This Level Of Penny-Pinching Is Not Legal

, , , , , , , , | Working | January 11, 2019

(I work as a grocery delivery driver for a well-known UK supermarket. Once a year we cancel all the deliveries in the afternoon and have a training session. These sessions involve senior managers; they are also a chance for staff to relate issues they have. I’ve recently begun to get a little tired of management constantly ignoring complaints regarding the work we do.)

Me: “I mentioned this a year ago, but the vehicles we have are a complete joke; they break down frequently, are filthy inside, and are dented to hell. Most of them would probably not qualify as road legal. What are you going to do about it?”

Manager: *has repeated this to me several times now* “It’s up to you to ensure the vans remain workable; this means taking responsibility for clearing up and reporting defects and never taking out vans that are not road legal.”

Me: “Okay. So, to be 100% clear, if I get a van that is not road legal, I can refuse to drive it?”

Manager: “Well, of course. You are responsible for ensuring the vehicles are road legal.”

(Over the following two weeks I refused to take out five vans due to defects which were not road legal, and defected around eight more for various faults. This lead to several van trips being cancelled. A few weeks later the manager was back in the store. He was annoyed that we had had a sudden surge in cancellations and a bill for van damage that stretched into five figures. Turns out when the manager had said that I was supposed to take responsibility, he’d meant that I should just shut up and drive the garbage. Our store was put under review, and two months later our whole fleet was swapped out for brand-new vans. Sadly, the people I work with are morons, and in the space of a month all the vans had damage all over them.)

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