As I have said before this time of year, when we change rotas from summer to winter is always a slightly worrying time. Will the rotas be worse, the same or even better. Well this change is for the worse. In the summer there were 5 duties out of the 20 we do over a four week period that finished after 8:00 pm which makes them lates. There are now nine duties that finish after 8:00. Also a new development; there are three duties that start before 9:00 am which make them earlies. Only 7 of them are middles, which for a rota described as 12 Middles is like calling Torquay United a really good football team. Or even a football team, (Nil points and 2 goals after 4 games.) Another worrying duty is the As Required Duty. As Required means being on Stand By which if every one is in means sitting around the depot for 8 hours doing nothing or going out and doing nine hours on Torquay Locals. I am not too keen on Torquay Locals. Sitting around doing nothing for 8 hours does has it's attractions though.
I have looked at moving to a different rota but that would mean doing earlies. I went on the middle rota in the first place to avoid having to get up at 4:30 am which to me is in the middle of the night, 8:00 am is my preferred time for getting up in the morning thank you very much. I'll just have to get used to the idea of doing the lates and hope for some thing better when we change again next May.
A couple of other changes have taken place over the last few weeks. We now have a new Depot Operations Manager, Mr McAllister who joins us from Firstbus Yorkshire. He is looking forward to the challenge of working in Torquay with it's seasonal changes. I wonder if he knows that Torquay Depot is listed last in Janes Directory of British Bus Depots. Tony Simmons is now in charge of the day to day running of Paignton Bus Depot. Tony, could we have a sign put up saying No Skateboarding please. And while you are putting that one up directing people to the nearest toilets. It is a little embarasing telling some one who is jumping from one foot to the other that they have a 3 min walk before they can stop jumping from one foot to the other.