Tales From a Postie- Part Two
It is now June 2020. I had not realised that I have not written a blog since I first started at the Royal Mail in November 2018. Boy, things have changed. Not so much with the Royal Mail ,but with my life.
In early 2019 I was transferred to my local sorting office, just a mile or so down the road. A much more rural area, so less walking and more driving. Hurrah!!! I might get to finish at my finish time! No such luck!!
When I wrote my last blog it was Christmas 2018. I was based in a sorting office approximately 10 miles away from where I live. It was the depth of winter, a very wet winter at that, and I could easily have chucked the whole lot in. Indeed a young girl who started the same time as me did exactly that. But I kept going. Yes! the old girl did it!!
After several more meltdowns, the worst of which was then I was put on a new round the week before I was due to go to Tenby with the girls for our annual weekend away. On the Friday, the day I was going there, I was on my own on this new round. I still shiver at the memory. I'd had two days' training, and then I was on my own. There were many house names to remember, as opposed to house numbers. Not so easy. Come two o'clock, with half a van load of stuff to deliver, I gave up and took it all back to the sorting office, and headed off to Tenby, fully expecting to be sacked the following Monday!
Not long after that I was transferred to a more rural sorting office, the one where I now work. As a newbie, I still had not cottoned on to the fact that they gave the newbies the longest rounds. As a qualified trainer this is not how I would have introduced my students to their new roles, I would have started them off on easier routes and progressed them as they gained more experience and knowledge, but hey ho.
I see this tree formation for most of my round. I see different things in it depending on which way you look at it. What do you see?
I now have two routes that I know well, and looking forward to adding more to my repertoire. I have only reversed into a telehandler on a farm once. There appeared to be not too much damage to the van - and none to the telehandler - so I carried on. Unfortunately the back doors of the van had been damaged, and whilst driving up a particularly bumpy farm track, they just gave up the ghost. The office held onto it for a while, but eventually it had to go.
I have only broken down once after having reversed at least half a mile up a very bumpy farm track. (yes, the same one). The van just lost the will to live after that. Luckily I was rescued by a local farmer, as there is no mobile signal in that area, and he let me use his phone and I waited there for help to come. Mark came out to me, and we had to leave the van for the RAC to pick up, but he helped me finish my round.
I have only lost the exhaust pipe on my van once, and Mark came out to help me. I had no signal, so was very grateful to the farmer for letting me use her phone, and also watch her television until help arrived. I had to leave the van there for the RAC to pick up and again Mark helped me finish my round.
I am still the slowest postie in the West! I really don't know how they do it. OK, I've got a few years on them, and as I've said somewhere else am somewhat vertically challenged, but even so, they finish HOURS before I do.
But I love the job. It is much busier now because of the pandemic, and people are ordering on-line. I don't blame them, I'm doing the same thing myself. We are picking up a lot of Amazon parcels on some rounds. And people want to talk. Under lockdown, they haven't seen anybody other than the postman for days, especially out on the farms, or very rural villages. I am happy to talk to people.
I do my social distancing, putting the parcel on the doorstep and moving back before they open the door - although sometimes they are quicker than me, and I have to run back. I don't use gloves because my hands sweat in them, and I would still need to apply sanitiser to the gloves, or change them every half an hour or so. Medics change their gloves between each patient but it would really not be practical to change my gloves after each letter. So I apply my sanitiser after every "bundle" and hope that together with social distancing, that is ok. So far so good.
During lockdown we have had some fantastic weather and I started taking my "big" camera on my round to take photos to put on Facebook. It wasn't long before the on-line ordering came into effect and I soon had to abandon that. But I hope you've enjoyed the photos I have shared with you.
Stay safe everyone.