November 24th 2020
I made it! Late yesterday afternoon I had my induction for the upcoming position as Christmas Casual worker for the Royal Mail. I arrived at the depot some forty minutes early, a bit mad when you think it was only a mere seven minutes that I had to drive but I hate lateness and who knows what could go wrong. I parked at a nearby gym and read a quick chapter to calm me down, I was nervous, it has been a long time since I had had a ‘first day’.
With thirty minutes to go I thought maybe I will just drive to the depot and make sure there was somewhere for me to park and, boy, am I glad I did that.
I was at the wrong place.
“Staff entrance is on Knight Road mate!” The voice from the intercom told me. Too scared to appear even more stupid I politely asked GoogleMaps the location of Knight Road. It wasn’t too far but still another ten minutes in the car. Finally I parked up, with the reception doors in plain sight I read one more chapter.
I had a belly full of nerves the likes of which I would associate with the ones I feel when I am about to appear at a venue new to me and with a rather unpleasant reputation. I donned my mask and walked through the door.
“I am Paul Adams I am here fo-“
No need to finish, my name is ticked off of a sheet of paper upon a clipboard, I am handed a security pass, a hi-visibility vest and a pile of paperwork. I know my name pretty well by now and my signature has always just been a P and an A scroll, so I hand my paperwork to Doris, she is in charge of our induction, a full four minutes before the next one is handed in. We were split into groups of seven and off we went. Once in Pod one we were given a hint as to what to expect.
“Has anyone worked for the Royal Mail before?” Asked Doris and one guy put his hand up and proudly told us all how this was going to be his third contract as a Christmas Seasonal worker. He didn’t really shut up from that moment on.
I have had hundreds of first days on the job type experiences, my mum was in recruitment so I was never really out of work and temporary work was handy in between Bluecoat seasons. My point is I know how to act during an induction. Listen and keep your mouth shut. Yep, you’re ahead of me…
Every time we stopped at a different department Doris would give us clear and concise instructions as to what was happening there and what was expected of us. Every time Mr Jobsworth would just repeat what we’d heard but in a slower, more patronising manner ‘I know what I am doing’ kind of way.
I listened and kept my mouth shut for pretty much thirty nine of the forty minutes we were there. Eventually Mr Jobsworth just went too far, dragging a couple more of the group with him he carried on talking while Doris gave me a look.
“I think I know why this guy has never managed it past the Christmas Seasonal worker position!”
Doris laughed, every one laughed, well, maybe not Mr Jobsworth. Who it turns out is joining me between 8pm and 6am every weekend between now and Christmas!
And I won’t be getting a Post Office T-shirt either!
Shots of Coffee: 7
Reading: The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza
Listened to: Radio X
YouTube Tip: I Had To Watch
Word Count: 627