To be happy, be yourself.

So I’ve finally started my new job, whoop.

Not done any actual driving as yet, so much health and safety guff to go through first, in fact, a whole week of it. But it’s what a lot of companies do these days because you know ‘common sense’ seems to be a swiftly diminishing attribute.

Because of this, companies have to create a lot of manuals and paperwork to ensure they have covered all the ‘common sense’ things an idiot might seemingly do.

Hey ho, I’m being paid to sit on my arse like office workers do, can’t whine.

Hopefully, I’ll be with a driver by the end of the week and then all of next week, learning out on the road, then I’ll be out on my own at some point towards the end of next week or the week after, we’ll see.

I think I hit a nerve with one of the trainee’s today when I commented that everything we’ve been learning has been something a teenager should know once they’ve been in their first job for a month.

You know, not putting your hand in between two massive metal door hinges as they open.

Or, getting up onto a truck, pulling a cage of goods out of the back and walking backwards and falling off the back of the truck.

Apparently, it’s not common sense to not do either of those.

Ok precious, whatever you say.

I was glad to finish up this afternoon, I can see the finish line and I’ll be out on the road again soon enough.

Be yourself

Until next time…

WeeMike

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Turning 40. Is it a defining moment?

So yesterday I finally turned 40.

Not that I’ve been waiting to turn 40. You know,  just sat at home in a chair watching the world go by and now I’m 40 I can finally be free to go out into the world.

But that’s what it had felt like with many peoples responses to me turning 40.

This past week everyone that knew I was turning 40 wanted to know what I was doing to celebrate, was I doing something extra special, because you know 40 is a big thing.

Is it?

I didn’t think it was. And still don’t, but others seem to think the opposite.

I get excited and happy about things. But celebrating my birth and the 40th anniversary of it. Not so much.

I get excited about the end of each year. What I’ve experienced, learnt etc. And I enjoy looking back on the year and then forward to the next.

But getting excited about the anniversary of my birth. Again, not so much.

Sure I enjoy receiving gifts. As anyone might.

Sure I enjoy eating special birthday foods. As anyone might.

And sure, I enjoy receiving attention from people. As anyone might.

But I don’t feel like it’s that much of a special day.

Especially reaching a certain age.

It feels the same as any other age.

Even reading about other people’s experiences of reaching 40. I still don’t feel any different about it.

Age is just a number.

Cliche I know.

But there is more to it.

For me, anyway.

I’ve never been a trend setter.

I’ve never been first to the party.

I’ve always let others go first.

But as I’ve gotten older. I’ve started to catch up.

Perhaps turning 40 will mean I will be a trend setter. Perhaps I will be first to the party.

Perhaps I will go first for once.

…..

Unlikely.

I’ve always done things differently to others.

I watch. I read. I listen. I learn.

I assimilate what makes others happy and I do my own thing, my own way that makes me happy.

Watching others. Reading about others. Listening to others. Learning from others.

I won’t lie, it has been lonely at times.

But that’s because I’ve wanted it to be.

I don’t do large crowds. I don’t do large circles of people I don’t really know.

I do small intimate circles of people who I allow into my world.

I allow them to share their world with me.

Some people don’t understand that, some people don’t accept that.

Others do and we share each other’s worlds.

It might only be a fleeting moment in each of our lifetimes.

It might be every day of our lifetimes.

It might start unexpectedly and end even more so.

It might start meaningfully and also end so.

Turning 40 has made me accept the interludes of loneliness.

Turning 40 has made me realise that the loneliness has allowed me to learn who I really am.

For a long time I was scared of the loneliness.

I allowed it to consume me for long periods of my life.

But without knowing it, I was still watching. Still reading. Still listening and as it turns out, still learning.

Perhaps I’m not so different after all.

Perhaps I’m talking shit.

Either way.

Turning 40 is just a number.

But it is a number that has allowed me to become who I am today.

Turning 40 isn’t defining. But my life until 40 has been defining.

I wonder what the next 40 will bring.

Until next time…

WeeMike

An Exciting Well Paid Day in the Life of a 3.5 Tonne Parcel Delivery Driver – Part 2

So, continue on from part 1 of “An Exciting Well Paid Day in my Life of a 3.5 Tonne Parcel Delivery Driver” here is part 2…

You might feel lonely being a parcel delivery driver. And yet you’ll meet people all the time.

Obviously delivering parcels to them but yet it will still feel lonely because you only get a fleeting moment with each person and never make any meaningful connections.

Which if you’re fine with, then great, it’s not a dating service after all, but I’ve spoken with a number of people who don’t like the coldness of the job, they always feel rushed, needing to get from one delivery to the next.

I’m fine with it myself, I’ve no desire to get to know the people I’m delivering to, but at the same time I am able to make meaningful conversation in the fleeting moments I meet them, maybe that’s just me, I can always find something to talk about, even if it’s for 30 seconds and we’ve never met.

But working for this particular company it is certainly a rushed feeling throughout the day. A great example of some deliveries I did the other day that shows this is this, read it in an ever increasing tempo……..

I delivered to a customer, they started talking to me about the last time I delivered something to them and how it wasn’t quite the right size or colour.

A voice in the back of my head reminding me that my next delivery was down that narrow road with no parking spaces that I’ll end up getting beeped out for simply stopping for 60 seconds to deliver a parcel to.

And when I get there it will turn out to be the house of the person who just beeped at me, who will then look at me sheepishly as if to say, well, if it wasn’t my house you’d delivered to I would’ve been in the right beeping my horn at you for stopping in the road for all of these amazingly long 60 seconds.

Just as the beeping stops, I turn around to see Tiddles being chased by Butch, who in turn is being chased by the old lady I delivered to last week who then asks in her most frantic voice if I could stop Butch from chasing her precious Tiddles before the poor thing has a heart attack.

Again all whilst the voice in the back of my head keeps saying that I’ve still got to deliver to that amazingly well thought out town centre with no parking for deliveries and park on double yellow lines whilst trying to dodge the parking attendant, yet again.

Then once I’ve dodged the parking attendant and finished delivering to the 5-6 shops before the local double decker bus arrives and starts beeping their horns at me as they can’t get past my van, I quickly jump back into the van and scrape my shin on the door and reopen the scratches that Butch lovingly gave me whilst trying to save Tiddles from him start to throbbingly bleed again.

I drive off whilst making eye contact with the parking attendant who has just come around the corner and realised I was parked on double yellow lines but they didn’t catch me and I smile to yourself and move on to the next delivery realising that any small victory is still a victory, oh and then I remember to breath.

Pah!

That was a funny few deliveries that day, frantic, hectic, stressful, frustrating, funny, hilarious, tiring and energising all rolled into one.

I drove off after all that and just said to myself, this job is fucking awesome.

I love it when it’s like that. It’s a real challenge and every day I overcome it and feel like I’ve accomplished something.

Until you’ve experienced it, reading about delivery driving doesn’t give it justice.

It can, of course, be simple and easy, almost boring at times if you like.

I get deliveries where it goes smoothly. No traffic or parking issues. No cats or dogs to catch/save. No people to listen to moan about the clothing they’ve ordered not fitting or the chair they ordered being the wrong colour.

Just an easy house to find, with a small parcel to deliver and get signed for, then move on to the next one and the next one.

That’s when you can really find out if you’re cut out to be a delivery driver. If you can tolerate doing the same thing day in day out, hour after hour.

Sure the traffic can be different, the people can be different, of course being British even the weather can be different.

But some days are just…. the same.

You deliver to the same houses, the same people, you don’t say anything apart from “Hello, I have a parcel for you”. “Sign here please” and “Thankyou”. Do that 100 times and then you’re back to the depo again.

Those are the days when you realise how much you actually enjoy the harder days.

The harder days when for no reason things go wrong in the depot and a 60-minute parcel sorting session turns into a 120 minute one.

The harder days when you have to really use your local knowledge of your route, some intuition and hope for some luck because it’s so busy with parcels that anyone else would take 12hrs to do what you’re about to attempt to do in 8hrs.

The harder days when you use your organisational skills to load your van evenly and safely so as to not overload one side or cause any damages to customer’s goods because they’ve wrapped something in tissue paper and also despite being delayed in the depo for an extra hour and knowing you have to be at the furthest point of your route away from the depot within the next 20 minutes.

The harder days when you rely for the 10th time on seemingly not so common courtesy and patience whilst stuck in a traffic jam knowing you’re the only one who has to be 1.5 miles away in 5 minutes and could nip down that road over there, but a few people have decided to ignore the yellow boxes on the road in front of it and that’s the main reason the for traffic jam on your side of the fucking road.

The harder days when someone decides to send a parcel to their friend on a quiet easy to park on road with over 150 houses on but forgets to put the house number on it. And when you take the parcel back to the depot because you weren’t you know, psychic. You find out that the parcel had to be delivered that day as it was a birthday present and the person now wants it delivered to their workplace the next day….. which turns out to be in the town centre you had hoped you weren’t going to tomorrow because it was a market stall day and the parking would be even more non-existent than on any other day of the month!

Those are the days I enjoy the most. Those are the days I get home, cream crackered, but happy that I’ve overcome another day. Another day I can learn from, gain experience from and ultimately get better at my job from and that’s surely what a job you enjoy is all about?

Anyway.

Once I’m done for the day, I head back to the depot and unload any parcels that I’ve collected from customers and/or give back any parcels I didn’t deliver that day.

Most evenings this process takes about 30 minutes, sometimes it takes an hour, it all depends on how many other drivers are back at the same time as me and on the volume of parcels we all have.

Either way, I’m generally back home before 6 pm now.

I know that it’s still an 11hr day most days, but I’m happy with those hours, I average around £15-£18 per hour and am set for around £30k for the year.

I’ve got to take out taxes from that, but being self-employed I can claim various expenses which will reduce that, so I’m more than happy with it.

Like I’ve said, for a parcel delivery driver, it’s very good money. Sure the hours are long, but then I get rewarded for it. Without a doubt, I don’t see myself working for this company for more than a few years at the most, simply because I want a life.

Once I’m home by 6 pm. I normally go and do a quick weightlifting/exercise session. Which for the last 2 months has literally been a few high rep sets of either pushups, chin ups or squats. All with a small amount of weight on or nothing at all.

I just haven’t had the motivation in me to lift anything heavy lately. But now that I’m really getting into the job it’s time to push on and get back to lifting some heavy shit again.

Anyway.

Rest of my evenings are spent preparing the next day’s food (e.g my breakfast) and my dinner and then relaxing/spending time at a friends etc for whatever time I have left before it’s time to hit the sack again.

I say that I want a life and by this, I mean that a normal week is 5 days, but the company wants us drivers to do as many weekends as possible. Because people still want parcels delivering at weekend after all!

Obviously, the drivers don’t want to work weekends if they can help it. It’s a long 5 day week anyway without adding on the 6th day.

I’ve been doing every other Saturday to begin with, mainly because I wanted the money but also because I wanted to get to know my route as quickly as possible.

But now that I’m 3 months into the job I’m going to start only offering to do one in 3 weekends because it’s just too much and I don’t have the time to enjoy things I want to outside of the job.

Since starting this job I’ve averaged 5.6 days a week and 10.8 hrs a day over that 3 month period and 60hr weeks are more than I already want to do, but I’ve kept doing them because of the money.

I’m hoping that by the end of the next 3 months I will have got that daily and hourly average down. Not because I’ll have been working less, but because I should have got to know my route that much better and also got better at the job.

Once the next 3 month period is over I’ll have a good idea what the job is really like and then I’ll make a decision based on that whether it’s something I could do for years on end.

I’m pretty sure I’ll stay for the manic Christmas period, if not just for the simple fact of the increased money earning, but also because I’m just really interested to know what it’s like in a courier company at the busiest time of the year.

I’m kind of scared to find out as I know that my route will most likely be back to what it was like at the beginning. That being 12-13hr days 6 days a week.

Hey ho. It is what it is. The good thing is that I always have a choice.

If I’m not enjoying it, I’ll find another job. There are plenty of other delivery driving jobs out there, and I know I could find one with fewer hours, I’d just have to accept the lesser wage

I’ve got my truck license to fall back on, but I’m reluctant to go into trucking as I found it hard finding a job with no experience that wasn’t nights away from home or stuck in truck stops for hours on end.

I know I have to gain experience somehow, but I don’t want it to be at the expense of home life, that’s always the first choice for me. Home life or more money with a certain job.

I’ll take the home life every time.

Although I am sacrificing home life now with this jobs hours. But at least I’m home every evening!

I really enjoy the hustle and bustle of parcel delivery driving, and think I’d be bored with truck driving for hours on end on motorways, stuck in truck stops for hours, or away from home overnight etc.

I’ve talked myself out of truck driving right there haven’t I? Pah!

Right, I’m done, that was an epic 2 parter.

Until next time…

WeeMike

An Exciting Well Paid Day in my Life of a 3.5 Tonne Parcel Delivery Driver – Part 1

I’ve decided to write a post about a day in the life of a delivery driver.

That delivery driver being me of course. And that delivery driving being in a 3.5-tonne long wheel base high top sprinter van.

Be aware this is a long fucking post, so I’ve got a double rum n coke and some jaffa cakes to keep me going, I’d suggest the same for you!

If you’re reading this and are a delivery driver, or know someone who is. You’ll probably know that any day as a parcel delivery driver isn’t, in fact, boring or even mundane, especially when you’re delivering parcels in timed slots throughout the day.

Also, the stereotypical delivery driver isn’t a deadbeat, can’t get a job anywhere else, doesn’t have people skills etc.

Some might be, but on the whole, we’re normal decent intelligent human beings. Honest.

I can also assure anyone thinking otherwise, that a proper parcel delivery driver is highly analytical, has great organisational skills, along with excellent people skills and they are generally very good drivers.

There are numerous other skills in the day to day life of a parcel delivery driver, but if you’re after an easy job that you can coast through without using your brain, this isn’t the one for you.

Or at least it shouldn’t be. Like any other job. If you’re not happy doing it, fuck off somewhere else and find one you are happy doing. There’s nothing worse than meeting people who hate their jobs. I can tell them from a mile off and not only does it look bad on the company obviously, it just makes them look like bad people, which often is the complete opposite, they’ve just allowed the wrong job to turn them into someone who they are not.

Right, enough of the deep shit.

Parcel delivery driving is fucking hard work, long hours and sometimes people can be complete and utter dicks and make you want to commit murder, but one thing it isn’t though is boring, mundane or low paid (for the right company). I’ll get into that later though.

The job I do requires me to keep my wits about me all day and I don’t get any rest during the day, once I leave the depo, it’s Thunderbirds a go, all fucking day, 10-12hrs of it and yes it’s fucking tiring, but I’d not have it any other way.

I could work in a 15-30 minute break somewhere I guess, but it means getting home 15-30 minutes later and when you’re doing 10-12hrs, it makes a difference.

Anyway.

Writing this, I wanted to see my current work life down in words and also in case anyone else was thinking of becoming a delivery driver and wanted to know about it.

I’m not going to name the company I work for, nor people’s names or exact money I earn, some might be able to guess who I work for, but I want to go into as much detail as I can without saying it exactly.

Here we go then.

It’s 6 am, the alarm goes off. Another day beckons. I’ve always been an easy riser. I enjoy waking up knowing that I have another day in front of me. It means I’ve done something right the day before. I’m alive, I’ve got a roof over my head, food in my belly and soon I’ll have clothes on my back too.

I’m winning and it’s fucking awesome.

If you don’t wake up like that at least once or twice a week, change fucking jobs. Life is short, you’re fucking awesome, so go find something that makes you feel that way too.

I fucking love Tony Robbins.

Anyway.

I’ve never got stuck in a job that I hated so much that I didn’t want to get up every day. If it ever got remotely close to that, I simply changed jobs.

And yes it is that easy. I’ve gotten myself into difficult situations before job wise. But there is always a way out, you just have to make the decision and cope with the consequences.

So, it’s 6 am. It’s not an early start by any means (compared to my last job getting up at 2 am) but it’s early enough that I have to be methodical in my evenings to make sure I get to bed around 10 pm every night to get 6-7+ hours of sleep.

Other people’s sleep habits are different, but I need 6-7hrs+ of good sleep to be fully functioning the next day. And seeing as though I have to be on the ball straight away when I get into work, then sleep is one of the most important aspects of my working life.

Anyway. (I like that word, anyway.)

I get dressed into my works clothing which is laid out the night before in our spare room. Mainly because I like to be organised, but also it saves times in the morning fumbling around whilst waking up bleary eyed.

I head downstairs and put the kettle on and make a cup of coffee. I used to drink tea, being British that’s probably a given. But then I found coffee and the rest is history as they say. Although I do generally stick to 1 or 2 cups a day only, I specifically only use it to wake me up in the mornings during the week and at the weekend for a mid morning drink.

I take my daily supplements, vitamins etc and then I get my lunch ready for the day. I’ve always prepared my own lunch as I’m a fussy eater and I can eat exactly what I like every day. Plus it saves a shit load of money.

I’ve prepared my breakfast the night before so I don’t wake my partner up. I like to have a raw milk protein shake with a banana in for breakfast every morning and it needs to be blended together so makes a lot of noise.

As a considerate person, it’s not something I should be doing at 6 am!

Once my day’s food is ready, I sit down on the sofa in the living room. Drink my coffee, take my daily supplements and then read some of the previous evening’s news. I generally don’t read every day worldly news, just sports and technology news. The rest I tend to look at every other day or let other people tell me about. I find most of it too fucking depressing or boring.

I leave for work around 6:45 am most days and from the moment I arrive I have to be on the ball, wide awake, ready for action straight away.

But let me reverse for a second. From the moment I step into my van, I need to be alert, responsive and responsible.

I can’t state those three words highly enough.

Alert. Responsive. Responsible.

I see far far too many drivers early in the morning who are still half a fucking sleep.

I know of far too many people who literally get into their cars/vans/trucks to drive to work within 5-10 minutes of getting out of bed.

It’s fucking irresponsible and down right disrespectful to your fellow human beings. Stop it!

I’ve seen accidents first thing in the mornings, which I don’t doubt for a second have been caused by someone’s lack of responsiveness and alertness, most likely due to not being awake enough.

So. If you’re a delivery driver for a living, don’t fucking do it. We have more responsibility as drivers than everyone else does, so we need to be setting the standard. Simple.

And even if you don’t drive for a living, don’t drive half a sleep for fuck sake. Be a responsible person and respect other people by driving fully awake and alert.

Anyway.

So I’m in my van at6:45 am every morning. I get out my daily record sheet to record my starting mileage etc. I do my daily checks on the van, lights, fluids, fuel etc. Then I head off to my depo.

As a delivery driver you should have daily checks on the vehicle you’re driving, regardless of size and that should include checking you have enough fuel for the day.

I’ve known of several drivers who have run out of fuel in the middle of a run, delivery drop etc and they’re fucking dicks. It causes huge issues for everyone, not just you. Just five minutes a day checking your vehicle and you’re sorted.

Bosh.

Now, whilst I’m technically self employed, like most other carrier companies who don’t directly employ drivers, it’s a sham and a load of bollocks.

I’m not really self employed. I work for one company. I don’t get a choice of the days when I work. I don’t get paid sick pay or holiday pay either.

It is what it is, and is something I’m not going to get into on this post. I knew what I was signing up to when I joined this company, and I’m happy enough with it.

If you’re someone who likes to take a week or two of holidays a year, you have kids and need a day off here and there, then this most likely isn’t the job for you.

Sure you can take the time off if you want. But it will be unpaid and most likely you’ll be out of pocket as you’ll still be paying for your van and insurance policies etc.

I’m fully intending to see this year out without any holiday myself and then see how I feel next year and I might stay or move on. I’m earning more money than I have ever before, doing a job a love and that’s enough for me right now.

Anyway. So I arrive at the depo for around 7am.

From the moment I step out of the van it’s Thunderbirds are go again.

I collect my parcel scanner, look at my route information for the day and off I go starting to scan my parcels.

Once I’ve scanned each parcel, I lay them out around my van, roughly in the order I’m going to deliver them in.

This initial scanning process can take anywhere from 60-90 minutes, every, single, fucking morning.

And I say it like that because when people order and send things they don’t check the addresses they are using properly.

On a daily basis I’d say I can have up to 25% of my parcels with incomplete or weird addresses on them.

That doesn’t sound a big thing, but when it’s someone’s name, with just the road name or village/town name and nothing else, it can take a while to sort it out. Sometimes I can’t sort it out whilst at the depo, so I have to do it whilst out on the road, which I’ll get to later.

Once all the parcels are scanned on my scanner, I then have to route my day’s work.

To begin with, this is by far the hardest part of the job. If you’re new to a route and don’t know the area, you have no chance. I was regularly doing 13-14hr days for my first few weeks as I just didn’t know my area.

The scanner the company uses does have satellite navigation on and it can organise your route into a postcode sequence, but for anyone who knows’s postcodes here in the UK, that isn’t always helpful, to say the least!

Anyway, once you get to know the route, you can then organise it the way you want to based on your knowledge of the area.

For me, this has gone from 90 minutes work in the mornings to around 20 minutes, and even though I’ve been delivering to the same route for the last 3 months, I still have issues finding some addresses.

It’s how you cope with the parcels with the weird address that will define how your day goes and if you can make it long term as a delivery driver too.

The reason I say this is that not a single day has gone by that I haven’t had at least a few parcels with weird addresses on and they often crop up during a period of the day when you have already been delayed due to traffic, parking issues, customers etc.

If you can resolve address issues before you leave your depo, then great, it will save you double the time out on the road.

I know several people who used to be delivery drivers long before satellite navigation and the internet was available to search addresses on etc and to say they have encyclopaedic brains is an understatement.

Compared to 20 years ago, delivery driving is a breeze nowadays.

Anyway.

So I route my parcels into an order that I think is best for the day.

No day yet has been the same route wise. And that is mainly due to the company I work for offering a particular level of service that other delivery companies don’t.

We offer customers specific timed delivery slots and because of this, it can mean I am in different areas of my route at different times of the day, every, single, day.

Everyone morning I will have a certain amount of parcels that have to be in certain areas of my route at specific times of the day. Either because the person ordering has requested it or because the company sending it has requested it.

So obviously when I am routeing my parcels, it is the most efficient way that when I’m in an area for a specific time slot, that I deliver other parcels in that area around that time too.

Which also means that I can’t have a set route every day and make sure a certain amount of parcels are with customers before they go to work or go off on the school run etc.

This has it’s downside and also it’s upsides, but it all means that I have to know my route very well to work out how I’m going to get all my parcels delivered successfully within a decent time frame. E.g less than 12hrs as I really don’t want to be working 12hrs every day if I can help it.

I mean, if I was happy doing 14hr days, I have no doubt I could deliver every single parcel I have, every single day of the week because I’d be delivering later in the day, when most people would be home.

Anyway.

Once I’ve routed all my parcels for the day, I then number each parcel. Not all drivers do this, but I do as I feel it makes my day easier.

Some drivers can put all their parcels on their van and go off and deliver them, no issues finding a parcel in the back at all. Some don’t number them and put them on their vans and have issues finding a parcel whilst out on the road.

Me, I number my parcels and I put them on my van in an order that makes it easy to find once I’m out on the road.

Anything I can do to minimise any delays whilst out delivering, I’ll do it!

Once all the parcels have been numbered and loaded on to my van, I’m ready to hit the road.

For me, this is normally anywhere between 9-9:30 am. And it is that specific.

If I’m not out of the depot before 9:30 am, then firstly something has gone wrong in the depo to delay me and most likely other drivers, but also it means that I’m going to be out delivering until gone 7pm, which isn’t great.

It is fine from a customer point of view, as generally after 5:30pm, a lot of people are home and that means I can get a successful parcel delivery, but for me anything after 5:30pm means I’m into a 10.5hr day and that’s just shit!

Don’t get me wrong. If I was to do 12hr days every day, the job would still be paying very good money. But if I can keep each day to around 10.5hrs, then it becomes really very good money and I’m even more happier!

Anyway.

So I leave the depo around 9:30 am and for the next 7-8hrs I’m out delivering parcels.

This is the easiest but also hardest part of the day.

Driving around, listening to music, seeing the world. Delivering parcels to people who are generally happy to receive them, is fucking awesome.

And I’m not understating that. People are generally pretty happy to receive a parcel from you and unless you’re a psycho or a complete wanker, you’ll be happy delivering the parcel to them too.

If you don’t derive some kind of happiness from delivering a parcel, you’re in the wrong job, simple.

The hardest:

Driving around on your own. It’s a lonely job sometimes and this is something some people don’t cope very well with.

I’m led to believe that humans are a social animal (I’m not and love time alone!) and this is at odds with most delivery driving jobs.

Sure, out on the road, especially in the UK, you’re surrounded by other cars and people, but it still feels lonely at times.

Especially with the particular company I work for.

Due to the time slots we offer to customers for delivery of their parcels, you are constantly watching the clock.

If you stop and talk to someone, that is time you could be spending driving to and delivering another parcel.

Yes, it literally is that time sensitive.

Once I leave the depo every single customer who has a parcel being delivered that day receives a notification of some kind that I have a parcel for them.

Most importantly, they receive in that notification a time slot of when I will be delivering.

Easy peasy.

Not so much…

When you get stuck in traffic. Have issues finding a parking space in a packed town centre, or narrow village road with impatient traffic behind you or in front of you.

Or you have an overly chatty customer you’ve just delivered to, who wants to tell you about the funny lump on Tiddles the cats fucking leg!

Or a parcel with a weird address on that you didn’t sort out before leaving the depot.

Etc. etc.

All these things add up throughout the day and I cannot overstate how much I am clock watching. Every. Single. Minute.

That does make it sound pretty stressful. And I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t.

But if you’re the right person, then you find a way of coping with it and making it not stressful, but enjoyable.

If you don’t have the attitude of wanting to do the job, then it will become stressful.

But if you hit everything head on, attack any issues calmly and promptly, then the day runs fine and you shouldn’t get stressed.

And with that, I’ll stop for part 1. Man I can’t believe how much I’ve warbled on pmsl, oh well, it’s been interesting writing all this.

If you want to read part 2, the link is at the bottom below.

Until next time…

WeeMike

An Exciting Well Paid Day in the Life of a 3.5 Tonne Parcel Delivery Driver – Part 2

 

When you know what you want, but you’re scared to go and get it.

Well, it’s been an interesting few weeks that’s for sure. I’ve now officially left my last job. No more early starts and lack of sleep, whoop whoop. But I’ve yet to find something to move onto, which is kind of scary but also exciting at the same time.

My 2nd to last week at my last job was a washout. I got a bug from my partner which laid me up for most of the week, and thankfully I was well enough to go in for my last week.

It was kind of sad and relieving at the same time. Sad in that I hated leaving behind people who I have really enjoyed working with and for. But relieving in the sense that I can now get regular sleep, not have to work every Sunday or miss my beloved footy, or stay up and only get 4hrs sleep if I do watch it!

Anyway, I don’t like to dwell too much on the past, so it’s onwards and forwards. I’ve been applying for a number of jobs every day for the last 3-4 days, so I’m hopeful one of them will turn out positive. Plus I’ve signed up with a number of job agencies to get them working for me too, so something should come up soon.

I’m strangely not anxious in anyway about not having a job yet. Even though I know I’ve loads of bills at the end of this month, I’m confident that I’ll have something by the end of this week and that it’ll pay enough for the remainder of the month to enable me to pay those bills.

Actually the large majority of jobs I’ve been applying for have been a huge 25-50% more in yearly wage than I was on in my last job, which is amazing on one hand but expected on the other. The main reason I paid to obtain my HGV license was to enable me to earn more, but to actually see the increase with my own eyes is great.

I started out last week thinking that I could be picky with my requirements though. Not wanting early starts or to work more than 9hrs a day. But I’ve decided that I need to earn as much as possible and so if I have to start early ‘ish’ then so be it. Although 5am isn’t really early for me anyway, seeing as though I’m used to getting up at 2am!

And working 10-11 hour days is fine too, seeing as though I’ll probably be starting early, I’ll still be home by 6pm most days.

Today for instance, I’ve literally applied for 3 jobs all with wages over £25k, which is a massive increase on my previous wage. And although all of them were 10hrs a day, they were only 5 days a week and all weekdays too, so it’s kind of a no brainer really.

When I first thought of applying for my HGV license I think I was scared for some reason. Scared of not getting a higher paying job, scared perhaps that I couldn’t do the work, maybe even scared that actually I could and that I’d find it easy.

I don’t know that isn’t the case yet. But now that I have my license and have let the thought of what I’ll be doing sink in, I’m not really scared, I’m more anxious and excited about what the future holds.

For the first time in a very very long time, I can see an end to our debt issues and I can see a future where we are planning on being debt free and actually able to work on creating something more for ourselves than we’ve ever had before.

For whatever reasons in the past, I think I’ve been scared of actually getting the things we’ve really wanted and come up with various reasons and excuses as to why we didn’t have them or really want to have them.

But now that I’ve experienced the things I have over the last 10-20 years, I can honestly sit here now and say to myself, what a fucking idiot, just pull your finger out and go smash it, grab what you really want.

Both my partner and I eager to set ourselves some proper financial goals again, like we used to years and years ago and we have set a few the last few days, but I’ve tempered back my planning until I actually obtain a higher paying job, it’s easier said than done after all.

The last time I applied for a new job I went through 19 applications before I got even 1 reply, so I’m not getting myself worked up just yet, with my measly 11 applications so far with no response.

Still, it wouldn’t hurt would it, a quick email or phone call to say thanks for the application, we’ll be in touch soon. Or is that just me?

Anyway, that’s enough for tonight, I’m mentally drained today, so much thinking. I’m still bunged up but think I need to use some energy tomorrow, so will probably do some bodyweight workout of some kind, it’s been nearly 3 weeks since my last one, egads!

Until next time…

WeeMike

Finally, I’m a HGV Driving Midget!

That was quite probably the longest three months of my fucking life.

Back at the end of August, I booked my HGV theory tests and there started my journey to obtain an HGV license. Today, three months and a week later and I’ve FINALLY got my license, I can officially drive an HGV Class 2 vehicle, wahoo!

Yes I had to take two practical tests, having failed the first one for being a nob head, yes I spent a curly wurly short of two fucking thousand pounds, but I’ve finally got it.

Now begins the job applications again, but this time it’s incredibly enjoyable. Simply because the wage increase is going to make it worth it. Although I’m not setting my sights too high, I know I’ll be getting more money each month, so it allows me to start planning my finances properly once again.

It’s funny because, within 18 months of leaving working on the farm, I will most likely have nearly doubled my yearly wage. And yet I spent the last few years working on the farm thinking that it wasn’t worth all the upheaval; moving back home, reskilling, looking for new jobs, etc.

How wrong I was.

Anyhoo, I’m glad the uncertainty is nearly over. I can now begin to get some routine back into my life and hopefully start proper weight lifting again.

Exercise wise I’ve been pretty regular the last few weeks, just not weightlifting. I’ve mainly been doing bodyweight stuff, but at least it’s been something, and it’s not knackering me out.

Sleep wise I’m still not 100% happy with my routine, but I’m getting daytime sleep now, so I know that it’s enough to get me through to leaving the night shift job and that’s good enough.

Just one and a half weeks left until I finish for a 2 week Christmas break, which I’m really looking forward to, mainly for the regular sleep I’ll be getting haha.

Then it’s full on for January, probably lots of night hours and trying to find a job during the daytime, but then hopefully that’ll make January go faster, and I’ll be in a new job before I know it.

Until next time…

WeeMike

When life gives you lemons, make orange juice!

Just when I think that everything is going smoothly, I go and fail my HGV test and fuck things up for myself!

Four straight days of 4 hour lessons started off a bit dodgy last week with me not feeling very positive at all at the end of Monday. But Tuesday I felt much better Wednesday was a little frustrating as I was continuing to make the same few mistakes, but then Thursday it all came together and both myself and my instructor were confident I would pass on Friday.

Yeah right. Fucking idiot.

Within 30 seconds of the test beginning I knew I had failed. I hit a cone on the reversing maneuver and that was an instant serious fault and fail, but the instructor said nothing and allowed me to continue on and complete the rest of the reversing, which I did really well.

I then did the main driving of the test pretty well, with only 6 minor marks by the end of it (allowed 15 before it’s a fail), but I knew that I failed on the reversing to which he confirmed when we arrived back at the test center and said those fatal words “I’m sorry to say….” …. “Bollocks” I thought to myself. “I knew it” I said to the instructor though.

I beat myself up about it on Friday for most of the day and evening, but then Saturday I got over myself and tried to sort out another test. But unfortunately due to the popularity of HGV driving at the moment I can’t get another test until 7th Dec.

It put a spanner in the works of me leaving my current job at the end of Nov as I was pretty confident of finding a HGV role within 2-3 weeks and having something to bring in the money for Christmas.

So I weighed up my options of staying with my current job or leaving anyway and just finding a new job to get me through Christmas and passing my HGV test and then starting a HGV job in Jan, but it wasn’t looking great locally for jobs and I didn’t want to take the risk of not finding one in the 2-3 week period I have left in Nov.

So I’ve decided to stay where I am for Christmas and then also January, because that’s the busiest period of the year and it wouldn’t be fair or very decent of me to leave them with a new driver right during the busy period.

It gives me a little leeway too in passing my HGV test and to find a HGV job I really want. Assuming I pass the 2nd test of course haha.

Anyhoo. I didn’t do any exercise what so ever last week. I just felt so mentally drained every time I got home from my lessons and I was pretty tired most days too.

This week back at work and I’ve had three 2am starts in a row which was a bit of a shock to the system, after having nice 7-8hrs lay ins last week. Anyway, I’ve done some bodyweight exercises this week a couple of times, just to ease myself back into it.

I’ve also decided to be an adult about my early starts and lack of sleep in the evenings. I’ve been getting between 1-2 hours of sleep during the day time by getting home from work, having something to eat and then going straight to bed and allowing myself a proper foundation to stay asleep.

Unlike the last 12 months where every day I got home and just sat on the sofa and if I fell asleep I only ever got around 30 minutes.

This week I’ve got about 5 hours sleep in the evening as normal and by adding the 1-2 hours of sleep in the day time, I’m not feeling so tired in the afternoons or whilst driving early in the mornings.

I’m not sure I’ll need to keep it up all the time from now until Christmas as last year the work load tailed off as we got closer to Christmas, but I know I’ll need to get used to sleeping during the day time for January, as last year it was pretty manic and every weekday I was up at stupid o’clock delivering.

Anyhoo, I’ve got a job for Christmas, I work with people I get on with, we have a good laugh at times and I’m still driving at least, so I can’t knock my situation too much.

Just gotta make sure I pass my 2nd HGV test in December!

Until next time…

WeeMike