My First Tip

   To put this week’s story in the proper perspective, we need to go back to the month of August. The week before the Solar Eclipse to be exact. I had been talking with my friend who wanted me to get my CDL license, so I could start driving a limo. I had checked into it, and it was going to cost me about $150 to get my license. I was a little hesitant to spend that kind of money. The day after the eclipse, my friend said that Michael, (The owner of the company) received a tip of $1,000 from a client that weekend. Let me say that again. A tip of $1,000! If your response to that is “What the Heck!?” then don’t feel alone. This made the CDL license decision for me.

   I told some of the guys at basketball about this, and I remember telling them, “Watch, my first tip will be a dollar.” At this point, I need to explain there is a tip already figured into the bill when someone rents a limo, so it’s not very common to get an extra tip on top of that. Okay, I think you have enough background, so let’s get to my first tip.

   I received a text from Michael asking me if I could pick up a couple from The Hampton Inn and take them to the airport the next morning. I told him I would be happy to. I was to pick them up at 9:45AM, but I always like to get there a little early. (I operate on MWT. Max Wilker Time. (If you’re ten minutes early, you’re 5 minutes late.) I walked up to the front desk, and told them I was here for a 9:45 pickup. They pointed to a lady waiting by the elevator, and told me they might need some help with their luggage. I walked over and introduced myself. “I’m so glad you’re here, she said with a little panic in her voice. On the elevator ride to the room, she explained her husband had recently had a heart attack, and keeps forgetting things. “This is making him nervous, and that makes everything for me twice as hard” she said with some frustration. I said I was sorry to hear about her husband, and reassured her we would make sure everything would be taken care of, and I would get her to the airport with everything in order.

   I waited as she packed up the rest of the luggage. I helped her go through the room and make sure they hadn’t forgotten anything. As I loaded the luggage on the cart, I remarked how the two larger suitcases were quite heavy. “They weigh about 70 lbs.” she said. Then, she told me “We are each allowed to check two bags free when you fly first class, and one of them can weigh 70 lbs.” Secretly in my head, I thought “This might be my first tip.” I loaded the luggage into the vehicle, and we headed to the airport. They were a nice older couple from New Zealand. We had a pleasant conversation on the way to the airport. They told me they were going to spend a week in Hawaii before they went back to New Zealand.

   We arrived at the airport, and I went in a got a luggage cart. I told them to go ahead and get checked in. I brought in the luggage, and loaded each bag on the scale. I was careful and made sure everything was in order. She thanked me again for all my help. “It was my pleasure to be your driver today” I replied. Then she reached into her purse. “Here you go” she said as she handed me a bottle of water. And not just any bottle of water. It was a bottle of free water she hand been given at the hotel. I’m pretty sure the only reason she gave me that, is because it wouldn’t make it through the security checkpoint. “Seriously?” the voice in my head screamed! “Thank you for choosing Black Night Limousine. I hope you guys have a safe trip” I said in the friendliest voice I could.

   As I left the airport, I thought about how stressful the morning had been for them, and how the husband’s health was more important than my tip. I know it was Shannon helping me put everything in perspective. I will always LOVE AND MISS YOU sweetheart. “Besides, this will make a fantastic story” I thought.

Next week: Happy Halloween

P.S. And I thought my first tip was going to be a dollar.