Observations from the Town Car… “Home James!”
The bulk of driving I do is called “air porters,” which are really ferrying people to and from the airport and point-to-point destinations. I have been told Limousine operators don’t like to be called a “driver,” but really are Chauffeurs and truly it would not be fair or even accurate to confine a Chauffeurs role to just driving. It is, to the truly effervescent nature of the professional, an élan, and amongst ourselves, the fraternity of luxury transportation, a mobile esprit de corps.
I see it also as a keen observation of life’s capsules, liberally experienced as “trailers.” It is a rear view glance into the lives and commentaries of more generally, affluence and means.
Most of the people do not vibe of need and are often gregarious, warm and polite. Families are almost always easily expressive and revealing, you see the truth that economics tends to foster a different dynamics as parents and children interact often lovingly and appreciative of each other. Maybe these children are better behaved, with the frequency of “trips,” their parents can afford to take them on and the quite comfortable, mostly affluent homes we take them to.
You don’t get the sense anxieties have greatly invaded their lives or consciousness. It is comforting to me even, to glimpse at life as they appear to, in a reassuring way. It is altogether different from the actual lifestyle of a constantly on call, uneven existence of a Chauffeur.
Chauffeurs reside in an otherwise dimensionally altered way of being. Hours, even days pass continually, uncertain whether it is a Sunday or a Monday except by way of what is on your contract or “run.”
It is really quite amazing how much efficiency and precision goes into the Limousine business. Oblivious to the uniniated, it cranks out productivity and ease for its clients. Behind the scenes, exudes a complexity of humanity and cooperation,….. Dispatchers, the operations side, eager salespeople and shop personnel, snuggled and flawed yet distinctly capable. Chauffeurs may drive this boat, but they are not the only inhabitants on that Island, strange Island that it is.
That is probably an nearly unacknowledged testament to the unique and peculiar skill set of the people that make up the limousine business and not just the drivers…excuse me, Chauffeurs…and then of course the clients are another storyline, but more on that later.
Glimpsing at it from the inside the whole operation evokes the impression of a highly organized, almost militarily disciplined, civilian action.
Sometimes though, the occurrences are rather odd and outside of what most people experience in the daily course of “going to work.”
I talked to this one guy who told me he had slept in one of the vehicles, rather than going home. Sometimes the demands of the business put people either on call or in route and service for 17, 18 even 20 plus hours at a time. The idea of securing some rest in a limousine is a bizarre premise in itself. In its simple, desperate, last minute form… it is rather a primitive option.
I decided to try it myself one night and I can see how one can fall in between the place of too tired to drive home and before quickly upcoming new assignments.
It was in a word, “rugged.” I had some Hispanic brother pound on the window of a stretch hummer at 5:15am to “wake me up,” if you can call it that. It felt like for 5, 10 minutes or so I wasn’t really on the ground. I was walking, but it felt like I was in a grown-up body taking baby steps or a colt trying to get my legs under me. My larger muscle groups in my legs and torso hadn’t really bought into any physical functioning. There was consciousness, or some form of it, as I awoke deposited into an early morning stream of activity. The overhead lights were a substitute industrial Sun, if you will, and it truly felt like I was walking on the moon, imbalanced and gravity challenged.
Oddly I had accomplished my goal, though it took me several more hours of sleeping back in my bed to restore myself. Prolonged use, not really recommended. Side effects may be experienced.
Another concept to be considered is how one maintains a sense of higher perspective in forms of awareness. I’m not talking in an evangelistic sense, but how to come away intact with whatever disciplines and momentums that keep a person in balance. It may be simply a positive psychological perspective. Everything has tilted somewhat off axis, if by nothing else the oddity of hours. Then, there is of course, the proximity of the worldly vibrations for those that consider that.
I call myself the “limousine mystic” because it is a challenge to keep an “inner” perspective in an environment, which other than transporting people to the airport tends to fall on the party side of life.
Truthfully, most of people seen through the cornea of a Chauffeurs view have to be thought of, in an isolated context and consideration. Though, through experience, there is an often, ” I’ve got my head in, this far…. up to the shoulders,” departure into the looking glass of life. Self-revealing nature of the business that it is.
Through the constant witnessing of leisure and indulgence, how does a brother keep the mystic Birdseye’s view? There might be an insight found in Buddhism or if you favor it, even by way of a psychological departure of things unfolding.
People who may be aware of the teachings of Buddhism may also remember that the Buddha taught the middle way. He wasn’t really advocating intoxicating of the senses; in fact he described suffering as a result of inordinate desire and something that the human condition would have to learn to extinguish to achieve any true liberation and joy. But Buddha also came to reject the austerities of extremism and sought to consider the practicalities of life.
Without waxing overly doctrinal or pandering to random-ness, Buddha’s example of the middle way also points to a Chauffeurs dharma of service and way shower.
One of the clients after hearing some of the responsibilities and sacrifices of the Limousine Lifestyle asked, “Why would you do it?” Days later it came to me, “somebody has to be the butler.” referring to the station of life that affords one sometimes alternating gifts of grace and humility.
It is again, reconsidered in the interests of the mystic, more importantly not what one does, but does it afford one, the necessary tools and circumstances to advance one’s understandings and find one’s purpose? Does one discover the weaknesses in one’s character that might hinder greater progress? These all become questions that are even something, that is self-interesting to people. Much can be seen and observed from the understated side of life. The gracious number 2 Son.
It can also harness and rally the fortitude and drive to achieve, by being in the proximity of the learned and accomplished.
Accepting in wisdom from the tutorial side of life endears one’s quickening and advancement, if one can allow it. It can also foster bitterness and envy if one takes the low road. It’s all in consideration of the role we are playing or fulfilling.
So much is changed by the simple ingredient of awareness. Nothing has to be permanent, but if your stressed, maxed out, low paid, seemingly and not able to see an upside, there are some booby traps to watch out for. You add the elements of unfavorable or uncomplimentary relationships that come a-courting and you can feel like life is bum-rushing you.
Nobody really falls outside of the laws of learning how to master our circumstances.
The high dollar players don’t always escape scenarios where they get minimized or slighted by something that occurs, not the so called spiritually puffed up, either.
The head, the mental part is a place of real management. Of course the attitude we have gives us away. Most of the good whippings I’ve got lately have exposed some area of small mindedness, pettiness, non-surrender or self-importance and they have all required I give something up, usually an ego or pride position or suffer some internal torture. Yikes!
It would be pretty interesting to see an Avatar or World teacher be re-incarnated as a limousine Chauffeur, especially in the West. It would create a very interesting scenario for a great soul and liberated mind to witness and take in experiences and proclivities of human dynamics.
Maybe that is backwards actually, but we in the commercially centered West tend to flavor our own prescriptions for life attempting to alter the divine towards our way of being, rather than the other, if that is really plausible.
Maybe the Divine Being would come as a counselor to Man’s Soul, an advisor even. One would have to be, in the role of Chauffeur, or more effectively such a devotee to mankind could disguise himself in such a role. It could be a kind of Sun-Tzu, Art of War thing, raising the game in the West, to a level of greater awareness, without all the high-hatting and lauding.
Could you see it?…the Mahatmas trolling the dance clubs offering compassion and chastisement, “raise it up brother!” or the return of J.C’s apostles as the gang of twelve working the 3pm-3am shift at the Airport, with name sign in hand.
Could you imagine the dialogue that could come up on the way home? Would you feel the same about lowballing an incarnated one if you knew it?
It just goes to show the ride (life) is what you make it, what you tend to foster in it, eventually out pictures. You can just ride, be your own Captain, live under the radar or try and influence things, be a player, no matter how outwardly small we think our part is. I once heard a statement, “the definition of sin, is living below your potential.”
Sometimes when we go to the Airports to pick-up people we see all these other Chauffeurs from other companies. There is this uneasy, unspoken vibe between us. I don’t know if it’s competitive or what or there is something sub-conscious about how much a like we all look in these black uniforms, black ties. I can’t just live in that box, somehow this job, this assignment has to be more transcending, more purposeful, and more magical, and it has to be infused with a greater sense of dharma (duty) about it.
Question: How do you make a Chauffeur happy?
Answer: You High Gross* him or her (give a good tip),
*A term borrowed from the car business which indicated the profits from a sale are generally towards the maximum level the car affords.
Question: How can you tell a Chauffeur got a good tip?
Answer: When they are walking around with certain lightness in their step and an air of joy in their Aura. At another job, we called it “high stepping” or “walking tall” In fact you could even call such a person “Joaquin” or “walk-keen,” get it? We knew this one guy, who didn’t get a lot of big sales who really epitomized this persona. Infect, it was so obvious, his lift, the bounce in his step was so high, he practically bill boarded it, “I’ve got a big one!”…Others in the crowd really noticed and yelled, WALKING TALL!! As he went by
He was really, Voguing it, (another term) even prancing
These types wouldn’t make good poker players; they may be unusually nice, jocular or polite after getting a big tip. The real sleepers are the one’s that you would hardly know, they don’t say anything about it or act altogether differently. There is this another analogy in Pro football about “hot-dogging” after scoring, that puts another slant on celebrations, that decries, “Act like you’ve been there before”
Be on the lookout for “Walking Tall,” violations at your work, neighborhood or any part of life. It could come because somebody got a nice date, a raise or anything deemed favorable. It is both fun and funny. It is always a “Tip” or a “tell,” that is a giveaway. The Zen riddle in it all is that one does not get too high or enamored with life’s Zeniths or too down with those Valley’s
See you soon back in the Boxcar (limo) for more “Confessions of “A Limousine Mystic.”