It’s hard to dispute the fact that we have had some pretty wacky weather lately. What I didn’t realize is how lucrative rides in wacky weather can be!

In recent years, I have found myself struggling to get passengers to their scheduled destinations in hurricane force winds and wind-driven rainstorms. With the start of Winter, it won’t be long before blinding blizzards are part of the daily grind.

March 3, 2018

This storm didn’t have a name, but it packed a wallop! I remember I was inside Newark Airport, waiting for a VIP (everybody I drive is a VIP, regardless of their title, pay scale or social stature). I recall looking outside the windows of Terminal B International Arrivals and noticing the sky had turned dark. It was early afternoon.

My VIPax came out of Customs and we walked to my car. Everything appeared to be normal as we exited the airport and made our way to west on Route 78. As we traveled further west, things got worse. Trees were down everywhere. Every road was closed. Police were redirecting traffic. It looked like Armageddon – judgement day, the last day on earth!

What should have been a 45-minute ride turned into a three-hour tour (like the theme song from Gilligan’s Island). We finally made it to his house after many detours and creative shortcuts.

My passenger was so grateful to be home and reunited with his loved ones that he gave me $100 as a tip! He also sent a kind and very thoughtful compliment the next day.

November 15, 2018

This was a special day. Governor Phil Murphy is still smarting after this surprise snow attack, which fell before the first day of Winter!

I was waiting for another VIPax at Newark Airport, inside Terminal B. Like the other storm eight months earlier, this storm snuck up on all of us.

When my VIPax came out of customs, we proceeded to my car. Outside, I noticed it had been snowing, but it didn’t seem like a blizzard… or even a serious snowstorm.

On our way to the woman’s house, I could not believe what I was seeing. Cars had skidded off the roads, crashed into each other and some were just abandoned on the side of the road. Again, it looked like it was the end of the world as we know it.

Fortunately, I was able to drive the woman home safely without any drama. The next day, she wrote the kindest compliment about me and my safe, steady driving. I got a $10 Dunkin’ Donuts gift card from the Chauffeur Manager for this VIPax compliment.

Super Storm Sandy

Although I wasn’t driving professionally when Super Storm Sandy hit on October 29, 2012 (ironically, I started driving for Royal Coachman exactly one year later), I experienced the hurricane’s wrath directly. I was a first responder, as a volunteer for my town’s rescue squad. It was a long night; we made multiple rescues.

As you can see, wacky weather can be lucrative if you know how to navigate the treacherous terrain, hurricane force winds, sideways rain typhoons and blizzard conditions. All you have to do is follow the advice from Aesop’s fable, “The Tortoise and the Hare” – slow and steady wins the race! (Just be sure to heed all winter advisories!)

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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