Are they Limo Drivers or Chauffeurs?

Posted on October 1, 2008 by LCT Magazine

By Jim A. Luff

As a die hard "Grey’s Anatomy" fan, I could hardly wait for the season to begin last week.  I loved it even more when the show opened with a scene of a limousine entering the "Emergency Room" ambulance bay!


Things went downhill from there with the implausible story line that the “limo driver” was ejected through the windshield during a crash, prompting the passengers to pick him up and put him in the back of the limousine and rush him to the hospital.


Just to set facts straight, a professional chauffeur would always have his seat belt secured while driving. Next, any impact sufficient enough to propel the driver through the windshield would activate the airbag as well as cut off the fuel supply to the vehicle.


Now, the real thing that fried me is the constant use of the term “limo driver.” Webster’s defines a “driver” as the operator of a motor vehicle or a coachman who drives a coach or carriage.  A chauffeur is a person employed to drive a motor vehicle on a professional basis.


To break it down even further, in my opinion, a driver is someone who drives a truck or taxi, or any vehicle for that matter. A chauffeur is someone who has formal training in the art of delivering service, and catering to the needs of the passengers he or she serves.


A mere driver pulls up to the curb and says, “See you later,” unlike the professional chauffeur who carefully selects a location for unloading their passengers, opens the door and assists the passenger out by extending a hand. They offer to carry packages or briefcases inside the destination.


Chauffeurs drive very carefully knowing that a champagne flute may be filled with bubbly, and a spill could ruin a cocktail dress or stain a fine suit.  A chauffeur makes sure that his car is immaculate both inside and out.  His own clothes reflect his pride in his work with crisp, clean, and pressed white shirts and a nice tie.


I will conclude with saying there are indeed “limo drivers” out there. You can tell by their poor choice in wardrobe and lack of pride in the delivery of service to their clients.  I suppose the guy on "Grey’s Anatomy" could have been a limo driver since he didn’t have his seatbelt on.

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