Day 1 - 6.45 am
Its my first day as the "Undercover Boss", I head into Birmingham at 7.00 am, the weathers good and the traffic fairly clear. This is taking me back, on the open road, the good old day's - these engineers don't know they're born, this is great.
I pull into the car park, find a space and park up. I'd reviewed the jobs the night before and know what is in store for the day: -
Site 1 - 3 hours - Safety Eye-bolt testing
Site 2 - 2 hours - Safety Eye-bolt testing and a Safety Line
Site 3 - 3 hours - Safety Eye-bolt testing, Edge Protection Guard rail and a Fixed Ladder.
Quite a lot to get through in the time allocated, but, the three sites are all on the same estate, so no need to keep moving the van.
I log into the first job on the tablet and confirm arrival on site. I decide to start a timer on my phone to keep track of the time and head over to the site reception, I have my Safety Harness, Testing tool, Identification tags and paperwork to fill in.
Paperwork?.... I thought it was all digital through the tablet these days, so what are these report sheets I have to fill in?
I don't remember having the need for paperwork when I signed the huge bloody cheque for this "state of the nightmare art computer system". OK, I'll soon see what this is all about.
20 minutes later, I'm sitting on a very comfy sofa in reception, still waiting for the site contact I have on my system to come down and sign my permit to work - I look at my phone, I'M RUNNING OUT OF TIME!!!
At least I have time to check the information I have available to me through the system, RAMS, previous reports, certificates, details of the keys needed to access the roof, all the job notes - who called who and what was said, who the job was book in with, the name of the person I am waiting for.
This is actually really good, I have everything I need in the palm of my hand to do this job..... all I need now is this permit to be signed off - 25 minutes and counting BLOODY HELL - I'm getting a bit stressed now.
I finally get my signature, from a very cheerful man, who is completely unaware that I will be running around like a nutter all day now that I'm running over 30 minutes late. But, as I have always preached, I am the worlds most polite and professional of men and thank him for his assistance and wish him a good day, he looks me up and down and begins to chat about spelunking and how this would be very claustrophobic. Wearing a Safety Harness can start some very surreal conversations and some downright kinky ones too.
This all takes me back - I'm starting to remember - As an engineer "Time is not your friend".
I don't feel as excited as I did this morning - I'm starting to remember! I'm starting to lose my Rose Coloured Glasses - I really want them back!