WORKING THE BABY SHIFT: Scheduling a 24/7 operation poses personal challenges with the unpredictable birth of a grandchild. You need the flexibility of a chauffeur waiting for a late client.
BREAKING UPDATE: Paris Lynn Luff was born at 9:20 a.m. PDT June 16 at San Joaquin Community Hospital in Bakersfield, Calif. She weighs 7 pounds 15 ounces and is 19 inches long.
By the time you read this, I should be the proud grandfather of Paris Lynn Luff. Getting here was a challenge for both my son and I as we are both in the industry. I know Ron Stein from Exclusive Sedan Service in Los Angeles probably experienced the same thing when his son, Brandon, and wife, had a baby son last year.
The timing on the birth of a baby is always a gamble. There are due dates that may or may not be accurate. There are other physical signs of the impending delivery such as the baby “dropping” or being carried lower just before labor begins. Those signs have been present for more than a week.
My son, Jeff, is a chauffeur for the company. A few weeks ago I had to stop scheduling him for out of town work. That out of town work is the bulk of our business with many trips to and from Los Angeles International Airport every day — a six-hour job from start to finish. Since this is his first baby, I was pressured by my wife and my mother to avoid sending him out of town. Yet, he still has to have a paycheck so there was a delicate balance of trying to keep him working in town 40 hours a week so that I didn’t get in trouble with my wife, my daughter-in-law or my mother for causing him to miss the birth of his first child.
Likewise, I wanted to be there for the birth, and knew if I wasn’t there, I would be in big trouble since I was there for the birth of another grandchild that lives two hours away. However, that baby boy was kind enough to arrive on a Saturday night, causing me no time away from the office.
This grandchild was expected on Sunday but other signs told us she would arrive sooner. I knew I had a ton of work to do on Monday and a few meetings that simply could not be changed. I took my work home and have been carrying a notebook computer with me everywhere I go to connect to my office remotely from a hospital hallway — just in case. Paris did not arrive on Sunday like she was supposed to. The doctor said if she did not, labor would be induced on Monday, throwing havoc on my meeting schedule. That didn’t happen either. The hospital said she wasn’t ready yet and they were sent home and told to come back when natural labor set in as it was surely close.
So, here I am writing my weekly blog and hoping that Paris will make her grand debut into this world soon. I guess like a true Luff, she will arrive when she is damn well ready.
— Jim Luff, LCT Contributing Editor
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