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Chris2cv's Fleet - Not the best start to 2022, but hopefully better things to come. Or maybe not! 10/1


Chris2cv
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Very  little to report recently. The Clio is still in daily use as I STILL haven't done anything about the moped. The replacement trim for the Clio (original lost in the flood) arrived while I was on holiday, a week earlier than the delivery date quoted. Hermes sent me a series of emails, which I initially ignored as they looked scammy. They then eventually sent me a photo of somebody's legs in a doorway! I know that couriers seem to do that now, but wouldn't showing a face, or some sort of clue as to where you've left it be more useful?  Eventually tracked that down to my neighbour/receptionist Shirley. (Amazon tend to deliver while I'm at work, and for reasons best known to themselves normally tell me that they've left parcels at reception when I live in a house. Shirley is quite amused by this)

Anyway, I finally had a few minutes spare to fit the trim yesterday. It took longer getting it out of the packet and cleaning the bumper than it did to fit! I did feel that it made the car look tatty having it missing and am happy to have it looking smart again. The car is not mint, but it's close, with just a couple of minor scratches and a little dent in the bonnet where a firework hit it. I know that it's worth very little, but it's been a good little car and has never really given much trouble. The n/s headlight and front fogs both seemed to have absorbed a bit of water from the flood, but I'm keeping an eye on them, at least it had just passed it's MOT.

I haven't used the others for a while. Hopefully give the Stepway a run next week and the 2cv MOT is now on the 20th.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, it's MOT day for the 2cv! Never a highpoint in my diary as I always worry what problems they are going to find this time. Don't get me wrong, if there is anything safety related that needs doing, then it will be done, no question. My problem is with the testers who hate old cars and just search for things to fail it on - like the tester who failed it on wipers parking in the same place that they park on every 2cv. How was it fine for 30 years and then suddenly not?

Anyway, I dropped it off, then went for a walk. I came back past about an hour later and it had moved, but no news so I kept going. About 5 minutes later, they rang to say that it had passed! Obviously!

Apparently all of the shocks are worn, not particularly surprising as I haven't changed them in 27 years, but how would you know? Don't all 2cvs bounce their way along the road?

A rear brake was binding as I left, which was odd as it wasn't when I drove there, but it stopped after a few miles. As the tester said, probably just lack of use. That was fair, I'd barely done 200 miles in a year, which is shameful really, but the engine was in bits for about 3 months and this year just hasn't really worked for getting down to where the car lives. Hopefully it will get more use next year (I seem to recall saying that last year!)

Incidentally, any 2cv people, how are you getting on with the new unleaded? I'm still on the old stuff, due to lack of use, and am bit hesitant to put any more in at the moment, as there is a fairly high chance that I wont be back down here again until January and I've heard that it doesn't age well.

 

Other vehicle use:

Clio is fine, still commuting 5 days a week, headlight still misted following the floods.

Stepway is fine, 70 miles yesterday, similar last Sunday after around a month of standing. 

Moped - no progress. In theory I am free next Saturday and the following one to potentially get a new one. Will I finally pull my finger out? Probably not.

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  • Chris2cv changed the title to Chris2cv's Fleet. - Update 20/11 - 2cv MOT day!
1 hour ago, Chris2cv said:

Incidentally, any 2cv people, how are you getting on with the new unleaded?

I have to say, mine seems to run better on E10.   No proper comparative testing, just how it feels.  It's certainly not worse.  I have no idea how the ignition timing is set - Lumenition fitted by the PO and I haven't ever needed to touch it, but maybe it just happens to be right for the fuel.  No problems so far with fuel hoses etc, but keeping an eye on things.

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2 hours ago, Chris2cv said:

Incidentally, any 2cv people, how are you getting on with the new unleaded?

I’ve been running super in my two, but did have to pop half a tank of E10 when I got a bit caught out a couple of weeks back. It was fine. To be honest the 2CV is a hardy beast, it’ll run ok on most things! 
 

Well done on the Mot pass! 

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Thanks for that, I'll be interested to see how things go over the next few months and whether any problems occur, although obviously I hope that they don't.

I'm reminded of a garage here that was offering to prepare cars for unleaded when LRP was discontinued. They were charging £50, which sounded fairly reasonable until I found out (not from them, obviously) that it involved putting £10 of unleaded in. That's it. If the car hadn't come back in a fortnight, it was judged to be ok, if it returned they said that it needed more adjustment, and only then would they actually look at it! They are not there any more!   

I probably should have mentioned that the 2cv started almost immediately on Saturday, having not moved in two months, After the MOT, I took it out for a long country ride, as the lanes are far more enjoyable than the fast roads, and there are some beautiful villages. It drove well, and didn't feel like it minded the lack of use. I was surprised by just how many people took photos as I drove around. I know that it's unusual, but they aren't that rare, I know of two others within a mile or so of where it lives! Of course it might have been me that caught their eyes!

It does annoy me how little use it gets, but it's just life unfortunately. It lives at my parents house, because there is a garage that it can stay in, which means that it is safe and dry, but it means that I can't just nip over and use it in the evenings. There is also the fact that there is normally a trailer, garden furniture and at least one other car blocking it in, so sometimes it's just too much aggro if the sky is looking black or I haven't got much time. I'll try to at least double last years mileage  by the next MOT- 50 miles done so far.  

 

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  • 1 month later...

I thought that a review of the year was in order. What has 2021 meant for my fleet?

It's been a mixed year, the cars have done well, but the moped is basically dead. Anyone who has read through my various rambles probably knows that it has averaged a couple of FTPs a year for the last few years, but this year it failed a few times in a month and hasn't run for about 6 months now. To be honest, I'm sure that it can go again, but I've just lost faith in it. It was happening too often and I just don't have the time or skill to keep getting it going again. I keep meaning to do something about it, but there always seems to be something that needs to be done each weekend, or I'm in a funk of inactivity and can't find any motivation. I AM going to do something about it soon. Probably.

The Clio was bought new (back in 2002) as my commuting car and did that for around 5 years, but the cars kept getting vandalised outside work, so I got the first moped because I could keep that inside the grounds. The recently deceased moped was the third, and at 19 years old, the Clio became my commuter again! It's been serving me well, and it's certainly nice to commute in the dry and warm, but it's getting elderly, it's very close to 100,000 miles (as in about 300 miles off!) and I don't really want to run it into the ground. Quite apart from this, I have to get up earlier, because I can't filter through the traffic! It survived a flood and a few adventures this year.

The Stepway hasn't seen a great deal of use, various trips at weekends, but three holidays ended up being cancelled, so it just hasn't been needed that much. Hopefully a couple of holidays before the company year ends in April. Still running well, still a great car that I'd happily recommend.  

The 2cv has not had a great year, as the engine was in pieces for quite a long time. It ran fine before I rebuilt it, but was leaking quite badly and I was getting a lot of moans about it. It turned out to be a hole in the rocker cover, which could have been mended fairly easily, but, I didn't find out until it was it was stripped down, and then felt that  it may as well have a good service and tart up. As often happens with these things, it was supposed to be strip down one weekend then rebuild the next, but there ended up being a few months in between. Went straight through it's MOT, but like the Stepway just needs me to have some holiday time so that I can actually use it. It will be going for it's traditional New Years day (or thereabouts) trip out if nothing else. Look out for a red 2cv with an oddly dressed owner if you are in the Thanet area!

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a little supplement to my previous post. 

As you may have read elsewhere, I've started the year by catching covid, so unfortunately nothing really to report on the cars as yet. I'd hoped to take the 2cv out on New Years Day, as is tradition, and had planned to at least look at new mopeds this weekend if not order one. I was also going to go to the opticians and do a few other jobs as well, but such is life! I'm ok, just isolating. I can't do next weekend, so maybe the one after.

Incidentally, chatting with a female friend recently, she said "you do Movember don't you?" Well, sort of. I normally go on holiday the last week of October and then don't bother shaving again until late November, but it's laziness rather than genuine charity. "Because I'm doing Fanuary!" She said, before laughing and walking away.  I can probably guess what that means, but wont ask for proof!

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  • Chris2cv changed the title to Chris2cv's Fleet - Not the best start to 2022, but hopefully better things to come.

Anyone who thinks that the women in a choir are all prim and mild mannered, is very much mistaken! I'm seeing her on Wednesday (Covid permitting) so will have to find out.  (I nearly put "will have to see" but that might be pushing it!)

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  • Chris2cv changed the title to Chris2cv's Fleet - Not the best start to 2022, but hopefully better things to come. Or maybe not! 10/1

I said yesterday that hopefully things would get better. Well, I've just spoken to my boss about returning to work following the virus. He told me that while I've been off, the directors have told staff that we are closing most of the company and we are being made redundant! 

It's not until the end of April, so I've got a bit of grace, but it's come as rather a shock. I've always said that I had no doubt that the directors would drop us with no hesitation if they got a better offer, but they spent a fortune converting upstairs into flats a couple of years ago, so thought that we had a few years yet. 

It's no secret that there have been awful times there. with death threats, bullying and being ground into the ground. I've known for years that I need to get out, but this has come as quite a shock. I'm just a bit out of it really. I wasn't really focussed anyway, but that's really thrown me. I'm going to have to think about this now.

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Must be a hell of a shock, even though it sounds like it's been bad there in the past. These things do often lead to something better though, which you might not have considered had you not been pushed. Stay positive, and start looking as soon as you're ready.

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3 hours ago, Chris2cv said:

I said yesterday that hopefully things would get better. Well, I've just spoken to my boss about returning to work following the virus. He told me that while I've been off, the directors have told staff that we are closing most of the company and we are being made redundant! 

It's not until the end of April, so I've got a bit of grace, but it's come as rather a shock. I've always said that I had no doubt that the directors would drop us with no hesitation if they got a better offer, but they spent a fortune converting upstairs into flats a couple of years ago, so thought that we had a few years yet. 

It's no secret that there have been awful times there. with death threats, bullying and being ground into the ground. I've known for years that I need to get out, but this has come as quite a shock. I'm just a bit out of it really. I wasn't really focussed anyway, but that's really thrown me. I'm going to have to think about this now.

Onwards and upwards Chris. Don't be afraid to promote your years of  experience and skills to potential employers. 

The world's your lobster. Good luck.

Redundancy £££ should ease things for a bit.

I quite like the sound of Fanuary. Could do with a month of that.

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Thanks. It really threw me for a few hours. I'm going to clear out my desk of all non essentials tomorrow. Then it's my birthday (great timing!) so I'm going to be busy, But, the search had better start next week. 

I'm lucky, I wont be homeless as I've got a bit put away (the joy of being single and not going out much until recently) but I'd rather get something sorted before this ends. I should get a decent payout as I've been there for a long time. To be honest, they owe me, they've treated me like crap for years.

I've cheered up considerably. I've appreciated the support. Coincidentally, the choir restarted tonight, so I've been to three online sessions and that bit of escapism, together with the various messages that I've had, have helped a lot. Who knows what tomorrow holds, but I can do this. 

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Keep your pecker up sir.  This is just the end of a chapter, it's time to write a new one.

Take your time, have a think on what you want to do, don't sell yourself short.  Customer service skills are good currency on a CV, you'd be surprised at how bad some people are when dealing with customers (be they public or other employees).

I think we need to update the Autoshite calendar with Fanuary, might have an issue or two with the printers though...

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Minor update.

I'd intended continuing to clear out my desk today - I don't want to be walking out with great boxes for of accumulated crap, because that looks like I'm stealing stuff, when I'm not, it's just stuff that's either become obsolete or given to me or whatever, but I'd rather take a few small loads - but my occasional colleague went sick, so I had to drive the van.  I'm intending starting to look around next week, but am not in a desperate rush. I want to find something but it doesn't have to be the first thing. My boss told me that one of the local car yards wants a driver, they've got like 10 cars in the yard, how much work can they really have? I think that I can aim a little higher than that!

I also need to investigate redundancy payments, I've got a rough idea of what I'm due and it's a reasonable amount. Not huge, but I've been there 20 years in various roles, so I don't want to race out and risk losing that. I need to speak to someone who knows about these things. The directors sent a note to all staff last week (I got mine yesterday, because I was off with covid) and at the bottom it says "you can talk to one of us on (last) Friday morning" That's not really a lot of help! Apparently they are on holiday now!

 

Regarding Fanuary, I did see my friend  at choir tonight, but she did not mention it. She did however tell me that she was having trouble concentrating because she was watching my bum moving as I danced! I don't think that there is any future between us, other than flirting and silliness, but it's bought a smile to my face.  I'd told the ladies in the choir about the redundancy, and quite a few came over to chat and offer some advice which was very much appreciated. I seem to have made a new friend as well, which is nice. 

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56 minutes ago, Chris2cv said:

….She did however tell me that she was having trouble concentrating because she was watching my bum moving as I danced! I don't think that there is any future between us…

You might not think so…..I’ve a feeling she might, though…..

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9 hours ago, Chris2cv said:

Minor update.

I'd intended continuing to clear out my desk today - I don't want to be walking out with great boxes for of accumulated crap, because that looks like I'm stealing stuff, when I'm not, it's just stuff that's either become obsolete or given to me or whatever, but I'd rather take a few small loads - but my occasional colleague went sick, so I had to drive the van.  I'm intending starting to look around next week, but am not in a desperate rush. I want to find something but it doesn't have to be the first thing. My boss told me that one of the local car yards wants a driver, they've got like 10 cars in the yard, how much work can they really have? I think that I can aim a little higher than that!

I also need to investigate redundancy payments, I've got a rough idea of what I'm due and it's a reasonable amount. Not huge, but I've been there 20 years in various roles, so I don't want to race out and risk losing that. I need to speak to someone who knows about these things. The directors sent a note to all staff last week (I got mine yesterday, because I was off with covid) and at the bottom it says "you can talk to one of us on (last) Friday morning" That's not really a lot of help! Apparently they are on holiday now!

 

Regarding Fanuary, I did see my friend  at choir tonight, but she did not mention it. She did however tell me that she was having trouble concentrating because she was watching my bum moving as I danced! I don't think that there is any future between us, other than flirting and silliness, but it's bought a smile to my face.  I'd told the ladies in the choir about the redundancy, and quite a few came over to chat and offer some advice which was very much appreciated. I seem to have made a new friend as well, which is nice. 

Basic redundancy calculations

1 weeks pay for every year worked upto a 20 Yr max, 1.5 weeks per year if you are over 41.

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16 minutes ago, Floatylight said:

Basic redundancy calculations

1 weeks pay for every year worked upto a 20 Yr max, 1.5 weeks per year if you are over 41.

This could be the kick up the arse Chris needed.  

@Chris2cvdon't take this the wrong way. I've been made redundant twice in 20 years and whilst it was stressful and there was the fear of the unknown, in both cases when I reflected back about a year later, I was much happier and was enjoying my new job more. 

Most* people I've met who have been made redundant have told me the same thing.  Not All, but most. But given that your job was shit, I can't imagine that you won't enjoy the next one alot. 

And thanks to Brexit, you shouldn't find you have too much competition. 

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10 hours ago, Chris2cv said:

so I don't want to race out and risk losing that.

This doesn't really apply.  You can still go for jobs and should be applying, but you will need to wait for your redundancy to come through before you start - any employer is going to see that you would be stupid to miss out on the redundancy pay.

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7 minutes ago, loserone said:

This doesn't really apply.  You can still go for jobs and should be applying, but you will need to wait for your redundancy to come through before you start - any employer is going to see that you would be stupid to miss out on the redundancy pay.

Just tell them the date you can start. Add 2 weeks to it and if you do get an offer you can have a 2 week holiday. 

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3 hours ago, New POD said:

This could be the kick up the arse Chris needed.  

@Chris2cvdon't take this the wrong way. I've been made redundant twice in 20 years and whilst it was stressful and there was the fear of the unknown, in both cases when I reflected back about a year later, I was much happier and was enjoying my new job more. 

Most* people I've met who have been made redundant have told me the same thing.  Not All, but most. But given that your job was shit, I can't imagine that you won't enjoy the next one alot. 

And thanks to Brexit, you shouldn't find you have too much competition. 

This, I helped hundreds if not thousands through redundancy over the years and pretty well everyone I've seen since says they are in a better job , happier and more motivated.  Take it as the kick up the arse you needed, onwards and upwards!

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5 hours ago, Floatylight said:

This, I helped hundreds if not thousands through redundancy over the years and pretty well everyone I've seen since says they are in a better job , happier and more motivated.  Take it as the kick up the arse you needed, onwards and upwards!

Worked for me!  And Steve used to be my sort-of-boss, poor bloke...

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12 hours ago, New POD said:

This could be the kick up the arse Chris needed.  

@Chris2cvdon't take this the wrong way. I've been made redundant twice in 20 years and whilst it was stressful and there was the fear of the unknown, in both cases when I reflected back about a year later, I was much happier and was enjoying my new job more. 

Most* people I've met who have been made redundant have told me the same thing.  Not All, but most. But given that your job was shit, I can't imagine that you won't enjoy the next one alot. 

And thanks to Brexit, you shouldn't find you have too much competition. 

It's been a long busy day (and my birthday!) so I'm just catching up with things. Thanks everyone for your advice and comments.  I've quoted @New POD because I think that post pretty much sums it up.  Anyone who has read my various ramblings around the forum knows that my job has been crap for years. It got to a really low point around 3 years ago, before getting even worse and leaving me in a very dark place. Things did improve a bit for a while and my friends helped to build me back up. Bizarrely the virus improved things a lot, we were more spread out, we had some time apart and we worked well together. Well apart from thick nick, who hates me for being gay. Which I'm not.  

Things have been relatively good for the last couple of years, apart from nick regularly failing to turn up, so I end up having to do his job too. My concern is that having been allowed to get away with that for far too long, he's got absolutely no motivation to improve for the next 3 months. I was off on Monday (isolating), he's been off two days without calling in.

Anyway, getting back to New POD's point, I agree. I've let them get away with their shit for far, far too long because I really hate interviews and job hunting, and because I got comfortable. I've known for years that I needed to get out. It's hard because stress makes my stomach condition (ulcerative colitis) much worse and interviews make me very stressed, but I'll just have to use the really strong pain killers and hope that I don't start talking nonsense.

 I've been talking to my brother today, he's been made redundant twice over five years (the shop closed and the second company got taken over and then sacked most of the staff) he's much happier in his new job, earning similar money for a much easier job with no commute and much less stress. He's got a wife, kids and a mortgage. My only dependants are the cars.  

Several of my friends in the choir were talking about redundancies that they had experienced (one was a single mother with two small children at the time, which must have been very difficult) and it was good to share some information. Apparently our leader was standing behind me as I was talking about my job, and her jaw just kept dropping further and further! I forget sometimes that things like death threats aren't normal.

I know literally hundreds of people in the motor trade, my colleague (not nick, obviously!) has just got a new job as a parts manager and has said that he'd like to work together, or I could do something totally different. I might take a break for a few weeks (but not much more) and I've got a few quid to tide me over. 

I'm not going to pretend that it's not going to be a huge shock to the system, or that it will be easy, but it's not the disaster that it initially appeared. 

Thank you. 

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So, a week later and how much progress have I made?  Well, not much to be honest!  I think that it's all sunk in now. It's becoming more real as more and more colleagues go for interviews and some have got new jobs. Nobody has actually gone yet. I was rather concerned about telling my parents, because I didn't want to lie to them, but at the same time I needed some time to get it straight in my head first and Dad tells everyone everything. I don't know if I'm meant to be telling anyone yet, but the truth is out there and customers are starting to ask about it. Trade is noticeably dropping too. 

We had the rather ludicrous situation that I'd told people on here and in my choir, but I've never specified where I work so that seemed harmless. Then my friend got the band from Massaoke to record a slightly late birthday message for me, and even they knew about it, but I still hadn't told my parents! I know that as an adult, I don't  actually have to tell my parents everything, but they seem convinced that I am 5 and it is just easier sometimes. The last thing that I wanted was someone seeing something on Facebook or the local papers before I'd said anything. 

I'm clearing my desk out, there is just so much crap! It all takes time as there is still plenty of work to do and I'm fitting it in between. I've got lots of stuff in the email (mostly Choir and Scout related) that shouldn't be there, so I'm slowly thinning that out. I've got until the end of April so it's not desperate although there were men with clipboards silently measuring again yesterday. 

I really don't know what is coming next, I know that I've got to start putting myself out there more and I really appreciate the suggestions and messages that I've received.  My current focus is the clear out, and then I'll start on the CV.  My colleague is keen for me to follow him to another dealership around 5 miles away, and I am certainly not ruling that out. It's the easiest option, I know the job and the systems and some of the staff. But I have to think, having been in the motor trade for very nearly 20 years (on 14th February!) is it time for something different? I also have to balance that with, having been in the motor trade for so  long, can I still deal with civilised people?

I don't have to rush things yet. Boss essentially said that we'd lost all remaining holiday, which I was rather unsure of. I now know that this is not the case. but with colleagues potentially leaving soon, I've got to take it very soon. I'm going to look into it this weekend. 

Just to get the post vaguely back on topic, I'm still thinking about maybe getting an electric bike (as opposed to an electric moped). There was a thread on here and it seems quite a good option really as I could just use that when I want, but have the potential of commuting on it. Of course that rather depends on how long my future commute is, but at around £800 it's dear but not horrifically so. Certainly cheaper than the new mopeds, and I wouldn't have to worry about things like MOT.

The Clio continues on commuter duties. We are not really enjoying the cold and deicing every single morning. I am even less thrilled by the sunroof freezing on the inside, which then drips water down my neck on the way home! I normally remember to dry that first now! I think that it is a bit damp in there, but it's 19 years old and it went through a flood a few months ago, so it's hardly surprising!

No real movement for the others, but if I get some time off, I'll try to take a holiday with the Stepway and some decent outings in the 2cv.

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