Brrrr….it’s a cold day outside, so it’s a good job the Skip Mag Towers are generous with their central heating. As I’m reading your letters and emails, it strikes me that another year has passed. And what a year it’s been! It’s been a pleasure replying to all your problems, and I hope my advice has been welcome and acted on. Keep sending your letters to us and keeping in touch with how you go. Here’s to another 12 months of Dear Bernice! Thanks to all my readers and to all of you in the skip hire and waste management industry, merry Christmas! Xxx
I’m a skip driver for a crowd in Merseyside – there’s talk of the company closing in the new year although the boss is keeping shut about anything like that. I’m facing Christmas with what could be my last paycheck. I’m married with a little girl, 4 – she’s just got to grips with Christmas and Santa and all that so is going mad excited about it. She’s written a list the length of my arm of all the stuff she wants – in normal circumstances I’d buy everything on the list she asked for but I haven’t got a clue what to do at the moment. I don’t know whether to look for a new job, stay put and see what happens or not spend a penny until I know – Christmas or no Christmas. Any advice, help whatever would be useful.
What a tough time for something like this to happen. Christmas is stressful enough without having to worry about whether you’ll be employed at the end of it. My advice is to take your boss to one side – the pub, a quiet office, whatever feels natural and voice your concerns. A good boss should communicate to his workers – bad news as well as good news. Tell him you want to stay there, but are scared for the future. As long as you promise confidentiality if he asks for it, he should let you know how the land lies.
If the future does look bleak, you need an action plan. Look for new jobs obviously – (the good thing is that the industry sees a rise in work in January and Feb so looking for a job shouldn’t take too long) – and see if you have insurance on any repayments like your mortgage or credit card repayments. This will cover you in times of unemployment.
And as far as your daughter’s concerned, toys will be played for about 10 minutes and the discarded. Buy her a few presents, but the fact that you sound like such a doting father means she’ll have the best Christmas regardless of what Santa get her.
There’s a lad at work who fancies me. He’s told me loads of times, and asked me out loads of times as well. I’m not interested, so I’ve always knocked him back. We’ve got the Christmas works do coming up in a few weeks and all the lads have been making jibes and comments that we’re gonna get together that night even though I’m not in to him. However, I have been known after a few drinks, to be a bit of a party animal; and I’m scared that after a few drinks I’ll start flirting with this guy and might end up doing something I’ll regret in the morning.
How do I enjoy myself without making a complete show of myself?
The answer’s pretty simple you know… Just because it’s the work’s do, there’s no reason to get absolutely plastered and put yourself at risk of becoming a laughing stock of the night. So many work’s dos end up a disaster because everyone takes it too far. Rein in your drink – you don’t have to rely on swigging back the booze in order to have a good time – trust me. If you minimise your drinking, you’ll stay in control of the situation and save yourself from becoming a laughing stock.
If you’re going to drink, make sure you eat a proper meal beforehand, and you alternate between an alcoholic drink and a soft drink. Your reputation not being in tatters is worth more than any night out!