Monday, 16 June 2008

Goodness! Gracious! Great Balls Of Fire

I am terrified. Literally. Terrified. And I'll tell you why.

The petrol pumps have run dry in my neck of the woods because of people panic buying petrol. I'm not even sure how you panic buy petrol. Do you run into the little shop screaming?

Anyway, it's all because the Shell tanker drivers have gone on strike. And why have they gone on strike? Because they want more money.

They want a big pay rise. The bosses say the pay rise they've been offered would take the average salary to £41,000, the unions say the average would move from £32,000 to £36,000.

Either way, that seems a lot of money for just driving around a bit. If I'd known all I had to do to pull in £40k a year was get an HGV driving licence, I wouldn't have bothered with all that work in college, all the extra hours, and all the greasy pole climbing*.

Of course, it's not just driving around a bit. They have extra money for the sheer risk of driving around big lakes of flammable liquid. I don't understand that, either. If you're killed in a massive ball of flames, the extra money won't make a big difference. If you're horribly burnt by flaming petrol, you'll be living on compensation anyway. If you're not killed or maimed, what's the extra money for?

Anyway, let's assume we're happy the drivers get this danger money. The question we then need to ask is this: are we happy that big mobile unexploded bombs are being driven around the country? Is this really the best way to get fuel from one place to another?

And if it is, why don't I get danger money? I'm expected to risk my life and limb driving next to these tankers of death, and I haven't even had proper haz-mat training.

And that is why I'm terrified.

*It's not pleasant, climbing greasy poles, either. The special grease clogs up their moustaches. Mind you, there aren't so many of them around now. They've all made their money and gone back home. It's all greasy Lithuanian climbing in my office now.


Crew Doyle said...

The reason they get the extra cash is that, to guard against the huge fireballs of death of which you speak, the cab of their lorry is entirely filled with water.
Consequently, they have to learn to drive while wearing a special snorkel and goggles, which I'm sure you'll agree is a very special skill and deserving of appropriate remuneration.
Because of medical advances, drivers are now also able to opt for a Man From Atlantis-style operation to equip them with gills - the drawback to this is that they have to walk around when not in their lorry wearing a goldfish bowl full of water on their heads.

Arthur Pewtey said...

We could solve the whole problem if we adopted the American system, where cars run entirely on 'gas'.
Presumably, US motorists connect a hose to their cooker to fill up their cars, and the whole transportation problem is thus solved.

Arnold Layne said...

I've tried panic buying, but I can't find any shops that sell it.

Gloria Sunshine said...

I had the same problem with binge drinking.

stormywhether said...

I can announce with delight that I have had no problems whatsoever with muff diving.

Captain Mac said...

I'm sure I speak for all petrol lorry drivers - even though I'm not one of them and don't know any of them - when I say you're a dead man Bandage if any of them read this.

Rachel Noy said...

You popped my comment cherry, I feel dirty. Blogging is a bit weird, isn't it.

Anyway, in my neck of the woods, there is only one petrol station + loads of inbreds. This lead to people apparently buying 2 pounds worth of petrol at a time to keep topped up.


And surely they can't expect a pay rise after not doing their job for a week, a sacking is what I'd expect if I didn't turn up for a week, then demanded more money.