Corporate clients have many rules but what can you do when you have a conflict?
One of my largest clients is in the Top 5 of Fortune 500 companies. They provide work for us almost daily. We certainly enjoy serving them but sometimes wonder if they don’t over-think safety issues. This particular company sends its own first aid kit with travelers!
We have an operating contract between our two companies that would take five attorneys a couple of hours to read. I must confess, I have not read all 97 pages of it or I would have known that I was in violation of section 6.2 of the “parking policy” before I was called on it by a “safety manager.”
The client’s policy states: If the driver leaves the driver seat, the driver shall turn the vehicle OFF, place the vehicle in park, set the parking brake and remove the keys from the ignition.
Our policy states: The vehicle is to never be turned off while waiting for a client when doing so would cause the passenger compartment of the vehicle to become too hot or cold for the client preparing to board. The exception for this is when the waiting period is expected to be longer than 15 minutes or idling the vehicle would cause an inconvenience based on ventilation issues or proximity to a doorway, such as a hotel lobby.
Our policy states that a chauffeur must never leave the vehicle unattended while idling and must remain within line of sight of the vehicle at all times. If the chauffeur is required to leave the vehicle for any reason, it must be secured/locked and the chauffeur must take a backup key, but the vehicle will be left running.
It is important to note here that the offense took place while the chauffeur was boarding passengers onto a 57-passenger coach. The chauffeur was standing at the doorway of the bus extending a hand to those that needed it. The temperature outside at the time of loading was 29 degrees and the heater was running. Had the bus been turned off, it would cause the air-lock door to lose air pressure and automatically snap shut. They suggest we load passengers and THEN start the engine.
So, I want to appease my client but there are logical reasons why I can’t. I’m really not sure what to do.
— Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor
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