I inadvertently applied and accepted a position as a chauffeur. I don’t recall submitting an application or seeing a job posting in advance, yet here I am an overqualified chauffeur. I did not realize it took two master’s degrees to be such an appropriate fit for the position and certainly never would have imagined after years of coursework this is where a significant portion of my time would be dedicated. Admittedly I am a bit judgmental about this use of my time given my significant interest in scholarly work, intellectual conversation, and time to engage in professional matters. They say your career can taking unexpected turns and this is surely one of those moments where this unforeseen path will yield rewards farther down than the road.
Here is what I have learned since taking on this role:
The Job Description
A well-rounded, sensitive individual needed for part-time and full-time driving duty. Must be available any time of day, but particularly between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm. Ability to furnish and provide snacks and drinks on demand, as well as the patience to manage unexpected temperaments and attitudes is essential. No previous experience required, however, the following skills are necessary:
The power of the chauffeur role was personified in the 1990 film Driving Miss Daisy. On my daily routes we discuss literacy, music, and food just as demonstrated in this award winning film. My two primary passengers are reluctant at times to accept my invitations to ride along for various errands, yet in the end our relationship grows and strengthens with each ride. We have survived incidents of car sickness, nursing on the side of a major highway, and severe bouts of traffic. Over the years we have gotten to know each other intimately, shared laughs, and shed tears together on both short and long car adventures.
There is also the surprising sense of wonder felt in between runs. The initial sense of “what can be done with this limited amount of time before I am to be back for pick up or delivery to the next location?” There are instances where this free time is liberating and other times where the sense of restriction is completely frustrating. What can you really accomplish in the limited amount of time between a drop off and a pick up? There is an unidentified talent chauffeurs naturally develop the longer they maintain this role that enables them to turn seemingly random fragments of time into highly productive segments of the day.
There is a lot to be said for the relationships that have been formed with other chauffeurs. We occasionally find time to meet up at preplanned destinations where we are afforded the chance to chat amongst ourselves while our passengers connect or participate in the event that brought us chauffeurs to the same destination. In these moments we commiserate, share stories of accomplishments, and reminisce about our pre-chauffeur lives. At times cliques can be found amongst the chauffeurs, yet regardless of status (however it might be defined) we are bound together by our similar responsibility and significance of what we accomplish on a daily basis. Is there really a more important job than what we have taken on?
Despite the unexpected nature and timing of this role in my professional career, I will never quit this job. It is through this position that I have made unimaginable connections with my two passengers. I relish in the unexpected comments that come out of their mouths and the occasions where I am just the driver, a bystander as the backseat takes on a life of its own amongst the passengers. There is wit, humor, and heartfelt emotion that unfolds in the backseat of my car; the kind of material I wish to bottle up and save for years later when I am driving alone, all is quiet in the backseat, and my days as a chauffeur are no longer.
ABOUT CHRISSY K
I am mom to three boys (one with several life-threatening food allergies) who will never own too many picture books or create Pinterest-worthy snacks. Simply Chrissy K is a place to find helpful tips on parenting that stem from my work with families and design ideas based on our adventures building a home from the ground up.
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Based on a work at http://www.strongtots.com