Helping A Brother Out

Jim Luff
Posted on August 14, 2013

When a mechanical failure happens, be sure to play nice!
So, I’m kicking back on Catalina Island on Saturday night having cocktails when I get a frantic call from my dispatcher. She says that one of our cars has overheated on the way to LAX to meet an arriving flight. This normally would not be a problem as we would simply farm it to a Los Angeles based affiliate. Well, you can imagine the problem with trying to find an eight-passenger limo on a Saturday night with one hour’s notice.
The dispatcher succeeded in finding a limo company to take the order and I give her and Deluxe Town Car props for that. While I appreciate the fact that Deluxe was able to respond so quickly, it came at a heavy price. There is nothing like kicking a guy down more when he’s already on the ground.

We were referred to an operator at Deluxe Town Car by Jamie Weiss from Arc Drivers. We have an ongoing relationship with Arc and bill each other for our services. Weiss told Deluxe he would cover us financially IF we didn’t pay, but the operator wasn’t having any of that. I get that. He doesn’t know us. But he had a guarantee from Arc! So, my dispatcher’s credit card wouldn’t hold the charge so she needed my card. Maybe I’m jealous because I can’t get $100 an hour on a 8-pack. But, I was down, Miles knew it and he knew we would pay anything to get the job done so I took the good swift kick and paid DOUBLE what I would have paid Arc.

The last time I helped someone, a Los Angeles based limo operator called to say he had passengers in a limo sitting on the side of the road. They were one hour outside of my city of Bakersfield. A quick check of our dispatch screen showed we had a limo coming home empty from LAX that would pass the location of the disabled limo in about 20 minutes. We offered to use that limo and scoop up the passengers and take them to the Marriott Hotel in Bakersfield, their destination. The Marriott is located two miles from my garage.

Not only did we scoop them up without ever discussing billing, but when I called to tell the operator his passengers had been dropped off,  I told him I didn’t want any money.  He was shocked. My limo was coming within two miles of the destination anyway. I told the guy, you have to get your car towed home, pay for repairs, reimburse the stranded clients and pay the chauffeur. I saw no need to rub salt in his wounds when I could easily help out. Maybe that’s just me, though. I am the type of guy that still stops to help someone change a tire on the side of the road. I figure the nicer I am to people the nicer life I will live. I don’t know. Maybe I’m all washed up.

— Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor

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