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The Tale of No Escape

two men unlock a gate

Or as it is also known, ‘The Tale of How Many People Does it Take to Unlock a Gate’ (For the sake of people’s dignity, we have masked any identifiable marks in the images that accompany this story).

In late 2013 I was on my way to Long Eaton, not far from Nottingham. A call came through asking if we could collect a load nearby and drop it off on our way back to Manchester. Of course we can! After completing the delivery we were in the process of making, we headed off to the new collection point. And things went rapidly downhill from there…

For those that aren’t aware, most businesses that regularly distribute goods will have a goods in/out door, or if they are lucky enough one ‘in’ and one ‘out’. When delivery drivers arrive it’s just a matter of stating who you are and why you are there and it doesn’t need to get too difficult.

Not here though.

First of all, the business name supplied was not that shown on the building, so it’s a little awkward knowing which business you are collecting from if the name isn’t right. Then it went a little like this;

  • Pull up to a set of locked gates.
  • read sign saying ‘drivers report to reception’.
  • Go to reception.
  • Read sign saying ‘ring xxx1 for goods out’.
  • Speak to the helpful chap.
  • Fill in form requiring more detail than your last job application.
  • Get given key for the entry gate, with instructions to unlock gate, enter, then lock gate again behind you.
  • Do as told above.
  • Drive to loading bay.
  • Get loaded in matter of what seemed like seconds.
  • Drive to exit gate.
  • Go back to reception to sign out and return the key for the entry gate.
  • Get given code for exit gate’s padlock.
  • Try code.
  • Try it again.
  • Get second person to try the code.
  • And a third person.
  • Send the third person to get a fourth person.
  • Fourth person tries the code.
  • So does a fifth person.
  • Fourth person disappears and returns with a hammer and crowbar.
  • Exit the site.

It took less than 2 minutes to load the vehicle and almost 20 to exit the yard due to a far too security-conscious exit procedure. There is no need for things to be this complicated in life, so if your business has a similar process then may we suggest you either look at whether or not it really needs to be that way, or speak to a transport or logistics company that could offer advice on an easier solution.

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