Late afternoon Friday felt like going on holiday, but without going away anywhere. I left work just after 4.30pm and am off now until Thursday. Most of the workforce have been laid off – a situation we are reviewing on a weekly basis, but with many customers either postponing or pushing back delivery of their orders, it makes sense to scale back production.
It also means that the handful of people who are still in, have plenty of space between each other to maintain that all important 2 metre social distancing. There is still some necessity for the QC function, which is the area I am responsible for, but today I worked out a roster with my staff which enables us to provide cover during the run up to Easter, and potentially beyond.
The hardest part was finding sufficient work for the team to do at home, an issue that I’ve spent the past couple of days solving, so now everyone is sorted, and I can put my feet up for the weekend, secure in the knowledge that short of closing the factory completely, we’ve done everything we can to keep the workforce safe, whilst keeping things ticking over.
Before finishing, it’s surprising and encouraging to see how quickly people have fallen in line with social distancing. There’s a well-stocked village store and Post Office just along from our premises, and it’s good to see that it’s well patronised at present.
I’d a package I needed to post back to a supplier this morning, so I strolled down to the Post Office and joined the queue. The shop has a one-out, one-in policy, but it was quite entertaining whilst waiting for my turn to stop and chat with a few fellow shoppers, whilst at the same time keeping our distance.
Community stores like this are worth their weight in gold at the best of times, but during the situation we’re facing now, they really come into their own. My company helps by placing a regular milk order for the staff tea-room, and if we have visitors, such as auditors, who fancy a working lunch, we can phone down an order for filled rolls for our guests to enjoy.
I forgot to mention that Mrs PBT’s has a stack of jobs for me to do, so the weekend won’t be one of complete relaxation for me but keeping busy is the key at present. That reminds me, I’ve still got that Isle of Man article to put together.