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Orb

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Everything posted by Orb

  1. I'd buy it and seek planning permission for a reeeeaaaallllly long and narrow house.
  2. It's a very complex situation suddenly brought about by several simultaneous large scale events. There is a sudden shortage of drivers, and I'm definitely observing this on the ground. However, it's not nearly as severe as they say. If it was, we'd be fighting each other for the last pack of loo rolls by now, but we're not. In fact, I'm still able to get 99% of items on my shopping list, I always roll straight onto a petrol pump, and my parcels are delivered on time. Though I try to challenge my own cynicism, it's my opinion that all VIs are milking the narrative for their own respective interests, one of which could be, as you say, boards of directors engineering their own bargaining power, and consequently playing their part in keeping this in the public consciousness so as to achieve that. What I'm sure of, is that the situation isn't quite as dire as some would have us believe.
  3. I wouldn't call 17 years short term. Because that's how long the industry's been heavily relying on cheap EE drivers, and it's crying out for more because it sees that solution as normal. It needs to be resisted. I think we desperately need to get back to a home-grown workforce based on natural supply and demand for a variety of reasons.
  4. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, it's yet another stealth brag thread. They're good at that on mumsnet.
  5. It's very complicated, and drivers are subject to two legislative mandates. The first is tachograph hours. A driver can drive for upto 9 hours per day (or 10 hours twice per week), and be on duty for upto 15 hours 3 times per week (then only 13 hours thereafter). Hauliers tend to 'max out' these regulations. The second is the working time directive for mobile workers. It dictates that over a 17 week period, mobile workers cannot exceed 48 hours working time per week when averaged, and can not work more than 60 hours per week. But, the caveat is, breaks and periods of availability (POA) do not contribute to working time. So as you've probably guessed, this is exploited to the max. It's possible (and very common practice) for a driver to work thus: 15hrs Mon, 15hrs Tue, 15hrs Wed, 13hrs Thur, 13hrs Fri. Total = 71 hours, for which he'll get paid for all. But out of that 71 hours a driver could record 20 hours of break and POA into their week bringing the total official 'working hours' down to 51. It's not that they've been on break or had POA for all of those 20 hours, but they'll record it on their tachograph when unloading or refuelling etc. So though, as you say, tachographs regulate the number of hours a driver can drive, it's very loose and completely full of exploitable legal loopholes. A lot of drivers are suddenly awakened by a) being on furlough, and b) their much higher and sudden pay increases, to not want to do two week's work in one, and are doing less hours (me included). If 4 drivers refuse to work more than 12 hours, each driver is potentially not doing 3 hours work. 4 drivers x 3 hours is 12 lost hours. In other words, 1 extra driver is needed to cover that work. But there are no drivers there to do it. Net result: bread fails to make it onto the shelves that day. There seems to be a shortage of drivers willing to be treated like robot slaves doing 70+ hour weeks. And now they don't have to, because their wages are suitably high enough to sustain them on less hours. See my above comment. It's assumed 15 hour shifts are the norm, or certainly 12 hours minimum. Be very careful listening to numbers quoted. The driver shortage narrative has been perpetual since I began reading the industry press in the 1980s, even through the last 10 years where drivers were ten-a-penny and often earning minimum wage. There are powerful VIs who pedal the narrative to convince governments and the public that we "need more drivers and can only get them from abroad", and then get a pool of cheap foreign labour to keep their wage bill down. To answer your question, it does not mean there are 400,000 lorries parked up, it's an estimate of how many drivers are needed to keep things running efficiently (i.e no food shortages, low wage bills, etc). However, due to the shortage, there will be more HGVs parked up, idle. But not 400,000.
  6. I just Googled "will humanity end in a dystopian robot Armageddon?" Computer said no.
  7. Think again. Consider that 99.999999% of shops, warehouses, and factories do not have their own direct train link. You've got one lorry at one end transporting the goods to the train, and another at the other end transporting from the train to the final destination. So instead of one lorry transporting the goods direct from collection to delivery, you've now got two, plus a train. You've made an interesting point there. As an HGV driver myself, I've noticed a recent trend. As drivers' pay has increased, a significant number no longer need to work as many hours. For example, I now won't work any overtime shifts because my recent pay rises equate to almost 1 extra shift per week in relation to my pre-payrise wages. I'm not the only one doing this. So if 5 drivers chose not to work an extra shift each week, or if they choose not to work an extra 2 hours per day, that's the equivalent of losing 1 HGV driver from the system. This is on top of any shortage from Brexit etc. So if you pay drivers £50k, it would probably exacerbate the problem, because many will work only their flat hours. Streamlining the process means a car driver can take a test for an articulated lorry (category C+E) , and not have to take a test for a rigid (category C) first, as they've had to do since the early 90s. It also includes omitting the reversing manoeuvre and the coupling/uncoupling procedure from tests, making tests quicker, therefore processing more test candidates per day. Make of that as you will.
  8. If I'm not mistaken, wasn't there a referendum about 10 years ago to replace first past the post with a somewhat more proportional system? FPTP won. I despair of the UK masses.
  9. Quite, but it's marred by things such as first past the post, which, as I'm sure you're aware, is a system that favours the two main parties, rendering any smaller, newer party largely impotent. It feels far too rigged, and I therefore think of it as pseudo democracy, or a thin veneer of democracy. Hence my first comments in this thread about having no intention to vote.
  10. Based on your explanation, no I wouldn't consider it destroyed. I think everything being run by referendum is by definition democracy. Somehow I couldn't see our system being so.... democratic.
  11. I'm not sure where you're coming from with that, so alas I can't really answer.
  12. I put other. I'm not voting because I've grown entirely disillusioned with politics, and the choices leave me politically homeless. I can't stomach the thought of listening to all the promises. It feels like false advertising, and I resent being taken for a mug, which is how we're all conceived by the political world. I guess I've never forgotten how democracy was nearly destroyed concerning the Brexit vote. Whether leaver or remainer, everybody should have had their eyes fully opened by that.
  13. I've found a significant portion of every forum's members constitute self-made millionaire, business-owning, highly successful, muscular, above average handsome, mortgage free, single but highly eligible alpha males who are under 40. Obviously mumsnet has the female equivalent + a cleaner who comes in each week.
  14. The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, said: 'Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.
  15. lol, amateur! Wait til you're worth 8 figures.
  16. Which is exactly how economies have worked since time immemorial, what's the problem? By your logic we should all be complaining because we no longer pay threppence a pint. A pint of beer goes up, and so in time does the barmaid's wage. Or is is that the barmaid's wages rise, so therefore the pint follows? Lorry drivers' wages have risen, so 3 pence goes onto a tub of Lurpak, but drivers' wages aren't, and won't be the last pressure driving up the price of Lurpak. It's just the current one. The alternative is having no lorry drivers, and the ensuing apocalypse as we tear each other to shreds for the last cooked chicken. It's called inflation, and doesn't calibrate itself in perfect seamless unison. And if you're concerned about the 0.1% creaming extra whilst the 100% have to pay it, I think your anger is best directed at the current ruling classes. Have you seen house prices recently? I think my extra couple of quid might just give me a better chance of owning one.
  17. It certainly feels as if things are entering a huge correction lately. On a side note, it's interesting how quiet the remainers are who were shouting for 4+ years that EEs had no effect on things such as wages, and if you said they did you were a racist!
  18. Not now. The lowest you'll find now is about £10p/h. But up until about 12 months ago some of the more... shall we say... cowboy-ish firms... would offer a day rate - job and finish - and it would work out to be around minimum wage. There was an incredible abundance of drivers until recently, when many EEs went home. This huge pool did, for a good 10 years, push HGV wages down to minimum wage in some cases. It was one reason for huge numbers of Brexit votes within the HGV community. There are tens of thousands of British HGV licence holders who are not using their licences, presumably because of the dire terms and conditions over the past 15 years. The UK government seem pretty intent on not bowing to the Road Haulage Association's pleas to open up the labour market to the whole of the 2nd and 3rd world, and more to getting British people returning or recruited to drive lorries. It's a very interesting time in haulage at the moment. Absolutely. A lot of EEs loved working as a limited company and paying minimal tax. But suddenly on Apr 1st they found themselves up against the British tax system and realised they'd have to pay tax, so went home en masse. And here we are now with enough lorry drivers to keep Britain moving, but too few for companies to take the piss with wages, terms, and conditions.
  19. I really don't know. But a few years ago my friend worked for a driver agency, and she told me they charged just £1p/h more than they paid the drivers, which really surprised me. I assumed they'd make at least a fiver an hour from a driver. But no, just £1. I suppose there's strong competition amongst agencies, and £1 is where it's at. They were putting a lot of drivers to work each day though, so made good money even on that tight margin. To take a wild guess, if an agency is paying a driver £25p/h, they may only be charging the company £26 or £27p/h for all I know. I really can't say for sure. It might be easier to employ drivers on an ad-hoc basis, but they'd have to pay the same rate as they'd earn on agency, otherwise the drivers would work elsewhere. Plus, if supermarkets employed drivers ad-hoc, there's extra costs such as NI contributions and some holiday entitlement, but by using agencies those obligations aren't there. And as I say, I think it's only a quid or two per hour more than the driver's hourly rate, so probably more convenient to call an agency.
  20. Yes, I collect from suppliers and deliver to supermarket distribution centres in the UK, and also do some Tesco store deliveries when Tesco ask us to. From my perspective it seems to be problems at the depots. Lorries are mounting up, but aren't getting loaded or unloaded as efficiently as previous times. It seems like a warehouseman shortage to me, not a lorry driver shortage. The Tesco driver told me Tesco-employed drivers are leaving on a daily basis (he told me his wage and it wasn't as good as other companies are offering). But Tesco still get their deliveries out to stores because they'll use us to pick up the slack, and we're big enough to handle that demand. So though Tesco would, for example, be a bit short of their own drivers, those drivers still exist and still drive, but for someone else, and that someone else can be called on to do their work, albeit at a higher rate. Also, what's happening a lot, is agencies are offering huge hourly rates. So a lot of drivers are leaving their jobs only to return to the same company but through the agency at a huge hourly increase. The driver still exists and still works, but earns more than twice per hour than he would this time last year. There's no devastating shortage of lorry drivers, though there's a bit of a dent since Brexit and IR35 tax rules changed. There's actually a huge shortage of experienced lorry drivers willing to work for £8.91 per hour. That's what the haulage VIs are crying about, and this is why the scaremongering narrative is being pushed onto the public. It's so their hard pleas and lobbying for cheap foreign labour are heard and accepted. Threaten food shortages at Christmas, the public would welcome back Poles and Romanians with open arms, and haulage bosses get another huge pool of drivers to exploit at near minimum wage..... again.
  21. I wholeheartedly understand this sentiment. I think cars built between 1995-2000 really hit an amazing sweet spot. All the British Leyland-esque unreliability issues were sorted, but cars hadn't yet adopted crazy electronics. I swear by cars built between '95 and '00. Just yesterday I sold a 2006 BMW because I was fed up with the diagnostics always throwing a yellow engine light up (amongst other issues). I drove for months with tape over it, and the engine was sound all that time. I replaced it yesterday with a W-reg Micra with 26k on the clock and one owner from new. After owning an S-reg one until 2017 I was always impressed with their super simplicity and reliability. To make my point I've even got to install a cigarette lighter socket on my new one. The windows are the winding-down type, and I have to unlock doors manually. Add this car to my Nokia dumb phone and I'm in heaven. Keeping life complicated is one of the most simple things to do. But with a bit of stubbornness and a total loss of shame, life can be simple.
  22. In my opinion, women slut shame promiscuous women because they deem them to be lowering women's value. Subconsciously, and generally speaking, I think women internalise their sexual selves as something marketable to men, place value on that 'commodity', and exchange it for resources such as material wealth and social status. I think women police other women, and shame 'sluts', because they see them as threats to their own worth. If they see a woman freely 'giving away' what they commoditise and imbue with value, it's bound to cause resentment and mental dissonance.
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