What Happens When A VIP Becomes A VBP?

Posted on May 13, 2015 by - Also by this author

I want to preface this with a chide that every single farm order ever sent to me from Music Express, EmpireCLS, Savoya, Commonwealth, etc. all claim that THIS client is a VIP. I’d like to think that every passenger in our vehicles are treated as a “VIP” but really, most of them are just ordinary Joes. They put their pants on the same way I do and they have a job. Hardly makes them “VIP” in the traditional sense.

 
Then, there are “real” VIPs! They are elected officials including former U.S. Presidents, legendary musical artists such as Elton or Cher, to the local mayor or other elected politicos. Yes, I have chauffeured them. They are people that make heads turn and camera flashes start popping. It’s when those people become a VBP and you just don’t know what to do, when the trouble starts. We can all talk bad-ass and say, “I don’t care who you are Tony, you gotta settle down right now!” No, that is not what you do. You scratch your head for a minute and try to figure out the best course of action, even trying to protect said elected official from bad press. The saying, “Any press is good press,” probably isn’t what Stockton Calif. Mayor Anthony Silva is thinking of a late 2014 limousine ride. News article here

It turns out a passenger in Mayor Silva’s limousine went a little berserk and damaged the limo and the mouth of a female passenger. While the mayor was not arrested, his passenger was arrested by the California Highway Patrol for battery and also charged with destruction of the limousine. This a good thing for the limo service as the suspect will eventually be ordered to pay restitution, and if he’s rolling with the mayor, chances are he’s got a few bucks to spare.

Even leading me further to believe he has bucks is the fact that the suspect exited the vehicle with no shirt on, one shoe and yelling for someone to “Call Vinnie at the FBI,” and, “I’ll be free in about two minutes.” He made another statement to the officers to the effect that Vinnie was going to make them pay for arresting him. People like that tend to scare me. Now, seriously, think about your chauffeur watching all this go down!

Something went down in the back of that limo. The CHP says all of the passengers were intoxicated. The three people in the back of the vehicle all have a different version. Once the media got word of Mayor Silva’s wild ride, Silva issued a public statement implying that he was an “unfortunate witness” to an act of domestic violence. The arrested man claims that he didn’t assault his girlfriend but……Mr. Mayor inappropriately touched the girlfriend resulting in an altercation in which the girl may or may not have been placed in a headlock. Again, your chauffeur is the primary witness. He’s the only one in the vehicle not intoxicated that knows what is going on. VIPs. You’ve gotta love them.

One strange twist: The CHP estimated damage to the limousine to be “over $400.” A lawsuit filed against the mayor alleges “more than $10,000” in damages. Mayor Silva told Ty Ries, owner of Ty’s Boss Limos, “You’ve got a credit card right there. … Charge the credit card. It will be taken care of.”  Reis processed the card for $12,000 but Mayor Silva initiated a chargeback. Oops.

How have you fellow operators handled VBPs?

Related item: Stockton Mayor Defends Himself

View comments or post a comment on this story. (2 Comments)

More Shop Talk Blog Posts

February 15, 2017

My Unofficial International LCT Show Agenda

The suite parties, charity fundraisers, and off-the-grid get togethers round out a complete global industry trade show.

February 14, 2017

How To Practice Common Sense Customer Service

It's one of the most important and difficult qualities to hire for, since it emerges in unexpected situations on the job.

February 1, 2017

3 Big Fouls From My First Uber Rides

Operators don't have much to worry about if TNC drivers keep acting like this.

January 25, 2017

What To Do With Pot-Smoking Chauffeurs

With more states legalizing use of marijuana, what is the fallout for commercial driving?

January 18, 2017

10 Invaluable Tips For Your Chauffeurs

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

See More

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (2)

Post a Comment

Submit

Blogs

See More

See More

See More

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - February 2017 $12.95 NEW MODELS ISSUE COVER STORY: * Fleet Vehicles Preview * *



Connect

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

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

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