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Benfleet A1

Hector Of The House
Jan 19, 2007
Slade Prison
As some of you will know, I work for a Rescue & Recovery Company which is not your average 9-5 sort of job. Most though not all who do this job expect long hours, all weather conditions and sometimes, the very real risk of serious injury or even death. It's the nature of the job (considered in the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the UK outside the military) which I except through my own choice. Oh and did I mention that the pay is pretty dire considering the risks but it is one of those jobs that gets under the skin, you either love it or hate it, a marmite job if you like.

Here is how my year has panned out so far. I averaged 90 hours a week in January due to workload and the snow. I had to dig my truck out of snow and ice three times, nearly lost a shin when a plank of wood shot out from my rear wheel while trying to get some grip ( I was digging, my trainee was driving and a bit heavy on the throttle) I pulled over 20 motors out of ditches and righted another 20 odd because snow and ice makes drivers turn into idiots who forget how to drive (righted means putting them back on their wheels after they ended up on their roofs) I saw my family for roughly an hour a day if I was lucky, was punched in the mouth twice by stroppy customers and disiplined once for smacking one of them back (Found not guilty M'lord as he struck me first and I was only defending myself, twice, ahem)

February was pretty much the same without the physical assault and righting was replaced with tugging cars out of fords and the odd river because of the thaw. The AA also decided to stop all their patrols from entering the M25 from junctions 27 - 31 which meant we had the pleasure of pulling casualties off that stretch. Of course,those of you who have read my ramblings before will remember my continued hatred of the AA who then expect us to take said casualty to a safe location so one of their gutless, no-good, fit for nothing bed drivers can take them on to given destination. God forbid they pick up on the motorway where they might encounter big horrible artics screaming past while your laying on the hard shoulder trying to get a set of brothers round the axel because theres no towing eye, while getting a mouthful of road spray and trying to get the members in the truck and explaining that 'No madam, I can't fit your child seat as it's your child and you will know how it fits better than me, and yes sir, I'm afraid you are responsible for the tolls both ways because your glorious club with 5000 vehicles wont pay for the tolls so you should have read the small print of your policey and would you kindly leave the keys with me as I need to take the steering lock off while I'm loading and I promise I wont break into your house which is 200 miles away and your average thief wont mug you for them while your stuck on the ****ing motorway with a blown Head Gasket which has been hinting for the last 2 weeks you sad, hapless no mark. And kindly stop bugging me while I'm laying in this puddle trying to get you out of danger while looking out for the Latvian lorry fast approaching with a driver who is using the rumple strips as an ****ing alarm clock as he has been driving for 60 hours straight and keeps nodding off and my head is the next port of call. No sir, you wont be getting picked up by the AA as it is getting dark and their drivers are afraid of the dark and all **** off home before they have to use their headlights so you will have to put up with a driver who has been working for the last 10 hours and will now have to go over his normal working time by about 4 hours to get you home because your club can't be asked to provide the service they spent thousands on advertising. For you Essex dwellers tell me I'm wrong, I have been out to several of you before but I wont mention names.

March was much the same except we were returning to the normal run of the mill stuff as the weather improved but the M25 still remains fun.

Month after month until July. I took a week off. I know, I can hear you all. You lazy no-good scumbag. In my defence, it was the first break since the previous November but I know that not really an excuse.

Let me bring you up to date. I was booked on to a course that the compnay has to put you through by law. This was two months ago. Those that should be obyed forgot to advise the control room who couldn't control their own bowel movements on a sunny day. Now bearing in mind that this course is required to do the job by law (glossing over the fact that I should have done it 5 years ago when the law came in) my wonderful control advised me (read ordered) that I couldn't attend as they didn't have enough cover. Bollocks was duly tipped and I went anyway. Day One (Thursday) was spent in the classroom which I passed (Considering I was brooding over a complaint and didn't take a blind bit of notice I'm frankly amazed I got 98% on the written) I told the control that I would be available for work after the first day but not for the second as Friday was my birthday and I wanted to get home early to spent it with my wife and daughter while they were awake and not in bed asleep as I normally get in at stupid o'clock at night. I recieved no calls.

Friday dawns and Happy birthday to me, it's the physical test today and it's tipping down with rain. So I have spent the entire day getting **** wet through being taught to do something I have been doing for the last 9 years, scored the second best score ever marked by this examiner (smug mode) and on the way home the phone goes off. My delightful Control Manager calls to ask me to stay out as it's busy. I reply that I was available the night before and was not required and had asked for a few hours off tonight as I was the birthday boy. I got this as a reply, 'Oh, happy birthday, so are you staying out or not? I said that I wasn't and was hung up on.

In the 9 years I have been with this company I have never, repeat never done a standard working week. I have worked ghosters (24 hours plus) days off, given up holidays, minimal sick days (4 days in 9 years) took on other duties while sick (couldn't drive due to injury so went into control) and I am owed 5 days holiday this year that have gone for a burden because they can't afford to loose me (and others, not just me) Have cancelled holidays which I had to fight for the money back and even got called in on leave after my daughter had been born. In other words, I have been beyond the call of duty. But tonight these ****ers have really tested my patience and generally ****ed me off through trying to make me fell guilty for not staying out. I feel mighterly annoyed at this. In the last 9 years I have had to forego holidays, birthdays, chritmase's, New Years, Family Gatherings, Football, and an whole manor of invites to different things so I could help out a company who couldn't give a monkeys toss for their employee's.

So I ask you, have I a case for having the roaring ache with this lot or am I over-reacting. I have been offered another job with another Recover Company but I just might have the comfort blanket drawen over me but I can tell you, someone has tugged it down a bit and I'm feeling the chill. What do you think?