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.