I walked off a job yesterday, not a decision I take lightly but felt I had no option in the end.
It started Monday (today is Wednesday), I arrived on site at 6:45am closely followed by the manager and a gaggle of people. One in particular was screaming the odds over having to use their car because they missed their lift, still can’t fathom what the problem was, surely its obvious. You miss the free lift you get yourself to work. I was supposed to be sharing accommodation with this person for the rest of the week and I was already having second thoughts and figuring out if I could still survive on 4hrs sleep a night like the old days. So, the precedent was set on how well dealings were going to be with this person’s team for the rest of the day, wasn’t too impressed with the managers way of dealing with it either but hey we all deal with things our own way and this was just a short 4 day contract.
Let’s set the scene now…..I’m on post on a dirt road splitting show exhibitors into their right lanes, already booked in go in the left hand lane and enjoy your day, need to be booked in go in the right hand lane and good luck with stroppy knickers at the next stop, didn’t actually say this but you get the point … All good right? Haha hahaha its worrying to see how many drivers don’t know their left from their rights and how many professional foreign lorry drivers don’t have one word of English (I don’t drive for a living but whilst driving in France I at least made sure I knew both spoken and written of keep left, keep right, no entry etc), well as you can imagine they picked the wrong lane as well and yes stroppy knickers and crew blamed the splitting of traffic team (my team) for not giving correct instructions, frustrating looks from our side all round .. And then the heavens opened..
The good news here was the dirt track was no longer throwing up clouds of dust making it impossible to see anything behind the lead lorry, the bad news was, the jackets supplied were not waterproof. I focused on the good news, baseball hat on, shoulders hunched and away we go. The splitting of vehicles became worse when the left hand lane became flooded and people who were heading in the right direction changed their minds and diverted down the right lane, well stroppy and Co were not impressed, probably because they had to brave the wind and rain for 30 seconds and it messed up the hair and make up and started spinning people round to come back down the one way system the wrong way. Imagine my surprise when I get clipped by the odd wing mirror from a vehicle that shouldn’t be there. All this, the torrential rain, the wind, the non compliance of instruction resulting in the tit for tat reaction went on for several hours, well actually the latter was when they went off shift at 7pm. Before they left there was yet another rant from stropsy which left me in no doubt that I was driving home. I relaid this to the manager on the premise that I needed a dry pair of boots for the morning as my waterproof ones were now no longer waterproof, he didn’t seem impressed but tough, I’d rather risk the roads during the storm then share accommodation with strops.
Driving home Monday at 9pm left me in no doubt that if the weather continued like it was then I’ll have trouble driving in to work the next day.
Tuesday. The journey to site would normally take an hour and fifteen to get in, so gave myself over 2hrs to get there. Made it with 15 minutes to spare.
Me to manager in cheery voice “the roads are terrible took over 2hrs to get in rather then just over the hour”
Manager “yeah, took me an extra 10 minutes as well”
Me unable to see the connection “yeah floods and trees are down everywhere, so many people were turning round and going home”
Manger gruffly “there was a tree down on the caravan site as well”
Me thinking and?! Walked away without another word. The rest of the team start to arrive.
Can’t hear managers briefing due to stroppy (though seems slightly happier) and Co are talking. Catch up on briefing from Co workers that only 4×4’s with no trailers are allowed on site due to ground conditions, yep its still torrential rain and the wind is stronger, but hey, the manager did actually hand me a pair of waterproof trousers that morning so things are looking up. Head out to my non-sheltered post. Take stock of my surroundings, as any good security would, and realise the left lane is impassable to all 2wd cars and small vans. Start splitting traffic into all non booked in and small vehicles, booked in or not, in the right lane. Left lane for booked in lorrys, large vans and 4×4’s, forgetting of course that most 4×4 drivers don’t realise these are the conditions their cars are built for and also stop and head down the right lane. Little bit happy, now back to full strop comes over the radio about not doing our jobs properly and sending everyone down the right lane. I politely reply that they might want to take note that the left lane is about 2ft deep and 30ft long worth of flood waters. Next thing I know I have a 4×4 coming up alongside me from the wrong direction.. Here we go again.
Waterproof trousers are not waterproof but do seem to be excellent at trapping the water on the inside.
Happily making the best of an already trying day (only on duty for an hour so far) when someone, was told higher management, decides to pop out their heated room looks at me and states aggressively “I want you to stand there!” points to a spot 6 feet away, turns to colleague “I want you there” again points to a spot 6 foot away. When neither of us move he then continues to point out in the same tone that any disruption to the main road at the top of the track and they will be heavily fined, I’m thinking, no kidding sherlock, I’ve been doing this since before you were born. I still don’t move as he hasn’t actually asked me what I’m standing there for, he stomps off to the person that should of got the brunt of his annoyance as colleague and I are where we should be.
The rot is starting to set in.
Clarification of a lorry was required for entry to site, this was given so I stepped aside to allow it to pass, a second vehicle pulled round behind the lorry, yes my job was to stop the sneakies, which I did with this one, my colleague called across confirming what the driver was telling me about, that he was part of the previous lorry and allowed access, youngun is out again, all I saw him do on Monday was read, cook and eat food in the warm dry cabin, and here he was braving the rain again (what a star.) Shouts “no 4×4’s with trailers allowed” I stick my hand out to stop driver.
Driver “oh for f… sake”
Colleague “Their allowed on”
Driver glaring at me “I’m with that F…… lorry”
Youngun also glaring at me “no trailers allowed”
Colleague “let them on”
Driver edging forward
Youngun “don’t let them in”
Me “you know what, sort it out between yourselves, I’m done”
As I walk away I hear “just do your f….. job”
Back to the warm cabin to strip off the waterproof but not actually waterproof gear.
Youngun follows “got a bit wet?”
Me “no I’m going”
Me looks in disbelief and told him exactly why. Manager was called.
After heated discussion on which it transpires youngun is not management (but is owners son), and the stroppy brigade are more like friends of the manager then staff, and with youngun denying he spoke with anything other then respect, means all I need is to come out of the wet apparently as they have all decided this is the reason I’m not happy. This just strengthened my resolve to leave.
My conscience is still prickling at me that I left my 2 colleagues to deal with the traffic in those horrendous storm conditions along with the stropsies and youngun suddenly realising he’s being paid to do something but felt I had no option. Sorry guys