Friday, September 11, 2009

Some People And Me

Three items on the bugbear list this morning.

First off – a flagrant disregard for child safety.

I took the boys into school / nursery this morning as Karen is in Birmingham on an accountancy training course. On the way we passed one of Tom’s nursery mates being walked to school by her dad. Well, I’m assuming it was her dad and not her uncle. Whoever he was he obviously wished he was doing something else. There were frequent exhortations to “come on” and “hurry up”.

Bear in mind his ward is a wide-eyed 2 year old.

Now Tom loves walking. He finds it a great delight and no doubt feels very grown up doing it. Unfortunately, at just under 2 he just does not understand how important it is to hold mummy or daddy’s hand when busy roads are nearby. So he gets strapped into the pushchair. He’s fine with this thankfully. It’s still fun to be out and about even without the ability to perambulate freely. But even if he complained I’m afraid he’d still be stuck in the pushchair regardless.

I’d rather have him crying and safe than laughing one minute and forever silent the next.

So it was with horror that I watched this poor girl almost run out into the road when a car was coming and then get hollered back onto the pavement at the last minute.

For God sake man keep a grip of your child!

This would be bad enough in isolation but my wife witnessed a similar incident with the same family a few afternoons ago when she picked Tom up from nursery. Again the kid ran out into the road and was only hauled in at the last moment. The poor motorist who was almost involved looked ashen as they drove away.

It’s an accident just waiting to happen.

What is wrong with some people?

Secondly – cleanliness.

Due to blocked drains I’ve been flush testing all the toilets in the building this morning. As I was doing this someone came into the toilets after me. Now, I don’t know why, but I instinctively stood still and kept quiet and out of sight in the cubicle. I instinctively became furtive. Bizarre when I wasn’t even doing anything that involved the lesser-loved bodily functions. But there you go. Maybe I was a pervert in another life? Please keep your responses to this to yourself.

Now I know for a fact that, due to the location of these toilets, they are mostly used by the catering staff.

So imagine my disgust when I heard the urinal being used and then the “urinee” head straight back out without even a cursory swill under the taps.

This is someone who literally has his fingers in every pie going. Not to mention casseroles and stews. And a whole menagerie of sandwiches. On a daily basis.

How can you do that? How can you “point Percy at porcelain” and then not even wave your dannies under a bit of running water?

Folks, there’s a lot to be said for preparing your own packed lunch every day.

Lastly – my own self deprecation.

The other night I assisted some work colleagues who were having difficulty alarming their department at the end of the working day.

When such difficulties arise and seem to be insurmountable I always recommend that staff ring the local CCTV guys and ask them to keep an especial eye on the building. It’s a little extra security measure that probably acts as nothing more than a mental placebo.

I was asked if I had the number to hand.

I did. It was in my head instantly.

My head is full of useful numbers and codes and passwords. I make no effort to memorize them. They’re just there. They stick. It’s a natural facility. When I used to work at British Telecom I found I could give out a lot of the numbers to people without referring to the computer records at all. I had them off by heart. Only the frequently asked for ones I hasten to add. I’m not one of these people that make a living (or a living death) out of memorizing phone books.

But instead of just giving out the number I made a pretence of thinking hard about it. Pretending to strain as I fired up the old memory engine. Why did I do that?

It’s like I was embarrassed to have the necessary knowledge so ready to hand. Was I afraid of appearing sad and nerdy as opposed to just damned efficient?

Why hide my light under a bushel?

Some people, eh?


35 comments:

MOTHER OF MANY said...

Very close to my daughters school is a church school and I am convinced the parents have a desire for their children to meet their MAKER early!I have even seen children exiting cars that are still moving.However, I am impressed by the restraint of the laguage used by the 'parent' who brought the child to your local school ,I have heard parents here
using some very strong swear words at their children!I once heard one of the local children call their mother the banned C word.....not nice!

Steve said...

Ally: there's something deeply ugly and irredeemable about parents who use foul language in front of and towards toddlers... inevitably the kid will grow to give it all back and that is ugly too.

Maybe I'm just overly protective of Tom but I watch him like a hawk when we're out and about...

Deirdre said...

can I throw some items into the 'bugbear' pit - things that make me just despair about humans..I agree with the child safety of course....and people that don't wash their hands...and litter...and don't indicate when they drive...and ignore you when you hold a door open for them...and assume that the world owes them a living...and ...and...Oh I should just stop should'nt I?..going into mad raving old lady mode ....

Steve said...

Deirdre: all sounds good to me. Maybe I ought to make this a regular Friday feature?! ;-)

French Fancy said...

I'm so glad I'm not a parent because I would be one of the bigmouth ones who would have to lecture irresponsible adults about child safety and probably cause embarrassing scenes - especially when I then banged their heads against the wall.

As for the 'dirty' toiletter- washing after onesies and twosies is so automatic to me (brain washed at an early age) that I can't understand how this passed some people by.

Third point - people are frightened by bright people and you are right to hide your brains.

Steve said...

FF: my eldest boy constantly has to be nagged to wash his hands after a bathroom stop... it drives me mad because, like you, for me it is just automatic.

As for parenting - I wish I could be more bigmouthed about it. At the time I was too gobsmacked to speak.

And as for hiding my brains... he he... made me wish I could sling them in the back of the wardrobe along with this year's Christmas presents...!

Gypsy said...

You've already done your Christmas shopping!?!?!?


Sorry...I have forgotten what I was going to say so shocked am I at the thought of someone being that organised.


Now where was I? That was a horrendous example of how NOT to get your child safely to school but I'll tell you my biggest bugbear on this issue....people who don't restrain their children properly in the car. I have seen very young children standing up on the back seat while the parent (and I use the term loosely) drives like a maniac. I have taken people's registration numbers and reported them to the police while also providing details of the road they're on. I did of course pull over first to make the call :)


You've really done this year's Christmas shopping????

Steve said...

Gypsy: I've done some of it... a couple of presents for the boys and some Lego Advent Calendars. But one of those is for me. ;-)

I must admit, I can recall my granddad letting me and my sister stand on the front seat, hands on the dashboard, without a seatbelt back when we were kids. Not all the time I hasten to add but we did it a couple of times and thought it a great treat. Looking back on it I'm horrified but it was a different world back then. And we were bloody lucky. Now, with my kids, I wouldn't dream of doing such a thing. They're strapped in whether they like it or not. How people can be so blasé with their own flesh and blood is beyond me. They need reporting. I'm glad to know someone is doing it.

Suburbia said...

Hee hee, pervert!!!! Sorry couldn't resist!

I have a HUGE issue about people not washing their hands after 'going'! Ewww. What are they thinking? Definitely packed lunches for me.

justme said...

I agree! With all of it! But then I AM turning into a Grumpy Old Woman......

missbehaving said...

Aaargh! The child safety thing drives me to frickin distraction here. The scene you mention with your Grandfather when you were young, ( we used to get to do that too sometimes on hoilday with my Dad, but as you said it was different times) I see here every single day. I work one day a week at a nursery school and when I come out, I see small kids ( under 5s) standing on the front passenger seat witheir hands on the dashboard and their little faces inches from the windscreen.
People rarely use seatlbelts for kids in the back even though it ( only recently) became law. Babies sitting on Mum's knee.
Mother's with strollers chatting as they cross the street and never ever looking back to check the toddler is making it over the road safely.
People leaving their kids in cars when it's 36 degrees, while they shop or play pachinko, ( deaths every year).
People who smack their kids for hitting while saying 'don;t hit'.......I could go on and on.

and ....don't hide your light under a bushel ;)

The Poet Laura-eate said...

You can print out big signs re handwashing to guard against the Swine Flu and put them up on every cubicle and door. That might give him the hint.

Have been making quite a lot of packed sarnies lately though.

Selina Kingston said...

Why do parents shout at children for their own faults? And isn't it actually one of the greatest pleasures in life to walk along with your little one, feeling their tiny hand grasped safe in yours as you walk along experiencing simple things you usually take for granted through their eyes and with their wonder?
As for the toilet thing, I'm sorry, I'm too disgusted to comment. In fact, I think I'm going to heave ....

Steve said...

Suburbia: a homemade lunch is definitely safer. That way even if there are germs on it at least they're already your own!

Justme: nowt wrong with being grumpy! Enjoy it is my advice!

MissBehaving: I'm constantly horrified at how lax some people are with the safety of their own children. I realize I'm probably too much the other way but better safe than sorry I say. I sometimes think these bad parents are secretly trying to bump their own kids off...

Laura: better swine flu than the unmistakable taste of bread mixed with stale ammonia...!

Steve said...

Selina: I love holding hands with Tom - he's so cute! But I also know in a year or two the thought of holding his dad's hand will be a big no-no - I'm making the most of it while I can.

Valerie said...

Wow! I could write an essay with all the replies I'd like to give. Safety first worries me, especially where kids are concerned. I frequently see young mothers push their pushchairs/kids onto a busy road in readiness for a gap in traffic while they wait safely on the pavement. I can't count the times I want to leap out and rant about COMMON SENSE. No, Steve, your can never be overly protective.
Health and Safety is an issue with me. I think you should have HAD WORDS with the guy who doesn't wash his hands after peeing in the urinal.
AND I understand your sudden embarrassment over what people may think, it happens to me... often... and I never know why.
Strange, I'm in the processing a list of irks and hates!

Steve said...

Valerie: I find listing grumbles and complaints very cathartic and frequently wish I'd "said something at the time" to the involved parties... but sometimes, especially in the modern world, it's safer not to. Sorry. That's a bit of a cop out isn't it?

Valerie said...

No it's not a cop out. It's one thing to preach it's quite another to actually 'do' ... you're right, the gents loo was no place to pontificate!

French Fancy said...

returned to add: when I mentioned recently that I might have missed some posts - I meant at The Other Place, because it seems simply ages since I've been there.

Hope in the meantime since my last comment you've not had tantrums from Tom, middle of the night alarm call-outs, or Other Bad Stuff

Daisy said...

The child unattended thing happens way too often...apparently it is way to easy to make another that looks just like the last for some people...others of us appreciate the value of the child and while they can be trying at times, look to those challenges as learning experiences for the both of us...

the toilet thing...happens all the time...i rarely see a coworker wash their hands after and it disgusts me...which is probably why i don't go to the office potlucks where people bring in food they have made...

the numbers thing...i do the same...i still remember the phone numbers of the friends i had in grade school...along with every other one which has been added since...i don't know if it is a curse or a blessing but i am forever having people ask me for numbers because they know i have them automatically stored

Tenon_Saw said...

Dont forget http://www.globalhandwashingday.org/Index.asp which I mentioned getting on for a year ago.

Steve said...

FF: no call outs thank God and I may post at the other place soon... things are bubbling under at the moment...! ;-)

Daisy: as you and I know each child is one in a million and just cannot be replaced. Precious beyond words...

-eve- said...

Cooool..... I think the numbers one is pretty cool :-) I can remember words, but not numbers, somehow..!

As for the first story, I was thinking how lucky Tom was that you guard him and let him walk at his own pace, unlike the poor girl with the impatient family...

The Sagittarian said...

Honestly, sometimes I think there should be some sort of test that must be passed before people should be allowed to breed! Maybe you could have aquiet word with the day care staff?
The industry I work in places a high value on personal hygiene, and I find it hard to imagine how people don't even think to wash their mits. I bet you used a tissue on the door handle when you left....
Oh, so thats a light under your bushel..I thought ya was a glow worm! :-)

Steve said...

Eve: I can't imagine doing it any other way.

Amanda: some days I look like a Hallowe'en pumpkin.

We're thinking along the same lines as you regarding the child safety thing... possibly having a word with the daycare staff. Or even the father of the little girl... we've pretty much established that her chaperone is her uncle.

KAZ said...

1: Awful
2: Terrible
3: Quite endearing.

Steve said...

Kaz:
(1) Definitely
(2) agreed
(3) thank you.

A Write Blog said...

Cleanliness.

My wife is always dubious about buying an icecream cone from a spotty teenager who has been stuck in his van and probably bored.

She knows what bored teenagers do.

Steve said...

AWB: urgh. I don't think I'll be able to order a Flake 99 again after that!

Brother Tobias said...

Testing the flushes must be one of your trickier duties. Do you leave the cubicle door open, running the risk of appearing to having forgotten to flush until you were out of the door? Or close it, with the risk of having to fake dress adjusting activity if someone enters the cubicle next door? Has anyone gone out and then returned for the file they left by the basin, and found you emerging from a second successive loo? Do you have to flush test the Ladies too?

Steve said...

Brother T: it is refreshing to encounter someone who is so aware of the many social, moral and political complexities of my job. Most people think it is simply a matter of pushing a handle down and observing the levels of the water... they think it is easy. At last, I have met a kindred spirit. We should form a secret society.

Owen said...

Hey Steve, I see alot has been said here already, just wanted to leave a trace, in words, not germs, I washed my hands before sitting down at the keyboard. Perhaps you've seen the movie with Ed Norton and Brad Pitt titled "Fight Club"... after seeing what some waiters may be doing to food if that movie has any base in reality, well, hand washing becomes a moot point... although I agree with you entirely.

Steve said...

Owen: I can remember watching a documentary in the 80's about hidden cameras is restaurants and cafes... it made me never want to eat out again or, if I did, to never complain about the food... Now I try to choose establishments that have a trusted reputation and kitchen staff who are mature enough to not drop malicious bogeys into the food should they receive a complaint that it's too cold or not cooked enough...

Löst Jimmy said...

Now Wash Your Hands

;)

Steve said...

Löst Jimmy: suddenly OCD has an attraction...!