Yes, unfortunately that was the phone call that I had at 05:47 this morning, 1st January 2018.
A very upset and distressed owner of a firm with a nice Transport operation that we have worked with on an 'as and when' basis for a few years now. We speak monthly if only to rib each other on the progress or lack of, with our respective Rugby teams.
I was then hit with all the questions of, How soon will the Traffic Commissioner require me to get a new TM? I can get an advert in for Thursday, is that OK? What if the candidates are not right? etc. etc.
The first thing is. Don't Panic! Let's remember we are dealing with humans not robots and people will be understandably upset. We need to work with them and help them at this time. The TM had been with the company for 10 years.
Secondly, to start with lets simply send a letter to the Traffic Commissioner tomorrow morning explaining what has happened. It is then that we will ask for a period of grace to allow time to recruit a suitable candidate. I am sure in the circumstances this will not be a problem, but let's do it correctly. Then keep the TC informed of progess if it looks like it is going to take a while, but you must be able to demonstrate progress.
Then allow everyone to deal with the shock and grief and then in a week or two they can, with clear heads, start looking for the right candidate to fill a very large pair of boots.
We will, of course, be there to ensure that they continue to run a very smooth and compliant operation and to help the new TM, when they are found, to settle in and become part of the team.
It's never a dull moment as a Transport Consultant but it is always good to help.
Have a Happy New Year everyone and hopefully we won't have many of these requests to deal with in 2018.
Andy Miles - FCILT, MInstCPD