Would you believe it? It is a stock delivery day (which means we need to open all the warehouse doors to unload), and it is -5oC outside. Bloody typical! That's colder than Russia's relationship with the Ukraine. On top of that, our pipes are still frozen so we can't make cups of tea (or even flush the toilets, but I don't want to venture down that path for obvious reasons). DHL who are based in the warehouse next door, also have no water, so we couldn't even go round there to pinch some. In fact, even the builders who are constructing the new warehouses on our Industrial Estate have no water and came over forlornly to see if they could have some from us. I am convinced that the mayhem that ensues when the temperature drops below freezing is purely a British thing. We get a light dusting of snow, and are barraged with severe weather warnings advising us to take a thermal blanket, spade, flask of soup and a fully charged mobile phone with us wherever we go. I don't know about you, but if my car did break down, I would feel a bit daft sat at the side of the Oxford ring road with a spade and thermal blanket.
Anyway, I digress. The good news is that Hazel is back after her Christmas holidays. Mind you, she doesn't look that glad to be back.......but I can assure you that no accountants were injured in the making of this blog.
I think it might be to do with the large pile of invoices and stuff that I saved up for her over Christmas. Plus she is like Becks and is a non-performing seal when I go round and randomly take pictures of everyone. Mind you, she didn't half clear that pile of accounts quickly and then spent the rest of the day taking the mick out of Juan at random intervals.
Back to the container full of new stock.... it's waiting at the unloading door and it's still freezing. The Baumhaus team are like tightly-coiled springs, poised and ready to unload. It's a bit like a James Bond movie... kind of.
With military precision, we all fall into our designated roles; 3 people in the container to offload stock onto pallets, 1 person operating Felicity the Forklift truck and putting the stock away, and me. My job is to keep people motivated by shouting 'you aren't working quick enough'! Obviously, my job is the hardest, but after that, the second hardest job is being in the container. We fondly call it being a 'container monkey'. You can only truly appreciate the experience of being a 'container monkey' when you are balanced (on tip-toes) on a lamp table in the back of a container, trying to get a twin-pedestal solid oak desk down from head-height. Something I thing that Becks achieves with great aplomb in the photo below (I exaggerated about the lamp table!).
Oh, I forgot - I did promise to let you see a picture of Felicity the Forklift Truck. Felicity is a 'reach' truck which means that she has an additional set of hydraulics compared to most other trucks, and can work in very small areas.
I particularly like the flashing light on top and the horn. Today, Phil was operating Felicity and putting the stock away, and at one point he managed to go so fast that he blurred his photo. It happens so rarely, that I had to include it so that you could witness it for yourself..............................! Ha ha - I am going to get some stick after this blog!
When I was writing this today, I realised that you have probably only ever seen pictures of the office at Baumhaus because that is where the Webcam broadcasts from. Considering that the office is the tiniest part of the warehouse, I decided to brave the cold and take some pictures that give you a better idea of what we look like from the outside. I can assure you that after I took this picture, my fingertips nearly went black and fell off because it was so parky. In fact, I actually said 'I am going outside..... I may be some time'.
Once the container was done, everything went uphill. One of our customers, the lovely Julie, came to visit and spent the day taking the mick out of Phil. Then Andy (who is the third Director of Baumhaus, and in charge of IT, but who is based in Australia) decided to reappear after 2 weeks of absency. He has bought himself a new boat, and has been sailing around the barrier reef in blistering sunshine. Needless to say, I really had to try hard to appreciate his enjoyment whilst biting on my nuckles and dwelling on my lack of a cup of tea! I think a trip to Oz might be on the cards.......... He He! Speak to you soon