Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Hat's off to the hard workers

I had a rather unsettled night last night. Normally I start rounding up the kitty cats at about 8pm on these light nights, if they are in the door is shut and they stay in. If they are out the cat flap is set for entry only, no exit, so when I hear it clatter and I have a headcount of three I know it's time to lock up and there is no escape for them. It has all worked well until recently, when clever Heidi has worked out how to lie on her back and lift the cat flap, and hold it up while she slides out underneath it. She did this last night while I was waiting for Mayze to come in, but came back after about an hour. so no worries, she was in.

But where was Mayze, I searched high and low but no sign of her. I was searching the garden with a torch, and gave up at 12.30am, I was so tired I went to bed. I set the cat flap so she could get in, she has not yet worked out how to do Heidi's trick. This morning there was still no sign of her, she hadn't come back. This was very unusual, because she is usually in well before time.

I put the computer on at 10am and started to make up a missing cat poster to put up around the streets. At 10.30am the little madam comes strolling in and goes straight to her food bowl. Panic over, wonder where she went!

I had an email today, from someone at The National Centre for Craft and Design, remember I wrote about my visit. They have seen my blog and wrote to ask if I would like to volunteer. That is something I would like to do, but Sleaford is a bit too far away to travel backwards and forwards. I will think about it, but maybe it won't happen, nice to be asked though.

The weather has turned horrible again, windy, cloudy, and cold. The sunflowers are under the plastic sheet to protect them, they are doing well, gaining an inch or two every day. I have been a bit lazy indoors, was going to go for a walk but decided not to, and watch free tele on the computer instead. There are a few programmes I like, not many though, not enough to get a licence and a real tele. I had a letter from the licensing people last week, asking me if my circumstances had changed, was I still not watching live tele, or do I need to get a licence. I replied with a phone call, still the same. So they wrote back to confirm that they will not write again for another three years, but they might send someone to check. That is fine by me, I have nothing to hide.

Anyway, what was I watching? Although I have been out of the workplace for almost five years now, I am still interested in how businesses work. I like a programme called The Undercover Boss, where the head of a company goes into the workplace to see what is going on at grass roots. There have been quite a lot of programmes made, and I haven't seen all of them, but they are all on yootoob, so plenty to catch up on.

This morning I watched Phil Couchman, the CEO from DHL Parcels, look into the different parts of the business, from the call centre, to the van drivers, to the hub at East Midlands Airport where most of the international freight comes into the country. I find anything to do with the transportation of goods very interesting, and parcel delivery is something I did for a while. I know first hand how hard the drivers work, 100 - 150, and more, drops and pickups in a day is no mean feat. It's punishing work, multi drops is something I couldn't hack for very long, it was doing my head in, as well as physically knackering me, and I wasn't even old then. For everyone who has had problems with deliveries, they should watch this programme, then they might not be so keen to have a go at the drivers.

Anyway, I digress, the real reason for writing this is that the programme shows the human side of  people who value their jobs, people who want to do well for themselves and the company they work for. It shows the hard working people who want to get on in life, which is refreshing given that we hear so much in the press about the benefit scroungers who sit back and expect everything to be given to them without lifting a finger. I am a firm believer in working hard, what you sow, you reap. Granted the opportunities are not as abundant as in past decades, but there is still some work out there.

What struck me about the employees who took part in the programme, they were all smiley, all pleased they had a job, despite the hard work they had to put in. The loaders pushing heavy trolleys on and off the aircraft were often off work with a bad back. The people in the call centre had to sit for hours at their desks taking call after call, with a four minute time limit before they had to move on to the next one. The van driver who had to do more walking than driving in the city, because of parking restrictions. And the driver trying to find places in the countryside with his battered paper A - Z map book, and still do a hundred deliveries.

Towards the end of the programme the CEO Phil went out with the London van driver. He was a young Brazillian lad, who was smiling the whole time, despite the fact that he was working on a self employed basis with no guarantee of work. His story was that he came to this country when he was 21 because his parents were destitute, and he couldn't find work. He came here to work, and my goodness he does work hard. He sends half his wages home to keep his parents. That story brought a tear to my eye, a devoted son who is doing the best for his parents. I'm not going to tell you how the programme ends, all I can say is that I was blubbing with him when he discovered that the trainee he was working with turned out to be the head of the company, who recognised what a hard worker he is, and how he was going to be rewarded . I wish they would do a follow up of his story, he would be a brilliant role model for youngsters who haven't had a good start in life.

If you feel so inclined you can watch it on yootoob. I can't embed it here, it won't let me, but you can follow the link. It lasts 47 minutes, but if you don't want to bother, that's fine, it's not everyone's cup of tea. I hope my write up about it has entertained you.


Toodle pip.


  1. Those with jobs certainly have to work hard these days. My son's male boss (who has a young baby)worked 76 hours last week. My son-in-law barely gets to see his children week-days. This is obviously not good for family life.
    Surely it would be better if employers weren't so burdened with N.I. payments and Red Tape - then they might feel inclined to take on more staff.
    Less people on benefits and more tax coming in for the government.
    Makes sense to me!

    Granny G

  2. This is one of my favourite programmes, I think every large company should send one of the 'top guns' in to see what things are like at workshop floor level.

  3. This is the kind of 'fly on the wall' tv documentary one loves, thanks for sharing lovely lady!

  4. Thanks for sharing Ilona. It's always great to hear when the boss finds his staff are doing a good job.

  5. I wasn't able to watch, but a very inspiring story, nonetheless. Glad the cat made her way home.

  6. I saw that programme, too and blubbed along with you at the end. He was such a lovely chap, so humble that he didn't at first believe that his boss was rewarding his hard work and attitude to his parents. I loved it when he went back into the boss's office to ask if it was a TV programme being filmed for a laugh. I reckon he thought he was on Candid Camera!
    Glad to hear you have a full head count of cats - I wonder where she went to; was she licking her chops when she came in? Lol, lol.

  7. When my hard working boss took an hour off to drop in on his 2 year old's birthday party I laughed and asked, 'Did she recognise you?' He said, 'Yes I was there last year'!! Sad really. She will be grown up now and probably working hard herself. I hope she takes an hour out now and again to visit her dear old dad.

  8. A lot of bosses don't realise what talent they have within their organisations and end up loosing key people.
    I've changed jobs over the years to try to have some family life and have found agency work is best for me. You don't get drawn into the politics either. Just turn up do the job and go home again, a happier worklife.
    Unfortunately hard work and concientiosness rarely get recognised-the companies loss.

    1. I agree with you there Dave, about agency work. I was with an agency at B & Q for seven years. Suited me fine.

  9. The tv licence guy came to check our tv licence as i was leaving for work. I said we had one in a shoe box on top of the wardrobe and called my wife to deal with him. He introduced himself and asked to see the licence. She replied 'i'm not sure where it would be' he said 'its in a box on the wardrobe'. My wife replied 'wow them tv licence detector vans are amazing!!!'


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