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nicknorman

First volockie irritation of the year.

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39 minutes ago, Arthur Marshall said:

My favourite was "will do very well at anything for as long as it holds his interest". Still trying to work out if it's a compliment or an insult, while being unable to deny its veracity. 

 

An English teacher reported of me that "he hasn't much imagination"

 

I took it as a compliment.

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I got a pass in Mainframe Database, I, and 29 others got a pass. I wrote everything I knew, in each question, the same thing. That was 20 minutes then I sat back and waited until an hour had passed, and we all walked out.

There were two   guys who were quite good, unfortunately they collaborated, and got a Fail for their end of term project!

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3 hours ago, Athy said:

I once taught a boy like that. He sat in the middle of the front row in his form, but had a remarkable knack of blending in with his surroundings. I think he would have made good M.I.5 material.

...that reminds me of National Service square bashing days doing rudimentary 'battle training'. One lad was up before the CO being AWOL from camouflage classes. "I wasn't absent Sir! I attended everyone lesson Sir...". "Well noboby saw you that's for sure...." said the CO. "That's not my fault Sir! - I learn fast Sir!." 

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I'm not sure if this thread has now gone terminally OT, but just in case I'm allowed to bring it back on topic:

 

Regarding confronting the vlockie at the time - I wonder would that advice still hold if the OP was a petite lady boater? Plenty of things which aren't best solved by confrontation at the time and far better handled by escalation to somebody who will understand and pay attention to your concerns. I have to admit that whilst I'm not one to back down, neither am I one to make a fight when it won't help - saying that you have to confront the vlockie at the time smacks a bit of the "outside now" school of conflict resolution!

 

Being new to narrowboating I'm fully aware that I don't know it all and whilst I'm already pretty proficient at the technical issues involved in single handing through locks I don't necessarily understand all the subtleties of water conservation, hence I'm more than happy to take advice. As a single hander (mostly) I'm also more than happy to accept help when it is helpful. I don't think I've yet encountered an official vlockie, but I did get help going down most of Tardebigge which I was very grateful for - I lent a windlass to one chap who was setting the locks ahead whilst another couple closed the gates behind me. I'm always more than happy to accept an offer to close the gates after leaving a lock, which I find to be the most awkward part of single handing. However if the lock has my boat in it then it's MY lock and I'm in control of it, that is quite clearly the way it works.

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Anyway, I had wondered about posting my recent experience - not only was I not wanting to make my own thread, but I think it reflects on some of the points made. Coming up a pair of locks last week I encountered somebody who has been described to me as a chugger, so not a vlockie at all, but apparently with some sort of CRT ID card. Relatively harmless at the first lock apart from distracting and delaying my crew (unusually for me) - not a big deal, I just went up and set the next lock by myself and single handed in as I normally do. So now my boat is in the lock, gates closed, top paddles open all the way. I can only imagine he thought he knew better - he's taken the windlass from my crew (who incidentally was a petite lady) and proceeds to try and lift one of the paddles a bit more - at least that's all I can assume he was trying to do. But he's taken the ratchet off and left the windlass on the spindle and let go, so it spins round nearly clobbering him and dropping the paddle. I go and pick up the windlass and put it back on the spindle to raise the paddle again, telling him "don't leave a windlass on the spindle, it's really dangerous". As I start he says "I can do that I don't need you to help" and grabs the windlass - well it was MY windlass and MY lock it's not me helping him and he wasn't demonstrating he knows what to do, but I can see that the lock is nearly full, I'm in a hurry (I had a date to make, with a different lady ?) and can't be bothered so leave him to it whilst I go to lean on the balance bar to crack the gate. So now the gate is partly open and he continues to wind the paddle up, looking pleased with himself when he get it right up without further mishap! I can't be bothered, get on the boat and drive it out - and now at the point he could have been helpful I have to go back and close the paddles myself (he's distracted my crew again).

 

So the two relevant points - confronting this chap was clearly utterly pointless and literally a waste of my time; it's not up to him to do anything with MY lock without asking me first (whether or not he's a vlockie).

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10 hours ago, aracer said:

Anyway, I had wondered about posting my recent experience - not only was I not wanting to make my own thread, but I think it reflects on some of the points made. Coming up a pair of locks last week I encountered somebody who has been described to me as a chugger, so not a vlockie at all, but apparently with some sort of CRT ID card. Relatively harmless at the first lock apart from distracting and delaying my crew (unusually for me) - not a big deal, I just went up and set the next lock by myself and single handed in as I normally do. So now my boat is in the lock, gates closed, top paddles open all the way. I can only imagine he thought he knew better - he's taken the windlass from my crew (who incidentally was a petite lady) and proceeds to try and lift one of the paddles a bit more - at least that's all I can assume he was trying to do. But he's taken the ratchet off and left the windlass on the spindle and let go, so it spins round nearly clobbering him and dropping the paddle. I go and pick up the windlass and put it back on the spindle to raise the paddle again, telling him "don't leave a windlass on the spindle, it's really dangerous". As I start he says "I can do that I don't need you to help" and grabs the windlass - well it was MY windlass and MY lock it's not me helping him and he wasn't demonstrating he knows what to do, but I can see that the lock is nearly full, I'm in a hurry (I had a date to make, with a different lady ?) and can't be bothered so leave him to it whilst I go to lean on the balance bar to crack the gate. So now the gate is partly open and he continues to wind the paddle up, looking pleased with himself when he get it right up without further mishap! I can't be bothered, get on the boat and drive it out - and now at the point he could have been helpful I have to go back and close the paddles myself (he's distracted my crew again).

 

So the two relevant points - confronting this chap was clearly utterly pointless and literally a waste of my time; it's not up to him to do anything with MY lock without asking me first (whether or not he's a vlockie).

Quite agree, but for the sake of CRT I hope you reported him. If he’s carrying CRT ID, they likely have vicarious liability for his actions. That flying windlass could have smashed someone’s face in.

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6 minutes ago, BruceinSanity said:

Quite agree, but for the sake of CRT I hope you reported him. If he’s carrying CRT ID, they likely have vicarious liability for his actions. That flying windlass could have smashed someone’s face in.

I would have gone ballistic, you showed great restraint, he sounds like a nutter.

PS are you trying to tell us that a narrowboat is "babe magnet", I don't think so. ?

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Strong language and an, ahem, 'full and frank exchange of views' would have been deployed had it been me in that situation!

:angry2:

Where was it?

 

Perhaps we ought to write school reports for vlockies?

Edited by Victor Vectis
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10 minutes ago, Victor Vectis said:

 

 

Perhaps we ought to write school reports for vlockies?

Perhaps the most useful word in the school report-writer's armoury is "Trying". That could be appropriate to some lock volunteers too.

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28 minutes ago, Victor Vectis said:

Strong language and an, ahem, 'full and frank exchange of views' would have been deployed had it been me in that situation!

:angry2:

Where was it?

 

Perhaps we ought to write school reports for vlockies?

There was a bloke like that at Great Hayward a few years ago. Looked like a CRT vlockie, pretended to be one, totally incompetent and too aggressive to argue with. The can of lager  I noticed on the way out was the final giveaway - this was about 10am.

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6 minutes ago, Arthur Marshall said:

There was a bloke like that at Great Hayward a few years ago. Looked like a CRT vlockie, pretended to be one, totally incompetent and too aggressive to argue with. The can of lager  I noticed on the way out was the final giveaway - this was about 10am.

If this was the guy we met, he was homeless. He had been sleeping under the bridge and helping people with the lock. We found him to be friendly and he wasn’t asking for money. I did wonder if once out of Stella, he might be asking for funds. 

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I also came across a chap at Stoke who was an ex Volicky now freelancing and his personal safety left a bit to be desired 

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11 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

This may have been posted but as the thread is 6 pages long I cant see it. A Volockies point of view of boaters http://www.narrowboatworld.com/11348-volunteering-not-so-happy-go-lucky

Hmmm. If a boater sees a lock-keeper (be it a volunteer one or not) it is reasonable for him to assume that the lock-keeper is there to work the lock, is it not? I usually get off and join in, but on at least one occasion I've been told that I can stay on board and that the keeper will do the work.

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2 hours ago, LadyG said:

I would have gone ballistic, you showed great restraint, he sounds like a nutter.

Thinking back, I'm not sure he was all there - some other reasons for thinking that which I didn't mention. Apologies for not getting his number and reporting, but as mentioned I was more bothered about other things - and I'm nothing if not pragmatic, clearly the quickest way to get home was to ignore him. One of my neighbours witnessed the situation and had words with him (well the first exchange was telling me I shouldn't let him do that, to which I pointed out he was nothing to do with me) - from a later conversation it seems she knew who his direct boss was and was going to have words.

2 hours ago, LadyG said:

PS are you trying to tell us that a narrowboat is "babe magnet", I don't think so. ?

? well apart from being friends with my crew at the time I'm also friends with her partner. I'm not sure my date had much interest in boats.

 

However one lady I dated clearly was attracted by the narrowboat, and it seems it does attract interest from some. I suspect it puts off more than it attracts, but then I might as well weed those out before I start (and the sort of women who do find it interesting are the sort of women likely to interest me ?)

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1 hour ago, ditchcrawler said:

I also came across a chap at Stoke who was an ex Volicky now freelancing and his personal safety left a bit to be desired 

If he's the lad with the bike, he's pretty good these days. He's been moving people's boats for them, also runs a boaters laundry service! Can't actually remember when I met him first, but he was just out of school and loved canals. Never asked for money but I usually tipped him. He will also give you a card with his number so you can call him if you need help. 

When he started, he tended to wind you up too quick, but was always willing to listen and learn, and if you said you'd rather work it yourself was happy to leave you to it and chat. Worked for a while at a yard in Stone. Really nice guy. 

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1 hour ago, ditchcrawler said:

This may have been posted but as the thread is 6 pages long I cant see it. A Volockies point of view of boaters http://www.narrowboatworld.com/11348-volunteering-not-so-happy-go-lucky

The obvious conclusion being that some people are dicks - and some of them have boats whilst some are vlockies. No excuse for such behaviour from either side.

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29 minutes ago, Arthur Marshall said:

If he's the lad with the bike, he's pretty good these days. He's been moving people's boats for them, also runs a boaters laundry service! Can't actually remember when I met him first, but he was just out of school and loved canals. Never asked for money but I usually tipped him. He will also give you a card with his number so you can call him if you need help. 

When he started, he tended to wind you up too quick, but was always willing to listen and learn, and if you said you'd rather work it yourself was happy to leave you to it and chat. Worked for a while at a yard in Stone. Really nice guy. 

No he is a different one, met him last time.

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We saw a volunteer (not a CRT one. an older guy on a bike)  at Stoke . We arrived at the bottom lock to find a boat going up ahead and the couple on board exchanging friendly chat with this guy (we discovered that they moored in the area and phoned ahead and booked this chap to help, presumably for payment). No problem really we just knew that the locks would be against us but such is life. However, when the volunteer opened the top gate to let the boat out, he then jumped on his bike and cycled off to the next lock. No sign of dropping a paddle or closing  a gate.  There wasn't a boat coming down.  When we got to the top lock the CRT volockies were less than complimentary about this guy who seemed to make a few bob helping boats up and down the flight. 

Haggis

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3 hours ago, Arthur Marshall said:

There was a bloke like that at Great Hayward a few years ago. Looked like a CRT vlockie, pretended to be one, totally incompetent and too aggressive to argue with. The can of lager  I noticed on the way out was the final giveaway - this was about 10am.

He was there last year :(

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16 hours ago, aracer said:

it's not up to him to do anything with MY lock without asking me first

Try telling that to a Thames lock-keeper!

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24 minutes ago, haggis said:

We saw a volunteer (not a CRT one. an older guy on a bike)  at Stoke . We arrived at the bottom lock to find a boat going up ahead and the couple on board exchanging friendly chat with this guy (we discovered that they moored in the area and phoned ahead and booked this chap to help, presumably for payment). No problem really we just knew that the locks would be against us but such is life. However, when the volunteer opened the top gate to let the boat out, he then jumped on his bike and cycled off to the next lock. No sign of dropping a paddle or closing  a gate.  There wasn't a boat coming down.  When we got to the top lock the CRT volockies were less than complimentary about this guy who seemed to make a few bob helping boats up and down the flight. 

Haggis

If you're going up, I would expect the boat owner to drop the paddles and close the gates while the lad went on to prepare the next lock. Easy enough on a narrow lock - that's what always happens when my wife's with me & I'm driving. She gets me going up, opens the gates and goes on, I do the rest. You have to wonder why the boater didn't, assuming they didn't.

ETA it's the boaters responsibility to leave the lock ready for the next user, surely,same as it's theirs to run the lock their way. 

Edited by Arthur Marshall

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26 minutes ago, haggis said:

We saw a volunteer (not a CRT one. an older guy on a bike)  at Stoke . We arrived at the bottom lock to find a boat going up ahead and the couple on board exchanging friendly chat with this guy (we discovered that they moored in the area and phoned ahead and booked this chap to help, presumably for payment). No problem really we just knew that the locks would be against us but such is life. However, when the volunteer opened the top gate to let the boat out, he then jumped on his bike and cycled off to the next lock. No sign of dropping a paddle or closing  a gate.  There wasn't a boat coming down.  When we got to the top lock the CRT volockies were less than complimentary about this guy who seemed to make a few bob helping boats up and down the flight. 

Haggis

 

That's very inconsiderate. As Arthur says, the boat owner should have closed the gates, dropped the top paddles and then OPENED a bottom paddle so that the lock would be emptying whilst you were approaching it.

 

We always do this when a boat is following us up a flight as it barely slowsyou down and speeds up the passage of those following you.

 

Not much etiquette left on the cut anymore. ?

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3 hours ago, ditchcrawler said:

This may have been posted but as the thread is 6 pages long I cant see it. A Volockies point of view of boaters http://www.narrowboatworld.com/11348-volunteering-not-so-happy-go-lucky

He seems to regard almost everyone as a pain, boaters, lockies and probably people with dogs. I'd imagine a sense of the ridiculous is necessary, the idea of someone at the bottom of a flight blowing the horn because no one is working the lock for them is just a joke - unless the lockie has told them not to do it themselves for some reason. I spot half a story here, like most stuff on NBW, which does rather specialise in disgruntlement. 

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