When you ask young people what they want to do when they leave school there are stock answers that most will respond with; fireman, doctor, police officer etc.
There are other careers, however, that are vital to everyday life and the removals person is one of them. You will see little about this career in the paraphernalia given to school leavers, or find them featured at careers events. This is, however, an interesting job where no two days are the same, so here is a look at day in the life of a removals person. For this insight we have interviewed Barry, a removals person for one of the largest firms in the business.
Barry, why a removals person?
Why not? It’s isn’t the Groundhog Day everyone seems to think it is, I could be moving somebody on the same estate one day and taking somebody’s treasured possessions to France the next.
Do you need an HGV licence to be a removals person?
No but it helps. Those who don’t have one will be employed as drivers’ mates and will share the duties of packing, loading, offloading etc. If you want to go on longer routes and not be tied to your immediate locale then yes you will need an HGV licence as removals people on long routes share the driving to ensure the contents arrive sooner rather than later.
How far in advance do you know what you will be doing that day?
Long haul removals are obviously planned well in advance so you will turn up for work with an overnight bag, your passport etc. Short removals are often planned in advance too but you may find on the day that a couple of extra items have been added to the load and you are making a detour to save sending out those items on their own when you are already going that way.
Describe a typical day.
I’ll try. You turn up for work and are assigned your itinerary for the day. The hours vary obviously; this isn’t a 9-5 job. We will go to the first house of the day and, depending on whether or not they have paid for the service we will pack and bubble wrap their possessions, or load them up if they have done it themselves. Depending on how many items are being moved we may only take those to their destination or move onto another house and add those to the truck.
Then it’s a case of getting from A to B as quickly as possible and unloading them at the new addresses. Then, depending on how long this has taken, we will either return to the depot or move onto the next address. Although we have a schedule we have no say when it comes to traffic conditions, and this particularly comes into play when moving somebody abroad. We can give a day and a rough time guide but you never know what is in store for you between here and there.
Do you ever have to stifle a laugh at some of the things you are moving?
God yes. One of the funniest was when we moved a couple who had had every one of their pets over the years stuffed and talked to them as if they were still alive. The woman freaked out when I got out the bubble wrap saying that I would suffocate her cat. Considering it had been stuffed for God knows how many years this was extremely unlikely but hey what can you do?
So there’s a lot more to it than moving furniture?
Definitely. You also have to be good with people as moving house can be a very emotional experience and by being their removals person you become a part of that. It is an interesting and very self-satisfying job as you are playing a part in the new life these people are embarking on. It can be frustrating at times, and challenging, but I can’t think of any other job I would rather do.
We hope that you got a better idea into the life of a removals person from the above interview.