Anyway, back to real life and me and Buffy enjoyed a great weekend last week. One of my oldest mates Adrian 'Chuck', Berry invited us down to his place in Culcheth, just 14 miles or so down the road. We had a great night with a huge curry and a few drinks in the legion bar. Even better was the fact that we took about £20 out of the quiz machine which paid for our drinks for the night!
The next morning we sat chatting over a massive home cooked breakfast and stayed till mid afternoon regaling tales about when me and Chuck shared a house and what happened with poisoning people, drinking in shady nightclubs and fridges in bathrooms - good times and a really good night and day at Chucks place. We will be catching up with him again soon - cheers mate!
While I'm on the subject - I will remind everyone who knows me that if you are in UK, get in touch and we will endeavour to come and visit you for a night out sometime! We already have a couple of replies and will be arranging things soon!
Back to reality and I have been working overtime for the last few weeks - Its daft to sit around the house when I can be on the road earning some extra cash and keeping out of Buffy's hair! I do keep getting asked by people about work and what happens on a normal day - so I thought it would be interesting to fill you all in on what I do and how I do it!
The first thing that happens, after arriving at work, is to check the van - a normal inspection of tyres, lights, indicators and general wear and tear of the vehicle so as to make sure it doesn't break down while I am out doing deliveries.
Once that's done I generally help to load the van with the totes - a tote is a plastic box that contains the shopping and the van can hold 105 of the little bugars in 3 different places.
1. The ambient part holds up to 60 totes behind a roller door with no temperature control.
2. The frozen part holds up to 15 blue totes at between -12 and -20 degrees Celsius
3. The chilled part holds up to 30 totes at around 0-4 degrees Celsius
|The van with 'ambient' roller door, one frozen compartment and two chilled compartments.|
|The ambient totes - loaded with food at the bottom and empty ones in 'threes' at the top|
|The small blue frozen totes in the freezer.|
|One of the chilled compartments complete with pole to reach the totes at the back!|
|Load number 5, tote number 996860 and customer number 7553 - all on the tote.|
Once all the totes are loaded and confirmed by the computer system, the manager whoever it is on the day, can print off the customer delivery sheets and the two other important pieces of paperwork that are required. The first of these is the delivery manifest - this is in case there is ever any problems with the palm - It contains all the customer details and which totes belong to which customer - very useful if mistakes are made. Obviously this is only printed once every tote is accounted for and loaded onto the van.
|Delivery manifest with customer details hidden|
|The customer list with timings!|
|The palm - with customers postcodes and delivery slots|
|Each time I tap on a new customer I have to register the temperature of the fridge and freezer - health and safety!|
There are a few things that we also take with us - trolley to pile totes onto when we cant park close to the customers door or when they live in a block of flats.
We also have a display in the van that shows the temperatures of the freezer and fridge. These have t be within certain temperatures as if the food is allowed to defrost or warm up it is against health and safety.That's why I have to register the temperatures before each delivery
|The temperature readout.|
|The trolley strapped onto the passenger seat.|
Once we get on the road it is up to us how we do stuff. I generally take a good look at the delivery note before I leave so that I know if I am due early or close to being late at any customers. I also change the order sometimes if I am passing a house that I need to return to later or if I have been to a house before that know the customer is able to take an early delivery.
After that its all about arriving on time, getting the shopping out as quickly as possible, getting a signature and getting off to the next one. Sometimes the customers are right next door to each other and other times its a 20 minute drive into the countryside. Yesterday for example I drove right out to Marple Bridge and to a farmhouse at the end of a tiny country lane. The satnav also took me down a track that when I reached the end had a sign stating 'Not suitable for motor vehicles', ooops! Its a bloody big van to take down those kind of places, but that makes it more fun!
There is also a certain little humpbacked bridge that I drive over all the time, so that I can avoid going under another bridge that the van just wont fit underneath!
|and on top of the little humped bridge.|
|Manchester from Werneth Low Road.|
So there you are - that's what goes into your shopping - so if you ever get a tesco man, asda bloke or even a Waitrose woman delivering your shopping - don't give the driver any hassle - we are doing our best in wind rain and cold, just so you can be a lazy arse and get your shopping without having to get dressed!!