RIMS Risk Lesson #1: Multitasking Shuttle Driver

21 Apr, 2013 Bob Wilson


I have written previously that I am not a nervous flyer. It's the ground transportation after my flight that never fails to scare the bejesus out of me. My arrival in Los Angeles Sunday for RIMS 2013 proved to be no exception to my theory that risk is alive and well in the world of travelers ground transportation. 

Being the relatively thrifty Scotsman that I am, I arranged for a shared ride shuttle to whisk me from LAX to my conference hotel, the InterContinental in Century City. I do not wish to identify the specific shuttle service. Lets just say the experience was not as super as I might have been led to believe. 

Our driver, a rather abrupt personality who reminded me of Seinfeld's soup nazi, displayed multitasking skills during the trip that would make jugglers proud while at the same time inducing nausea in corporate risk managers. At first I thought he was merely texting on his Samsung phone as we rolled through the city, but it was much more than that. He was also entering destination addresses in his phone to map out his route. 

Silly me. I thought the tablet computer mounted to his right would do that function for him, since most of us in the vehicle appeared to be in there already. And speaking of that tablet computer, he managed to whip out a stylus and tap out a few messages on that device while we weaved our way towards Century City. 

I should mention he managed to complete a couple phone calls during the ride as well.

The near rear end collision was an attention getter, to be sure. Nearly clipping a $200,000 Ferrari was a unique highlight of the trip as well. 

I imagine the company this man works for has a policy prohibiting the use of personal communication devices. However, I was indeed surprised that he needed to depend on one for simple navigation through the city. I have taken shuttles in other cities with other companies and recall that feature being available to drivers elsewhere. 

The next few days will be filled with discussion of risk and the management it requires. RIMS always seems to have ample content to meet that need. Thanks to my extremely talented yet somewhat distracted shuttle driver, I am off to a great start. 

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