Sunday 3 October 2010

Work Perk of the Week: My Colleagues

There are some days when I am driven mad by the men I work with and then there are others when I stand quietly at my frame and listen to them with a smile on my face. The last few days for some reason they have been having a nostalgia session. Most of them have been working at the office for many years, several well over 20, and most of them have lived in the area their entire lives. Simon followed his dad into the business and they used to work here together until Geoff retired a year or two after I came.

When I was first here I enjoyed the fact that they mostly forgot I was there and talked blokey stuff and it gave me a window on a whole different world I knew nothing about, it is so different from the way women talk to each other. Anyway this week they started on a conversation about people who'd come along and spent sometimes as little as a single day on the job before quitting. I think they like the idea that people look from the outside and think that this job is a bit like a walk in the park, and then they come along and find it is a lot harder than they anticipated. The stream of managers who have come and gone (four or five even in the relatively short time I have worked here) are a constant source of amusement, and especially Willy, who used to be a very strict and slightly autocratic Postmaster and who still lives locally. Then yesterday it moved on to stupid accidents; the time Lebby came back with the whole bumper in the back of the van, Geoff walking away from his van only to have it roll down the hill into someone's wall, and the first day Tim was allowed out by himself (after a mere four weeks of training!) and he hit the stone pillar of the gate on the way out, panicked and reversed into the old petrol pump.

Friday was the most disgusting day of incessant rain, the kind that makes you seriously reconsider your choice of career, and yet at the end of the day there is still always good humour in the office. And then yesterday one of the Daves called in sick. We have had a hard time recently with people off sick, lots of extra work for everyone else and I warned the manager that the duty might fail. But in the end, after a bit of moaning, they all pulled together and the whole duty was delivered. They know that their work is undervalued and mostly unacknowledged and yet they still take pride in it and I feel glad that I work with people like that.

(Photo from a lovely little local interest website with their own bit of Royal Mail history, Angmering's Post Offices and Postmen)

1 comment:

  1. I have this uncanny ability to get on more with my male work colleagues than my female ones. I don't know why that is. I'm all for sisterhood and women sticking together but get me with a group of women work colleagues and all I do is just clam up and start day dreaming. With the guys, I always have a laugh.

    These are great memories btw - and the pic is just lovely. I work in the public arena too, my ex does too - for decades now and appreciate how such work is forever under constant financial threat, negative publicity and perceptions by those "outside" who do not realise how much work is actually involved for so little reward.

    Take care


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