Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Cutting Off in Muckton

Email I wrote to my boss about 18 months ago. Found it again yesterday when Spring cleaning my One Drive on MSN.com

Shall have to put it in the 2nd edition of CUTTING OFF: LIFE AS A POSTMAN.


11th August 2015

FAO: Blakey (DOM)
Cc: Union Rep, Sub Union Rep  

Dear Blakey and all,

In light of the discussion I had yesterday, 10th August with line managers Troglodyte, MILF and Twat plus the DOM Blakey I have now decided to write this letter. 

I do not feel this impromptu "meeting" was handled appropriately. In particular the way I was spoken to by Troglodyte (best comparison would be that she addressed me like she was talking to an errant schoolboy). Also the fact that I was on more than one occasion asked questions by both her and Twat simultaneously and expected to keep up with both. The mitigation I cited at the time for bringing mail back on Saturday 8th August was almost completely ignored so here it is again in bullet points.

1. For the last 3 years I have always come in earlier on a Saturday than my start time from Monday to Friday (10am) at between 9 and 9.30am. This is known to the managers and was suggested by Spitfire McGuire (DOM when I started) due to the earlier closing time of the delivery office on a Saturday. This allows for what I call "buffer time" where I can work over my paid 5 hours in the event of not being able to finish by my allotted time, and still get back before the office is locked up at 3pm. When I reminded Troglodyte on Friday 7th August that I would be in earlier the next morning she said words to the effect of "No, don't come in then come in at 10, we've got a lot of walks to prepare and we need time to get things ready." I stated that this would makes things tight if I needed to work over my time and she said words to the effect of  "You always take your food relief at the end of your shift so if you come in at 10 you'll still have enough time."

2. I arrived at the office at 10am the next morning and was told by Twat that I was on Walk 21. I walked over to it and Troglodyte said to take it out. I pointed out that there were no parcels on the frame and she went over to the mini yorks and the packets hadn't been taken to the frame. She said words to the effect of "well spotted" and I took the york over and began to sort the packets when another OPG came over and said he was doing the Walk on overtime. Troglodyte then said he was doing it and I must be on Walk 20 instead. A few minutes later Twat then returned and said it was his mistake, apologised and told me I was on the Muckton 1 job.

Time spent on this = 10 mins (approx).

3. The packets hadn't been worked into the frame or the envelopes turned for the larger packets on the Muckton job. There were a lot of packets and when I flagged this up to Twat he said that the job "only takes two and a half hours" and it wouldn't take me long to sort out what hadn't been done. I then began to sort this out and asked Twat to print me off a map of where I was going as I hadn't done this job before, only having done the Muckton 3 and 4 Walks and even those I hadn't done for at least a year. I then pointed out that the Door To Doors hadn't been put in the frame and Twat said to leave them completely and not do them.

Time spent on this = 15 mins (approx) 

4. When I finally got the Walk together I said I didn't know if I'd be able to complete in time, to Twat. He repeated that the Walk was "only two and a half hours" and very easy. I again countered that I hadn't done it before and had the commute plus a fair amount of Tracked parcels plus one Special Delivery that would take priority due to time restraints. I stated the Walk might be 2.5 hours if I knew it, which I didn't but Twat repeated that it was easy. The map he gave me did not have the start point for the Walk marked on it. I asked Twat where it was and he pointed to a part of the map but a short time later said words to the effect of "No, actually it's there" and pointed to a different part. I then took the Walk out but had to find van 19 which I'd been allocated, that wasn't in the loading bay or car park but parked up near Church Terrace on the road.

Time spent on this = 8 mins (approx).

5. Commuting to Muckton, Hillside (road)

Time spent on this = 17 mins (time obtained via Google maps)

6. I prioritised the Special Delivery and then began to work on the loops of mail that I had to deliver. Not knowing the area I had bundled up the mail corresponding to the roads on the frame. It turned out that there were two points where I had to return to the van and then drive to a different point. The map I had been given by Twat did not list all the roads I was delivering to and I had to ask passers by for help in finding these roads. 5 or 6 of the packets I was given (some of which were Tracked) were very large and had to be taken separately from the mail afterwards as a special drop. At 2.25pm I then returned to the delivery office and arrived upstairs at approximately 2.45pm. Twat was there with his daughter and Idle Git (sp?) who locks up on a Saturday. As Twat had seen me walk in with a mini york with mail and packets visible in it, I did not feel it necessary to flag it up to him that I had brought mail back, having already told him this might happen before I went out. With only 10 minutes until the depot was locked until Monday morning I assumed the mail would not be taken out and delivered.  This I now accept was a mistake on my part as I should have informed Twat formally and not assumed he had seen me and realised I had brought mail back.

Time spent commuting back from Muckton = 20 mins (approx) 

7. The impromptu meeting yesterday was without advance notice and the points I've raised above were ignored. Some of the gems that Troglodyte came out with during her patronising rant at me for bringing mail back included that I shouldn't have done the Tracked parcels as a different run but taken them with the mail. I pointed out that they were far too big to fit in the mail delivery pouches but she ignored me and repeated what she'd just said. She then said I shouldn't have done the Special Delivery first but put it in the mail and "done that loop first." I countered that I didn't get the Special until after I'd bundled up when the mail was in boxes and pouches on a york, waiting to be taken downstairs. She then said I should have gone back and worked out what loop it belonged to and then put it in. I asked how I was meant to do that if I didn't know the Walk or what roads were on it. She replied I should have looked at the letter at the front of the bundles and found out that way. I countered that some bundles contain more than one road so this was not an effective method but she ignored me. She then said I "always bring mail back" and I countered that I don't and listed three Walks that it is acknowledged I can do effectively without cutting off. Troglodyte then began to interpret everything I said literally and replied with words to the effect of, "So out of 100 plus walks there's three that you can do in this office then?" Twat then mentioned the possibility of re training and Troglodyte said words to the effect of "Ooh yes, maybe we should retrain you." I then walked out and approached Blakey the DOM who had been in the meeting but had left just before the subject of retraining came up. I was then told by Blakey and Twat that the delivery office kept failing and this was in part due to me bringing mail back "all the time." 

I have calculated from the times I listed above, that the time wasted on Saturday through no fault of mine, plus the commutes to Muckton and back, came to one hour and ten minutes approximately. Adding meal relief time of 30 minutes this means that one hour and forty minutes were already gone from my shift before I started. Troglodyte and Twat both said that half an hour could be added to the shift to allow for the packets, bringing the estimated two and a half hours that they think the shift should take, up to three hours. As I had three hours twenty minutes of active time left to deliver mail, I think you can know see that our figures more or less match. 

To sum up. I didn't know the Walk having never done it before. I had to be back by 3pm or the delivery office would have been locked and I would have had no way to get in. I was specifically told by a manager (Troglodyte) to not turn up until 10am on Saturday so things would be ready for me which they weren't. I didn't have an accurate map. 

Also, in light of how Troglodyte spoke to me yesterday I am no longer prepared to have any further discussions with her unless someone of my choice is also present at the time. 


Lance Manley 

Leamington Spa OPG 

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