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Thursday, June 09, 2005

 

Late shifts and shopping

If I were asked what my favourite working pattern was, I would say that I really like working the late evening shifts. Some of you might think I’m daft because what with the drunks & chavs etc. it’s the riskiest part of the day from a personal safety viewpoint. Besides, what about having a drink with the rest of the lads when you finish work?

Risky? Not so, say I. The rules say you can work in pairs in the evenings after 8 p.m. so if you get into trouble, one of you can run interference while your oppo does a bunk to safety. This is what we usually do, so it’s very rarely an issue. Even if CCTV cover gets a little patchy in the evenings.

Evening shifts have the benefit of being shorter than days and also because all our Managers, being local government types, have all gone home to beddy bye-byes, so we can do our own prioritising and cover the whole of the town from a van, which saves the old plates from continual beat pounding. Doesn’t mean we don’t work hard, but it just feels like the pressure is off and you work better because you’re more relaxed.

Currently, this working pattern suits me very nicely as Mrs Sticker is not very well and I can look after her during the day and do the shopping at the 24 hour hypermarket after I finish work. The result is domestic harmony, despite all our current problems; Sulky teenagers, insane dog, money (lack or it) and potential job instability.

Mrs Sticker likes me to do the shopping because (She says) I attack it like a military exercise. This is true. If I may enlighten you; Shopping to me is not a leisure pursuit but an unpleasant chore which has to be done, so my attitude is to get it out of the way quickly and efficiently. Target your essentials, do it at a time when the kids don’t want to tag along, get in and out fast. Mrs Sticker also likes me to do the shopping because I stick to what we need and keep within the budget. If you’re a bit canny this is no real problem and there’s often a bit left for the odd luxury item.

There is also the added benefit that the aisles aren’t clogged up with the human detritus of the day like screaming undisciplined kids, pensioners who block the way with their gossip groups and Mrs / Mr / Ms Dithering-Dolt and their misguided trolleys (Although the aisles do get impeded by the detritus of the night shelf stacking crew). Parking isn’t a problem and you’ve usually got customer service all to yourself. Even if the delicatessen and fresh fish counters are not open. If I want really fresh stuff I go to the local Deli / Butchers / Fishmongers / Bakers in the late morning before I go on shift. Supermarkets are just for the general grocery shop.

Finishing after 11:30pm at night means that you don’t get to socialise with the other ‘team’ members, but as regards socialising with Parking Enforcement Officers after work – well, would you?

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Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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