Ever wondered what an Office Pantry delivery is like when you are actually in the vans distributing snacks, fruits, drinks, milk, craft beer and more?
Follow a day-in-the-life of Chantel Blackwood, our newest team member and Wordsmith who jumped on the vans with Pete, our veteran driver to work a December's Monday delivery shift:
22:30 I lie in wait and chastise myself for not having a trendy siesta this afternoon and, as usual, I start pondering the meaning of the life of the sheep I am hypothetically counting.
02:12 Subconscious paranoia has it that I can no longer subject myself to peaceful catnapping and my alarm is due to chime in three minutes time. Brain, O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?
02:24 I resign to the fact that I made an unwise decision to nap inefficiently. I realise my sock is also off. It always unnerves me when I wake up, and socks are missing. Maybe the bogeyman does try to get me after all.
02:26 I hear the front door open. It is fortunately not a burglary, unlike the increased spate in my neighbourhood, but my housemate arriving back home. It feels strange to be passing ships at this hour.
02:51 Brushing my teeth for the second time in 5 hours. My dentist Craig will be proud. Charles is due to pick me up at 3 am. It is the start of my second week here, so I am still getting to know the team. I am excited to spend some time on the road having some 1:1 conversation today. However, my stirred awareness not to hold Charles up evoke uncool memories of delaying my waiting driving instructor at college.
03:00 I hear a heavy vehicle outside halting. I would like to think at this time and location of my house that it will be Charles and not a getaway vehicle and number 72 hasn’t been burgled again. A sigh of relief, tis Charles.
03:15 Arrive at the Office Pantry distribution centre.
03:22 Charles and I are packing and quality checking the raspberries, (too delicate to be done till now) double checking routes and milk orders. A deseeded jam packed day it will be.
03:28 Charles mentions I can grab some snacks for the road. I am spoilt for choice and pressed for time, so I snatch these tantalising beauties:
03:30 Pete and I, with the company of Radio 2, enjoy making acquaintance chatting about life, family, health, and backgrounds. He is a cool guy, approachable, funny, and knowledgeable. We are going to get on so well.
03:45 We arrive at the dairy. An excellent product supplier of high-quality Red Tractor farm assured milk.
04:13 We are entering Hammersmith, and it is quite surreal for me to see vehicles displayed and advertised on the upper floors of a high-rise.
04:27 The first delivery is complete.
04:37 It is rather an ideal time to view the city. It is illuminated with all the excitement of Christmas and advertising yet has a sense of tranquillity in the air as anyone who can help it should be tucked up in bed still.
04:45 Passing by Trafalgar Square to Victoria Embankment. I see the London Eye all lit up in its Santander-red glory but can’t help but be reminded of a bad case of Blepharitis.
05:36 The fog is low-lying and dense this early morn. I find it adds to the drama of being in the city in its arousing stillness. Pete quips it reminds him of a Sherlock Holmes era. We hop off the van and make our way up to the 5th floor to the next office. I will be an elevator connoisseur by midday.
05:45 ‘Puff The Magic Dragon’ is on the radio, and Pete reminisces about his childhood.
07:30 I manage to take a photo of one office’s Christmas tree. The corridor outside leads onto a balcony with an impressive panoramic view of the city with the Shard and The Gherkin. The horizon glistens red and white like tree fairy lights, and there is a calming hum when you find yourself five floors above from the direct dissonance.
08:00 I have been awake for over 5 hours now. For the first time, I feel like Churchill, the dog with a swinging head and feel my eyes blink a little slower than normal. My attention is attracted to the windows of contorted gym-goers in yoga positions. The ‘corpse’ position may just be my preferred pose right about now.
09:00 Around the corner from our next office, I spot this graffiti not too far from Shoreditch High Street Station. Being a Bristol habitant, I have a fond appreciation for our notable street art and enjoy collecting photos to admire later.
09:20 One elevator is in the process of being renovated so as I enter it, it feels like I am inside a mattress like a duvet change day has gone wrong. That or I have walked into my long overdue intervention and a padded cell.
09:50 I take a photograph of a beautiful stairwell on another delivery point.
10:05 We head down Whitechapel Road. To say I was excited was an understatement. I am a Ripper Street fan. A strong character based crime mystery drama set in 1890s Whitechapel. A moment made poignant since my great-great-grandfather was a Policeman in the Metropolitan Police in the late Victorian era and became the first policeman to be medically pensioned off due to his injuries.
11:20 Our delivery schedule is complete and all our amazing customers have their restocked supply of Office Pantry fruit, snacks, drinks, and milk.
12:15 Pete, Charles and I are meet at Heston West Services for a refreshment break and leg stretch. Charles kindly buys us hot drinks for the road and homeward bound we go. Pete is on holiday now, so Charles is driving me home.
20:15 I clamber into bed, close my eyes and drift off dreaming of the sights and sounds seen today. Back in the office tomorrow at 07:30. I am an eager beaver, what can I say. I love my new job.
Reflecting back on today, it has been a pleasurable and exciting experience. Pete and Charles are unsurprisingly excellent company; everything went smoothly, and it was a fun opportunity to see fuller aspects of the business.