Covid-19 has overtaken the world. It has turned my world upside down. Although the travel and hospitality industries have ground to a halt, some very lucky few still manage to keep relatively busy. I’m lucky to be one of 11 drivers who are still driving for my company. There were 300 chauffeurs working full time in February, but 289 have been laid off and/or terminated.

Here are chronicles of some of my adventures over the past few weeks.

In the past month, I’ve had a handful of rides for clients who are working on special projects and people in special situations who need our services to transport them safely from point to point.

In mid-March I drove to Washington, D.C. to pick up a woman who was moving to Providence with her husband and nine-month-old daughter. I packed up the SUV with many of their belongings. I drove the woman (a doctor) and her daughter to New Jersey to stay with her parents for a week before continuing on to Providence. Her husband stayed behind to manage the move with the larger items.

The Mom’s nine-month-old daughter cried most of the way during the four-hour trip from D.C. to NJ. I felt so badly for mother and child, but we managed to get to New Jersey without losing our minds.

A week later, the MOM (Multiple Operations Manager) asked me to bring her and her daughter from New Jersey to Providence, RI, to meet up with her husband. Her child was in a much better state of mind and did not cry as much. In fact, her baby slept for much of the 3+ hour drive. I played classical music: Bach, Mozart and Vivaldi all helped lull the baby to sleep.

Another client I drove had a special project he was working on for a big bank. I’d pick him up at 5:30am in Central Jersey and bring him to Stamford, CT. At 5:00pm, I would pick him up in Stamford and bring him back to central Jersey.

He liked that I took the pandemic seriously. I wear a mask and gloves and sanitize my black Chevrolet SUV after every ride with Lysol wipes. He requested me every day that week, through Friday afternoon.

In mid-April, I picked up a passenger at her home in South Jersey and brought her to a pharmaceutical company in North Jersey. She said she liked me, and wanted consistency, so she asked me to be her driver for the week. I appreciated her kindness and encouragement. She even sent my company a compliment about me!

The Covid-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside down, but I continue to be grateful for every ride and treat every passenger like a VIP

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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