by Josh Max
No matter how serious things got this year, they still kept us rolling through rain, snow, sleet and gridlock. There isn’t a boldface name in any newspaper or magazine or website for these sweaty (or shivering) heroes of the road. Their mothers neither hang their work on fridges nor email published links to friends and relatives. A leisurely drive in a $60,000 sports car with their significant other on a lazy Sunday spring afternoon isn’t in their job description. The gig is to deliver and pick up the goods, and you can count on these guys like the sun rising and setting.
I’m talking about those unsung, coffee-soaked, iron-assed pros—the press fleet delivery people.
“Good morning, Mr. Max. Your vehicle is downstairs.” How sweet the sound.
Photo By: Ralph Morris
Alone after drop-off—unless a chaser car’s involved—they trudge off into the day or the night to the bus, subway or train. Their reward is another car to be delivered to another journalist, who may or may not be in a good mood that day or may criticize a car’s maker or car color straight off instead of looking in the driver’s eye for the briefest of greetings and perhaps ask how the trip was.
In 10 years of auto journalism and 600-plus press cars delivered, I have never heard one wisecrack or sarcastic comment from any press fleet driver. These responsible, courteous men and women follow their directives and go home at the end of the day while we journalists head off into our world of make-believe and a free ride.
Sometimes they have to locate a journalist whose car was scheduled to be returned but who has disappeared with the keys for a few hours. Sometimes they find dents or scratches or worse. EZ-passes, portable nav systems, sunglasses, cameras, Blackberries and even a deer carcass are found and must be returned. There is frequently peanut butter on the steering wheel and sand in the floor mats and straw wrappers in the center console.
They just keep right on doing their job.
We’ve all had a challenging year, but I think it’s time for a round of claps. Not while you’re driving, though. Try the below instead: The next time you’re easing back into the driver’s seat, nav system programmed to some sweet destination, the tunes of your choice wafting through the cockpit and the cares and troubles of office media work fading behind you—consider thanking a dispatcher and driver.