Lionel worked in the loading bay at Amalgamated Steel under the bullying control of foreman Mick O'Connell. Dennis Tanner had been working there for a month, hating the job, which wasn't made easier by the attitude of Lionel, Ronnie and the other men who all thought that he was useless. They also happily joined in with Mick in belittling Dennis and excluding him from their tea breaks. Even someone like Lionel who superficially got on with Mick felt the rough side of his nature when he stopped working while answering a friendly question about his weekend activities.
Ronnie and Lionel heard that Dennis used to be in showbusiness and teased him about this, telling him to demonstrate his ventriloquism on them. They weren't the least surprised - and were also more than a bit amused - when Dennis sent a delivery to the entirely wrong city.
Dennis had grown to loathe the job and when he found a crate whose contents had been destroyed by Lionel he took the blame in order that Mick had an excuse to sack him. He was sent on his way with a week's wages.