Dog Days

Towards the end of the pregnancy, there wasn’t much more to do but wait. We had everything sorted, the nursery, the pram, the car, plenty of supplies for different contingencies and we were as ready as we were ever going to be.

Christmas was coming, and with it comes an early pay day that has to last the 5 months of January, so I took this opportunity to put in some hours at work and earn a little bit extra, ready for Matilda’s arrival.

I work as a telecommunications engineer, fixing and providing phone and Internet service.

Over the last couple of years, I have worked away for 2 weeks of nearly every month. It was never a million miles away, just a couple of hours away where there was too much work for the engineers in that area. I’ve worked all over the North West, covering the likes of Manchester, Liverpool, Chester and many more. I even carried on working away occasionally while Jess was pregnant, and while it was difficult, especially during a lock down where she couldn’t get help, she soldiered on, on her own. I’m incredibly proud of her.

But, we were nearing the end of the pregnancy, and I didn’t want to be too far way in case anything happened. So while the business was crying out for people to travel further afield, I took an opportunity to work in Yorkshire for a couple of weeks, travelling there and back daily, just over 90 minutes away. This meant I’d be home every night and wasn’t too far should I be needed at home.

I even knocked that on the head when we hit December, and worked some of my days off close to home. We were getting far too close to be taking risks with long drives.

I love my job, but it is tough in the winter. A lot of what I do is outside, and I could be laid on the floor in a puddle, in pouring rain, trying to fix an essential service for a customer. And once you’re wet, on a wet day, there’s no drying until you’re home.

When lock down was announced back in March, we were given key worker status. The lock down meant that so many people had to work from home, and needed a good stable connection in order to work. Not only that, but there were many vulnerable people who had to shield who relied on a phone line as a life line.

All of a sudden, a lot of people’s Internet that had been just about doing the job, was no longer sufficient. Spending more time at home meant people were noticing issues they hadn’t noticed before, combined with the added pressure of many people using it at the same time.

So, work wise, this year has been tough, and it has been for all of us in the industry. I do see a lot of people complaining about their service, and I understand the frustration. But in an already tough year, we have been as busy if not busier than ever, so bare with us. If you think there is an issue, report it, and we will do our best to give you the best possible service, with many of us, including myself, working additional hours and days, in additional locations, just to keep you connected.

We’re people too, and we’re doing our best.

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