Does Your Company Have A Toxic Employee?

Jim Luff
Posted on April 1, 2015

Company Toxin: It’s that one employee with the toxic mouth running around your company poisoning and infecting your other employees with a negative attitude and opinion about everything.

We’ve all had one or have one. Sometimes we keep them much longer than we should because they get the job done. They know all the airports, freeway systems and procedures. They have been with you forever so hope it is a phase they are going through.  
I had one for years and finally, I just “rode him out the door.” I didn’t want to fire him because I didn’t want any hassles. You know how we get rid of people in this business.  I don’t mind saying it here because there is nothing illegal about it. I gave this guy all the early dark morning assignments. I would leave him off the schedule for five days at a time hoping he would get the hint. Finally, he told me the hours I was giving him were so sporadic that he could not make a living. He told me I forced him to get another job.  Oh, well.

Now, I have a new one. I don’t know how he got contaminated but he did. His big beef is that he is underpaid for the work he does. Really? We pay an average of $14.75 per hour. My top chauffeurs are at $18 per hour, the maximum that we pay. All of a sudden, everyone around here believes they are underpaid. I had to send a companywide email to remind everyone that we did not recruit any of them. They came in and applied for a job. Basically saying, “Please hire me.” At the time they were hired, they were given a formal letter offering employment. They had an opportunity to negotiate more or tell me to go pack sand. But, they took the job.

I had to be blunt and say, “If you want more money? You have two options:

No. 1: Work hard at being a personal servant to those you serve. Anticipate their needs, keep the vehicle immaculate, and add ice at every stop. Clean glasses and clear trash at every stop. Run to get that door. Be the best and you will earn it in tips. There is a huge difference in being a driver and being a chauffeur.

No. 2: GET OUT! See if anyone else will hire you at $14.25 to $18 to drive a vehicle and move on. I provided information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics outlining the average pay of chauffeurs is $12.03 per hour. Here are some additional pay statistics readily available on the Internet:

  • The NATIONAL AVERAGE hourly pay for bus drivers is $14.51.
  • Carey International, one of the largest limousine companies in the nation, pays its chauffeurs an average hourly wage of $11.95
  • Paramedics make an average of $16.41 per hour and they SAVE LIVES, so the pay for simply driving a vehicle should not be more than someone that is able to do almost everything a doctor can.

Related Topics: chauffeur behavior, chauffeur pay, employee issues, employee management, human resources, Jim Luff, Shop Talk blog

Jim Luff General Manager
Comments ( 2 )
  • See all comments
  • anthony

     | about 6 years ago

    Do you charge 20% gratuity and give it to your chauffeurs? A charter bus driver will take over 45k per year plus tips and they usually do a out of state tour jobs that includes over nights. I can give one great example of how to build your business. A limo company started with 1 vehicle and i went to work for them. Within 3 years we had 10 vehicles. 2 sedans 1 suv 1 white limo for weddings, 2 black lincolns 1 200 inch krystal hummer, 2 six pass 1 140 suv limo. All the drivers got payed 8hr plus 20% tip. All the vehicles where properly stocked with correct alcohol and sodas. Never was a vehicle sent on a job dirty and not stocked up even on an airport job. The chauffeurs made about 4k per month and the company owners enjoyed the business untill the owners partner got greedy and cut the wages to the so called industry estandards. Everyone left and the company went under. Quality pay = quality service = repeat customers or 60% growth.

More Stories