The wheel turns.

Work has totally gone tits up with Ceva. 3 shifts, at random times and with no notice for two weeks on the trot, this week it has got to Wednesday with no work. They don’t work weekends, so best case two days work.

Then the agency called me on Tuesday and asked if I’d be OK to do the DHL/Iceland induction on Wednesday. It’s massively out of my comfort zone, but it always will be. You can’t move from trunking to store deliveries without adjustment. Now is a good time to do it as I’m getting no work at Ceva.

So I went for the induction. Again. My third time as a driver for that site. I failed the first one (I’d only just passed my test and had no experience.) I passed the second but bottled it and told the agency I didn’t want to work there.

This one was, as ever, a nerve wracking event.

They said turn up for 0600 for a six hour induction. Five of us turned up. They started us off with a breathalyser for alcohol and a urine test for other drugs.

Then there were two.

Three of the drivers failed the drugs test!

So that was a good start.

After that we went out for an assessment drive. The one good thing about that is the fact that the whole of DHL/Iceland’s fleet (out of that site, anyway) is automatic gearbox, which is one less thing to worry about.

You guessed it. They had rented some manual gearbox trucks! D’oh!

A few issues with the gearbox (and the fact that the trailers were twin axle not triple, which oddly means you take the right line for a corner, glance in your mirror and your trailer is heading for the pavement! Weird.) aside it was an OK drive. I passed that. Then there was the written test, road signs, driver hours regulations, geographical knowledge (on which I only got two wrong! Ha!) etc.

Then it was death-by-powerpoint. From about 0900 to gone 1500. I’d hardly slept the night before with nerves, up at ungodly o’clock, then once I’d passed the three test (drugs/ alcohol, assessment/ written) I relaxed. The mind numbing boredom of sitting through hours of slides on safe lifting/ manual handling, coupling a trailer (!), and a gazillion other things we already knew was tantamount to human rights abuse. The worst of it was by the time we were finally released and I should have been able to celebrate I had a stinking headache. Bah.

In the course of the day we chatted about me having worked there in the warehouse and I said how I’d originally taken my training to do ‘warehouse to wheels’. As you know that amounted to nothing after we’d spent all that money on training to get my licenses. The induction guy said “They’ve just started three guys on warehouse to wheels. One already had his license but they are putting the other two through theirs.”

Obviously he now sleeps with the fishes.

That was today. A total pain in the arse. The thing about this is; it’s supposed to be regular work (no surprise, if 3/5 of the drivers fail the drug test!) it’s better money (not sure how much better yet) and Iceland/DHL take on drivers from the agency, then it’s serious money. Oh, and it’s days (stupid o’clock start) with no nights out. The downside is delivering to poxy little stores in town centres, having to unload the stock, and having to work weekends.  Rough with the smooth.

The agency called me as I was having my tea, I do my first shift tomorrow. 1430 start. Unusual time. I thought it was all morning starts. Whatever.

Now I start the adjustment to store deliveries. *gulp*

Slow and steady. I’ll get there.

I’ll let you know how I get on and do the other stuff (and Twitter) at the weekend.