It’s draining to have a new driver

Familiarity is the key to a relaxing ride with a personal driver. I don’t need to watch the road, where he is turning, or going, give him directions. And when I send him for errands, It’ll get done. He has memorized the routes and places I frequented. He is already familiar with his surroundings and the places I frequented.

Every time we have a new driver, it becomes a stressful ride because my senses are always on high alert. “Ikanan mo, ikaliwa mo, diretso, paraaaa! Kaliwawa! Kaliwawa, bakit ka dumidiretso sabi ko kaliwa.” The new driver naturally is not yet familiar with the streets and places in my world. Add the big disparity in education and exposure.

A few weeks ago two of our family drivers resigned in one week. The first one felt bad when Edmund asked him to return the money he gave for parking kasi libre pala ang parking. He also has a habit of not returning mga sukli. Ayun nagtampo. The other one, who’s been our PA ever since my son was in elementary, is now 59 years old and a bit slow. Meron ng mga rayuma, parang hirap ng maglakad. His kids advised him to retire now anyway his youngest is already a college graduate. Maluwag na sila sa pera, he no longer has to work.

Today, my (irregular) masseuse asked if her husband could apply as family driver. He is 60 na daw. A combination of compassion and desperation, I told her sige tell him to come here. subukan natin kung pwede sya.

We haven’t left our garage and yet I’ve already burned 500 calories from stress. Good right?
It’s been three days and I don’t think there will be a fourth or a fifth day. There simply has no commonality between us. Ma stress sya sa akin, ma-stress din ako sa kanya.

Monday, Day 1. He showed up wearing tsinelas that looked small on his feet, and a white kamiseta na mukhang kulang sa kula.
Me——“Meron ka bang sapatos? Bukas pupunta ako sa office, kailangan naka sapatos ka at meron ka bang polo?
Meron daw sya shoes but all he has are t-shirts without collar.

I actually expected that he would need some new clothes. I was ready to provide but since trial pa lang sya it’s too soon. His daughter, and wife actually have been recipients of boxes of pre-owned clothing from me, some haven’t been worn. Naluma lang sa aparador.

The Ford Explorer’s automatic locking system works when the vehicle has reached a certain speed. I want the doors locked before we leave the garage or at least before we go outside the subdivision’s gate.
Me—– “Paki lock ang pinto”
Driver——“Nailock ko na kanina pa”
Me——“Hindi pa, paki lock”.

This conversation transpired every single time I rode on the vehicle. And in two days, about 6 times. When I said paki lock ang pinto, he right away answered nailock na nya. Then he would lock the doors.

When I was ready to be picked up, I would text once and call to make sure he received my message. Call and call 60 times he didn’t pick up his phone.
Me——“Anim na pung beses akong tumatawag, narinig mo ba?
Driver—–“Nakita ko”
Me——“Bakit hindi mo sinasagot? May bayad ba pag sinagot mo?”
Driver—-“P20 ang unli call and text sa dalawang araw. Wantusawa”
Me—–“Paki sagot mo ang tawag ko para alam ko na nagkakaintidihan tayo kung saan mo ako susunduin”

From the office I swung by Greenbelt 3. I told him I would only be there for 30 minutes. When I was calling him to pick me up, he didn’t answer. I almost contacted our office to send another car to pick me up. Then he answered “Nagbabayad na ako” his voice was unmistakably irked.

Greenbelt 3 innerbay

One of the things drivers must possess is a very long patience. You can’t have a driver who is impatient, suplado, mainitin ang ulo.
“Diretso tayo, go na, huwag kang tumigil sa gitna!”
Makati Street, June 2024

We were cruising along Edsa to go to Dusit Hotel. I told him to go straight, but he turned right at Ayala.
When I was telling him, bakit ka kumanan, sabi ko diretso lang. He didn’t pay attention to me. Inis na siguro sa akin.

Antonia told me “Mam, pihikan pala yung bagong driver. isinoli yung pagkain”. She gave him 4 pieces of tulingan and rice. Bumili daw sya ng pares. The other day he liked what she cooked, chicken curry. We have observed that when we give money for food, the drivers don’t spend the money. They would grab one pandesal or drink a beverage. Give each of them P150 or P200 for lunch or dinner, they’ll spend P20. Then as soon we arrive home, they go straight to the kitchen to eat a heavy rice meal.

Inside the subdivision, the new driver applicant doesn’t pay attention to my instructions. He is busy looking at other people’s houses. I understand that. Syempre curious sya. But I expected he would at least listen to what I am saying.
A—-“Sa kalsada ka tumingin! Sabi ko kakanan na tayo”. He got irritated and made some motion on the steering wheel. siguro gusto akong dagukan.

Thursday, we said goodbye to each other. It was a big relief. I gave him his day’s pay plus P100 pamasahe and I told him to eat first before going home. Although it didn’t work out, I still have compassion for his family. I will continue to give them little things like clothes and some merienda money.


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