Now with my own route, I know how much is average, how much more is going to put me into overtime, how much is going to let me finish early, and I pace myself accordingly. It's way less stressful.
You know people kept telling me it gets better, and I guess in some ways it does, but it's still a crap job. When you get enough term seniority right before you're hired, you can get some really good assignments. But that all goes away when you're hired. Then you're back at the bottom again. And seniority takes much longer to get as a permenant employee. The only things I can say that are really an improvement for me now as a permanent employee are the benefits, pension, and full coverage from the collective agreement. My paycheck is smaller, my walk is much worse, it's harder to plan absenses and take time off, and it's far more difficult to win bids.