Tag: Driving

Finally!

..You know I’ve been trying to get into the T.A. ? The Royal Logistics Corps, to be specific. To be more specific, re-enlist, was their term.

Anywho, been at that since near the end of last year.

I applied, they sent me a load of forms, I returned them, they had to dig up my previous army record and get a reference off my employer.

Then I heard nothing for about three months. I thought that they’d decided they’d had enough of me last time.

Out of the blue, I got a ‘phone call about two weeks ago from the T.A., they said they’d faxed a reference request through to my employer in January, heard nothing so tried again in February, still no reply. Could they have a personal reference?

I gave them my mate, Jo, as a referee, and went in to HR to raise merry hell. Their excuse was; as I wasn’t leaving the company they couldn’t give me a reference. Apparently they’d passed the request up and down the chain of command, and basically sat on it.

Bastards.

When I was first thinking this would probably be my best bet for kick starting my driving career one of the senior managers I approached about the company policy on the T.A., mentioned that if I get mobilised the government sends them a letter to force them to release me for the duration, and they have to keep paying me!

Hence their wilful delaying/ blocking tactics.

Bastards.

They T.A. immediately contacted Jo, who did me proud (I asked her to put ‘lover of women, slayer of men, driver of trucks’) and a week later I got another call saying all was well, they’d got my records back, come for a medical assessment on the 23rd of April!

Woo- hoo!

This could be just right. I don’t have to risk leaving a secure job, I get experience and possibly more training in a really professional environment, and they don’t quibble over you running the natives over!

Also, I get to screw my works over! Deep joy.

They asked if I felt confident about the fitness side of it, having to run a mile and a half in fourteen minutes, said ‘yeah, I keep fit with martial arts’.

Went out this morning for my first run in years. Previously when I’ve done stuff like that I’ve at least had a base of fitness and stamina from push-biking.

I worked out a course, approximately 1.8 miles long.

I have been working through a really nasty enervating cold as well, in my defence.

Anyway, I set off and within the first minute I thought I was going to have to give up and collapse gasping for breath.

I didn’t. I looked at the patch of dirt in front of me, tried to breathe and carried on.

It took me fourteen and a half minutes. So, by my (distance) calculations I’m within tolerance.

I staggered back to the car, lungs burning, spit in strings, feeling sick as a dog. It took me a good five minutes of coughing and spitting before I was well enough to drive home.

I did it though. If I do it every day until the assessment I should be able to do it without them following me around the course with  paramedics and an oxygen tent.

In other news, that wobbly front tooth forced me to rejoin the dentists. I went today.

I lay there with my eyes shut, trying to find my happy place whilst doing deep breathing and other Jedi mind tricks.

I was a tad miffed anyway, even excepting the terror. It had a price chart in the reception area, check up £16.50, root canal £46, cap £198! Damn the getting my front teeth shot and nutted out!

The dentist did a check, said my teeth were fine, wiggled my cap off, glued it and stuck it back in there and then, That’ll be £16.50, please!

Big yay!

Other super-duper news is that yesterday at my sax lesson, sax-sensei Pete showed me the fingerings for the last few notes. I now have the set! From F#, which is somewhere in the dog-whistle range, through to low C#, the sound of earthquakes.

Now it’s simply a matter of practising until I can use them!

To round it all off, I’ve got four days off work, and the garden is coming to life in the sudden promise of Spring. All is peachy.

Well, apart from with Wendy who is not entering into the adventurous spirit of armed high-jinks.

Women, eh? 😉

I will be driving a truck. Worst case, I’ll be away for six months. In all likelihood I’ll be back in one piece, duty done, experience gained.

A year from now the world will be our oyster.

Later,

Buck.

Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be.

At work some coffin-dodging bastard has switched to Gold. Allegedly all the best songs from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Actually all rock ‘n’ roll, and a few pop songs from the latter decades. Apparently there was no hippy era, no punk, no new wave British heavy metal, no gothic. Just saccharin 60’s and the odd inoffensive mainstream pop song.

Which brings me to my point, spleen vented.

They have played Cindy Lauper’s ‘Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun’ a few times. Each time I hear it I feel a bittersweet pain.

I am suffused with a nostalgic melancholy for a loss I can’t quite pinpoint.

It’s not the song, which I like in an off-hand way. It’s not exactly the time in my life when it was in the charts.

I  have been thinking about it. O.K., so I was getting drunk but I was still working full time and my standard of living, due to the above, was considerably poorer than now.

It seems to be some sort of product of the milieu, the zeitgeist and my own age of innocence.

Girls just want to have fun.

We were young, all the fun was new and thrilling (not the dependencies they would become) life was innocent and hopeful, and we were all just kids. Trying to live the dream of the day, which was to be totally ‘right-on’, (which later became ‘Politically Correct’ and a stick with which to beat the dream to death.)

You weren’t a man, woman, black, white, atheist, Muslim, whatever, you were all people, and it could all work out.

I’m getting choked up looking back on that.

‘So young, so dumb’, as a later songstress would say.

Sorry about that, I was trying to capture a feeling and explain it. Wendy objects strongly to me writing it, so if it was too much…, well, tough tits, we ain’t in the 80’s no more!

…..And, we’re back in the room. Senior moment over with.

What has been happening with your quest for a driving job? I hear you cry. Potentially good news, at last!

For months every job I’ve seen is either advertised as ‘must have extensive previous experience’ or it turns out to be a prerequisite when I have applied.

Out of nowhere, like the proverbial bus, three come along at once that state ‘previous experience preferred, but not essential’.

Woo-hoo!

I’ve applied for two of them, (the third was 20-50 hours, I need to be sure of more than 20 hours).

One of them is for a car transporter driver. Not great in many ways, I’d have to take a pay cut on my basic, might be away from home for a week at a time, and it’s at Ellsmere Port (about 25 miles away, so petrol money would be more). However, when I rang them (turns out it’s an agency fielding the contract) they said that the jobs were full at the mo, ring them back every fortnight on a Friday and they would get me in. No experience necessary as two weeks training given!

That will do me!

Gotta go, boss says it’s bed time.

Buck.

Just musing.

Hi! I’ve just noticed that I’ve had 1,000 views of my blog! I’m a celebrity!

However, this will be my 103rd post, so I’m an unknown. 🙁

If you don’t follow me on Twitter let me tell you I’m loving my Kung Fu class. I’ve got my kit and I’m not afraid to pose in it!

It’s a pity the Beth couldn’t keep it up, it’s really spiffy. Don’t know that she’d have loved the last class though, swapping punches so your arm collides in defence/attack with your partner’s. It soon starts hurting and doesn’t stop!

Grin and bear it, it’s good for practice and it toughens you up.

I’m aching still though. And I’ve got bloody friction burns on my arse from all the sit ups! Again! All good though.

My sax lesson has had a positive turn around as well. When I went this week I had a few of the things that I have been struggling with come together. Then he turned the page to a new chapter and it was a checkpoint. Instead of learning something new it is three set pieces supposed to consolidate your learning to date.

As usual sax-sensei Pete pointed me at the new stuff and told me to have a go. It was for a complete change, a lot easier than the previous exercises. I didn’t do it perfectly, but for a first time, sight reading as I went along, it wasn’t too shabby.

I was quite pleased with myself, then he told me that the pieces were from a grade 4 exam! (Or level 4, I forget.)

The point being, these are pieces on which the student would train for months before an exam and I did a reasonable attempt first time out of the bag!

Not trying to blow my own trumpet here (if anything, my own sax) just saying how surprised and delighted I was.

Then he said now we’re at chapter 17 you can move on to ‘100 best tunes book’ or some such. Learning by playing songs, some of which I will already know, rather than by bending my mind around hideous exercises. If you recall, that was what I said I was going to leave my lessons to do in my last blog. So that it going swimmingly.

Here is something I found that seemed to be begging for the title ‘Ships Of The Desert’

Also on the pictures front, here is that Sisters of Mercy/ Merciful Release logo that I want as a tattoo

Groovy, or what?

Perhaps you have to love the band.

I’m currently enjoying a long weekend. I was off Thursday, in Friday, now off Saturday, Sunday and Monday! Bloody lovely.

On the subject of work, I have been moaning lately about being sent into the freezer all of the time. The place at which I work has the contract picking and delivering to the Iceland stores, so it’s not too unexpected that I would work in the freezer now and then. In point of fact I’ve been in there that often that I don’t even mind it that much.

However, what does piss me off is all the other pickers from grocery getting out of doing it by bringing in a sick note. This means the few of us who haven’t got a medical exclusion are always being sent in, whilst the others laugh at us. Everyone knows the job is for Iceland, that part of your job is working in the freezer and that most of the sick notes are bullshit, but nothing was being done about it.

Apparently if you are not fit to do your job that is reasonable grounds for dismissal, yet the company let it slide.

Anyway, because of it, I was in the freezer all but three days out of six weeks.

In the end I’d had enough. I went storming into the office and had about four different managers, up and down the chain of command, over it. (When I said I’d been moaning about it above, I meant at home and on t’internet, I’d just gotten on with it at work.)

They said that there was a review of the sick note situation coming up and the people who were laughing at me would be laughing on the other sides of their faces! And for once it looks like they may have been telling the truth!

The union rep said yesterday that they were going to refer all the sickies to the company medical review people and if they were found to be medically incapable of working in the freezer they would be given four weeks notice! HAH!

Yes, I am gloating.

They’ve all been keen enough to take the piss out of me and let me do the dirty work for them. As I said to one of the managers, I don’t want special treatment, I just want fair treatment.

There are an awful lot of sphincter’s twitching at work now. There is about to be the biggest incidence of miraculous recovery since the bible stories!

On the down side to this week, I’ve tried to register with the driving agencies around town and they don’t want to know!

Bugger.

If I haven’t escaped before, I’ll risk taking a temporary job in August. That will give me a few months experience.

Still, overall, it’s been a good week.

Later

Buck.