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Opinions needed

28 Oct 2019, 18:58

It’s extremely rare for my local DO to advertise any vacancies, let alone permanent ones, so I do consider myself lucky to have got the job.

My hiring process has been extremely straightforward (Time between applying, finishing the online assessment, interview, and a job offer a day after my interview actually, etc.).

The not so lucky part starts after starting the job itself:

Fellow posties are brilliant, it’s the chaos regarding training (Or lack of it :hmmmm , the person that I was supposed to shadow wiggled their way out of it :roll: and I ended up shadowing somebody else, and they weren’t happy that they ended up with the useless new starter! All this while the person being paid for the training had spent the grand total of 20 minutes with me altogether), I was told that I was supposed to spend the first week in a room watching videos (+18 :Very Happy Joking!) So Royal Mail is actually giving the budget to train new starters I suppose, but it never happened! And the uniform :arrrghhh (Hitting 3 weeks now, nothing), up till now, I don’t even know how would I request a day off, or if I was allowed to even dream about a day off during probation :hmmmm

I have heard a few worrying things regarding being part time and since no one’s answering any questions in my DO, I’m hoping someone will in here:

I heard that as a part time contract, my rotating day off will always be decided last minute and I’d have to look for the sheet when it’s out (Friday/Saturday) to know which day I’ll be off, while full time employees will have an accurate plan for months ahead, is this true? Or is it local DO policy?

Training, I’m coping OK with the physical part of the job, the frame is the part that I could do with more time to get used to as I’m always ending up starting my duty later than others, which means I finish late. Any advice as to how to approach the matter with local manager? Or will it fall on deaf ears?

I ‘passed’ the driving assessment, the state of the van was shocking however (The van was buried under a thick layer of mud :roll: Tyre pressure was almost half what they should be for 3 out of the 4 tyres, screen wash was empty, and there were more leaves in the foot well than what’s in my green bin, and it’s not just seasonal, the instructor said that this DO is one of the worst in the area regarding the state of the vans so it’s not just me being a clean freak). I’m not allowed in a van yet however, still pushing a pram every morning so I'm not worried about this just yet :roll:

If things carry on going the way they are, I might consider leaving because it feels like I was dropped into the deep end and in a very busy time of year as well. I like the job, and I know I am lucky to get it, but new starters shouldn’t have to cope with neglect while expected to preform well without any training. It’s just wrong.

Sorry for ranting, but this might help others looking to join RM get an insight to how it actually is in some DOs.

Any advice/thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Opinions needed

28 Oct 2019, 22:07

My recruitment process did follow the standard routine but was quite drawn out. I was put on the waiting list but contacted within a week with a start date part time 35 hour contract. Day 1, induction. Day 2 videos at the DO. Day 3 with a buddy on a walking route with a HCT & shown how to do the frame. Day 4 & 5 followed the same pattern. From then on I have been on the same walk on my own including doing my own frame in the morning. Otherwise I have pretty much picked things up as I have gone along. I dont know what day off I am on until approx the weds/thurs of the week before. Managers I only know their first names and fellow posties names if I hear someone else call them. I got my initial uniform on day 3 but I am now trying to find out about getting the rest now I am in week 7 of employment. It's hard work my route isnt easy and I walk on average 13 miles a day. Lost weight, given up on the royal mail shoes, got soaked nearly everyday but I am enjoying that side of the job but training on some things wouldn't go amiss

Opinions needed

29 Oct 2019, 17:36

Your experience appears to be very typical for a new starter and is the similar to mine when I joined 2 years ago. There was a huge difference between what the Induction course trainer told me would happen and the reality! I could not believe how things were "managed" in terms of new starters.

That said I would say stick with it if you generally enjoy the work. Things will get better and although we are about to enter a very busy period, that is actually a good experience (or will feel like it once you get to the other side of Xmas!!). I joined a couple of years ago in the middle of November and was on my own on a single van duty after just a couple of days training and it was really tough, especially with the amount of mail/packets at that time of year. I stuck with it though and really enjoy the job, I worked in an office for 25+ years before switching and would never go back.

In terms of your rotational day off I think it depends on the office. We don't have a problem in our office and everyone gets there expected rotational days off but you do see posts on this site that part-timers elsewhere sometimes only get Tuesdays off etc and can never get a saturday off.

Opinions needed

29 Oct 2019, 17:39

Ali831 wrote:My recruitment process did follow the standard routine but was quite drawn out. I was put on the waiting list but contacted within a week with a start date part time 35 hour contract. Day 1, induction. Day 2 videos at the DO. Day 3 with a buddy on a walking route with a HCT & shown how to do the frame. Day 4 & 5 followed the same pattern. From then on I have been on the same walk on my own including doing my own frame in the morning. Otherwise I have pretty much picked things up as I have gone along. I dont know what day off I am on until approx the weds/thurs of the week before. Managers I only know their first names and fellow posties names if I hear someone else call them. I got my initial uniform on day 3 but I am now trying to find out about getting the rest now I am in week 7 of employment. It's hard work my route isnt easy and I walk on average 13 miles a day. Lost weight, given up on the royal mail shoes, got soaked nearly everyday but I am enjoying that side of the job but training on some things wouldn't go amiss


Thank you for your reply, it’s nice to hear from other new starters :Very Happy

Very similar to my scenario, Day 1: induction in a main distribution centre, but then Day 2, a 10 minutes video, a 7 minutes chat, then off you go and passed to my ‘buddy’ who sweet talked their way out of babysitting, then found another who was a bit disappointed to be with the slow new starter, then I did the same duty on my own on week 2 :shock:

Oddly enough, the manager came to me this morning to see how I was doing and mentioned that there’s another part of my duty on a different frame and said I needed to pick speed up so they wouldn’t need to ask other people to do it :roll: which means I will be working for longer hours, much longer than my contract, but when I said I thought I could do to spend more time learning the frame and preparing my trolley, I was reminded of my part time hours :no no

Funny how it's not even on my frame, yet I'm expected to do it! And how new starters are supposed to learn, fast, and do over time that’s suiting management, without any training. I could’ve been an awkward b@$t@rd today and said I don’t want overtime, but I didn’t, next time this happens, I might :roll:

My duty isn’t anywhere near 13 miles, but I got stairs, lots of them, and new builds, unmarked :arrrghhh And some of which I need to hold my breath the minute I walk in or else I would suffocate :crazy:

I was lucky with weather for a long time, but got soaked a few times, I didn’t mind it but the PDA doesn’t like rain :arrrghhh

Wife still thinks I’m a fat b@£t@d so I don’t think I lost that much weight, which I'm not surprised about, my heart rate isn’t going up, it’s just my joints that I can feel failing day after day :cry

Oh and no uniform yet, but I have a feeling I’m better off sticking to my own shoes :Very Happy

Thank you again for your reply, I hope things get better for you, do hang in there and remind yourself that you can do it every time you start questioning it :thumbup

Opinions needed

29 Oct 2019, 17:54

itinerant wrote:Your experience appears to be very typical for a new starter and is the similar to mine when I joined 2 years ago. There was a huge difference between what the Induction course trainer told me would happen and the reality! I could not believe how things were "managed" in terms of new starters.

That said I would say stick with it if you generally enjoy the work. Things will get better and although we are about to enter a very busy period, that is actually a good experience (or will feel like it once you get to the other side of Xmas!!). I joined a couple of years ago in the middle of November and was on my own on a single van duty after just a couple of days training and it was really tough, especially with the amount of mail/packets at that time of year. I stuck with it though and really enjoy the job, I worked in an office for 25+ years before switching and would never go back.

In terms of your rotational day off I think it depends on the office. We don't have a problem in our office and everyone gets there expected rotational days off but you do see posts on this site that part-timers elsewhere sometimes only get Tuesdays off etc and can never get a saturday off.


Thank you for your encouragement :thumbup

I do enjoy the job, and I have done much worse and harder jobs, so the challenging part for me is to meet the expectations, which, so far, seem to be unrealistic to say the least :roll:

I knew the rules will change per local management, but I didn’t think they’d be able to get away messing around with basic and important protocols such as training, what’s the point of advertising jobs is you won’t teach people right? This is what I don’t understand :arrrghhh

The rotating day off isn’t a life or death for me, but it would help me plan my life better if I knew in advance, and it seems unfair that part timers are treated differently when it comes to long term planning, despite the sad fact that I did over 40 hours every week since I started, so it seems to me like the part time contract is simply made to take advantage of people who will do the same job for less ‘rights’, which would put Royal Mail in the same bracket as many other companies with questionable moral compasses :neutral:

I’m trying my best to stay positive and focus on why I wanted the job, and same as you, I wouldn’t want to go back to my previous career, but I will if I have to, life isn’t always as generous as we’d like it to be :shock:

Opinions needed

01 Nov 2019, 17:52

Shoes arrived this morning :nana :dance

Wrong size :Applause

A few Christmas casuals have started this week, all got brand new shiny waterproof coats and warm fleeces so they’ll be warm indoors, all seem to be somebody’s sibling or somebody’s child :roll:

It seems like my local DO is ran like a family business, Anthony Soprano’s family :Very Happy

If new starters were treated the same way in the industries that I been working previously, it would've probably taken 1 working day for them to walk out :roll:

Opinions needed

01 Nov 2019, 19:42

PostmanA wrote:It’s extremely rare for my local DO to advertise any vacancies, let alone permanent ones, so I do consider myself lucky to have got the job.

My hiring process has been extremely straightforward (Time between applying, finishing the online assessment, interview, and a job offer a day after my interview actually, etc.).

The not so lucky part starts after starting the job itself:

Fellow posties are brilliant, it’s the chaos regarding training (Or lack of it :hmmmm , the person that I was supposed to shadow wiggled their way out of it :roll: and I ended up shadowing somebody else, and they weren’t happy that they ended up with the useless new starter! All this while the person being paid for the training had spent the grand total of 20 minutes with me altogether), I was told that I was supposed to spend the first week in a room watching videos (+18 :Very Happy Joking!) So Royal Mail is actually giving the budget to train new starters I suppose, but it never happened! And the uniform :arrrghhh (Hitting 3 weeks now, nothing), up till now, I don’t even know how would I request a day off, or if I was allowed to even dream about a day off during probation :hmmmm

I have heard a few worrying things regarding being part time and since no one’s answering any questions in my DO, I’m hoping someone will in here:

I heard that as a part time contract, my rotating day off will always be decided last minute and I’d have to look for the sheet when it’s out (Friday/Saturday) to know which day I’ll be off, while full time employees will have an accurate plan for months ahead, is this true? Or is it local DO policy?

Training, I’m coping OK with the physical part of the job, the frame is the part that I could do with more time to get used to as I’m always ending up starting my duty later than others, which means I finish late. Any advice as to how to approach the matter with local manager? Or will it fall on deaf ears?

I ‘passed’ the driving assessment, the state of the van was shocking however (The van was buried under a thick layer of mud :roll: Tyre pressure was almost half what they should be for 3 out of the 4 tyres, screen wash was empty, and there were more leaves in the foot well than what’s in my green bin, and it’s not just seasonal, the instructor said that this DO is one of the worst in the area regarding the state of the vans so it’s not just me being a clean freak). I’m not allowed in a van yet however, still pushing a pram every morning so I'm not worried about this just yet :roll:

If things carry on going the way they are, I might consider leaving because it feels like I was dropped into the deep end and in a very busy time of year as well. I like the job, and I know I am lucky to get it, but new starters shouldn’t have to cope with neglect while expected to preform well without any training. It’s just wrong.

Sorry for ranting, but this might help others looking to join RM get an insight to how it actually is in some DOs.

Any advice/thoughts are greatly appreciated.


Hi there,

Let me write a couple of things for you. Myself having done 6 months as postie I realised that being spare means:
1. Your day off is to be decided last minute. It doesnt matter part time or full time if it helps
2. You get to get thrown at the deep end often as I am sure each office has people who get to choose (my office has) what they want to cover (we are talking spare people). You obviously as a newest person get the crumbs.
3. State of the vans is generally terrible. You are actually doing not too bad being on HCT walk. I personally prefer working on my own. I covered various duties from hct walks, driving duties and occasionally I get to go out in a van on my own. However if you have a nice partner it is great.
4. Looks like I've been lucky as I got to spend 3weeks with workplace coach on the same van share duty. I am pretty sure you should be given similar training. I also want to point out that as you work with different people you always learn new things.
5. I can confirm that at the beginning you are entitled to uniform however your allocation is limited.

I would advise to speak to your DOM about your concerns or try get some tips from fellow postmen. Usually they are happy to help.

Opinions needed

04 Nov 2019, 18:52

blacov wrote:Hi there,

Let me write a couple of things for you. Myself having done 6 months as postie I realised that being spare means:
I’m not actually a spare, I was assigned a duty that I have been doing since I started.

1. Your day off is to be decided last minute. It doesnt matter part time or full time if it helps
That’s fine, it’s not the end of the world, as long as everyone’s going through the same process.

2. You get to get thrown at the deep end often as I am sure each office has people who get to choose (my office has) what they want to cover (we are talking spare people). You obviously as a newest person get the crumbs.
I did expect this, apparently the duty that I’m on is number 3 on the worst duties in the office,

3. State of the vans is generally terrible. You are actually doing not too bad being on HCT walk. I personally prefer working on my own. I covered various duties from hct walks, driving duties and occasionally I get to go out in a van on my own. However if you have a nice partner it is great.
I prefer working on my own too, but learning on my own is a completely different story. I did learn most of it by try and error, which costs time, so not ‘fast enough’ is what I kept getting.


4. Looks like I've been lucky as I got to spend 3weeks with workplace coach on the same van share duty. I am pretty sure you should be given similar training. I also want to point out that as you work with different people you always learn new things.
I would say my training was disappointing, it was just helping someone with their duty and not actually shadowing them and learning from them, we were going separate ways to finish delivering rather than shadowing so I could learn something useful.


5. I can confirm that at the beginning you are entitled to uniform however your allocation is limited.
So far, I have received nothing other than wrong size pair of shoes.


I would advise to speak to your DOM about your concerns or try get some tips from fellow postmen. Usually they are happy to help.
Only thing manager’s concerned about is the DO’s scores, and the welfare of the popular staff and their relations. The friendly posties are great and helpful though, but once I'm out on my own delivering, there's no one to ask for anything


Thank you for your help :Very Happy

Opinions needed

04 Nov 2019, 21:34

Since replying to your post last week i was still unable to order my full uniform entitlement online so I phoned them direct. A few days later I got it all including things I didn't even order like a selection of hats, belt and another high viz. I would call them direct and chase yours up they are really helpful

Opinions needed

05 Nov 2019, 20:00

Ali831 wrote:Since replying to your post last week i was still unable to order my full uniform entitlement online so I phoned them direct. A few days later I got it all including things I didn't even order like a selection of hats, belt and another high viz. I would call them direct and chase yours up they are really helpful

I saw the numbers at the back of my payslip and mentioned it to my ‘coach’ when I glanced them at the end of last week, they looked a bit ‘upset’ when I did and said that the uniform should be here by ‘the end of next week’, the look on their face seemed as if they were asking me not to do it till then, so I won’t.

I personally think someone ‘forgotten’ to pass my order form, but then again I did get a pair of wrong size shoes with my name on it so I don’t know what to think.

There was a small ‘situation’ with my manager at the end of last week as well and my patience ran out. I didn’t cross any lines and they soon realised that they were blaming me for someone else’s fault and that the manager themselves were another victim of the ‘blame the new starter’ game.

Managers are supposed to be smart enough not to be manipulated, some aren’t.

Opinions needed

06 Nov 2019, 16:03

PostmanA wrote:
Ali831 wrote:Since replying to your post last week i was still unable to order my full uniform entitlement online so I phoned them direct. A few days later I got it all including things I didn't even order like a selection of hats, belt and another high viz. I would call them direct and chase yours up they are really helpful

I saw the numbers at the back of my payslip and mentioned it to my ‘coach’ when I glanced them at the end of last week, they looked a bit ‘upset’ when I did and said that the uniform should be here by ‘the end of next week’, the look on their face seemed as if they were asking me not to do it till then, so I won’t.

I personally think someone ‘forgotten’ to pass my order form, but then again I did get a pair of wrong size shoes with my name on it so I don’t know what to think.

There was a small ‘situation’ with my manager at the end of last week as well and my patience ran out. I didn’t cross any lines and they soon realised that they were blaming me for someone else’s fault and that the manager themselves were another victim of the ‘blame the new starter’ game.

Managers are supposed to be smart enough not to be manipulated, some aren’t.


Phone dimensions direct yourself.....you'll have the full new starters entitlement of uniform within a couple of days.

No need to involve your less than helpful manager at all.

Opinions needed

06 Nov 2019, 19:25

smartecosse wrote:Phone dimensions direct yourself.....you'll have the full new starters entitlement of uniform within a couple of days.

No need to involve your less than helpful manager at all.

Part of the uniform arrived today, not the weatherproof part though.

Also, a new manager arrived today, with a lot more ‘management’ material in them than the previous one.

I would’ve asked what happened but I don’t like gossiping, I did mention the uniform and the new manager said it will be here this week, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, failing that, I’ll be ringing the helpline.

Opinions needed

11 Nov 2019, 18:41

Called the uniform helpline today and the returns has to be made by the manager, and the soonest I can order the weatherproof garments is 2 weeks apparently, didn’t explain why but I’m assuming it’s low stock of my size garments?

I must be incredibly unlucky to land on badly managed DO, and to have been patient for this long regarding the uniform just to be told I have to wait for longer :hmmmm

2 more weeks without proper clothing to do an outdoor job that you’re hired to do, along with low IQ management that can’t get other staff to do their job, I’m thinking I might not be working for this company for that long, enough is enough :cuppa

Opinions needed

11 Nov 2019, 20:36

Taken from https://detail.dimensions.co.uk/Royalma ... nstruction


New Entrants whose contract of employment with Royal Mail exceeds 13 weeks are entitled to a basic uniform allocation from day 1

To order your basic uniform please contact the uniform helpdesk on 01332 697118.

Once you have been with the business for 6 weeks (and providing you will be employed for 13 +weeks) you will be entitled to your order your full uniform allocation

To do this please contact the uniform helpdesk and request your role is changed to Full Time, you will then be able to order your remaining uniform allocation online.


They won`t issue you with a waterproof rain coat if you are less than 6 weeks in the job.

Buy a cheap waterproof coat from Lidl or similar and wear it until you get the uniform one.

Opinions needed

11 Nov 2019, 22:45

You don't get the full entitlement I.e. coat, beanie hat, waterproof trousers etc until you have been employed at least 6 weeks. As I said before my status on the website at 7 weeks was still showing new starter items only. So i phoned dimensions direct and it all arrived about 3 days later. It has done nothing but rain since i started but i had my own waterproof I could use and also a spare royal mail one if I needed it at the DO

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