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nicknorman

First volockie irritation of the year.

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Haha well famous last words...

 

Just come up Sawley. Volocky standing at his pedestal. Jeff greeted him as we entered, but got no reaction. Gates closing as I’m trying to hook the rope over the bollard - ropes slightly tangled so there were a few seconds of faffing. Volocky watched from his pedestal about 3 paces away, but did eventually take those steps and flip the rope over the bollard whilst looking at me as if I had “learning difficulties”. At that point it seemed to me that the top paddles were already partially open, but I wasn’t sure so didn’t say anything.  Lock filled in silence with no interaction, gates were opened and we exited. Afterwards Jeff confirmed that he had partially opened the top paddles before the rope was over the bollard, and certainly without any contact with me.

 

There is a large CRT sign saying “boaters must use ropes at this lock”. Once the situation was confirmed by Jeff I was sorely tempted to go back and remonstrate with him, but in the end couldn’t be bothered.

 

So this Volocky was not following CRT protocol in a number of respects. And as for being an ambassador for CRT, being taciturn and slightly grumpy doesn’t really cut it!

 

Clearly the guy just like pressing buttons. Probably was denied a trainset when he was a kid.

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17 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

Haha well famous last words...

 

Just come up Sawley. Volocky standing at his pedestal. Jeff greeted him as we entered, but got no reaction. Gates closing as I’m trying to hook the rope over the bollard - ropes slightly tangled so there were a few seconds of faffing. Volocky watched from his pedestal about 3 paces away, but did eventually take those steps and flip the rope over the bollard whilst looking at me as if I had “learning difficulties”. At that point it seemed to me that the top paddles were already partially open, but I wasn’t sure so didn’t say anything.  Lock filled in silence with no interaction, gates were opened and we exited. Afterwards Jeff confirmed that he had partially opened the top paddles before the rope was over the bollard, and certainly without any contact with me.

 

There is a large CRT sign saying “boaters must use ropes at this lock”. Once the situation was confirmed by Jeff I was sorely tempted to go back and remonstrate with him, but in the end couldn’t be bothered.

 

So this Volocky was not following CRT protocol in a number of respects. And as for being an ambassador for CRT, being taciturn and slightly grumpy doesn’t really cut it!

 

Clearly the guy just like pressing buttons. Probably was denied a trainset when he was a kid.

 

 

Did you get his ID?

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

 

Did you get his ID?

 

 

No, there was no visible name badge. Which seems quite common. But there were only two of them on that lock, and one was female.

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19 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

No, there was no visible name badge. Which seems quite common. But there were only two of them on that lock, and one was female.

 

That's not quite the point, the point is if the vollies get to realise boaters having a less than positive experience are taking a note of who they are, their behaviours will, or may hopefully, improve. 

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53 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

That's not quite the point, the point is if the vollies get to realise boaters having a less than positive experience are taking a note of who they are, their behaviours will, or may hopefully, improve. 

Yes I agree. But as usual, I was caught off guard and not sure enough of my ground at the time, to make a point. But not wearing the name badge supplied by CRT is just another way in which volockies “in the wild” don’t comply with CRT policy, and there is no organisational means of monitoring them.

 

I’ve found that when volockies do wear a name badge, it is often partially obscured by their life jackets

Edited by nicknorman

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Met one today, he was assisting a danish couple down Tardibigge and as we were going up he came down to the lock I was in so we got chatting. Quite positive because as he pointed out, if he had not been there the Danish couple would still have been at the top, as sh was not strong enough to draw the ground paddles."My wife struggled with some" The husband who looked an elderly 90 was an offshore sailer but was having problems coming to grips with the way a tin tub handles 

1 hour ago, nicknorman said:

 

 

I’ve found that when volockies do wear a name badge, it is often partially obscured by their life jackets

True, they probably put them on when they leave home and the lifejacket when they reach the canal

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On 09/08/2019 at 13:47, ditchcrawler said:

I had my first ever disagreement on the Stratford flight when he stopped Dian setting the lock below until I had started to drain the one above, he went off in a huff with another volockie who was with a boat 3 locks ahead. His reason was that he wanted the water from the lock above to fill the   lock below, the fact it would have gone over the spill weir was beyond him..

Maybe CRT should send him some of these notices from Tardibigge and suggest he puts them up

DSCF2292small.jpg

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29 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

Maybe CRT should send him some of these notices from Tardibigge and suggest he puts them up

DSCF2292small.jpg

Only When going down though!  Would make no difference going up.

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7 hours ago, nicknorman said:

One of the problems is that some locks are unmanned, some locks are partially assisted by volunteers, some locks are manned by volunteers at certain times and not at other times. It is not necessarily clear to the arriving boater which is which.

Also, it’s not clear whether you’re dealing with a staff member or a volunteer. I understand that on the Thames, the employed lock keepers have a white shirt, and the volunteers have a pale blue polo shirt.  It’s a shame that both staff and volunteers for CRT wear the same blue — with just a sometimes-hard-to-see Volunteer designation on the sleeve.

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1 hour ago, john6767 said:

Only When going down though!  Would make no difference going up.

The signs are positioned to be seen going down, like the one at the top of the flight but not the bottom likewise facing uphill on the top beams so you see them as you approach the lock and only on about the first 5 locks from the top. 

 

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On 23/08/2019 at 15:05, NB Caelmiri said:

I can understand volockies being in charge on specific locks, such as Tuel Lane Lock at Sowerby Bridge and others that simply aren't manageable for boats on their own but your common or garden lock? It's certainly appreciated the help I get from them (and they've all, always been very courteous to me - never had an incident as described on this thread!) but I find it quite astonishing that one of them would go off on one and call your crew an arsehole! I suspect he's volunteering in the wrong sector.

Yes, Tuel Lane is one place where boaters are definitely not allowed to operate the lock themselves. We had two excellent volunteers yesterday - one a retired bank official. Now that is someone  I definitely would put in a place where it may be necessary to say Do it my way or noway, Jose. At no time were they officious, authoritarian or unnecessary in their direction but I guess it is one lo ation where the training is realistically a tad more rigorous. I'd have those two helping any day - unlike some, perhaps . . . 

 

Just to add that they said that they now have full authority to deny passage to anyone not booked on a day when they are required (we came through on 'normally staffed' day. So don't bother arguing the toss!

Edited by Mike Todd

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21 minutes ago, Mike Todd said:

Yes, Tuel Lane is one place where boaters are definitely not allowed to operate the lock themselves. We had two excellent volunteers yesterday - one a retired bank official. Now that is someone  I definitely would put in a place where it may be necessary to say Do it my way or noway, Jose. At no time were they officious, authoritarian or unnecessary in their direction but I guess it is one lo ation where the training is realistically a tad more rigorous. I'd have those two helping any day - unlike some, perhaps . . . 

 

Just to add that they said that they now have full authority to deny passage to anyone not booked on a day when they are required (we came through on 'normally staffed' day. So don't bother arguing the toss!

Regarding your last paragraph, that would be within my definition of “officious, authoritarian”. They just wanted you to know they had power.

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9 hours ago, nicknorman said:

Haha well famous last words...

 

Just come up Sawley. Volocky standing at his pedestal. Jeff greeted him as we entered, but got no reaction. Gates closing as I’m trying to hook the rope over the bollard - ropes slightly tangled so there were a few seconds of faffing. Volocky watched from his pedestal about 3 paces away, but did eventually take those steps and flip the rope over the bollard whilst looking at me as if I had “learning difficulties”. At that point it seemed to me that the top paddles were already partially open, but I wasn’t sure so didn’t say anything.  Lock filled in silence with no interaction, gates were opened and we exited. Afterwards Jeff confirmed that he had partially opened the top paddles before the rope was over the bollard, and certainly without any contact with me.

 

There is a large CRT sign saying “boaters must use ropes at this lock”. Once the situation was confirmed by Jeff I was sorely tempted to go back and remonstrate with him, but in the end couldn’t be bothered.

 

So this Volocky was not following CRT protocol in a number of respects. And as for being an ambassador for CRT, being taciturn and slightly grumpy doesn’t really cut it!

 

Clearly the guy just like pressing buttons. Probably was denied a trainset when he was a kid.

You do seem to be very unlucky. In many years of boating, both as a hirer and owner we have encountered many Vollockies and never once have had a problem. We are always pleased to see them on approaching a lock and never been disappointed! Maybe we’re just lucky

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3 hours ago, nicknorman said:

Regarding your last paragraph, that would be within my definition of “officious, authoritarian”. They just wanted you to know they had power.

Not st all as it came up in a much longer conversation. There is plenty of time to chat waiting for Tuel  Lane to fill!

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We've only had one problem with a volockie where he wound the paddles like a whirling Dervish without any eye contact with me on the back of the boat.P had a gentle word(1st lock of 3) & suggested that he waited til' the person on the back of the boat was happy before paddles were wound.

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52 minutes ago, Nick D said:

You do seem to be very unlucky. In many years of boating, both as a hirer and owner we have encountered many Vollockies and never once have had a problem. We are always pleased to see them on approaching a lock and never been disappointed! Maybe we’re just lucky

 

Let me guess. You LIKE having a vollie work you through a lock.

 

Nick would perhaps (like me) prefer to do it himself so having a vollie taking over 'my' lock is a lot more irritating for us than it is for you. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Let me guess. You LIKE having a vollie work you through a lock.

 

Nick would perhaps (like me) prefer to do it himself so having a vollie taking over 'my' lock is a lot more irritating for us than it is for you. 

 

 

We APPRECIATE help and don’t mind sharing the load with a vollie.

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11 minutes ago, Nick D said:

We APPRECIATE help and don’t mind sharing the load with a vollie.

 

This speaks volumes. To me it is not 'help', it is interference with my boating.

 

I LIKE working the locks, it is a principle reason I go boating. I absolutely do NOT want other people 'helping' me with my locks, I want to do them myself. I pay CRT handsomely for the pleasure of locking my boat.

 

You seem to see locks as obstacles and appreciate help in surmounting them. Not everyone sees it your way. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

This speaks volumes. To me it is not 'help', it is interference with my boating.

 

I LIKE working the locks, it is a principle reason I go boating. I absolutely do NOT want other people 'helping' me with my locks, I want to do them myself. I pay CRT handsomely for the pleasure of locking my boat.

 

You seem to see locks as obstacles and appreciate help in surmounting them. Not everyone sees it your way. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I disagree with your assumptions. We don’t see locks as obstacles and enjoy working them but if there’s a  Vollie we sometimes enjoy them even more!  Accept that others might not always see it this way.

Edited by Nick D

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4 minutes ago, Nick D said:

I disagree with your assumptions. We don’t see locks as obstacles and enjoy working them but if there’s a  Vollie we sometimes enjoy them even more!  Accept that others might not always see it this way.

 

Sometimes? 

 

 

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Yes, when there’s a vollie! But each to his own, if you prefer something different then fine, just don’t assume that all boaters don’t appreciate them.

Edited by Nick D
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Sue and I usually got through locks faster than boats with large crews. Safely. Nothing more irritating than waiting for people faffing about with ropes before (hopefully) shutting gates and winding down paddles.

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1 hour ago, Nick D said:

You do seem to be very unlucky. In many years of boating, both as a hirer and owner we have encountered many Vollockies and never once have had a problem. We are always pleased to see them on approaching a lock and never been disappointed! Maybe we’re just lucky

Well perhaps you could bear in mind that we have been out for 2 months, cruising energy every day, and for a couple of weeks  and quite a few weekends in the winter /spring. So a high degree of exposure.

 

Of course many volockies have been fine. some have been technically fine but a bit uncommunicative and miserable (and therefore not good ambassadors for CRT). But a few have been objectionable. The minority, I’m sure, but of course the bad experiences tend to stick more than the good ones.

 

If you don’t mind physically being blocked from operating a lock normally, having stupid commands shouted at you, being told “I am in charge” and having paddles raised before you can secure the boat as required by local CRT signage, then I’m sure you won’t have noticed any problems. But personally, I like working locks and resent someone (often someone with no actual boating experience) trying to invade my space and take charge. It spoils the whole point of boating.

 

As you imply, plenty of volockies are fine and abide by the protocols. The problem is the inconsistency, so unlike you, when I see a volockie, my immediate though is now “I wonder if he is a good one, or a little Hitler control freak gone feral”. The uncertainty is stressful! And unnecessary, bearing in mind I have managed locks for the past 50 years or so without volockies, until these last few years.

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1 minute ago, Chris Williams said:

Sue and I usually got through locks faster than boats with large crews. Safely. Nothing more irritating than waiting for people faffing about with ropes before (hopefully) shutting gates and winding down paddles.

 

This doesn't surprise me. In my experience the larger the crew, the slower they tend to be.

 

Lots of people milling about, chucking ropes, shouting to each other in a generally muddled way and having a thoroughly lovely time. Reminds me that my preference for quick and efficient locking is not the only way. Sometimes it is good to see a vollie present to bring some order to proceedings though!

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Chris Williams said:

Sue and I usually got through locks faster than boats with large crews. Safely. Nothing more irritating than waiting for people faffing about with ropes before (hopefully) shutting gates and winding down paddles.

Some people are incredibly slow. We are moored above a lock this evening. Earlier we were watching a boat come up, seemed to be taking ages to drain the lock (I mean like 10 minutes) before they even entered it, I wondered if they were having difficulties but having wandered over, it transpired they didn’t like to open the paddles too much in case it disturbed their boat (that was securely moored on the lock landing). First time I’ve heard of that one!

15 minutes ago, Nick D said:

Yes, when there’s a vollie! But each to his own, if you prefer something different then fine, just don’t assume that all boaters don’t appreciate them.

I can appreciate that some people welcome volockies - for a variety of reasons including infirmity, not quite knowing what they are doing, disinterest and yes even laziness! Nothing wrong with that - until they are forced onto those people who don’t welcome them.

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