Tom Hanks snagged his fifth Emmy in September 2012 for his work as exec producer of HBO's Game Change, and promptly installed it as a hood ornament on a chauffeured Lincoln Town Car sedan.
I was just reminded about a huge career blunder about a decade ago and thought I would share it and maybe make you smile for the day.
I answered the phone one day and the caller asked if he could place a reservation for this coming Saturday. I told him that due to a very large conference, we would not be able to accommodate his request. I offered the phone number for another limo service in our area. He stated that he was speaking at the event. The roster of speakers for this event included Wayne Gtrezky, Mikhail Gorbachev, Robert F. Kennedy, Lily Tomlin and Bob Newhart to name a few. I asked what his name was.
I was amused when he said his name was Tom Hanks. I stated quite sarcastically, "I'm sorry Mr. Hanks, I don't have you on the roster of speakers. May I give you that phone number for the limo service handling attendees"
?" I was quite confident after many meetings that if Tom Hanks was coming to this conference, I would know.
At this point, the caller asks, "Can I speak to Jim Luff?" I told him that's who he was speaking with. He said he was given my name by the promoter of the event but didn't want to bother me with a simple reservation that was personal in nature. As I listened to his voice, I realized it was HIM! I began profusely apologizing and told him that I thought the call was a prank and asked him to please forgive my rudeness.
It turns out Mr. Hanks wanted some folks picked up and brought to the airport to meet his arriving plane and accompany him to the event. He was a surprise guest speaker and no one was to know about it before he took the stage. I assigned my wife to drive him and on his arrival he came to my backstage office at the event, whipped off the signature Ray Bans and said, "Hi, I'm Tom Hanks. It's REALLY me!"
I love this business!!!!
I've learned that good will with law enforcement goes a very long way.
It's not only the most wonderful time of the year, but also one of the most dangerous.
Series: How to handle difficult run-ins with law enforcement over a limousine.
Driving Gem: Plenty of things unrelated to phones can result in accidents.
Driving Gem: Lifting and handling luggage is never good for the back.