Chris Lancaster, the man who runs the show as a General Manger for Responsible Choice, a company that mostly caters to the drunk in need of a safe ride home. As I invite him in, I greet him with freshly made rice crispie squares, a favorite of his that I’ve learnt while working for him at RC. Being the GM, it was very difficult to get a hold of him and schedule an interview. We sit down right away and begin, since I know he is always pressed for time and would soon need to return back to the office. As usual, Chris is dressed in the RC dress attire of black pants, dress shirt and tie. Perhaps the rice crispies were not a good idea since he constantly has his mouth full of the delicious treat while answer my questions.
How did you find your job at RC and what has driven you to stay for so long?
I found it through a friend, she told me to come and work for Christmas rush, so I did. I needed a part time job to make some cash on the side and the hours were flexible. Also, the tips and the fact I got to drive fancy cars caught my attention!
What is the funniest experience you’ve had while on the job?
First of all, I’ve had many experiences that are not particularly so funny for the customer, but when they throw up in their own car.. Oh man! I had this one guy who was dry heaving almost the whole ride, and I asked him if he was ok and he kept saying yes over and over again every time I asked. Then, when we were about two minutes away from his place, he decided he had to puck but he didn’t tell me. Although I didn’t have much time to pull over I did get him outside on time before he ‘blew’. I asked him if he was ok and he said he was. We got back in to the car and I started driving again. Only a couple seconds in, he threw up all over the dash board of his BMW 5 series.
There’s also this one crude story and I don’t know if I should tell it. ( After some pleading he continues) Ok so I picked up these three girls and one of the girls in the back seat.. umm.. haha.. she asked me what she could do to, umm, we’ll say for better use of words, how she could uh.. get me aroused without touching me.
Did you answer ?!
Oh of course! I told her, probably not much, and then she.. well, decided to give it a try. The first thing she did was ask me if I wanted to sleep with her. Then she continued saying my name in sexual voices and asked, “how about now?” and I said no. She then said, “how about this,” and took out her cell phone and showed me a nude picture of herself, and then she asked again and I still said no. I had to make it stop so finally I just gave in and agreed with her!
What is the scariest situation you’ve ever been in while working at RC?
The scariest? Probably one of them was when I was driving in the dark, on a country road, in a snow storm and got lost. Also, I’ve come so close to hitting a deer a couple of times.
The absolute scariest situation that I’ve experienced with this job was when I was the supervisor at an event at a golf course. I told one of the guys to go ahead without us and we’d meet up with him later. We always work in teams of two so normally this wouldn’t have happened, but he ended up flipping the car in a ditch and was alone. Luckily he was able to call for help. He wasn’t too badly injured but it scared the hell out of me! That phone call, I’ll never forget it. All because a deer jumped out in front of him!
Who was the most interesting client you’ve ever driven? Why?
Ok, here’s an interesting one. The job description is we drive customers home in their cars after they’ve had too much to drink. So, this one guy, I’ll call him a gentleman, even though he wasn’t, called us because he had attempted to drive out of his driveway, got about half way down, put his vehicle in park and realized he couldn’t drive because he was tripping out too much on drugs. Once we arrived, he thanked us and said, “ I tried but there were just waayyy too many colors!” Its hard to say which customer is the MOST interesting. Imagine everyone you know getting alcohol in them, suddenly they all become interesting!
Have you ever gotten hurt while working or come close?
I don’t like to admit this, but I was driving in a snow storm on the highway, and there was absolutely no one on the road. I was in the Smart Car and after a while, there was one person who was waayyy ahead of me. I was driving going straight for over an hour behind him. The second I caught up to him, the car happened to lose control and I bumped into him and then slid into a concrete wall. I banged my head on the steering wheel and still have the scar to show it. The Smart Car was ruined and the other guy wasn’t too happy either.
What are all the services that RC offers?
We offer first and foremost a chauffeur service where we drive you and your car home when you’ve had too much to drink. We also have a valet service were we attend events, set up signage, park cars and retrieve them when customers are ready to go.
The company offers an on sight service. For example a wedding, we would go for as many hours as the client asked, set up a table and drive their guests home. Regularly we’ll send up to 6 teams. Golf tournaments, weddings, birthday parties, any event!
We also offer a shuttle service. We pick up and drive people to the airport so customers do not have to leave their car there.
What is your opinion of the service RC provides?
It is absolutely an amazing service. It’s doing the city a huge favor by keeping citizens safe as long as they are smart enough to use us after they’ve had too much to drink. We save lives!
Who are the main clientele and why do you think they use RC most?
The main clientele are middle to upper class because it is slightly more expensive than a cab and they have the comfort of being in their own car. Generally, someone who is wise enough and has the money to spend, they will use services that RC provides. Students however, they usually stick to rides they can afford like the bus or paying a friend gas money for the drive.
Is there anything else wanted to share?
613-248-0444. We’ll drive you home in a Ferrari..if you own one