Sixty Days Notice.
At the beginning of 2019, I was given notice from the company that I had been working at for the previous eighteen and a half years, that I was going to be made redundant.
The company announced that they were going to close the depot that I was working at and would be relocating to much larger premises 50 miles away from their current location, and this was going to be my sixty days notice period.
‘Oh great’, was my sarcastic thought when the announcement was made, ‘what am I going to do for an income now?’ ‘How am I going to find a job that not only I would like doing, but one that would give me the same kind of income and security that I was about to lose?’
On the positive side, I had eighteen years of service behind me, which meant that I would be entitled to a good redundancy package, I am an experienced commercial vehicle driver of thirty-something years and over time I may be able to find a suitable replacement opportunity.
Traditional Quiet Period.
It was not happening until the end of March, which would mean that the traditionally quiet period in the transport industry would be over, but there was something else that was happening at the end of March 2019, Brexit!
Brexit never happened at the end of March 2019, but my final day at my company came on the 29th of the month and I was now finding myself redundant and unemployed.
I had registered at about five employment agencies and I had managed to work for three days in the month of April. I later learnt that April this year was a quiet period for the transport industry because of Brexit.
Then in May, I managed to secure a full-time position. It was a Monday to Friday position that was close by, no driver wants to be driving all day then have more than twenty miles to travel to get home, I certainly did not.
This lasted me until September, I won’t go into details but I was not all that keen on the job and it just did not work out. At the beginning of October, I found myself unemployed again. I was still registered with some of the employment agencies and I still had a profile and CV registered at Indeed.
Not Working Again!
It was from my profile that I received a call from another employment agency inviting me to register with them for a temporary driving position with a large company over their Christmas peak period.
It was a Monday to Friday position and was to cover a twelve-week period starting at the beginning of November and was subject to me passing a driving assessment and all the necessary security checks.
I started on the first week of November and worked every weekday until the middle of January 2020 when it came to an abrupt halt, the busy Christmas peak period had come to an end, and I was now finding myself redundant and unemployed again!
January and February is not a good time in the transport industry as it is traditionally a quiet time especially if you work for an agency. Agency workers do not have the luxury and benefits that come with being in full-time employment.
The Bills Still Need Paying.
Whether you are paying a mortgage or renting your property, you still need to keep on top of your bills, this includes council tax, gas and electricity, water rates, loans, credit cards etc, these do not stop because you have stopped working, they still need paying.
There was no help from the government for me anyway, so I had no time for sitting around on my big fat bum, I had to find employment of some sort, I was looking every day on the world wide web, updating my CV and registering on websites such as Indeed, Monster Jobs, Jobs 4 You etc.
An Urgent Call.
One day near the end of January, I received an urgent call from an agency quite late in the afternoon and they wanted me to go over to their office and register straightaway as they said they would be able to put me in a job the very next day, as it was about 16.30hrs and the office would be about a 45-minute drive, I declined their invitation but suggested that I could come over the next day and register.
The next day I went and registered at the agency and after interviewing me, they said that they would move me to the top of their pile, told me not to worry and would have me working within a couple of days. Probably around two weeks later they found me some work that I accepted and would be an ongoing position.
Soon after I started the temporary position I discovered that the previous driver had left, he came in to collect his things from the truck that I was now driving. He told that he had a business and was now ready to go full-time and had to leave the company. He also told me how much he was earning here.
Another Full-Time Position.
After I had been there for about two weeks the boss called me over and offered me a full-time position, when I found out what the salary was and there was not much overtime available I told him that I would not be able to live on the money that he was offering.
I also had an interview lined up, with yet another agency for regular work with a large supermarket, although some distance away it was doable, so off I went to attend a driving assessment and interview.
I decided to take on the supermarket work as the hourly rate was better, there was scope for overtime and premium rates were available on weekends and bank holidays, also there was the prospect of a full-time position with the supermarket.
Just after I started working as an agency driver at the supermarket, Covid-19 was taking hold and the lockdown came into effect and many workers were being furloughed.
A year after being made redundant I still don’t have a full-time position and feel very un-secure about my own future and as I said at the beginning it is not very nice being made redundant.