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What made you join the Royal Mail?

Reminisce about days gone by in the job.How it used to be what you miss and how things have changed.This is an open forum.
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postslippete
Posts: 1776
Joined: 14 Jul 2014, 16:27
Gender: Male

Re: What made you join the Royal Mail?

Post by postslippete »

We had 3 general options of work when we left school: Office, factory or shop work


I found factory work easy enough through employment agencies. In fact I must have had dozens of different factory jobs all on either a short-term/seasonal basis. But I hated the fact that the shifts were regularly changed from 2-10pm to 10-8am and the best shift 6-2pm...

I worked in retail and enjoyed it on the shop floor dealing with customers and found that time flew by. The worst thing was minimum wage (£4.50 an hour then) and the constant pressure to sell (and although we were paid a commission, it wasn't that much!).

I was ambitious enough to train as an accountant. I knew the job paid well and you could also earn more if you upgraded your skills at college and found other opportunities in that field. But I found myself working in a very quiet office after doing a firms profit & loss account thinking well I've still got another 3 hours to kill before I can leave at 5pm; I suppose I could make everyone a coffee and do some filing that I already did yesterday....


I guess when I saw the job of postal operator advertised in the local Jobcentre I jumped at the chance because it gave me an opportunity to work outdoors. And I haven't really looked back. Yes, we work in all weathers; yes, we work harder now than we have ever done before (but again I don't mind that because it gets you through the day); and yes, maybe I haven't really fulfilled my true potential work wise with the qualifications that I have.

But, the job is a ideal if you are are a bit of a fitness freak like me!! The job and finish may have ended with the fact that we now lapse everyday but it is relatively straight-forward and stress free for the money that we earn :thumbup
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together
happymackem
EX ROYAL MAIL
Posts: 304
Joined: 27 Oct 2009, 19:02
Gender: Male
Location: in the land of the mackems

Re: What made you join the Royal Mail?

Post by happymackem »

joined in 1970 my Uncle worked on the counter and in those days if you knew or were related you got the job.left school at 15 yo went in the office saturday morning (the day after ) for a look around introduced to everyone,i remember the counter staff were Mr,Mrs or Miss and the Postmaster was GOD.Started 9am Monday as messenger (Telegram boy ).left 2013.
postman1979
MAIL CENTRES/PROCESSING
Posts: 74
Joined: 14 Dec 2010, 19:49
Gender: Male

What made you join the Royal Mail?

Post by postman1979 »

Just finished college in 1978 and in early 1979 my girlfriend at the time said I needed to start earning some money. I had two job interviews the same day one in the afternoon and one in the early evening with Royal Mail. The afternoon one was a a bust due to the number of better qualified people there. Went to the Royal Mail interview and did the aptitude test there and then. Was offered a job straight away to start the following Monday in Manchester. Well then, 39 years later still with Royal Mail and happy enough to stay until retirement. Incidentally, second weeks wage was used to buy my girlfriend an engagement ring and we've been married since 1985. Yes the job has changed and nobody likes change least of all in the Royal Mail. But this job has bought me a nice house, several cars over the years, paid for some very nice holidays and put two children through good schools and university and is now helping the grandchildren achieve what they should.
aiden01
MAIL CENTRES/PROCESSING
Posts: 3024
Joined: 27 Feb 2013, 21:43
Gender: Male

What made you join the Royal Mail?

Post by aiden01 »

postman1979 wrote:Just finished college in 1978 and in early 1979 my girlfriend at the time said I needed to start earning some money. I had two job interviews the same day one in the afternoon and one in the early evening with Royal Mail. The afternoon one was a a bust due to the number of better qualified people there. Went to the Royal Mail interview and did the aptitude test there and then. Was offered a job straight away to start the following Monday in Manchester. Well then, 39 years later still with Royal Mail and happy enough to stay until retirement. Incidentally, second weeks wage was used to buy my girlfriend an engagement ring and we've been married since 1985. Yes the job has changed and nobody likes change least of all in the Royal Mail. But this job has bought me a nice house, several cars over the years, paid for some very nice holidays and put two children through good schools and university and is now helping the grandchildren achieve what they should.
:thumbup :thumbup :thumbup
cantonkid1955
PARCELFORCE
Posts: 130
Joined: 19 Jun 2011, 19:03
Gender: Male

What made you join the Royal Mail?

Post by cantonkid1955 »

jessikb wrote:Hi!
I'm an A-Level Drama student. and we are currently doing a piece about the Royal Mail, and the issues surrounding it. It would be really helpful if people could tell us why they decided to work for the Royal Mail in the first place.
Thanks for any cooperation! :)
I was working shifts for a papermill ,,4 days on,,4 days off,and every 7 cycles,,18 days off,,that happened 5 times a year..since I had a family,,i joined an agency for extra work,extra income,,
The agency placed me Parcelforce,,and I loved it,arranging my own route,working outdoors,,keeping fit,,and with the dawn of the internet,the sales of paper slumped worldwide,as people chose to email rather than write letters,or issue invoices..ect.,and the mill closed,
As I was already employed part time with Parcelforce,,i left my main employer on the Friday and started full time on the following Monday.
As Parcelforce is under the umbrella of the Royal Mail,,and in the public sector,I found it extremely difficult to accept the working practices in a company under public ownership,since my previous employers were cost conscience,,to a certain degree,this didn't seem to apply to Parcelforce,and the system was,,deliveries in the morning,,then as the vans started returning to the depot,,the afternoon drivers would go back out to where the delivery drivers had been to do the collections.,
Double drivers,,double wages,,double work,,double cost,,resulting in Parcelforce losing 90 million a year..in 2001..
The government were faced with two choices,,reform,,or close it down,
It was then that the unions and the Parcelforce management actually got together and ask us drivers our thoughts on how we could improve the business and save our jobs,and the company, from collapse.
Our ideas were submitted,,the long termers who wanted to go,went,,on very favourable terms,,a few drivers became self employed,,using their redundancy money to set up as an owner driver,,and the remaining employed drivers put our ideas to the management on a depot to depot basis,,and that resulted in Parcelforce becoming an extremely efficient operation,,
Gone are the days when the drivers would turn up for work in trainers and a dirty shirt,,driving a shitty van,,to arriving to work looking smart,,some ,,like myself,,wearing a tie,,clean shoes,,gleaming vans,,and a massive pride in what we do,,after all,,its our customers who pay our wages,,and first impressions last..
Now the Royal Mail is in the hands of private investors,its the shareholders who benefit from the hard work of each and every one of us,,plus,,with the new scanners,,the job has changed from us drivers arranging our own route in the most cost and time efficient way,to our customers dictating when they would like their parcel delivered,,so, to a certain degree,,it's going backwards,as I could find myself in a street with 4 deliveries and the system will only allow me to deliver one,,so I have to return later at the next customers request..micro management is not good.
mRqwerty
Posts: 7
Joined: 23 Apr 2015, 20:23
Gender: Male

What made you join the Royal Mail?

Post by mRqwerty »

After passing a basic maths test and then a postcode comparison test, then an interview, I started work with Royal Mail at 17 and went on their YTS scheme which was Royal Mails Youth training scheme. It involved an outward bound scheme in Wales in which we did team building exercises and caving. We were monitored throughout the year and became 'proper' posties at age 18. I have experienced many different duties within my time at Royal Mail, such as Train Station Platform (unloading/loading trains), MLO - Mechanised Letter Office (operating various machines including The Drum!) PCO - Parcel Concentration Office duties, Bag Control (cleaning and ironing/pressing bags and of course Delivery. Deliveries back then were 0500 - 1254 and consisted of prep, then 1st turn, then acceleration by LDV van(with bench seats!) to first delivery point, finish delivery then collect local post-box mail, bus back to Office then facing table where you separated the local First Class from other mail and these went on the belt to be franked and went out on the 2nd Delivery of the day. After facing was breakfast in a canteen that served full cooked breakfasts and even sold alcohol - draught beer and shorts too! We had a games room with table tennis and a dart board and there were many Silver cups in a display cabinet because Royal Mail took their sports very seriously with competitions with other Offices in the area. After meal break we went down and prepped our @nd Delivery which was usually 3 over 1, which meant you covered x3 rounds but with only a bundle of mail, wasn't a big deal (esp if you asked the van driver nicely, and he dropped you right on your first delivery point). If you were 'spare' then you would be allocated something 2nd turn and this could be a rebate delivery, which was 'only' covering one round as supposed to 3 on the live mail delivery, but the Rebate were heavy catalogue items. We had an agreement back then for x50 Rebates a day except Mondays when you had 100 but none Saturday. Saturdays were double time overtime and a Saturday premium payment too. You never did IPS primary sorting as it was the night staffs job and I made the mistake one time of prepping my missorts one morning and the sorter put his mail down saying, are you trying to do me out of a job, this is my duty! Also we never did deads either, there was a huge box which was emptied by posties who, while we were out on 2nd Delivery, stickers up and RTS the mail. The line manager made you all line up by your frame before your duty started and would walk down the line to inspect your appearance and especially your shoes, they had to be shiny! We had all the uniform kit too, including peak caps with a brass effect royal crown and brown hessian type bags which fitted your body shape when carrying mail but became heavy with water if it rained out on delivery. Its worth noting too that we rarely had need for a second bag as all the mail fitted into the one bag. I can remember too, when out on delivery you would dead walk past about 10 houses before delivering a letter, not every drop as we do these days. You were very much out on your own on Delivery and we started at around 7am delivering when our customers were in, and finishing around 9am, when we would empty a couple of post boxes en route back to the office.
What a change to delivery these days! Later and later starts (not what the public or business want) and consequently later and later finish times. Electronic swiping soon to be deployed, double preps, all your own dead's, parcels, packets and oversize to do, SD items aswell to fit in on time. Monitored by managers for performance whilst in the office, Trimble monitoring your driving characteristics for the duration of your duty and your PDA monitoring your exact whereabouts all the while too. Where has all the trust gone? Its sad that these modern tools are dressed up as essential items to bring the company up to date but sadly they will be used more and more against you. To sum up, although I still enjoy the job, it is not what it was but Im glad I experienced how it was and hopefully was able to pass on something of those times to you reading this. I believe the business will survive but we need the Union to be strong in negotiating and getting Royal Mail to adhere to the agreements that are currently laid down but also any new ones on the horizon. We need to stand together and support one another.
mRqwerty
Posts: 7
Joined: 23 Apr 2015, 20:23
Gender: Male

What made you join the Royal Mail?

Post by mRqwerty »

Sorry I meant to say I have been with Royal Mail for 35 years
arnold cheshire
Posts: 5309
Joined: 14 Oct 2010, 21:28
Gender: Male
Location: england

What made you join the Royal Mail?

Post by arnold cheshire »

mRqwerty wrote:After passing a basic maths test and then a postcode comparison test, then an interview, I started work with Royal Mail at 17 and went on their YTS scheme which was Royal Mails Youth training scheme. It involved an outward bound scheme in Wales in which we did team building exercises and caving. We were monitored throughout the year and became 'proper' posties at age 18. I have experienced many different duties within my time at Royal Mail, such as Train Station Platform (unloading/loading trains), MLO - Mechanised Letter Office (operating various machines including The Drum!) PCO - Parcel Concentration Office duties, Bag Control (cleaning and ironing/pressing bags and of course Delivery. Deliveries back then were 0500 - 1254 and consisted of prep, then 1st turn, then acceleration by LDV van(with bench seats!) to first delivery point, finish delivery then collect local post-box mail, bus back to Office then facing table where you separated the local First Class from other mail and these went on the belt to be franked and went out on the 2nd Delivery of the day. After facing was breakfast in a canteen that served full cooked breakfasts and even sold alcohol - draught beer and shorts too! We had a games room with table tennis and a dart board and there were many Silver cups in a display cabinet because Royal Mail took their sports very seriously with competitions with other Offices in the area. After meal break we went down and prepped our @nd Delivery which was usually 3 over 1, which meant you covered x3 rounds but with only a bundle of mail, wasn't a big deal (esp if you asked the van driver nicely, and he dropped you right on your first delivery point). If you were 'spare' then you would be allocated something 2nd turn and this could be a rebate delivery, which was 'only' covering one round as supposed to 3 on the live mail delivery, but the Rebate were heavy catalogue items. We had an agreement back then for x50 Rebates a day except Mondays when you had 100 but none Saturday. Saturdays were double time overtime and a Saturday premium payment too. You never did IPS primary sorting as it was the night staffs job and I made the mistake one time of prepping my missorts one morning and the sorter put his mail down saying, are you trying to do me out of a job, this is my duty! Also we never did deads either, there was a huge box which was emptied by posties who, while we were out on 2nd Delivery, stickers up and RTS the mail. The line manager made you all line up by your frame before your duty started and would walk down the line to inspect your appearance and especially your shoes, they had to be shiny! We had all the uniform kit too, including peak caps with a brass effect royal crown and brown hessian type bags which fitted your body shape when carrying mail but became heavy with water if it rained out on delivery. Its worth noting too that we rarely had need for a second bag as all the mail fitted into the one bag. I can remember too, when out on delivery you would dead walk past about 10 houses before delivering a letter, not every drop as we do these days. You were very much out on your own on Delivery and we started at around 7am delivering when our customers were in, and finishing around 9am, when we would empty a couple of post boxes en route back to the office.
What a change to delivery these days! Later and later starts (not what the public or business want) and consequently later and later finish times. Electronic swiping soon to be deployed, double preps, all your own dead's, parcels, packets and oversize to do, SD items aswell to fit in on time. Monitored by managers for performance whilst in the office, Trimble monitoring your driving characteristics for the duration of your duty and your PDA monitoring your exact whereabouts all the while too. Where has all the trust gone? Its sad that these modern tools are dressed up as essential items to bring the company up to date but sadly they will be used more and more against you. To sum up, although I still enjoy the job, it is not what it was but Im glad I experienced how it was and hopefully was able to pass on something of those times to you reading this. I believe the business will survive but we need the Union to be strong in negotiating and getting Royal Mail to adhere to the agreements that are currently laid down but also any new ones on the horizon. We need to stand together and support one another.
Cadet wasn't yts in my time
arnold cheshire
Posts: 5309
Joined: 14 Oct 2010, 21:28
Gender: Male
Location: england

What made you join the Royal Mail?

Post by arnold cheshire »

mRqwerty wrote:After passing a basic maths test and then a postcode comparison test, then an interview, I started work with Royal Mail at 17 and went on their YTS scheme which was Royal Mails Youth training scheme. It involved an outward bound scheme in Wales in which we did team building exercises and caving. We were monitored throughout the year and became 'proper' posties at age 18. I have experienced many different duties within my time at Royal Mail, such as Train Station Platform (unloading/loading trains), MLO - Mechanised Letter Office (operating various machines including The Drum!) PCO - Parcel Concentration Office duties, Bag Control (cleaning and ironing/pressing bags and of course Delivery. Deliveries back then were 0500 - 1254 and consisted of prep, then 1st turn, then acceleration by LDV van(with bench seats!) to first delivery point, finish delivery then collect local post-box mail, bus back to Office then facing table where you separated the local First Class from other mail and these went on the belt to be franked and went out on the 2nd Delivery of the day. After facing was breakfast in a canteen that served full cooked breakfasts and even sold alcohol - draught beer and shorts too! We had a games room with table tennis and a dart board and there were many Silver cups in a display cabinet because Royal Mail took their sports very seriously with competitions with other Offices in the area. After meal break we went down and prepped our @nd Delivery which was usually 3 over 1, which meant you covered x3 rounds but with only a bundle of mail, wasn't a big deal (esp if you asked the van driver nicely, and he dropped you right on your first delivery point). If you were 'spare' then you would be allocated something 2nd turn and this could be a rebate delivery, which was 'only' covering one round as supposed to 3 on the live mail delivery, but the Rebate were heavy catalogue items. We had an agreement back then for x50 Rebates a day except Mondays when you had 100 but none Saturday. Saturdays were double time overtime and a Saturday premium payment too. You never did IPS primary sorting as it was the night staffs job and I made the mistake one time of prepping my missorts one morning and the sorter put his mail down saying, are you trying to do me out of a job, this is my duty! Also we never did deads either, there was a huge box which was emptied by posties who, while we were out on 2nd Delivery, stickers up and RTS the mail. The line manager made you all line up by your frame before your duty started and would walk down the line to inspect your appearance and especially your shoes, they had to be shiny! We had all the uniform kit too, including peak caps with a brass effect royal crown and brown hessian type bags which fitted your body shape when carrying mail but became heavy with water if it rained out on delivery. Its worth noting too that we rarely had need for a second bag as all the mail fitted into the one bag. I can remember too, when out on delivery you would dead walk past about 10 houses before delivering a letter, not every drop as we do these days. You were very much out on your own on Delivery and we started at around 7am delivering when our customers were in, and finishing around 9am, when we would empty a couple of post boxes en route back to the office.
What a change to delivery these days! Later and later starts (not what the public or business want) and consequently later and later finish times. Electronic swiping soon to be deployed, double preps, all your own dead's, parcels, packets and oversize to do, SD items aswell to fit in on time. Monitored by managers for performance whilst in the office, Trimble monitoring your driving characteristics for the duration of your duty and your PDA monitoring your exact whereabouts all the while too. Where has all the trust gone? Its sad that these modern tools are dressed up as essential items to bring the company up to date but sadly they will be used more and more against you. To sum up, although I still enjoy the job, it is not what it was but Im glad I experienced how it was and hopefully was able to pass on something of those times to you reading this. I believe the business will survive but we need the Union to be strong in negotiating and getting Royal Mail to adhere to the agreements that are currently laid down but also any new ones on the horizon. We need to stand together and support one another.
Cadet wasn't yts in my time
Seymour Buts
Posts: 798
Joined: 22 Jun 2017, 20:17
Gender: Male

What made you join the Royal Mail?

Post by Seymour Buts »

I find it amazing looking at the start of this thread, nearly 10 years old and still the same things being said! Still, job can't be that bad as most are still here.
User avatar
NWpostie
Posts: 2716
Joined: 04 Aug 2007, 17:32
Gender: Male
Location: Sector 001 Borg Collective, 6 o f 9

What made you join the Royal Mail?

Post by NWpostie »

I do get nostalgic about the 80s and 90s when the job was great and the work easy enough, I remember shortly after I started, we have the DRAS (Difficult to Recruit Area Supplement) dispute as Royal Mail was paying supplements to post staff in London and South East where they found it hard to retain staff as there were better paid jobs on offer, this was the 80s when the economy boomed and other companies needed staff, the rest of the UK wasn't happy about it and had a strike which evolved into other to other greviences, it was the first time posties had a strike since 1971, it made big news. I particularly remembered Lorraine Kelly as young news reporter :Very Happy

32 years later I'm still in and just marking time til retirement.

I'm amazed the thread is still ongoing, since I last commented, the job has changed considerably, people havent, job for life has gone now tho, which was the main draw when I joined up, especially during turbulent financial crash that inevitably followed the 80s boom years.
Six of Nine loves Seven of Nine, together in Electric Dreams.
capricorn64
Posts: 1
Joined: 10 Mar 2010, 21:06
Gender: Male

What made you join the Royal Mail?

Post by capricorn64 »

Having left coming up for four years ago I can only tell you what I miss The banter,Early finishes,Six weeks paid holiday,Overtime and being out in the fresh air without someone or cameras watching my every move!!!
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