Position with Boston Coach: Driver and former chauffeur
Years with BostonCoach: 17
How did you get started with BostonCoach? What’s your professional background?
I responded to a radio advertisement at the time. I had never been anything like a professional driver — I had a varied background. Life circumstances led me here, so I came in and the interviewers said, “You don’t have to have experience as a driver; we’re just looking for good people.” For school, I went to the Conservatory of Music. I was a piano/keyboard major. My degree was in performance and mostly classical music. I taught a lot of private lessons for a while, including music at a secondary schooI. I taught ages 6-60 and beyond.
What do you do to make sure every client has a great experience?
I was a chauffeur here for 12 years. When you’re a chauffeur, you have the more formal, one-on-one interaction. When you drive a shuttle bus, like I do now, you’re dealing with a group of people. You fling open the door and everyone piles on with their coffees and everything. What’s very important in the bus is the comfort of the ride — if you don’t pay attention to turns, people can go flying. My thing is to greet people as they enter the bus and say goodbye as they leave. Some people prefer to be more personable and talk to me.
What did you enjoy most about being a chauffeur and enjoy now as a driver?
As a chauffeur, you sometimes go to various places out of state — that can be really enjoyable. With driving the buses, I think the enjoyability is actually the sameness. It’s very predictable and, when other things are on your mind, it’s a solid thing. Boston is a beautiful city — I work out of the World Trade Center. I try not to miss opportunities to look out over the water and enjoy the city.
What do you like about BostonCoach?
I think that there is a strong feeling of camaraderie in the employee sector — the worker bees. When I came for the interview, I figured I would be here a few months. I recall telling someone, “They keep giving you more stuff and making it harder for you to leave.”
What’s your most memorable experience as a BostonCoach chauffeur/driver?
The most memorable moments were driving celebrities in sports or entertainment — people who really impressed me. Carlton Fisk is just the greatest guy in the world. I once drove Diana Rigg, a Shakespearean-trained British actress, who was on one of my favorite shows when I was a kid. Back then she was everyone’s heartthrob, really elegant. I was so nervous when I picked her up. It was raining so I had an umbrella and she came out and I almost poked her with the umbrella as I opened it. And she was so gracious and she said “Very well done.” I spoke to her in the car. She was beautifully gracious.
What’s your advice to new chauffeurs/drivers?
Don’t hit anything! Whatever you do. Don’t hit anything or anybody. Pay attention to the training.
What’s a tip for everyday drivers?
Learn what your particular weakness is.
What do you do when you’re not working?
I still like to play my instruments — keyboard and drums — and sit on the deck in the sun. Pretty simple.