Working at Gunstones Bakery was the worst (I hated working constant nights) and the BEST (The people were fantastic) place I have EVER worked. I worked there between the years of 2012-16, four years of up and downs, but mostly ups. I remember walking down the stairs onto the factory floor on my very first night shift, fully dressed in white PPC, looking like a nuclear physicist, but feeling like Rodney’s plonker. Everyone looked the same but all different in shape, size, height and gender. My cheeky mind worked overtime and I remember thinking that the pure white smocks stretched over some of the women’s breasts looked like snow topped Himalayan mountains, some peaks bigger than others. There was also a multitude of nationalities who worked there, it was like I had started working for the United Nations, and I loved it !
There was banter galore every night over those 4 years, so many witty, intelligent, crazy, zany and gullible people that the 8, 9 and occasionally 10 hour nights flew by. There was so many fellow workers who became firm friends that it’s almost impossible to mention who they all were/are, so I’ll recount one of the very funny wind-ups that unfolded over a number of weeks with one of the workers. His name was/is Shannon, he had red rosy cheeks and the very first time I met him I could tell instantly that he was extremely gullible and innocent but also a very nice chap.
I was the one to start our first conversation, and he politely answered, innocently unaware (I wasn’t sure what I was going to say) of what I was about to unleash on him. He asked me what I had done previously as a job and quick as a flash (I don’t know why) I answered ‘Paramedic’. My reply was aided by a very straight, serious expression with a monotone voice and he looked impressed and surprised. How I didn’t grin and laugh I’ll never know. Of course I knew what he was going to ask next ! “How come your working here in a bakery”? With the most serious of expressions I told him that I wasn’t allowed to do it any-more. Shannon then asked me why, and I came up with an elaborate and the most surprising amount of bull that I even surprised myself. In my best monotone, serious, medical voice I told him I had been called to an R.T.A, and when I arrived at the scene with my colleague, we found a car wreckage and we eventually released a young woman from her car and stretchered her into the ambulance unconscious. Shannon remarked that it must have been scary. I then went on to weave the bull. I told him we had managed to stabilise the victim and that my colleague stepped outside to radio through to the hospital. So, whilst I was alone with the still unconscious and very fit young lady, I had lifted up her t-shirt to have a look at her tits. The look on Shannon’s face was priceless. He looked shocked and disgusted and there was I, trying not to fall about laughing. To my amazement I could see from his reaction that he believed every single lie that I was making up, so I upped it a notch. I went on to say that because she was still unconscious and because my colleague was still outside of the ambulance I had a quick look at her nether regions and had popped a feel. Shannon stopped doing what he was supposed to be doing and said, “Fu;:!ng hell!!” About 3 or 4 times, and I was STILL looking at him with a straight face and added that I didn’t see the harm in it, after all, she was unconscious, but that my colleague had opened the ambulance door to catch me in the act red handed.
Shannon couldn’t believe I would do something like that, but obviously believed me by his expression, his reaction and the fact that he avoided me for the rest of the night. I knew he would mention what I had told him to his friends, so I squared it with them and they played alone with the charade, which made it even funnier. Over the course of a few weeks I discovered that he was waiting for an operation on a hernia, so every chance I got, I asked him if he would like me to take a look at it because of my medical expertise. He always thanked me for the offer but without fail refused my help and then quickly walked in the opposite direction. On a few occasions, when he was late for his bus or one of his friends was having a lift off me, Shannon would accept a lift into the nearest town in my car. One particular morning, he reluctantly accepted the offer of a lift from me even though his other friends were not at work. (He probably accepted a lift because I hadn’t mentioned his hernia for a while) This is where the joke came to a head. Half way through our journey, I brought the subject of his hernia into conversation, and again offered to take a look for him. Uncomfortably, he refused, but this time, I was insistent. So I started to slow my car down, explaining that I was going to pull over to the side of the road so I could take a look and examine his hernia. His reaction was so, so funny. As I nearly brought the car to a stop, he unbuckled his seat belt with trembling hands to opened the car door, and attempted to jump out of the moving car. Through fits of uncontrollable laughter, I managed to grip his arm, which caused him to cry out “Leave me alone”! I laughed out the words “I only joking, I’m not really a paramedic”. The look of relief on his face made me laugh even more, and he called me quite a few rude words. After he had forgiven me for winding him up we became very friendly, but I never missed an opportunity to offer to look at his hernia scar after his operation.