Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Relief Brings Job To Abrupt End


Hi Folks

Since my last post I managed to get four weeks work from the plumbing supplies place. The trucks I was driving all had trackers on them and my speed was constantly monitored. I didn’t really believe it was real until I got pulled up by a manager during the second week to be told I was still speeding and causing lots of problems for him. That was the first I had heard of it and was then given a lecture by another manager with a blow by blow account of where I had been caught speeding. There were nine infringements in all and each one listed where I was at the time, the permitted speed and my actual speed. In most cases I was only a couple of mph over so 32 in a 30 zone triggered an infringement and so on.  Imagine bombing along a rural country road at 50mph and then you enter a village where the limit drops to 30, well in the time it’s took you to decelerate and reach 30mph you may have already broken the speed limit and incurred yet another infringement. I found the whole experience depressing and it took the enjoyment out of the job. By the end of the fourth week I was glad I’d be moving onto something new.

 My next job was delivering solid oak furniture with a drivers mate to homes around Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire. It was a 6am start at a depot 42 miles away from my house so 84 miles there and back each day x 5 = 420 miles per week which worked out to approximately £70 in fuel so not an ideal job for me but it paid better than recent jobs and there was also the possibility of receiving tips.   During the first week I worked as both  driver and mate. We were on the same money so I actually preferred not to have the responsibility of being the driver. Most of the furniture was easily manageable between two of us but there were two or three items such as electric reclining settees and large wardrobes which posed a challenge.  We used to look at the run sheet, see what big items we were delivering and hope every house we delivered to was a bungalow but inevitably there were houses with two or three floors which the furniture needed to be taken to and I often came close to having a heart attack from the exertions we had to make. The job came to an abrupt end at the beginning of the second week. Let me explain. On the Friday of the first week we were delivering to a big house in Norfolk. We were an hour ahead of the allotted time but there was no one home so we had to wait. I decided I needed a toilet break but there was nowhere really discreet enough other than a corner of the front garden of the house we were waiting at so, as there was nobody home, I had a crafty wee there against a massive hedge. I got back in the truck to wait with the driver and he advised me to take care as a lot of these houses had CCTV. Nothing more was said. The home owner arrived and we delivered his items and went on our way. The shift ended at the depot and I went home. On the Monday I went to work, spoke to the boss and was sent to work with a different drivers mate.   Half way through the shift the truck phone rang and the depot boss asked to speak to me. He said there had been a complaint that I’d been seen weeing in a customer’s garden and wondered if there was any truth in it? I denied it totally and after pressing me further he seemed to accept my denial. My drivers mate asked me what all that was about and I told him the truth explaining that the house was empty and I couldn’t possibly have been spotted. He laughed it off saying it was a storm in a tea cup. We continued the shift and finished up at the depot. I saw the boss and he said no more about it. I said I’d see him in the morning and he acknowledged that. Five minutes after leaving the depot my phone rang. It was my agency asking me if I had wee’d in the garden last Friday. I denied it to them too but they said both drivers mates had grassed me up saying I had admitted it to them. Some mates huh? Anyway the upshot of it all was that they didn’t want me back. I look at it as a blessing in disguise. The heavy lifting would have taken its toll on me eventually and the mileage per week would have finished off my thirteen year old Astra so all in all I wasn’t overly bothered I just hope it never put a black mark against my name and it’s definitely taught me not to trust anyone. There’s nobody lower than a grass in my book.

I was worried I would find it hard to get any more work but as it turned out I was offered work with one of my other agencies almost immediately. I haven’t worked nights for years but I accepted a few weeks work driving for Parcelforce out of Ipswich depot starting at midnight and finishing at eight in the morning. My first run was a 7.5 tonne Man truck filled with Yorks (Royal Mail speak for cages!!) which were filled with parcels and mail. I had to take them to the Bury St Edmunds depot, unload them myself and return for further instructions to Ipswich. I would eventually load up again with up to 21 yorks and take them to the Foxtail Depot on Ransomes Europark. After unloading there I would bring yorks back to Ipswich depot and shuttle backwards and forward until my break at around 5am. The roads throughout the night were deserted and I was able to poodle along the empty streets admiring all the Christmas decorations many homes had on display. I did enjoy my few weeks work there but don’t know if I could do that permanently as the body clock switch around has played havoc with my sleeping habits.

So, the last shift ended on Friday morning and I have now been idle for four days with no clue as to when I will be working again. Hopefully it will be soon so watch this space.

I hope you’ve all had a great Christmas and are looking forward to an amazing New Year 2017

Take Care Out There.

TM                                                                                                                                                                     

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