Friday, July 11, 2008

Travails of finding a good driver

Chennai is booming. Right from my travails of real estate to finding a maid, well now the latest challenge has been finding a decent driver. What do I mean by decent ? well one who probably would misuse the petrol. Like my friend said his car was used by his driver with an L board to give driving lessons in Mandaveli..since it was a MH registration the car was easily recognized and reported to my friend. Whew.

I know a friend whose dad needs a driver who can help him to get in and out of a car, and drivers are getting pricey even for such tasks..its a bit of a shame.

What started as a wage of a steep INR 5000 for a driver n Chennai is now gaining huge proportions. They need INR 5000 plus a bata(tips) of INR 20 per late staying,and conveyance if he is staying far..You’ve got to be kidding even I don’t get such benefits at work!

The IT boom has led to more call taxis and more drivers for the shift pickup and drop. I even called up an agency who said that they didn’t have anything in my budget. So INR 5000 which was biting, is considered LOW!

Like hello. Considering one used to pay 4000-4500 in Bangalore and Kolkata(which is a cheaper city) upto april this year..I am quite lucky to have found some very honest and good drivers in these two cities. Knowing my folks they are very friendly and caring towards the drivers. Both my drivers were given mobile phones while I was leaving..but that is after one sets a good working relationship.

Now, in Chennai I have to call up driver services on an hourly that atleast I can get dropped to work in my car and my father can go out shopping or to the temple as the need may be. Evenings i usually go home with a friend. Since am, an early bird to work, and somehow get agitated if anyone or anything delays me while going to work..

The idea is to get a driver only by contacts or thro people you know. Everytime it looks like the goal post is near, one realizes that the driver needs more salary or is not ok with the timing etc..If anyone knows a decent driver who is ready to work 6 days, please let me know.

As for why I dont drive ? well first of all i dont like it..second of all, am all stressed out at the idea..and thirdly am not good at this..thot i need not add to the bad jokes on women drivers and just prove these guys right!


stan said...

Dee, you might just want to start learning driving. Its pure pleasure. Trust me mumbai is as bad when it comes to looking out for drivers. Salary apart you get all kinds...young guys who are out to prove they have some schumacher genes and want his salary to boot. middle aged ones who want their weekends off, the old guys who are steady with driving but have a mind of their own..they decide when u need to get to work.

Karpagam said...

well, wake up and smell the coffee! is all I can say to you. This is called demand and supply baby.... you need their skill, you don't have it and someone else is ready to pay for the value perceived... as for the condescending "even i do not get this at work" - Time to take a hard look at whats going on...

Deepa Subbaraman said...

Well Stan, I did start learning to drive in BOM. Never had a car then. Thereon started on an 800 in Bangalore..the office is witness to my driving "skills" i actually dont like driving...I used to be all stressed out just thinking i need to drive to work the next morning..gosh it was just too much stress. I realised i might as well take an Auto or get a driver due to this..

Deepa Subbaraman said...

Thanks Peggy. Yes the coffee is very much brewing and its a good mix of Peaberry and Robusta..

As for the comment on driver, i have never experienced a dearth of good drivers in any of the cities i have been in- example in Bangalore and in Kolkata.When there is an IT boom, usually a whole lot of employment opprtunities opens up. Knowing this demand, there is usually an influx of similar skill set pouring in-Whetehr IT/BPO/Or related industries like Service apartments, catering services, car services etc..

While demand keeps increasing the supply also steadily increases. But somehow the supply hasnt started increasing as yet in case of chennai drivers. Have observed that the drivers who drive for IT/BPO, night shifts and long distance travel cars are actually burnt out.

I found some of these hourly waged drivers, who actually didnt want to driver at night shifts and were ready for a day job, which am discussing at the moment.

As for "Time to take a hard look at whats going on", i always was....