and how to get reimbursed for it…. Okay, I thought. Let’s see where this goes.
So we fill up the tank, I hand him the money, and he gets out of the car to pay the gas station attendant. While the attendant is counting out the change, he walks away and starts chit-chatting with another pakistani old man, ignoring the attendant and the remaining money. At his own leisure, he comes back, takes the change and gets in the car. By then I was flabbergasted. I decided to draw attention to his behavior. This is the conversation that followed”
“DFL, Are you working right now?”
“I don’t understand your question”
“Its simple. Are You Currently On The Job? Are these your working hours?”
“Okay, So is it normal for you to leave your work, leave me in the car waiting for you, so you can go and chat with a friend? Do you consider this as doing your job properly?”
“You don’t understand, this is an old man, in my religion, you respect him and go say hello”
“In OUR religion, you have to do your job properly, which means you do it right. You can come back in your own time and say hello to the old man. I’m sure he would understand if you are at work. I wouldn’t invite my friend to the office to talk either during work ours”
“Maybe it YOUR religion that’s okay, in mine it is not.”
That was when I flipped. His bold-faced accusation that I was not even Muslim was beyond offensive. I switched to Arabic and started yelling a quote from Hadith at him about God liking a man who does his job properly.
“THE PROPHET SALA ALLAHU ALEIHI WA SALLAM, SAID (GOD LIKES THAT IF ONE OF YOU DOES SOME WORK TO DO IT WELL) DOES HE NOT??!!! IS THAT NOT IN YOUR RELIGION?!!! DO NOT PRESUME TO TEACH ME MY RELIGION I KNOW IT BETTER THAN YOU SO DO YOUR JOB RIGHT OR LEAVE!!!”
Thankfully we had just arrived home by then. I left, slamming the door and marched into my house yelling at the top of my lungs “AAARRRGGHHHHH!!! I AM GOING TO KILL HIM!!!!!”
My mom was laughing because apparently (unknown to me) she had marched into the house two days before yelling the same threat. My dad was refusing to fire him for some reason, sometimes saying that he didn’t have time to find anyone else, and other times saying he was poor and uneducated and we should be patient with him.
What my dad did not see was that DFL’s behavior with My mom and I was very different from his behavior with him. He disrespected women, even hated them I think. And it was clear in his behavior with us. He just changed whenever my dad was around so my dad kept thinking we were being dramatic….
… to be continued