Job Tips for Campsite Couriers 11: The Moroccan Night Raiders
Click on the link below for Part 1 of the series.
Job Tips for Campsite Couriers 11: The Moroccan Night Raiders
More handy little tips and tricks of the trade for any aspiring Campsite Couriers.
Here we include tent-dwelling, toilet facilities and recycling of all that rubbish, especially the empties.
Unfortunately crime waves do sometimes occur and you should always be on your guard.
The simplest rule is to take the same security precautions as you would back home.
So don't leave your valuable lying around in clear sight and remember that tent walls are not all that impenetrable believe it or not.
Tip; Remember! It's a lifestyle not a job
I remember at my Induction back home asking the trainers if we worked a set number of hours. The reply I got back then was that "It's more of a lifestyle" so my immediately thought was "Fine! we'll be working all the bloody hours of the day".
It didn't evolve into anything like that of course but they were certainly right because it is more of a lifestyle than a job
You do have to rough it a little, living in a tent with no en-suite facilities meaning you have a short but bothersome walk to the toilet block nearby. However I did keep a secret piss-pot for emergencies or for bad weather.
If you're having a good few beers one night in your canvas-palace it tends to get a trifle repetitive when it seems you're up every 5 minutes bursting for the loo. Seriously though for female workers it can be unnerving having to walk in the dark if the toilet blocks are far away.
Tip: Paper plates are cheap and saves doing the dishes
I had long ago resolved to buy loads and loads of paper plates and plastic cutlery from the supermarket because I was fed up washing dishes. In an ideal world I'd have a microwave so the pots could go to hell in a handbasket too but the power box couldn't handle the overload I think. If you enjoy doing dishes then no problem. Each to their own.
Tip: Recycling is rubbish
The recycling routine in the campsite did my head in as strictly speaking you're meant to sort your rubbish out into 5 separate categories believe it or not. You end up with some elementary filing system for garbage that taxes even my ancient clerical skills.
Luckily they had three rubbish dumps around the site so I could spread my beer-can disposal without seeming like some desperate Scottish alcoholic as the cans and bottles tumble noisily into the huge bell-jar container. Best to find one that's almost full and they don't have so far to fall.
"Crash!, Bang!, Dong!",
"Oh these!" I'd say,
"Clang!, Smash!, Clunk!"
"We found them in a few of the mobiles"
"Clatter, Crack!, Thump!",
"The customers left them" I'd claim,
Tip: Expect the worst when you have to clean after customers
The punters were been fine with us by and large and we hadn't major problems with people. However a big bugbear was when some familes wouldn't properly clean their mobiles on departure as it put us under pressure to get them pristine clean for the next family.
Not that I've anything against the Irish you understand but I think they like to have a complete break with no work involved of any description. They treat the place like a holiday camp. When they take a vacation, they take a vacation. We had a few right messes to clear up.
In another company's mobiles a crowd of Polish kids used the trashcan as a bedroom toilet during the night and went home without emptying it. At least I had a reasonable excuse for keeping one by the bed since I had a journey to the outside facilities. But they couldn't even be bothered walking the few feet to the other side of the caravan.
A Dutch crowd we entertained had left toenail clippings underneath the bed.
Other slight irritations are sticky finger marks all over the doors and windows from sweets and ice-cream.
I also found a couple of sanitary towels underneath the beds in one mobile.
In the kitchen of another I discovered some unidentified porridge-like substance covered in green mould inside an oven.
Not to mention various hairy boiled sweets under couches, toothpaste splattered over mirrors, a broken egg in the fridge and ice-cream smears on floors and walls.
It can really bring out the Basil Fawlty in you since it tries the patience so much.
Tip: Some customers are generous about leaving food.
Having said that it doesn't always pay to generalise except to say that the Irish were always great company and often left lots of food and drink behind for the couriers to scavenge. And of course many of them left the mobiles really clean and tidy.
Apart from cooking oil of course because after the first couple of weeks we had enough to last all summer. I ended up using it on my bike chain to lubricate the links and the wheels.
But one guy from Northern Ireland left almost a full bottle of brandy, another the remains of a bottle of Scotch Whisky.
Another good trick is to go around visiting at mealtimes and say hello to your customers. You'll often be invited to join them.
The Dutch and Germans don't leave much food probably because they all drive overland unlike the Brits and Irish who usually fly over and have no room in their luggage for two gallons of virgin olive-oil or a king-size tub of liquid handwash.
But our continental cousins usually leave the mobile-homes spotless, toenails aside. In fact you end up entering in trepidation that you might make it more dirty by your mere presence.
Tip: Always take security precautions
One real disappointment about that summer on the campsite was the spate of burglaries that we suffered on two occasion. Thieves were breaking into the mobiles at night or even just reaching inside the open windows for booty as customers had left them open to keep cool.
The campsite staff laid on extra security and they figured they knew where the interlopers were coming in and sure enough one night they caught two of them.
They turned out to be Moroccans, and they were handed over into the gentle hands of the local Carabinieri. Either their mates were rounded up too or they disappeared out of town to avoid the law. Whatever the outcome that was the end of the crimewave, at least for a couple of months.
But after the drama of the Moroccan Night Raiders we relaxed for a while and let our guard down. Downgrading from red alert to yellow to 'No worries' alert and 'It'll never happen to us' alert. Of course the inevitable happened and in July there were more break-ins again.
Apparently that summer was the first year that this had happened and the site had been opened for around twenty years. So naturally security wasn't that tight and in fact there were several weak points in the perimeter that could easily be breached.
So don't trust the campsite security as it's often more for show than effectiveness. I know this for a fact as I've sneaked into a few myself to visit colleagues.