The bulk of driving I do is called "air porters," which are really ferrying people to and from the airport and point-to-point destinations. I have been told Limousine operators don't like to be called a "driver," but really are Chauffeurs and truly it would not be fair or even accurate to confine a Chauffeurs role to just driving. It is, to the truly effervescent nature of the professional, an élan, and amongst ourselves, the fraternity of luxury transportation, a mobile esprit de corps.
I see it also as a keen observation of life's capsules, liberally experienced as "trailers." It is a rear view glance into the lives and commentaries of more generally, affluence and means.
Most of the people do not vibe of need and are often gregarious, warm and polite. Families are almost always easily expressive and revealing, you see the truth that economics tends to foster a different dynamics as parents and children interact often lovingly and appreciative of each other. Maybe these children are better behaved, with the frequency of "trips," their parents can afford to take them on and the quite comfortable, mostly affluent homes we take them to.
You don't get the sense anxieties have greatly invaded their lives or consciousness. It is comforting to me even, to glimpse at life as they appear to, in a reassuring way. It is altogether different from the actual lifestyle of a constantly on call, uneven existence of a Chauffeur.
Chauffeurs reside in an otherwise dimensionally altered way of being. Hours, even days pass continually, uncertain whether it is a Sunday or a Monday except by way of what is on your contract or "run."
It is really quite amazing how much efficiency and precision goes into the Limousine business. Oblivious to the uniniated, it cranks out productivity and ease for its clients. Behind the scenes, exudes a complexity of humanity and cooperation,..... Dispatchers, the operations side, eager salespeople and shop personnel, snuggled and flawed yet distinctly capable. Chauffeurs may drive this boat, but they are not the only inhabitants on that Island, strange Island that it is.
That is probably an nearly unacknowledged testament to the unique and peculiar skill set of the people that make up the limousine business and not just the drivers...excuse me, Chauffeurs...and then of course the clients are another storyline, but more on that later.
Glimpsing at it from the inside the whole operation evokes the impression of a highly organized, almost militarily disciplined, civilian action.
Sometimes though, the occurrences are rather odd and outside of what most people experience in the daily course of "going to work."
I talked to this one guy who told me he had slept in one of the vehicles, rather than going home. Sometimes the demands of the business put people either on call or in route and service for 17, 18 even 20 plus hours at a time. The idea of securing some rest in a limousine is a bizarre premise in itself. In its simple, desperate, last minute form... it is rather a primitive option.
I decided to try it myself one night and I can see how one can fall in between the place of too tired to drive home and before quickly upcoming new assignments.
It was in a word, "rugged." I had some Hispanic brother pound on the window of a stretch hummer at 5:15am to "wake me up," if you can call it that. It felt like for 5, 10 minutes or so I wasn't really on the ground. I was walking, but it felt like I was in a grown-up body taking baby steps or a colt trying to get my legs under me. My larger muscle groups in my legs and torso hadn't really bought into any physical functioning. There was consciousness, or some form of it, as I awoke deposited into an early morning stream of activity. The overhead lights were a substitute industrial Sun, if you will, and it truly felt like I was walking on the moon, imbalanced and gravity challenged.
Oddly I had accomplished my goal, though it took me several more hours of sleeping back in my bed to restore myself. Prolonged use, not really recommended. Side effects may be experienced.
Another concept to be considered is how one maintains a sense of higher perspective in forms of awareness. I'm not talking in an evangelistic sense, but how to come away intact with whatever disciplines and momentums that keep a person in balance. It may be simply a positive psychological perspective. Everything has tilted somewhat off axis, if by nothing else the oddity of hours. Then, there is of course, the proximity of the worldly vibrations for those that consider that.
I call myself the "limousine mystic" because it is a challenge to keep an "inner" perspective in an environment, which other than transporting people to the airport tends to fall on the party side of life.
Truthfully, most of people seen through the cornea of a Chauffeurs view have to be thought of, in an isolated context and consideration. Though, through experience, there is an often, " I've got my head in, this far.... up to the shoulders," departure into the looking glass of life. Self-revealing nature of the business that it is.