Did you like that bit of fun yesterday? I could see that some of you had a little titter, you have been reading me that long, you can spot a touch of whacky humour a mile off. One of my tongue in cheek posts, ha ha.
I'm cheating a bit today, pulling something out of the archives, this copy and paste is brilliant. Shall I translate this into text speak, make it a bit more interesting? No I thought not, I'll leave it as it is. The punctuation may leave a lot to desire though, haven't quite got the hang of that :o)
IN THE BEGINNING
Getting the licence was the easy bit, finding the job was not so easy. I scoured the newspaper for a class 1 driving job, and applied for everything I saw. I would ring the number and enquire about the vacancy. Every time, the person on the other end asked, ‘Is it for your husband?’ I replied, ‘No it’s for me’. And every time they said, ‘Sorry the job’s been taken’. After three months I was becoming very disheartened, no one was taking me seriously, no one would give me a chance. Some of them asked if I had any experience, and they said no thanks when I said I hadn’t. How was I going to get any experience if no one would give me a start?
I went to see the boss of a general haulage company who needed a driver, at last I had managed to get an interview. When I got there I knocked on the door and a gruff voice bellowed, “Yeah”. Gingerly I turned the handle and entered. Through a haze of choking cigar smoke I saw him, a huge wobbly man, slumped in a chair behind a heavy oak desk. I was surprised to see he was wearing scruffy oily overalls, didn’t all bosses wear suits? He looked like a wild beast, a mass of black greasy hair falling over his heavily bearded face. I half expected him to greet me with Ho Ho Ho and laugh holding his belly, but it wasn’t yet Christmas.
“I’ve come about the job”, I stammered, “The one advertised in the paper for a class 1 driver”. His jaw dropped. “Is it for your husband?” he said. “No, it’s for me”, I replied. “Good God”, exclaimed the big man, “I’ve never had a woman before”. He started muttering “I don’t know what to say to you”.
I was beginning to feel a bit chirpy, my initial shyness had subsided as I realised, I must be something special, the only woman HGV driver ever to ask him for a job! I had to get in there quick, if I gave him the right answers I might be in with a chance, despite my lack of experience. “Just say what you normally say”, I suggested. “I’m only a driver looking for a job”. He shook his head in disbelief as he took another puff on his cigar. Coughing and spluttering he repeated, “I don’t know what to say”.
‘He’s going to need some help here’, I thought. “I’ve not long passed my test and I’m looking for someone to give me a start. I’m willing to learn if you show me what it’s about”. Slowly he began to regain his composure after his choking fit. And so the interview started. After 20 minutes he said, “Well, we’d better let you take a wagon out for a test run, we’ve got one loaded outside, Charlie will go with you”.
After about six visits to the toilet, I was ready to set off. Stomach still churning with nerves, I selected a gear and the aged Mercedes rolled out of the gate. I crawled around the best part of a ten mile route, petrified that I might not be able to get past parked cars, go round corners without clipping the curb, or setting off on a hill without rolling back. The wagon was loaded with massive clay pipes on a flatbed trailer, they were fastened on with ropes. I spent more time looking in the mirrors to check the pipes were still there, than looking through the windscreen to see where I was going.
It’s a miracle they didn’t send a search party out for us, we seemed to be away for ages. When we got back the boss came out to meet us, “How did it go?” he asked. “Oh, not too bad”, I said. “Will you be able to manage it on your own?”, he asked. “Oh yes,” I said confidently, trying to conceal my terror. Little did he know I was shaking in my boots. I could see he was reluctant to set me on and I was secretly relieved. “You go home and think about it”, he suggested, “Let me know what you decide”. Grateful for the opportunity of a quick exit, I stammered, “Ok then”.
I rang him the next day and said no thanks, I had got fixed up with something else. This was a lie, someone had warned me that he was a cowboy and expected his drivers to break the law. I made the right decision, not long after that the company was closed down.
After 3 months of searching, I went to the Job Centre and told the girl on the desk of my plight. She checked her files and said, ‘I have got a class 3 job, it’s temporary for 2 months, shall I ring and ask for an interview for you’. I said yes, I was a little disappointed, a class 3 is smaller rigid vehicle and I wanted to drive an artic, but I suppose I had to start somewhere. I set off on my little Honda 125 to British Road Services in Derby, about 12 miles away. This interview was different to the last one, a few questions and the boss said, “Right, when can you start?” I was chuffed to bits, at last I had got a job, even though it was only temporary.
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