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Am i over reacting by feeling unconfortable about this?

(32 Posts)
carernotasaint Tue 24-Apr-12 21:16:13

I got a taxi home from town today and it was a driver ive used before.
Conversation went something like this.
Him..How are you
Me...Fine thanks.
Hows your husband.
Same.Still not too well. neither of you are working at the mo.
me ....No cos hes not well enough too.
Him old is he?
so i told him and then he said "oh that must make it hard for you and then he asked whether my husband was well enough to have sex (I was completely caught off guard and instead of telling him to fuck off and mind his own which is what i should have done) i said "no hes not well enough now"
Then he asked how long it had been so i said "a long while" then he started calling me a "very good woman"

Loads of mumsnetters know my situation and i did not tell him stuff on purpose. He caught me off guard and i really wasnt expecting it.
I am not attracted to him in any way. Sorry i dont even know why im posting this,its just when i got indoors and started to pack the shopping away i started to feel a bit uncomfortable. Am i giving off a vibe that i dont know about? i cant stop the feeling that ive been a bit stupid.

SardineQueen Tue 24-Apr-12 21:31:43

I don't know your story but this is what I think.

It's not so much the actual conversation as how you felt.
Clearly his question was totally out of order.
However what is really important is how did you feel in the situation.

However you felt is the right answer. If you felt he was being creepy then he was being creepy. If you felt he was just being friendly and went too far then ditto.

I don't think you are giving off any vibes, lots of people ask inappropriate questions, that was to do with him, not you.

if you are uncomfortable with him then next time use a different driver/firm.

It was an out of line question and you would not be over-reacting at all to stop using him.

And you definitely haven't done anything stupid.

WomanlyWoman Tue 24-Apr-12 21:34:51

I'd agree, you are not over reacting. I don't know his motives but tbh he sounds creepy to me, what has your sex life to do with him? Nothing. I'd give him as wide a berth as possible if I were you. And no, you have not done anything wrong.

carernotasaint Tue 24-Apr-12 21:55:05

Thankyou ladies. i guess i really wasnt paying attention to him at first so when he asked a nosier question i just answered it automatically without thinking. I will put it down to experience.

AyeRobot Tue 24-Apr-12 22:06:45

Who on earth does he think he is?

This is where women are caught in a cleft stick - in all reasonable consumer circs, you would report him to his employers. But he knows where you live, so that adds an extra dimension that makes that course of action potentially unsafe.

You aren't wrong in your feelings. Don't use him again and warn other women you know not to as well.

MsAnnTeak Tue 24-Apr-12 22:20:32

When it came to the 'is your husband well enough for sex' part I would have sternly asked him to stop the taxi, gave him a peace of my mind and called another without paying the fare and probably ranted to the next taxi driver about the previous one.
You haven't but if I were you I would certainly get back in touch with the driver, have a friend with you if need be and in no uncertain terms tell him how offensive his behaviour was and you are considering reporting him. Hopefully he will think twice about ever trying those comments on another passenger.

skrumle Tue 24-Apr-12 23:33:13

If it was a public hire taxi then it will be licensed by the local council. It may be licensed even if it's private hire but that varies slightly. So you could put a complaint into the council rather than to the company, although the company are prob more likely to do something I would think for that kind of incident.

Unless you know him really well that was a totally inappropriate direction for him to take the conversation!

TeiTetua Tue 24-Apr-12 23:58:08

I think that question was out of line, but sometimes it's hard to get one's guard up in a hurry. But I don't think the right response would necessarily be to become offended in a major way, just to say "That's getting a bit personal."

AnyFucker Wed 25-Apr-12 00:15:35

Carer, he was out of line and you shouldn't blame yourself

I also wouldn't beat yourself up for not automatically coming out with the Killer Comeback. Many of us would have said/did what you did. And it's very easy to come up with a biting retort a safe period after the event.

carernotasaint Wed 25-Apr-12 00:46:03

Thanks everyone <waves at AF>

AliceHurled Wed 25-Apr-12 07:43:05

You've not been stupid and he's a wanker. People do not react in confrontational ways in difficult situations as a matter of course so it makes perfect sense you answered.

Nyac Wed 25-Apr-12 09:29:36

You're not giving off a vibe. He probably sees you as vulnerable if your husband is not well and you're taking care of him so he thinks he can take advantage. What a creepy perv.

Easy answer to these things, and it sounds like he was probably making you uncomfortable already with his probing questions, given your short replies, could be "I'd prefer not to talk about this/xyz just now".

solidgoldbrass Wed 25-Apr-12 10:59:56

He was out of line. It may be a lack of social skills rather than an indication that he's potentially dangerous: taxi driving is one of those jobs that a high percentage of not-very-adequate men do, as if they are socially inept it doesn't show up so much. Unfortunately it is also the sort of job popular with predators because of the amount of opportunity it gives them to do harm.

You did nothing wrong. Most people, particularly women, are socialized to be 'polite' which means answering questions even when they are becoming too personal. I remember years ago being upset by an optician asking me too many personal questions and not being able to think of a way of shutting him up at the time (I didn't feel I could complain as it wasn't about sex and his motives were not to humiliate, he was just fucking nosy and clearly had some odd ideas).

A good answer in this sort of situation is 'I think that's a rather personal question.' and then wait. If the person apologises, change the subject to something harmless like whether they saw [whatever] TV programme last night, or the weather. If the person gets stroppy, that's the cue to walk away without a word or (if it's a taxi driver) insist on getting out of the car, and say you'll report him, because someone who hasn't got the good sense or good manners to back off at that point is someone who wants a good official slapping down.

FirstLastEverything Wed 25-Apr-12 11:59:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

solidgoldbrass Wed 25-Apr-12 12:37:57

Yup: public transport is often a safer option than a taxi, simply because there are more people on board, the majority of whom might either intervene if a bloke got out of order, or their presence would deter a rapist. Whereas taxi-driving, particularly the rougher end of mini-cabbing, is a very popular job with dangerous men. They aren't really answerable to anyone, they can choose their own hours - and once there's a woman in the car, they have a degree of power over her: they can lock the doors and just drive off with her.

SardineQueen Wed 25-Apr-12 12:48:29

I agree with that SGB.

solidgoldbrass Wed 25-Apr-12 13:25:12

Actually, the advice to women to take taxis rather than public transport rather ties in with the most dangerous rape myth - the one that says you need to put yourself under the protection of one man to be safe from the others. This is a myth rapists like; a percentage of them use it in order to get a woman in a vulnerable position.

SardineQueen Wed 25-Apr-12 13:55:16

I don't really understand the advice to use taxis. It doesn't make sense to me.

SardineQueen Wed 25-Apr-12 13:56:13

The terrifying TFL ads trying to scare women into using cabs was touting an expensive phone line. It was a scare-mongering, officially sanctioned advert.

carernotasaint Wed 25-Apr-12 18:01:49

Thankyou for replying everyone. Some really good points here. Solid im in total agreement,we are socialized to be polite which is prob why we can be caught off guard sometimes.

Jolyonsmummy Wed 25-Apr-12 22:47:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

carernotasaint Wed 25-Apr-12 23:10:08

Re. what solid said about "high percentage of not very adequate men"
There are 2 other drivers on our town rank i will give as examples.
One is very vocal about voting for the BNP and his racist views.
Another one was very vocal to me about the fact that his wife ran away to a womens refuge and kept going on about how hard done by he was because of it. Now i dont know if he has been convicted of anything but he did tell me himself that when he went to family court for access (which he got) the police came as well. He has very mysogynist views on women and by the way he talks was also financially abusive to his wife and (i also suspect) physically.
He was still driving his taxi and working the rank AFTER all this happened but i havent seen him in recent months.

TalHotBlond Thu 26-Apr-12 01:13:14

He was either a complete creep, very nosey and lacking in social skills, clumsily trying to come onto you or some combination of all of the above.

Don't feel bad for answering, he caught you off guard and we are programmed to be nice and polite and not make a fuss so for all the comebacks probably circling in your mind now, you couldn't help replying and you did so in a perfectly dignified manner.

Whatever the problem is, it's his, not yours and his odd behaviour is no reflection at all on you do please don't worry that you are giving off "a vibe" or anything like that.

Anniegetyourgun Thu 26-Apr-12 07:39:19

You were giving off a vibe of Being A Woman In His Cab. I'm not too sure there's a lot you could have done about that.

perfectmadness Thu 26-Apr-12 13:06:32

My God! What a creep!
I wouldn't even ask my friends about their sex lives, least of all a complete stranger.

He's a perv. Stay way out of him. Dont' ever hire him again and if he asks tell him what you think.

It's hard to show this sort of person how wrong they are, but something has to be done.

If he ever asks something of the sort, report him to the police and say that you felt unsafe in his cab.

His lincence should be removed if he keeps talking like that to you or any other woman.

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