To write about a typical day of a Chauffeur I thought there is no such thing, like a lot of service related jobs every day is different, the only thing that is typical is an early start & usually a late finish (9-5 it isn’t). There are many different types of Chauffeuring: Family, corporate, media & entertainment, film & music, over 25 years I’ve done most, but nowadays there is a new breed, the UHNWI (ultrahigh net worth individual) I’m fortunate enough to work for one of these.
So here we go up at 04.45 hrs which is fairly easy in summer but as winter starts to set in that becomes a lot harder, my principle lives in Hampstead Gdn suburb & as any of you that know London this is a prime area for the very wealthy. Typically I live in south London, fight your way through traffic into central London for the 1st pick up of the day 06.30 take Sir to his office, Paper in car along with all the other list of requirements Fiji water, strong mints to name a few. We exchange pleasantries “Good morning Sir (big smile and enthusiasm needed) he replies & we have a conversation that can last half a minute or 20 who knows but you soon know when it’s ended as his head looks down & he doesn’t answer. This is where you have to think on your feet, a Chauffeur has to be so many things, Driver, companion, a watchful eye but mostly a diplomate, to hold a random conversation about any subject but remain neutral in opinion without sounding like you are just agreeing with everything that is said and knowing when to talk & when to be quiet. Golden rule is talk when you’re talked to & keep it short n sweet & inoffensive. (nothing worse than a chatty driver).
Drop off Sir at 07.00 ish & a quick turnaround back to the house for the Kids & Nanny it’s the school run, no time to hang around I need to be in place with the heated seats on & all their stuff ready for 07.45 I do it.
They are as usual running late, great we now have a 20-min journey past 4 other schools & I have 17 mins to do it in, but safety 1st with kids in the car & luckily, we make it in time, wave bye to the kids (another big smile needed here) wait for the Nanny & back to the house.
Now it’s time to clean the car inside & out, in this case a huge Mercedes GLS, they have other cars of course but prefer to use this one with the kids & Sir prefers it, so I get changed & clean away (standard procedure, some days you can clean them 2 or 3 times, it’s essential to have a clean car) some chauffeurs are lucky & have 1 car to clean, not so in my case I have 4 & all have to be cleaned should they be required.
As I said earlier the role of chauffeur over the years has changed over in the past 25 yrs I have been doing it, as well as all the attributes mentioned earlier. In recent years security has become a very big part of it, you have to be very observant to anything unusual in & around the house & also whilst out & about, scooter gangs, terrorism are now an everyday threat and as a chauffeur you’re the 1st line of defence.
In addition, I have to also manage 2 house maids, a chef whilst carrying out any minor household repairs. Oh & liaise with a lifestyle P.A. Today I have a pool cleaner to clean the pool & a decorator to supervise.
Madam appears and wants to go out, so I instruct the house maids to keep an eye on things whilst I’m out & off we go, understanding your client and their habits is key to a good working relationship. You will almost predict where they want to go by the time of day and what mood they are in.
Back at the house & time to get ready to collect the kids, when the Nanny appears, off we go to collect them everything goes smoothly & we return without any dramas, time for a quick hoover of the car & back to Sir’s office for his collection, He’s on time & home for a quick bite to eat as he is travelling on business, so once dinner is out of the way & off to the airport for his flight (private jet of course) wait for wheels up & then it home for me hopefully by 22.30 Ready to do it all over again tomorrow, although Sir is only away for a couple of days things may be a bit calmer.
There is no such thing as a typical day for a chauffeur you are at the will of wealthy busy people with demanding lives & high expectations, some days are full on busy like the one I have just talked about, others are slow in comparison, sat in the car for hours on end waiting for your principle to exit out of a doorway, you must always be ready to open the door or pull up to them so they can just jump in and drive away.
You have to be a self-disciplined individual who’s happy to serve with a smile & a no problem approach to everything, with a vast knowledge of your city & where and how to obtain any request that may come from your principle at any time, happy to sit for hours on end but be ready to go at the drop of a hat firing on all cylinders, meticulous in detail & a good planner (it’s no good going to a meeting & getting caught out in roadworks that have been there a week) if you don’t know a place a previous recce is in order & make sure you know exactly where the best routes are.
The super-rich do not expect or accept 2nd best!
Still there’s always tomorrow the delivery of 2 large inflatable flamingos to blow up & place in the pool as a surprise for the kids & the Ferrari needs a polish!
Written By A.R