Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Red Pullover.

In November I blogged about company uniform shirts and that "Maybe drivers who have been here a fair time could start wearing the old red pullovers just because we can?".

Well, on Sunday whilst walking my pet dog just before going into work, it starting raining - big time. When I got home I took off the very wet company uniform issue blue fleece jacket. I then went to my wardrobe and thought to myself, "Oh, I am getting a little bored with the blue fleece jacket. Ah! look, here is a company uniform issue red pullover. That would be a nice change!".

So on went the old style uniform issue red pullover, the one with the double letter logo on the top of the left sleeve. This pullover is still worn by drivers who have been here a long time. When the uniform was changed the pullover was removed from uniform allocation. There is no longer a pullover for the nationwide company. Three other drivers at our depot still wear the red pullover, they are all older than me. I pulled into the bus station the other day and when David greeted me he said he first saw the coach, then the red pullover and the beard and thought it was JK driving! JK is however 17 years older than me!

Looking around in London I noticed on the station that the uniforms worn by the coach drivers vary an awful lot. Because the current uniform will eventually be replaced by a new version, what the passengers see is a mismatch. There are blue shirts, Bengal striped shirts, white shirts, red pullovers, blue pullovers, blue fleece jackets, high visibility coats, high visibility waistcoats - some advertising the nationwide company, some the operating company and some a trade union. Even the name badges differ, some - like mine have the old balls logo, others have the new comb logo. This must be confusing for the passengers, drivers wearing different uniforms with different colours and top layers. It does look a bit of a rag tag army at the moment!
I agree. The nationwide company's uniform policy has never been strictly adhered to. Currently, with the forthcoming new uniform, anyone who commences employment with a third-party operator will receive no uniform at all, save a tie and name badge. The badges are the responsibility of your direct employer, not the nationwide company; your DTO orders them from the supplier direct and has the option not to include your surname on the badge or job title.

It is strange that, while scratches are spotted and reported to vehicles, the fact the driver may be in a competing company's uniform (as you'll be aware, the nationwide company's main competitor operates services for themselves under contract!) is not picked-up on at all!
Ah, more penny pinching then. Why buy a new badge for Stephen when the old one will do?
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