I get up at 4 in the morning. At this stage, I am well used to it. Sometimes I wake up before the alarm. My wife doesn’t listen a thing. I have always been an early riser. It’s still dark at 4 a.m., but it gets a little brighter around 5 a.m. It is difficult to get up when it is cold. Once I have my coffee, I am a morning person. It’s too early for breakfast, so I have a sandwich afterwards.
Arrive at the DPD warehouse in Rosemount Business Park. When we walk in, trailers are on site. They come from the sorting office – the depot in Athlon. As the packages leave the trailer, we sort out the ones that come with the belt. I have all the packages for my particular area on the floor ready to be scanned. Which takes about two and a half hours.
You have to predict when you are going to deliver. In the morning, a customer receives a message saying that the package will arrive at the right time. DPD has a great system. Because of that scanning, 95 percent of your customers will be at home because they know you’re coming. Then we go ahead and start our race.
I from Finglas Village, to Ikea in Ballymun. If I know there is going to be traffic – for example, around schools – I go the opposite way or I give extra time so that I can get delivery within the specified hour. Normally, we have two or three minutes per delivery. You will need to pack the van the same way you are going to unload it. Boys call my van a TARDIS because I get into it a lot.
You can deliver anything – clothes, toys or dog food. It can also be a car door. During the lockdown, people got used to ordering their goods online, and even though we are out of lockdown, they continue to do so. COVID completely changed the game in our industry. In some areas where you may have had one driver, you now have four. I know many customers by name and they also know me by name.
Our policy is to treat each box as if it were fragile. If you are seen on camera throwing a box on the floor, you will be reprimanded. Everything is a valuable commodity except clothes. You can throw a jumper. It’s not going to break.
Usually, you know the area where you can jump out and run to the door, but you have to know the ground lie, because you never know the time or place where someone will try to lock. We have your product in the back of the van, so it is our duty to deliver it to you.
Delivering to homes is usually not a problem because there is parking, but apartments can be tricky. Buzzers often break or someone may put their phone on silent. It’s the only thing I’ve ever done that someone might be in bad humor but they’re still happy to see you.
The generosity of the people is incomparable. Yesterday, I went to a door and a man handed me two big bars of chocolate to say thank you. Sometimes, women will meet me at the door because they don’t want their husbands to know they’re shopping online again. But there are often minor disputes about this.
I love my job because I love freedom. You are out and about meeting people every day, and once you work with DPD correctly, you are left alone. I used to work in an office and I couldn’t take it anymore. DPD is a very good company. No problem with sick pay and a contributory pension, but they’ll give you the direction to do so.
When you don’t deliver something, you bring it back to the warehouse and reschedule the delivery. Then you turn off your scanner and you’re done.
I finish work at 1 pm. When I get home, I’m like a coiled wire. In the afternoon I will have breakfast. Then I can go for a walk or cycle. If there is something to be done at home, then you have time for that. It’s not all about the work. You have to live too. When I go to bed at 9 p.m., I’m out like a switch.
Interview by Ciara Dior