As part of Health and Safety, posties wear orange, hi-viz waistcoats when in the loading bay, the car park, the street, or the sorting machine area (although fuck knows why on that last one). Our managers wear orange, hi-viz waistcoats with blue shoulders and the word “MANAGER” on the back.
There are roughly 200 posties at my depot, ranging in time served from 3 months to 44 years (Ernie started in 1968….scary!) There are 12 managers. Two work the night shift, and supervise a skeleton crew doing sorting only. The day managers have this hierarchy:
Supervisor– 4 of them. Responsible for an area of town and roughly 25 to 40 posties each.
Manager– 3 of them. 1 is the Supervisors’ line manager. Another is over packet delivery. The third controls supervision of the depot.
Deputy Delivery Office Manager (DDOM): The highest rank us foremast jacks can approach for a chat, who is the deputy for….
The Delivery Office Manager (DOM): Sour faced cow who hides in her office, down the corridor near the canteen and past the 2nd training room on the East side near the overflow car park.
The managers range in ability and personality. Of the 4 Supervisors, 3 are OK and can be approached and spoken to normally, without fear of your words being taken out of context or that you’ll be bollocked for wanting to finish on time. The 4th is relatively new, took the blue after only 5 years and is a complete wankpot. Began barking at posties on his first day and has had one postman walk out because of him (came back an hour later mind, bit temperamental is old Jack). He is universally loathed and it is not uncommon to see posties scattering to the four winds if he walks into their area.
The 3 managers are arseholes, with one exception. The one over packets is a nice lady, however as her remit is office based we barely interact with her. The other two wouldn’t be out of place in Russel Crowe’s Master and Commander movie, as they expect the plebs to tug their forelocks when they walk past. Trying to get one’s attention is either frustrating or amusing, depending on your perspective.
One walked up to Ernie a few months ago as he was preparing his Walk (putting the letters in their slots in the rack).
“What are you doing?” the manager inquired, contempt dripping from every syllable.
Without turning round Ernie replied “something beyond your ability to understand. Push off and let me get on with it!”
Cue much shouting and the Union getting involved.
The Deputy DOM has that fixed smile that Tony Blair adopted around 1996 and has robotic responses to everything asked of him. He is scrupulously polite and follows protocol to the letter. Never shouts and probably would be a decent bloke if he wasn’t so uptight.
The DOM clearly hates us and the job and is desperate to get out to the quieter climes of a rural depot in a place like Puddle-on-the-Sea, about 16 miles down the road. We have been specifically told that we can’t go and see her without making an appointment with the DDOM and the only time we usually see her is in the canteen or when visiting dignitaries (managers higher than she is) visit the depot.
Overall, it seems that taking the blue makes someone into a right twat.