So far, so bloody good.
The job itself is pretty cushy, delivering to big Bookers/ Makros or whatever. These tend to be on industrial estates with lots of easy access. Then all you do is pull your curtains to let them get the pallets off the side of your trailer or jump on the back with a pump truck and move the pallets to the end for the fork lift to take off. The easiest option is when they have a proper dock so you just back up to it and they unload you, but they are not that common.
Then it’s usually go to a relatively local factory or warehouse and pick up a load to take back to Haydock.
They treat the drivers really well as well. On the curtain sided trailers they have a security cord that fits through all the fastens along the curtain, so you can’t open it. I went to one place, they said to open my curtains, so I pulled the cord through, looped it up on the catwalk between the cab and the trailer and pulled my curtains. Then they said to reverse into the bay area. Which I did. Then realised the catwalk is part of the cab, the cord is attached to the trailer, there was a lot of movement, the cord got snagged and snapped.
At my last place that would have been ‘one strike’. I was expecting drugs and alcohol test and disciplinary procedure. I got back to the office and told them, they said “Go and put a new one on. Be more careful in future.”
The downside to the job is the shift length. Either a bare 8 hours, or like last week, 15 hours, 13, 12 etc.
I have been struggling trying to get to karate or do runs.
I have talked to two drivers who are full time, probably they have been dragging the job out and grabbing (which I can’t get my head around. If you can go after 9 hours, I’m gone) but one of them said he made 45K last year, the other said 50K. This was in front of other drivers, so I don’t think they were bullshitting.
For the full timers it’s something like £12 per hour days, plus 20% after 18.00, 25% after midnight, I think one of them said it was time and a third for overtime, time and three quarters for working your sixth shift. If you were doing a 60+ hour week that would soon add up.
The agency have been doing what I want as well. I asked for mornings, the latest I’ve started was 10.30 I think, earliest was 05.30. Pretty much dead what I asked for. Today I asked if I could do regular Sun-Thurs, they said OK. Sent me a text saying work has been pretty slack at Bookers this week (I’ve been in all week, so didn’t know) but they’ve been giving me priority as Bookers ‘like my work’. Cool. I’ve not been there five minutes but someone’s noticed me.
Last weekend I thought I’d try a hill run to strengthen my legs. Whilst looking for the address of a killer hill in Bolton (Winter Hill, a three mile ascent to the tallest hill in the Pennines – thank you Wikipedia-) I noticed the Bolton Hill Marathon has moved from the unbelievably bitter March timeslot to June. I entered there and then. Then went for a run. My first hill run in years. I was dying within 2 miles. I ascended 2,000 feet on the run, most of it in the first 6 miles, and my legs were dying. I was wearing my lungs externally. I was determined to do at least a half but even that was nearly too much. I got a bit of focus back and managed to force out 15 miles, but it was pure misery.
Still, I’ve got 6 weeks until the marathon. No pressure.
On top of work and trying to fit in karate I have a further hurdle to overcome. I’ve come down with a parched throat (at first) then tickle and dry cough and feeling lousy. So that’s super. I’m calling it Bulgarian Plague, even though Lisa hasn’t got it, as I came down with it a few days after meeting my mam, who is fresh over from that well known Euro plague pit.
Right, I’ve had an hour, must be bedtime.