"Bloody typical," I muttered under my breath (even though I was on my own).
Because quite a few Baumhausians (I just invented that plural) were on holiday, it meant that I would definitely need to be on the 'tipping' (formal term for unloading) team. If that wasn't bad enough, because Becky was a sicknote (she has hurt her neck), she was operating the forklift truck whilst I would be a container monkey.
Pic. No. 1 8.30am and a container is lined up at the dock levellers
Double Doh! I don't know if you have ever unloaded a container but they are dark, very dusty, confined, unventilated and they heat up like 'The Apprentice' final (topical!) when the sun is out.
We got stuck in with the unloading when all of a sudden we heard the antipodean strains of 'G'day! is anybody here?' It was Nick Lines, one of our lovely customers.
"Hey you guys, you need a hand?" he shouted
"Bloody right we do, get back here and unload some desks!" I shouted back at him, and then made the random comment "Oh, and whilst you are at it, please could you pretend that a pallet has fallen on you so that I can take a comedy photograph?"
Pic. No. 2 Oh No! Nick is trapped under a pallet
I didn't think anything of it until I came back and found Nick prostrate under a pallet with Phil laughing his head off behind a pile of boxes.
After an 2 hour tip, we finally finished unloading the container, and if you have ever undertaken this particular task, you will know that it feels like you have been to a battle zone and back. The worst occupational hazard is the bruises. We call them 'junkie bruises' (sorry about the horrible name) but they are the tons of little bruises that you get down the inside of both arms from lowering the furniture from a height.
And then, it happened......... we finally reached the end of the container. It was empty. I could take my 'office hands' back to the office.
Pic. No. 3 The back of the container
As I celebrated by kissing the back of the container, I heard the 'PARP! PARP!' of a horn in the car park.
"What the blazes is that?" I shouted at Phil and Nick.
A second artic had turned up with all Nick's stuff on it.
"NOOOOOOOOOOO! I must have been really bad in a previous life!" I hollered.
Pic. No. 4. Container finished just as another pulls around the corner
So here we go again, back to unloading another container of 'heavy stuff'. As Nick pointed out to me, the interior state of the container was really poor, because it looked like someone had a fire in there. It was actually the most battered container I have ever seen. No point dwelling on it though, we have a job to do.
Pic. No. 5 Blimey Geoffrey, this container could not be described as perfect
And then we were done. I am aching all over, and covered in bruises and I just want to go home and wash the dust out of my hair.
Meanwhile, Phil and Nick just dossed around chatting, and comparing injuries. I have to pop off, I am so tired that my right eye has been twitching continuously for 3 hours now. I looked in the mirror and could see it moving. Ugh.