Monthly Archives: December 2010


Christmas was a very strange event this year. For the firts time ever FW and I had Christmas on our own. No family, no chapel and not even any Troublesome Trucks. The weather definitely made a difference. Having said that we did have a very enjoyable day and FW cooked her second Christmas ever, which was very good.

A friend visited on Boxing Day and stayed over. I must say that vegetarians are very odd people…

As you can see from FW’s post she managed to knock the first item on her “Things To Do Before She’s Old” list and has enquired about a second. Be prepared for requests for sponsorship to emerge.

We finally got to see my parents on Monday and my sister and her family today. Prezzies are now delivered and received. I’m just waiting for my Kindle to arrive, next week hopefully, and Christmas will be finished for another year.

Many thanks to all who supplied Birthday wishes!!!


As many of you may know, today we have had more snow. I know this as it took me 5 hours to get home. In fact it took 1.5 times as long to get home as I spent in work.

It started shortly after I get in. Within 20 minutes we had an inch of snow on the road outside. Even the passing of vans and trcuks made little impression on it. We had reports that trucks were unable to get to us; that ports had not worked over the weekend and some were closing this morning. My boss had regular updates from home and was looking at the camera feed on the M4 in South Wales.

Around 11:00 someone announced that they had to leave. At 11: 15 we had an e-mail from our transport department saying that all trucks were being recalled from South Wales and the South West due to the weather conditions. By 11:30 I decided that I’d leave around 12:00, after finishing some important work off.

Then I had a call from our Regional Director, at 11:50, telling me that I should consider waiting an hoour or so, as things may clear up – but it was up to me. My 2 colleagues who I’d normally carshare with had left 20 minutes earlier. I pointed out that FW had called to advise that her work, in our town, was closing and that buses were stopping; in addition our house is 950ft up from the valley floor.

So I agreed with my boss that I’d leave and promised that I’d let him know about the conditions on the M4. The road from the office to the M49 was one long icerink. The M49 was down to 2/3rds of a usuable lane and the M4 had a 30mph speed limited and two lanes that were only just usable. At 3:15 I received an e-mail from the director advising us that the road outside the office was dangerous.

It is good to know that our bosses take their legal requirement to consider the safety and wellbeing of their staff so seriously.

Small Minded People

For the last few days I have been juggling work and Christmas deliveries to customers. Having moved to our office near Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s iron ship from Wales travelling has been fun. So far I have done close to 300 miles in three days and have 2 more afternoons to go.

In order to insure that my work is done I have only gone out for half days. My old boss thought that this was sensible. My new boss keeps talking about “another half day then?” He is currently unhappy because my old boss has complained about him, so I’m stuck in the middle.

I really enjoyed working for my old boss. He was easy going, trusted you to get things done and did everything he could to support you. My new boss is a small minded, bureaucratic, jobsworth. When I have been off I have had nothing but complaints about the service provided. He doesn’t actually manage of us and looks to blame anyone else when things go wrong.

He objects if you use suppliers that he hasn’t worked with and takes every opportunity to complain if things don’t happen according to plan. However if his favourites do the same thing he hides the problems. Our sales people have complained because he does not provide them with competitive rates and he complains that they never bring in new business – yet can’t see he maybe at fault for this.

He was annoyed yesterday because our regional director asked me to quote for a new customer, who is a friend of his. Then today he embarrassed himself as I was leaving by trying to have another dig about me being out tomorrow. He couldn’t understand that I am visiting customers I have brought to the company, or customers who don’t want to deal with him or anyone else. My old boss understood that such people needed to be dealt with differently but my new boss doesn’t. The 2 guys I car share with were very happy to have a laugh at his expense as we drove home.

Unfortunately he is under pressure from our director to improve the way his department works and to show that he is actively supporting the sales team, and not relying on existing customers to increase business.