Furlough Diaries: Peter Webb

This is our third “Furlough Diaries” post… if you missed it, last week’s was: Hannah, the Jolly Good Beer procurement manager.

This week meet Pete, the Jolly Good Beer warehouse manager. Peter is one of my earliest employees, the second in fact – starting in August 2016 as a delivery driver on a contract basis. That as back when we were operating out of a couple of refrigerated shipping containers down in Caxton. It’s always pretty crazy to think back to those times… Peter and the rest of the “warehouse team” are the absolute core of Jolly Good Beer – this business has always been 100% about providing a properly handled direct-delivery service, and we have a team of guys keen to get back on the road once trade becomes possible again.

Personally, I’ve been pottering around a bit over the last week, mostly admin and accounting stuff… and madness like correcting the 10+ errors in my accountant’s furlough pay calculations. Scary to think they got it so wrong and it makes you question their abilities elsewhere too 😐 It might be time for me to interject with my own furlough diary in a week…

Anyway, I shall hand over to Peter now!

Hi, I’m Pete. Warehouse Manager at Jolly Good Beer. This is my first job in the beer industry, joining in August 2016, as a second driver (initially as 2 weeks holiday cover for Lee [JGB’s first employee/driver after Yvan.]). 

Cambridge Beer Festival Crowds

Based in Cambridge but growing up in Northampton, I’ve previously worked in the footwear industry, taking me as far afield as India in a sales role. I also did 20 years as a field service engineer, looking after POS systems all over the UK.

I came to the world of beer through volunteering at Cambridge Beer Festival with my partner Andi back in 2014. I’ve worked on the site team there with Rik & Simon (who you’ll all know). Also the cellar team, taking care of all things cask. I now look after beer selection for both the summer and winter festivals.

Cambridge Beer Festival © Bert Kenward

Andi and I really get a buzz from beer festival volunteering. She now helps run the volunteering effort at Cambridge. We also both offer our services at GBBF and Hereford, as well as York on one occasion. This tends to occupy virtually all of our holidays but the social aspect and camaraderie is addictive. So this is a big miss at the moment.

Andi & GBBF

My Jolly Good Beer duties are quite wide ranging, including checking in all new stock and organising it into the coldstore (aka “beer tetris”). Order processing, picking and scheduling. Vehicle loading and driver allocation. I also try getting out on the road myself as much as possible, as I do enjoy catching up with our customers.

During the lockdown I’ve been furloughed at home. However, Andi is working all hours for the NHS. This involves lots of video conferences and means I need to keep out of her way as much as possible.

To try keeping busy whilst satisfying the volunteering void, I signed up for the GoodSAM app as an NHS volunteer. However, despite logging nearly 200 hours I’ve yet to receive a job through this. Fingers crossed. Also, I’ve been doing shopping runs for my inlaws who are in their 70’s and long term isolating.

Live & Let Live © Keith Edkins 
The Maypole © N Chadwick

Really been missing THE PUB. Notably, “The Live and Let Live” and “The Maypole” in Cambridge. We’ve alleviated this slightly by having a weekly video pub night on Fridays with some beer festival chums and the odd pub quiz. Also worth checking out is CAMRA’s virtual pub portal, Red OnLion

During the lockdown I’ve been furloughed at home. However, Andi is working all hours for the NHS. This involves lots of video conferences and means I need to keep out of her way as much as possible.

As Andi is so busy, I’ve been taking care of all things domestic. Making sure the whole family (incl Parrot and Tortoises) are fed and watered. I’ve done a lot more batch cooking than my regular routine allows and the freezer is now stocked with frozen Bolognese, Chilli, Sausage casserole and Fish pie.

Thinking ahead to restart, I will need to get back into some sort of condition. The only form of exercise that prepares you for moving tonnes of beer on a daily basis, is the act itself. But I am gonna have to “Step away from the Boxsets” and get exercising. 

Keep safe everyone. See y’all on the other side of this.