Job opening up in London: chauffeur to HRM, Queen Elizabeth
I am truly amazed by the foolish things that people do that completely and utterly jeopardize their jobs.
A while ago, it was the jokers at Domino's who video taped themselves making booger subs. (Ho, ho! If the question is 'can't anyone at Domino's take a joke?', the answer is 'not this one.') When you can't even keep a job at a fast food joint, you know you're in trouble...
Then there was the disgruntled truck driver who sulked off with a semi full of ketchup and got himself to a rest stop to glower and stew about being underpaid. Too bad the commandeered ketchup was headed for Fenway Park for Opening Day. Personally, I'm a mustard and relish kind of gal, but I respect the rights of baseball fans to have whatever they want on their hot dogs. In any case, this turned out to be a bad career move on the part of one ex-truck driver - with a lot more notoriety than he apparently bargained for.
Now there's the splendid news from the UK that a chauffeur to the Royals took £1,000 to let a couple of journalists posing as Middle Eastern businessmen poke around the royal parking garage, and even sit in the Bentley that's the main ride of HRM Queen Elizabeth - in her seat no less. (Bet she gets a window and never has to ride on the hump.)
The Daily Mail - among other fab sources - has reported that chauffeur Brian Sirjusingh has been at least temporarily suspended, and turfed out of his "grace-and-favour" digs in the Royal Mews. (I have no idea what "grace-and-favour" actually means, but it sounds like a plummy enough perk, doesn't it?)
This being England, where there is, oh so very often, a call girl involved somewhere, the deal was set up by a Lithuanian escort who's only been in the UK for a couple of months, but apparently knows how to get around.
Anyway, Sirjuisngh apparently gave the Middle Eastern "businessmen" a behind the scenes pass, without requiring a security check:
Even members of the Royal Family now have to carry I.D. cards with them at all times and both the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duke of York are said to have been challenged for forgetting to bring them.
So, the Duke of York gets hassled, but some at least moderately suspicious looking bloke gets in.
Nice - I guess - to see that the royal guards aren't profiling, but, given the times, wouldn't you think that someone claiming to be a Middle Eastern businessman, or someone with a Northern Ireland accent, might raise an eyebrow that your average Cockney, or one of those nice, straight out of a Barbara Pym novel, royal adulating women of a certain age wouldn't.
(I know about the latter because, maybe 25 years ago, my husband and I were in London, when, walking past the Royal Albert Hall, we saw a crowd of largely nice, straight out of a Barbara Pym novel, ladies eagerly gathering - and a snappy black limo with a little red and gold crown on top approaching. We hung in to see who it was, but were disappointed, as the couple who popped out of the limo were not any BigE Royals who might be easily recognized by an American. The Barbara Pym ladies were all excited - it was, we were told, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester - but it might as well have been the Duke of Earl, for all we knew.)
In general, security for the royals has never been all that hot.
Remember the kook who wondered in to Buckingham Palace and was sitting on the edge of QE2's bed when she awoke?
Other intruders got into the palace grounds in 1990 and 1992, while in 1994 James Miller, a naked American paraglider, landed on the roof; he was fined £200 and deported. (Source for this tidbit: The Independent.)
In any case, letting the gents sit in the Queen's car - and revealing her secret code name - to imposters who could have been evildoers, and not just hackers, is not likely to be a brilliant career move on Brian Sirjusingh's part. (And, as a married man chilling with a working girl, he probably hasn't done his personal life a lot of good, either.)
No doubt, he'll make a few quid more selling his side of the story to one of the many Brit tabloid. Maybe he'll drop some choice morsels - the Duke of Edinburgh is flatulent, Charles and Camilla make out like a couple of teenagers - but his moment of fame will end soon enough.
And he will be without what one can only imagine to have been a not entirely terrible job, if you ignore the likely low pay, the high boredom, and the moderate risk that some naked paraglider with worse intentions than James Miller had would land on the roof of the Bentley and do you and the other occupants of the limo grave harm. On the plus side, there was the "grace and favour" apartment. (Wish they had them in high tech.)
Seriously, I would think that most people who hire chauffeurs are at least somewhat security conscious - made more so, given that if they're jaunting around in a chauffeured limo, they're setting themselves up as targets. (Hey, that guy must be rich. Let's kidnap him and hold him for ransom.)
And given that he was working as a chauffeur, Brian S. may not be the most skilled-up fellow in the UK.
So, even though the royals aren't held in universal esteem and affection, who's going to hire someone who was willing to put the Queen at risk for a lousy £1,000?
Some people are just frightfully bad at career planning, aren't they?