Finally, 7 years after getting my licenses, I’ve got a real job!


It’s working for Wincanton for the Co-op at Lea Green, St Helens.

It’s further away than Hermes, but still only 20 minutes in rush hour in a car. Being St Helens it’s the right way down the M62 of a morning. Manchester bound is bollocksed from Warrington every day.

I have been looking for a real job for ages but what there are always have drawbacks. Nights, tramping, or Stobarts. £84.50 a shift for Stobarts. Not even an hourly rate. So if you do a 15 hour day you’re on £5.70 p/h. I don’t know how they can even advertise that, it’s below minimum wage, the piss-taking bastards.

Then I saw this job advertised for the Co-op. 4x 10 hr shifts. Interesting straight away. £12.93 p/h (I’m on a basic of £12.50 now but that’s as a limited company, no holiday pay, sick pay, have to pay my own accountant, never know what hours I’m getting from one week to the next.) I’ll get 21 days holiday (paid at 12.5 hrs per day, more for being on holiday than working!) which on a 4 day week is just over 5 weeks holiday a year. There is the option to work fifth or sixth shifts if I ask for it.

The downside is the shift pattern is Thursday to Sunday (not really arsed, so long as I’ve got fixed days off) it’s manual gearbox trucks (sweating on an hour and a half assessment today, not driven one in years) but you soon get used to that, and it’s poxy little stores to which you deliver. So, very tricky reversing. Just take my time and check everything twice.

Bank holidays are paid at double time and a day in lieu. Even if you don’t work them. So bank holiday Monday, my next shift (Thursday) would count as a bank holiday.  Plus there’s £100 a quarter attendance bonus (hardly ever off since I stopped drinking) and best of all, it’s fixed shifts with a fixed start time of 08.30! Unheard of in lorry driving jobs. I asked if that was a guideline start time. Nope, 08.30 is my shift. Thursday to Sunday.

I start my (7 day!) paid, induction on the 27th. 12 weeks probation period. I’ll not know until I do the job, but the assessor was saying it’s really relaxed atmosphere, no cab ‘phones, no hassling you over delays or whatever. He said you get about a 7 hour or so run, spend the rest of the time in the canteen.

I’m still trying to take it in. You know when something seems too good to be true and you’re waiting to see the catch?


In less glorious news the bike renovation has turned into a nightmare. As you might expect. I stripped it down apart from one bolt that got jammed half out. Wouldn’t tighten or loosen. In the end a mechanic chum on twitter said saw the bolt head off, lift the cylinders off, then attack the bolt at the base. Did so, still couldn’t move the bolt. Tried heating with a blow torch to free it, got some special oil, battered the hell out of it with an impact driver (converts hammer blow into jarring twisting motions) not a bloody sausage. In the end I tried drilling it out. If I drilled the middle of it out I could use a reverse thread screw (from my tap and die set) to screw the weakened bolt out. Drill bits wouldn’t touch the toughened steel of the bolt. I tracked down some super tough cobalt drill bit. I had a cracking hole going on, weakened the bolt to buggery. Then the drill bit snapped in the bolt. So now it’s a toughened steel bolt jam packed with a super toughened drill bit. Super.

My last hope is an engineering works recommended by a mechanic at work. He said they can weld a bolt head to the stump and screw it out like that. He said it’s a 10 minute job, probably about £20. He said.

I’ve already agreed to work tomorrow and Sunday at Herpes, so I’ve text them telling them that is all I’m doing. I’ll ring up on Monday and see if I can arrange to take my engine in next week.

All this for a paint job.

Was it worth it?

A 1000% no.



But to end on a positive, think of what I can do with this job! Three planned days off! I can train, start a martial art (again!), sleep, the possibilities are endless. Even if I find the willpower to work a regular five days, having days that are absolutely my own, no ‘phone call telling me to come in in an hour!  And the guy was saying that their peak, as a convenience store, is over the summer, people bobbing in for stuff, Xmas doesn’t really affect volume. So no 70 hour weeks!

Fingers crossed this job is all it seems.