Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Asda the wonderdog and £45000 vans in the rain

It all began early one Tuesday morning in a small town on the outskirts of Manchester. The start of something really big and exciting and life changing - or maybe it was just the first day of deliveries from the Home Shopping section of the Asda superstore in Hyde. Either way, I was there and I will tell you all about it, how we got there and what we have done since......

As avid readers and nosey bugars will know from previous installments I have been training for a job as a delivery driver for Asda. This culminated with two days out on my own, in my van shoving shopping through the tiny portals belonging to very lazy customers who cant be arsed getting out of their onesies and taking a trip along the street to their local Tesco store. I enjoyed the haphazard training and was happy to leave the store at Ashton last week and finally start at the store in Hyde.

Me and my van.....

£45000 worth of super machine!
The live date (when the home shopping actually started) was Tuesday 29 October, but first we had to endure a further two days training at the store to get all the procedures and protocols put in place. So myself, Pete, Dougie, Natalie, Lizzy and Stacey and Tez (the drivers) met up with Suzanne, Sean and Andrew (The bosses) at the Hyde store to be shown how to work the handheld palm pilot, where the boxes and food would be stored and most importantly how to drive the three brand new £45000 Iveco vans that will be our travelling homes for the next few months.

The bay....

Reversing in...

Its in!!
The store has had a brand new packing area built which in our opinion as drivers is too small. The area has room for only two vans to be loaded at one time and is an awkward 'L' shaped area that means we have to reverse in from the customer car park in full view of all the customers, so any mistakes will no doubt be seen and uploaded to youtube as soon as they happen. Apart from the small area the rest of the set up is really good with new computer systems and brand new equipment, packers and loaders to help get the shopping out. 

Most of the two days training was spent doing paperwork and driving the vans in and out of the bays to get used to the tight area. I must admit to being the first driver to get the vans in in one go without messing about, so I was quite proud of that!

Once complete with the training we had a few days off before the live date on Tuesday. I wasn't actually down to work but went along to show my support and help out on what was a hectic first day. It turns out that the drivers were ready to go, but the bosses seemed to be  little behind as some paperwork wasn't available, one of the palms didn't want to work and we headed out straight into a huge queue of traffic on the motorway. It turned out OK though as we only had one late order, although Sean wasn't too pleased about this!
I turned around for a minute....

...and Taz had my asda uniform on!

We are now two days in and the procedures seem to be getting sorted out, the paperwork is all up to date and we seem to be getting the shopping out on time. I had my first real run on my own toady and got back only 3 minutes late - with all my 16 customers getting all 105 boxes of shopping on time - so I was happy with myself. The other drivers also seem to be enjoying it, but with the big bosses still hanging around the section leaders seem to be getting a little stressed - but I'm sure it will all calm down over the next few days or weeks - For now it all seems to be going well and no one has crashed a van  - yet......

Here's a link to see the new vans we are driving....

In other news - Chris is home and getting back to his normal self. He is refusing to sit around and get bored - instead he is getting busy with work - using a laptop connected to his work system, so he is able to get back up to speed with the guys at the hospital and it takes away from him thinking about his throbbing legs all the time. In truth, he is surprising both me and Buffy with just how well he is coping with having plates inside his shattered legs and is getting better every day.
The kids came around and tried on Chris' removable leg plaster..

Buffy and myself have now been in England just over two months - we are settled in and loving it - apart from the random wet and cold weather. Last night we went to see United play and it went from a cool, clear chilly evening to a stormy soaking wet night, before clearing up again. Today was a lovely day out in my Asda van as the sun was out and shining brightly! Bloody weird English weather.

Rain at United
It pelted down

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