In a bizarre series of events, renovating our 1967 Bailey Maestro was the catalyst behind my day on the Bailey of Bristol production line. Much to my wife’s disgust, our patio was renovation HQ for our 60s’ van, although I’d be swapping wonky paving for twenty-five workstations, twelve of which I would be experiencing in a single day. Instead of my son, Charlie, being my workmate, I would be joining 158 seasoned professionals. It promised to be a very different day indeed.
To work on the production line, the HR and Health & Safety departments asked that I follow the route taken by all employees before being given the green light. Far from the classroom presentation being a list of do’s and don’ts, the structure was employee-focused and covered hot topics such as wage progression and procedures that ensure each employee is looked after, both mentally and physically. A goodie bag was a nice touch, and along with a new uniform, it concluded induction day. When asked if I had any questions, I wondered if any employee had tackled twelve stations on his or her first day. ‘No’ was the answer. I would be the first to attempt such an undertaking.