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Exeter postman reveals what job is like during coronavirus lockdown

28 Mar 2020, 14:46

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-ne ... ob-3995202

"The volume of packets is as bad as Christmas; it’s gone absolutely crazy"

An Exeter postman who is valiantly putting his own health at risk to continue delivering essential post has told how his workload is ‘as bad as Christmas’ due to the volume of items being purchased online during lockdown.

Mike Vinnicombe, who has been a postman for 31 years, is asking people to only buy essentials and says there are simple things we can all do to help reduce the risk of postal workers catching coronavirus.

Mike, who delivers to around 590 homes in the Wyvern Barracks area of Exeter, said: “I have never come across anything like this before. It’s very strange and surreal.

“The streets are empty and when I have to knock on someone’s door people are tending to talk to me more because they ask how things are going, and for many - especially the elderly - I’m the only person they see.


“There’s definitely a lot more worry doing the job now because of what you’re touching and trying not to get close to people. I’m not allowed to hand over packets anymore.

“Instead I have to put them on the doorstep and stand back and wait for the person to open the door. Anything that needs a signature we have to do it for them.

“The other strange thing is everybody is home. Yesterday I must have had about 70 packets and everyone was in.

“The volume of packets is as bad as Christmas; it’s gone absolutely crazy. I suppose as everyone is home they are ordering things online, but it’s not just essentials unfortunately which makes our job that bit more difficult.

“I thought things would maybe quieten down a bit, but it has gone the opposite way.”

What Mike, 50, says is keeping him going is the community spirit being shown by his customers.

His partner, Julie Conibere, has put an appeal on Facebook asking people to donate spare hand sanitiser to their postman or postwoman as they are struggling to get hold of any to keep them protected while they are out doing deliveries.

Mike said: “I wear gloves, but you don’t know for sure how effective they are, and every time I go back to the van I use hand sanitiser to make sure my hands are clean. Luckily enough so far I’ve been okay.

“I had run very, very low of hand sanitiser and you can’t get it anywhere so I was very grateful when a customer gave me some after seeing Julie’s appeal. It will keep me going for the next few days.

“I’m a bit concerned after getting coronavirus, but I’m not in the vulnerable bracket and I am quite fit and healthy because I walk around nine miles every day. But I’m still very, very wary of catching something.

“It’s the elderly I feel more scared for as obviously I don’t want to transmit anything to them when I’m delivering their mail.

“A few people have said to me they have cleaned their letterbox and door bell. It would be great if more people did that.

“A customer has also given me a face mask which I will probably start wearing as every little helps.”

At the Royal Mail sorting office, Mike says staff are keeping two meters apart and are also working harder than ever due to a reduced workforce.

He said: “We have hand sanitiser in the office, but when you’re out and about you have to take your own and do the best you can to protect yourself.

“They are providing gloves, but they are very thin on the ground. Management is doing their best. They are also dealing with a lot of sickness as well. Quite a few postmen have been off this week but management are very happy with how everyone is coping.”

Mike is hoping more people will leave any spare hand sanitiser on the doorstep for postmen and postwomen to keep them safe in the weeks ahead.

Royal Mail has imposed new work guidelines to protect both staff and customers. In its latest Coronavirus update, Royal Mail have stated its service remains open for business.

Shane O’Riordain, managing director of marketing, regulation and corporate affairs, Royal Mail said: “We are delivering the many items that people order online six days a week across the UK. Throughout this crisis, we are committed to delivering the most comprehensive service we can to all our customers.


“Despite our best endeavours, it is possible that some areas of the country may experience a reduction in service levels due to Coronavirus-related absences at their local mail centre or delivery office.

“The delivery of parcels and letters is a key way of keeping the country together and helping many people who may not have the option to leave their homes. We are also delivering important documents like hospital appointments and medical prescriptions.

“We will continue to play our part as best we can. We would like to thank all our colleagues across the UK for helping to keep the nation connected in such challenging circumstances.”

Exeter postman reveals what job is like during coronavirus lockdown

28 Mar 2020, 19:34

Management are doing their best Mike ? Really ?

Exeter postman reveals what job is like during coronavirus lockdown

28 Mar 2020, 19:58

hero22 wrote:Management are doing their best Mike ? Really ?

Wonder why they are dealing with alot of sickness also. :arrrghhh

Exeter postman reveals what job is like during coronavirus lockdown

28 Mar 2020, 20:01

aiden01 wrote:
hero22 wrote:Management are doing their best Mike ? Really ?

Wonder why they are dealing with alot of sickness also. :arrrghhh


I guarantee hes one of those posties in the back of that monthly paper we get praising the job and how he loves his life...
Last edited by TrueBlueTerrier on 29 Mar 2020, 07:06, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: expletive removed.

Exeter postman reveals what job is like during coronavirus lockdown

28 Mar 2020, 20:03

hero22 wrote:
aiden01 wrote:
hero22 wrote:Management are doing their best Mike ? Really ?

Wonder why they are dealing with alot of sickness also. :arrrghhh


I guarantee hes one of those posties in the back of that monthly paper we get praising the job and how he loves his life...

No doubt :thumbdown

Exeter postman reveals what job is like during coronavirus lockdown

29 Mar 2020, 00:33

“The management are happy with how everyone is coping”....... aaaaaaahhhhh that nice!!!
Last edited by TrueBlueTerrier on 29 Mar 2020, 07:17, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: expletives removed

Exeter postman reveals what job is like during coronavirus lockdown

29 Mar 2020, 07:17

How many times do I have to remind people of the rules? No personal attacks on anyone, even if they are not a member on here.

This is not because we are killjoys but I will make it simple.

1. Calling someone a "prick" is an attack on a person, its not a valid argument.
2. It may be a valid opinion but its one that CAN get you sacked. (Also possibly get this site shut down for bullying)
3. It can get you sacked because there are managers on this site whose sole job is to identify posties. (No we don't know who they are)
4. If you get identified and call someone a "prick" you can be disciplined for bringing Royal Mail into disrepute. (it has happened)
5. If they think your action is Gross Misconduct they can dismiss you on the spot.

Therefore if you can't argue your position without abuse, don't. If you ignore this I really don't care what happens to you, but I will protect this site for the help it gives others.

Your right to free speech does not override everyone else right to use this site as a resource. Please stop the name-calling.

Exeter postman reveals what job is like during coronavirus lockdown

05 Apr 2020, 02:13

I’d like to ask Mike, 50, Exeter postman, a few questions........
1. Why is everybody working harder at your sorting office?
2. Is RM paying you extra for the extra effort that you and everybody at your sorting office are all putting in?
3. Do you think the likes of O’Roirdain cares about your health and well-being and that of the people in your sorting office?
4. Do you think the likes of Rico Back will be thankful for all the harder work that everybody at your sorting office is putting in?
5. Do you think all the extra effort that everybody at your sorting office is putting in will alter whether RM will impose changes by executive action?
6. Do you think that RM will not use the new information from the actuals on your pdas against you and everybody in your sorting office who is working harder when it comes to your next revision?
If the answer to any or all of questions 3 to 6 is yes then I fear you are likely to be sorely disappointed.
If the answer is yes to all 4 of those questions then you are either naive in the extreme or a fool.

Exeter postman reveals what job is like during coronavirus lockdown

05 Apr 2020, 22:40

90% of parcels and post right now are not essential all posties lives are at risk for the greed of profit,the government and Royal mail should be ashamed,no 2 metre rule in offices ,no van cleaning,no one cleaning pda's daily,no sanitising of frames or equipment. Everyone needs to document everything as Royal mail are negligent and if any of you contract the virus i'm sure when this is all over there will be claims left ,right and centre. Look after yourselves because they won't.

Exeter postman reveals what job is like during coronavirus lockdown

06 Apr 2020, 16:41

Stop ignoring my Moderator posts. The last post is only on the same page as this one.

Final warning.
Last edited by TrueBlueTerrier on 07 Apr 2020, 08:39, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Calling someone braindead is against the guidance

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