In my life, I have learned the hard way that it is critical to have a backup plan. Sometimes, I have found I need multiple back up plans. This has carried over into my “Chauffeur Life” as well. Some examples are shown in this article.

Locked Out

Locking myself out of my apartment or locking myself out of my car while it’s running are two of my biggest fears. Although I have not (yet) locked myself out of my car – a 2018 Ford Taurus Police Interceptor – I have locked myself out of my apartment. In fact, the one and only time I locked myself out of my apartment, I left my car key and iPad inside my apartment.

It was 4:00am and I forgot my key as the door slammed locked behind me. I couldn’t get back into my apartment; I was locked out, with the key inside my apartment. I had to call dispatch and I missed my first ride of the day!

I swore I would never let this happen again, as long as I live! I would outsmart myself by making a foolproof plan.

My solution?  I created a backup plan. How? I had a copy of the key to my apartment made and hid it in a safe place just outside my apartment. Because of this back up plan, I haven’t locked myself out of my apartment since I’ve lived there, but I have had to access my “back up key” at least five times since August, 2017 when I first moved in.

Dead iPad

Having my iPad lose all its power and die or lose its internet connections on me is another of my big fears. I have not one; not two; but three different back up plans when my iPad either loses its internet connection or loses power.

I downloaded apps on my phone as a back up to the iPad. This way, if my work iPad lost power or an internet connection, my phone would save me from failure.

When my battery power is low on my work iPad and I need to go into the airport, I create a hand-written sign with the passenger’s name on it and I bring a power cord with me into the airport and charge the iPad. This back up plan has worked for me many times.

Tools in my Trunk

A former boss used to say, “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” Also, my mother used to say, “The lazy man’s way is the hardest way.” These lessons continue to become self-evident.

Examples include:

  • Have an ice scraper and snow brush in my vehicle before the first ice and snow comes. This is a lot better than the lazy man’s way of removing ice and snow with your sleeve.
  • Keep an umbrella in the back of my vehicle – even if it’s sunny out – just in case you need it. It’s so much easier to always have an umbrella than to go searching for one.
  • Stow jumper cables in my vehicle. These have come in handy more than once for other drivers who have needed “a jump.”


Car Seats

I have purchased three different types of car seats – infant, child and booster – for when customers need them. I actually have two of each type of car seat, because sometimes my passengers have more than one infant or child. Dispatch assigns me more rides with customers who need these special seats. This “backup plan” has earned me quite a few additional customer requests and some solid tips.

The moral of this Street Story is to always have a backup plan. If you don’t have at least one backup and if you fail to plan, you will plan to fail.

Article by RH Stovall, Jr

R.H. Stovall, Jr. is a Senior Executive Chauffeur, trainer and mentor for Royal Coachman Worldwide in Denville, NJ.

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