Monday, June 18, 2012

What is it with the breed of Sri Lankan chauffeurs?

I write this at the end of my tether waiting for a vehicle to pick me up. It is more than 6 hours since I got ready. There is a huge amount of work to do in the office. As my day’s schedule has been so basely jolted, I am not in a mood to speak with anyone lest I fly off the handle due to this.

A driver from a pool is scheduled to pick me up. What speed he comes in or what other tasks he sets for himself are out of my control and he is not paid any more or less whatever time I am picked up. I could have made alternative arrangements if I knew in advance that I would be hanging around like this, but no I was assured one would have come a long time ago. Due to my continuing recovery, I cannot take the bus on short journeys, and getting on and off is a little difficult and the way the drivers behave, I am more likely to be left flat on my face in either event, so in order not to be incapacitated further it is better to be patient!!

These drivers are paid well, earn their overtime, and all other perks, so when they are not concerned about the interests of the charge they have undertaken it irks me as the work that I could have done in this period far exceeds what any of them achieve in a week, but that is their life and this is mine, but the chauffeurs are those who come between and can if they are reliable, punctual and efficient make a huge difference to my life as well as to my work which is both important to me and to my employer.

I compare and contrast this with chauffeurs lets, say in the UK who though they are on a different pay scale come from similar stock. I believe they are more reliable as far as time keeping is concerned as well as attendance, I see so many people in Sri Lanka who believe that a drivers job, especially one where they have little to do, is one to covet. If that is so, responsibility is also part of it. I have also known that some drivers refuse to do anything else but drive, and are even loathe to go shopping and remove shopping from the vehicle. It is presumably up to the employer to hire people who are more versatile and willing to have a broader job profile.

A good driver is hard to find. When found they are worth their weight in gold, but most people I know fail to hang on to them, as they are the ones who are the upwardly mobile, forever looking to better themselves up the greasy pole. The likes of us have to do with the remainder, is that our lot?

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