In this seventh episode of the Candidate’s Diary,  she finds herself well and truly behind bars

We are visiting  companies on the Blenheim Industrial estate in Bulwell listening to their day to day problems. The workplace parking levy, with all it’s inconsistencies is highest on the list followed by poor internet and lack of availability of high speed broad band.

I dutifully note it all down as we plod from unit to unit.  Reception is favourable and I am impressed by the positive outlook the companies have about their future prospects. Full marks to my party for that I think, but keep it to myself.  We meet several apprentices and that support initiative also seems to be working. We have got this right in so many ways I believe.

The session is ending

The day is drawing to a close.  CM now suggests we make just one more visit to a very very large distribution centre tucked away in the south east corner of the estate.

`Wow’ say I. `That’s seriously big.’

The entire length is covered wall to wall with loading bays. I push the intercom button and the steel gates slide silently open, and then close swiftly behind us. We’re in no man’s land and there’s not a soul in sight.  I push another button and get an response from the office.

`You’ve come in the back way. I’ll come round and let you in. We’ve just moved in. We are still getting  sorted.’

We wait a bit. The steel door opens and a pleasant lady joins us. What do we want right on closing time her expression says .  As we explain the door snicks to a close behind her.

`Oh no’ she groans. ` I don’t know the code. And we can’t get around to the front of the building from here!’

`Buzz the office?’ I venture helpfully and hopefully.

`No point. I’m alone in the office. And I’m here and not there’ she adds.

The evening chill arrives

The North wind now acquires an edge which adds a certain urgency to our predicament.

`I can try and scale the gate, then push the open button from the outside,’ offers CM gallantly.

And then quickly retracts the offer noticing steel spikes arrayed along the top of the 4 meter high monsters.

`Anyone with a mobile?’ asks the company lady. Hers is back in the office. Mine’s dead. CM’s is in the car.

`If we had matches I could start a fire and we could send smoke signals for help.’ CM can’t help himself.

Just as desperation is setting in a shutter door a hundred meters further down the building opens  up. The penultimate employee to leave drives up at high speed and stops in front of us and the gate  which starts to open up.

We offer profuse apologies for the inconvenience caused and return home to warmth and doors we know how to open from both sides.

Later I reflect on how large companies like the one we have just been to are now entering expansion phases creating ever more jobs and ultimately more wealth for all.

Coming Next : Back on the Beat