Well, I think it is in my blood, really. My dad was a driver all his life and I knew since I was a little girl that one day I would be a driver too. I have always enjoyed driving all kinds of vehicles and I also think I inherited the right attributes.
Really? So, what are the attributes that make a good driver?
First of all, the skill to focus on the road and switch off all distractions. You always need to be conscious that you are responsible for the most important thing in the world - human lives. Secondly, you need to be able to predict situations, to avoid all risks and assure safety and third you need to be comfortable at dealing with unexpected situations. It is crucial to have good judgment and to react promptly to whatever the road brings.
Sounds great. However, have you ever encountered any difficulties at work due to the fact that you are a woman, especially because the driver profession is commonly associated with man?
Well, of course. Sometimes I can see people are surprised to see me behind the wheel but most of the time I get positive reactions. Especially after I bring them safely to their destination. They even congratulate me for the excellent drive! Haha :) I only had one peculiar situation. Once I was picking up a gentleman at Munich airport. He looked at me and asked me if I even had a driving license. I just looked at him, smiled and said, ''Yes, sure. Actually I just picked it up an hour ago. It is still wet from being printed.'' We then proceeded with the journey and at the end, just before he left the van, he came to me, and thanked me for the pleasant drive. That was really nice.
Driving every day can be really challenging. Especially when things go wrong. What do you do when there are traffic jams or bad weather conditions or some other unexpected difficulties on the road?
Ideally you hope that everything will go smoothly but we all know that in real life this is not the case. I remember a really horrible situation when I was driving a full GoOpti van from Venice airport one time. There were 4 car accidents on the road and the traffic was mad. I had to leave the motorway to try to get around but it was all blocked. Usually I manage to stay calm but that time things looked so bad I started to feel tense. Shortly I received a call from the GoOpti Operations Center. They are constantly monitoring our routes through the GPS system and they noticed that something wasn’t going well. I told the operator that I was stuck and that the navigation system was showing me routes the I could not take. He calmed me down and told me to follow his instructions. He led me all the way until we managed to get through the mess and proceed normally. I cannot tell you how precious this kind of support is for us drivers.
I can imagine that there are thousands of interesting things that happen to you on a daily basis, but is there any aspect of the job that annoys you? Maybe the waiting at airports?
No, not at all. Waiting to me has never been a problem. We drivers are nomads, we know how to entertain ourselves and make good use of the time we have at our disposal. When I need to wait, and it depends, sometimes this is for 1 hour, sometimes 7, I always find something to do. I go for a walk, I read a book, sometimes I go to the beach or to the cinema. Or just hang around with other drivers. We are like a tribe. We share the same struggles and the same pleasures that life on the road brings. I could never picture myself in an office. Ever. I find my job rewarding in so many ways; I wouldn’t change a single thing.
Inspiring words that make us think of the ancient wisdom of the Delphic Oracle, "Know thyself". Because only if you know who you are you will be able to choose the profession that will give you most satisfaction. No matter your gender or background, following your passion always leads to interesting discoveries.
Enjoy the journey.
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