Tag: Broadband

Change is the only constant (have you always thought that?)

Interesting times in the world of the Buckster.

The long standing rumour about us being chucked out of our department and agency drones taking our jobs appears to be about to bear fruit.

We worked one of our rest days from mid November to early January, which, with the way our shift pattern is, meant lots of nine day stints. We did double-backs (2-10 on a Saturday, back in for 6-2 on a Sunday) during those nine day stints. We worked tirelessly and determinedly, setting new productivity records in the process.

Then, as soon as the xmas rush was over, we heard the rumour.

Since then it has gone back and forth; first it was flatly denied, then we had an agency boss sizing our job up for a whole day, nothing came of the bid he put in, still denied there was anything to the rumour, then a whole gaggle bosses from different agencies came around, and finally whilst off last weekend our boss’s lad came in and told us it was definite.

Big bummer.

We’ve still not heard anything officially, but when asked directly at the union meeting the head of our site wouldn’t deny it, just saying "de-kit will be told before anything happens."

We’ve had a day of go-slow, and now have managers checking up on us every twenty minutes or so, and the boss has been told into which department he is going, as for the rest of us it is still unofficial and we have no idea!

This is DHL, one of the biggest multi-nationals around, and they are treating us like this. It’s not like we can do anything else about it, we just have to take it, so why not at least let us know what is happening and when? Most pressingly of all, we need to know where we are going, if we are no longer in de-kit.

I’ve downloaded an application form for Wisemans Dairies (the ones who have the black and white cow patterns on their trucks) and will have it in the post tomorrow. I will take a class II driving job at Manchester rather than go back into the freezer. As regulars here will know, the game plan was to pass my artic and get a job where I am, but Wiseman’s have artics and tankers, so I can move up when I do pass. If they will take me on as a rigid driver (which DHL/ Iceland, won’t).

The other huge change is I’m finally taking the plunge and venturing into the great unknown of a different ISP! Very nervous, but they surely can’t be as bad as AOL!

I’m going with Plusnet, who, according to Uswitch’s independent customer satisfaction survey, are second only to O2 (but they demand you have a mobile with them for the service I want).

When I rang AOL for my MAC (I suppose everyone who’s not me already knows that’s the code you need to transfer to another internet provider). I was on the ‘phone for fifteen minutes while the geezer kept offering me better deals to stay with them. Free wireless router, unlimited free calls, sex with his sisters etc.

(OK, I may have fibbed about the last one.)

But no! I stayed true. I’m offski!

I’ll send everyone my new email before I change.

Interesting times indeed.

Right, beddy-bo’s for Bucky,

Later,

Buck.

Panic when I do…, PANIC!

Oh my. Went for my hour’s assessment in an artic today. They are spiffy. It’s like the flight deck of the Enterprise in the cab. Big computer to run everything, an air sprung seat that weighs you then sets itself to your weight, half gears (where if you change up and it’s a bit much for the engine, or hit a hill and start to lose momentum you just flick a switch, dip the clutch and you’re away again). Even cruise control, you just flick it on and the engine carry’s on without driver input. This leaves you free to rest your foot and play on your laptop (or something). The downside is it’s weird as hell to drive. It’s massive for a start. It’s like taking Wales for a joyride. Then the aforementioned air sprung seat, which is doubtless the last word in comfort, bounces you up and down like a yo-yo making your foot bob up and down on the accelerator. Weird, and not a little nerve wracking. Then there’s the location of the training place; Manchester for a start, (I had a minor panic attack trying to find the damn place, the flashback to my abortive attempt to become a despatch rider round there was only too vivid.) and in a yard with a normal sized gate at right angles to a titchy little back street, to boot. Just being in the cab with the guy driving it out of there put years on me.

I had a go at a driving, (in more or less a straight line) pulling over and setting off again, a U turn (you start driving more or less at your own trailer. So weird) and a quick reverse in the yard. The reverse seems easy enough.

Long and short of which is; I’ve signed up for 20 hours driving and a test. Starting the 9th of March, test on Friday the 13th.

The panic thing in the title, is I then had to pay for it. £809.  That leaves me with about £1,000 available credit. Or to put it another way: about another three tests, if I fail the first time. Then I’m out of credit. God knows what happens then. Selling my bottom around town when the fleet is in, I suppose.

So, no pressure there then. As those new aerodynamic, allegedly tree hugging, planet saving Marks and Sparks trailers proclaim, "because there is no plan B". This has to work. I have to pass within available credit. I have to get a job and earn vast amounts of money. And it all has to happen within the next few months.

If this was just me I wouldn’t worry. Run up the credit then let them try and take from me what I don’t have. However, the card I have been running up is in Wendy’s name. She would take it amiss if she were brought to book for it. She’s like that. When (not if) I do get a job out of this I expect to be working a 60 hour week, so I will soon be able to extricate us from the mountain of pooh beneath which I am currently burying us. But right now it’s looking decidedly like a gamble. If I pass and get work, it will all be worth it. If I can’t pass, or pass and then can’t find work… .

Have to try and get a franchise in the rapidly expanding selling-crack-to-schoolkids market. Woe onto Bucky.

Later,

Buck.

PS one moment of cheer today; some numpty doing telephone sales. He was trying to sell me BT broadband. The joy of it was I was only looking at it the other day so I was up on my facts. He asked me who my IP was, said AOL, he asked if I  was on a contract and when it ran out would I be interested in changing to BT? The joy was this gave me the opportunity to say "No. The line here is crap so I can’t download any faster, AOL is cheaper than BT and has unlimited downloads. Why would I want to pay more for less?" He said "Oh, goodbye then" and hung up! That was lovely. The amount of unsolicited calls we’ve had and you have to be really assertive/ downright rude or hang up to get rid of them. He gave up and went crying for mummy. MWAHAHAHA