Tag: Driving

It’s all about now.

Hi. I’m nervous now. Today is supposed to be the day. I have to go in and see the site manager, my bezzie mate/ total bastard, Tony Simpson today. This is it. My future hangs in the balance. If he says I can go driving then I’ll be ecstatic but terrified, if he says I can’t I’ll start applying for jobs in earnest. The third, and worst, option is that he says ‘I’ll get back to you’ (again).

So far this has been a happening week; Wendy and I compromised on the sax, I’m initially renting it for four months to see if I can take to it and stick to it, but I now have a sax! (Pictures to follow, got to go to work in a bit.)

I even got a noise out of it! I wouldn’t go so far as to claim it was a note, but it was better than the breathless wheeze I seem to remember achieving the last time I owned one.

My shoes finally arrived today, six days too late for the do to which I intended to wear them, but stunning none the less. Hand made to order, which explains the delay, but not the claim of a ten day turn around made by the website.

My 0% interest credit card came yesterday, I’ve transferred that huge debt I ran up for my driving lessons (for which they had recently upped the interest repayment to ninety pounds a month!) and we will easily be able to settle that before we start incurring interest again.

So now it’s just the job. I’m scared if he says ‘yes’, as when I said I would like to go out with a driver for a week to build up my experience safely, he changed it to ‘an assessor, yes’. If that is the case I’d feel like I was on my driving test for a whole week!

If he says ‘no’, then the panic subsides until such times as I can actually get someone to give me an interview, never mind a job.

If, as I’m expecting, he says ‘I’ll get back to you’, I’ll be miffed, but I have no choice but to hang in there.

Well, good, bad or indifferent, I’ll let you know tomorrow. Also I’ll post pictures of my eBay bargain suit, so-cool shoes, and unspeakably cool sax. 

Fingers crossed,


Hurry up and wait

I’ve calmed down after my last impotent rant. When I returned to the Independent’s story later on the problem had been cleared and there were several cynical and informed replies posted. The story is getting out, and people are aware that want to be aware. If one chooses to subscribe to the evil Murdoch’s promulgation pawns that is a choice. Less of a choice when you consider how many local radio stations all cut to Sky for their news updates, and the unadulterated propaganda that is Sky telly. Enough!

Was it one of those ‘use this word in a sentence’ deliberate misunderstandings on the word ‘horticulture’ that ran: you can lead a whore to culture, but you can’t make her think.

Not independently valid on any level when you break it down, but if you accept that reality is objective, its interpretation subjective, and its reporting selective, it follows that a person who fails to question probably just wants a simple answer.

As they say of being a biker ‘if I have to explain, you wouldn’t understand.’

Not you, imagined and implicitly clever reader, but the Sun reading herd. Not even that broad a category, Sun believing herd.

Anywho, believe it or not I have actually calmed down. All the above was just a way of saying that I probably won’t be writing up my manifesto piecemeal, defining myself by what I oppose. People believe what they want. The evidence that informs my views is equally available to all. To think that only I can extrapolate the truth is verging on megalomania, and is at best patronising. You are all spared. Do your own thinking and don’t blame me when you get it wrong! (Joke!)

Over myself now.

Now we’ve thrashed that one out lets move on.

Potentially good news about my driving, I went in to see the HR chick yet again on Friday (the latest date when everything would be resolved, obviously it wasn’t, again!) but this time the main woman wasn’t there so her minion said she’d go and see her. I waited a few minutes then out came the site manager. I ignored him, thinking he was about his business and it wouldn’t relate to mine. He came up to me, sat me down, and had a five minute chat with me. Perhaps I should mention in passing that the perception is that he is more than just the site manager (although that is at the top of the food chain as far as everyone on site is concerned), the feeling is that he is a troubleshooter. Sent to sort out sites, then move on. He is, it’s felt, a company hit-man.

Since he took over there have been lots of changes (such as we de-kit lads being chucked out of our department and Eastern European agency lads being given our jobs). So when I say he was talking to me, I mean a chap with some clout.

He said he was still looking into it, trying to find out why, if Warehouse-to-wheels was a success, it wasn’t an ongoing concern. If it was not a success what was wrong with it, etc.

He explained that Iceland own the fleet of trucks, but DHL (for whom we work) insure them. That because they are high street stores to which we deliver, the access is often torturous, across car-parks, and into tight yards. He asked how I saw it proceeding. I said that I would like to go out with a driver, me driving, him watching, for a week until I got my confidence up and learned the job.

He said he would get back to me on Wednesday, with an answer, but in principle how would I feel about night trunking? (Working nights, obviously, picking up a trailer from our big, wagon-friendly yard, driving along one or two major roads, with hardly any traffic on them, straight onto the motorway then the same again at the destination. Drop that trailer off, pick up another, then drive home.) I said that would be ideal.

All of which implies that he has been taking an interest, no just stringing me along. He’s talked to the transport manager, got an assessment of the difficulties a new driver would face and how to minimise them. This could be for real. He also said that as he would be sending me out with a driver for a week that would cost him £400 wages, how would I feel about staying on my current pay rate until I’d made that back? YES, goddammit! Give me the truck keys and lets go!

So now we wait, again. Hopefully Wednesday will be the day.

I’ll be sure to post whatever the outcome, for now I have to get ready for work.



Turn and about.

Well, it’s all change again. I went into Human Resources again today, but the HR chick I spoke to a few days ago had been off for two days and by all appearance had forgotten about me. She took my name and number and said she would see the main manager then contact me. This was in relation to my request to have a bit of help in my  driving progression.

The company boasts of it’s initiatives for its employees, one of which being the ‘warehouse to wheels’ scheme. It’s on a big board as you walk into the main building, yet when I’ve asked the transport hierarchy all they’ve done is provide excuses why our site doesn’t run the scheme.

So I asked the HR bint the other day if, now I’ve paid for the expensive bit out of my own pocket (getting the training and licenses) if the company could put me on the final part of the scheme.

I wasn’t placing any great hopes on getting a reply, but as I was having a shower (typically!) she rang me. She said she’d talked to the MD of the site and he’d told her to contact the site that does run the W-T-W scheme to find out if it was practical for it to be implemented on our site for me!

Apparently the person responsible at the other site is on holiday until Monday, but my new best-mate has sent them an email and has told me to get back to her Monday dinner time, when she can tell me more.

That’s not a no.

Hope springs eternal.

We have qualified driver assessors on site, a whole fleet of trucks and the truckers to man them, what more do they need to get me up to scratch? I’ve passed the bloody test, all that’s left is experience.

Yesterday at work, at 13.50 hrs, ten minutes before my shift ended and I was due to speed home with a glad heart and start making ‘phone calls about the jobs advertised on the interweb, a siren went off at work. As is common practise, everyone ignored it.

However this time it was for real. We had a major ammonia leak from the cooling system in the freezer. Apparently that’s bad in a terminal way. The fire service and police were on site in minutes, they closed off main roads around the site and banned us from returning to the building until we weren’t going to die.

17.54 they finally let me go back inside to get my keys out of my locker so I could go home. My sinuses had kicked in again so I was suffering from a progressively worsening headache, I was sat outside for the four hours, with no idea when I was going to be allowed to go home.

Less than fun.

Today, as soon as I got home (without headache, hurray!) I set to ‘phoning around. One of the jobs was a flat out ‘no’ (needed two years experience, not stated in the advert) another was supposed to get back to me but hasn’t yet, and the third was the surprise; an apparently honest agency!

The chap asked me if I was in full time work, I confirmed I was, then he told me he couldn’t in all conscience get someone to give up a full time job for what he had to offer. He said that his agency were still working there way into this new contract and the work they had at the moment wasn’t  sufficient or sufficiently reliable to warrant leaving full time employment. He took my name and number and told me he would let me know if anything worthwhile turned up. He reckoned that contract should have stabilised in a few weeks.

It’s the first time that has ever happened to me though. Usually the agency tell you they have a ten pound an hour job but before they can give you the details you have to register with them. Then when you’re on their books they say "that job doesn’t start for another few weeks, so will you do this minimum wage job for now?" The good job doesn’t turn up because it never existed, but now they have another body on their books if they have a position to fill.

Also I was talking to a Stobart’s driver today, he confirmed that they do take on newly qualified drivers, said they preferred them, as they like to mould them into their way of doing things.  I said I was mould-able. Malleable R us, that’s me.  Anyway, he said that Tesco’s are building a distribution centre in Warrington, that Stobart’s have most of Tesco’s contracts, and that therefore Stobart’s will need more drivers presently.

in conclusion then, I have potential irons in the fire, my works first and foremost. If they could come through for me it would be perfect. Train at the job, whilst in a job, to get the job.

Also the joy of being able to walk up to that union rep and say "There. If you ask they will train you. Off my own back I’ve sorted this. What use are you, you tosser, and why have I been paying union subs?" (OK, so I’m not about to say any of that, but I can think it!)

Second place would be Stobart’s giving me a full time job, and better than a kick a teeth with a steel toe-cap would be that agency letting me drive and getting my experience for a real job that way.

All of this plus not being dead from ammonia and not in pain from my sinuses. Good day! Now if only my foot would go down (it feels stretched to capacity around those popped blisters) and stop hurting all would be rosy!