Month: May 2009

Damn the DSA and all who sail on her!

Balls! Failed again. Happily I thrive on despair and disappointment.

The worst thing is; both of the incidents that lead to the fail were avoidable. One of them was trying to steer around one of those painted white traffic islands (in a truck they are usually impossible, you make a token effort to show you’ve seen it then run it over anyway) which meant I mounted a pavement. The other incident was two fails in one, I came up to a set of traffic lights. At the lights the road split in a Y with a little dividing island between the diverging lanes. As I approached I saw the left turn was going to be tight and considered taking the right lane as well. That had a line of traffic in it so I thought, what the hell, I can make it. Which left me an almost impossibly tight turn. So I was inching forward, getting as close as I possibly could to the dividing island, then looking back to check I was going to clear the pavement with my trailer. Inch forward, check front and mirrors, inch forward, "STOP!"

The bastard lights had changed to red!


Then, when I set off, because of the position I’d left myself in, I nearly took out a railing.

In the de-brief the examiner said, apart from running the lights, everything was down to approaching each situation too fast. If I’d have slowed down and given myself time to think…

Still, those are (another) two mistakes I’ll never make again and I can learn from my mistakes, I should be running out of mistakes to make soon!

Ho hum, tired Bucky.




I knew it!

Hi. It’s official, finally. We are being kicked out of our department.

They finally came clean today. Perhaps it’s due to the tactics of industrial action/ sabotage we have been unofficially employing.

We let the whole department go to shit. You could barely move for the pallets and rubbish. We slowed down to a walking pace (we had de-kitted seven trailers by breakfast one morning, where we normally have been looking at around twenty) so they were forced to send senior management to oversee every shift (we were abusing the junior management). Then we stood back and let the management try and run it, when they had no idea how it all operates. Finally on Saturday the shift manager for the whole site came up and told us we were desperate for sixty trailers and I laughed. She said "You used to be able to do that many" I replied "That was before we were getting kicked out of our jobs."

She denied all knowledge, as have all the managers I’ve been challenging about it, but I think the message finally got home.

Today they started taking us in, one by one, to be officially informed. I was the first of the lads to be taken in. So to speak (I wasn’t taken in for a second!)

The  2IC (second in command) for the whole site sat and gave me a five minute waffle about how they needed to outsource to specialist recycling operatives to ensure full separation of the de-kitted materials in an hours relevant manner.

Which translate as: they want to give our jobs to Eastern European agency workers. Reading between the yuppie-ese jargon, they want them to come in, magically separate the card, poly, and crap (when half of the time it arrives in huge cardboard containers, so you can’t see in it until you’ve tipped it into the baler, the top layer by which you judge it’s contents often being camouflage for the crap contained beneath) then as soon as they have finished all the trailers send them home.

Even if this wasn’t unscrupulous, callous, and exploitative, it is still wrong. We take three shifts to keep up with the workload, and I’m here to tell you it is graft! That is twenty four hours a day, except for Weekend nights. If they are trying to run it on less men then we employ, they simply won’t get the job done. They can’t save on the wages bill therefore, and every other department will suffer the knock on effect.

So hardy-har-har (he says, maturely).

The good news is if that talk today is to be believed, they will let us choose our department upon leaving de-kit.

So I don’t have to return to the dreaded freezer.

Huge silver lining.

However, that muppet today is not to be believed wholesale. He asked if there was anything I would like to say (at the end of his self-important waffle) and I told him, for future reference, if he’d have told us all this in January instead of flatly denying it, he could have saved a lot of bad feeling. He was bullshitting about how they hadn’t known, there were no plans in January, etc. And yet we’d heard, and it is transpiring as predicted.

Still I have some cause for hope now. I have been desperately looking for any job I could get to keep me out of the freezer. If I am to return to ambient as a picker it could be a good thing for me. I used to make quite a bit in overtime when I was in there. It is far too hard graft in de-kit to contemplate any extra, and the freezer was too painful and miserable to even think of overtime.

It would be quite tolerable while I complete my driving training and worm my way into getting a driving job at ours, which was plan A.

Anyway, that’s about it.



Happy Bucky

Just a quick one, but even though I failed my driving test again I have turned that frown upside down.

I have, for the last few months if truth be told, letting my martial arts slide. I had to give the Kung Fu up through lack of cash, then with all the excuse making I had been wagging it more and more from Taekwondo.

Tonight was make or break really. In the car there I was rationalising my waning commitment; I have all the driving to do, I started doing it to regain my sanity, and I’m now as sane as I get, I’m losing interest,etc.

Then I got to the class and they were doing the "hello stranger" routine, and I felt like a newbie again. But then we got down to the nitty-gritty of the kicking of arse, and woo-hoo! What a buzz!

With all the prevarication and disingenuous self-deluding laziness, I’d forgotten the reason I was sweating and hurting before: because it feels so damn good!

I am buzzing off it.

Also there is the fact that I was training with people over half the way to black belt, and half of my kicks are better than theirs!

Yes indeedy, let’s not discount that sinful little pleasure.

I am writing this down whilst I am still buzzing so that next week, when the inertia has set in again and I don’t want to move, telling myself it would be easier to quit, I can read this and remember that I go because I love it!

Right off to trough.