Who Ya Gonna Call?

Posted on August 22, 2012 by - Also by this author

Monday morning started out with a nasty and unpleasant surprise. One of our cars was scheduled to make a 19-hour trip from Bakersfield to Sacramento with a full day of business planned before returning.
In order to pull off a run like this, I had to send a driver to Sacramento in a rental car on Sunday night. My grand plan was to have the relief driver take over at 1:00pm and the original driver return in the rental car with enough legal hours remaining to make it home.
After arriving at the pickup location, the driver heard a radiator hose split and watched from the front door of the client’s residence as steam quickly began swirling underneath the car. The driver immediately contacted our dispatcher. For whatever reason, she began calling my cell phone. I say “whatever reason” since it was not my day to be on call. We rotate managers being on-call because you cannot be tied to this business 24/7 without a break. After 22 years, I have learned, you must unplug.
Of all nights for this to happen, I accidentally knocked my phone off my nightstand with a pillow that fell on top of the phone on the floor. There would be no hearing the vibration under the pillow no matter how many times she called.
When I woke up and found my phone, it was seven o’clock and my phone had nine missed calls. Despite the fact that I wasn’t the one on call, a simple call to the house phone would have done the trick. I would not have handled things any different than the manager-on-duty would have. She finally gave up on me and called the manager-on-duty. Oops, he left his phone in the kitchen when he retired to bed. He never heard it either. Next, she called another manager who jumped out of bed and headed to the shop to drive another limo to the pickup location.  By that time, our client said they needed to go. They had an appointment with the governor and must arrive in Sacramento on time. 
So, we have a driver who drove to Sacramento to spend the night without reason, a manager who rolled out of bed and drove twenty miles to the pickup location, a pissed off client, a broken down limo in front of a client’s house and a complete and total refund of their money to rub salt in the wound.
I suppose the moral of this story is to make you think about what would happen if your limousine broke down at 4:30am. Who are your chauffeurs to call? Is there a plan? My dispatcher would have loved to jump in the limo and go but she is not old enough to be insured so she knew that was not an option. 
— Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor
View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More Shop Talk Blog Posts

January 18, 2017

10 Invaluable Tips For Your Chauffeurs

These eternal chestnuts of knowledge work for new and veteran chauffeurs alike.

January 18, 2017

How You Resolve Complaints Defines Your Business

There may be two sides, but you better listen to the customer and diffuse the situation to the customer's benefit.

January 4, 2017

Your Slate Has Been Wiped Clean

A new year is always considered a fresh start. What will you do with it?

December 21, 2016

Tis’ The Season To Be Tapped Out!

Time-consuming, pricey holiday parties leave me thankful for free time with family.

December 21, 2016

You May Know These, But Do You Remember Them?

Driving Gem: Safe driving rules need to be repeated because deaths and accidents still occur.

See More

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment



See More

See More

See More

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - January 2017 $12.95 THE MONEY ISSUE COVER STORY: * Dashboard Helps Steer Company Finances * *


Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment



Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close