Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Rubbish who needs it and who drops it

There is something about this time of year that drives me nuts.... it's the cancelling counselling time of year. There are two seasons every year, one in late winter and one now. So yesterday out of my six clients, four cancelled. Today out of my six clients, three so far have done exactly the same.

Yesterday, I was pleased as it allowed me an afternoon to recover some energy. This morning I'm just frustrated. I was just about to go out of the front door when the phone rang telling me I've no clients till 1pm. I've had a full day booked for weeks, and the bloody clients wait till the night before, or the same morning to cancel, so not allowing the time to offer the appointment to anyone else.

The good thing is I was still at home, but I'm all dressed in my work clothes with nothing to do. There is no point in changing as I will have to go to work eventually.

I know I get paid for this, but even so it is so frustrating, as my mind set says it's a work day and I don't like not earning my money. The doctors I work for, know it's not my fault, but that's not the point.

Anyway enough moaning...... it could have been worse I could have got to work to have to sit around there till lunch time, which would have really driven me and everyone around me mad as I moaned about it!

So moving on, although this may end up sounding like a moan as well!
There were two things that amazed me about Berlin in contrast to the UK. The first was how amazingly clean it was. There was no litter anywhere, where there were bins, there were different recycling bins. There were no discarded cigarette packets, fast food containers, cans or anything else that we in Britain have as normal on the streets.

I went walking, as I always do over in the school grounds on Monday evening and as usual there is litter everywhere, discarded lunch containers, cans obtained from the fast food man who has established a site outside school. I walked past a group of girls the other day as one just dropped her chip wrapper on the floor. I didn't have the courage to take on eight girls, but I was seething at the careless attitude of it being someone elses problem.

The thing is the kids get taught about not dropping litter in school. The punishment at school for bad behavior is being made to clean up after lunch. So it's not as if they don't know, they just don't care.

Where did we wrong with today's children? I brought my sons up to respect people, property, and my eldest wouldn't dream of dropping rubbish anywhere. My youngest couldn't care less. And that's not just about him being the person he is, none of his peer group care either. Or seemingly the generations coming up behind him, judging by the rubbish lying around the school grounds.

Maybe it would be understandable if this was some sort of inner city ghetto. But it's not, it's a small, admittedly once industrial town, surrounded by astonishing countryside. And wherever you go, whether in the streets or into the hills to walk, you'll find rubbish.

When did we as a society stop caring about our surroundings? I expect that within peoples homes they don't have litter lying around,so what gives people the right to think that's ok to drop stuff anywhere, without a thought for the consequences?

Oh dear, I have gone on....... Maybe I need to go and find something gentle to do before I go off to work to calm me down, or my poor remaining clients may not recover from my bad temper!!!

And the other thing that was astonishing about Berlin, no-one jay walked, everyone, even if the roads were clear of traffic crossed the road until the little green man said they could. This is obviously a very successful campaign as in all the gift shops you can buy little red or green emblems of the crossing men.


Angela said...

Hahaha, really? Mandy, you have such interesting remarks to make! Travelling sure does give us new thoughts, hey? But don`t worry, we also have disobeying old folks and careless young ones, and even quite angry and dangerous youths. I like the thought that our streets are clean, but the over-following of traffic rules makes me frown. We are not really such an obedient people, are we? I think our fines for trespassing are high, and if you cause an accident by walking over while the red light is on, your ensurance will not pay for any damage. So we are just conditioned by our purse, maybe?

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BenefitScroungingScum said...

I know exactly what you mean about rubbish...especially when I go paddling in the sea and see rubbish floating past, makes me furious! I was seriously impressed with the recycling in Germany too, it's just so, so easy to do. None of the messing about here with you can recycle that, but not this, and only the top part of something not the bottom, it's an insane system! In Germany it was a bin for paper, bin for metals, bin for plastics and a small bin for food waste. Hardly anything ends up not recycled. I think until the authorities get their acts together to organise similar here we'll have rubbish problems. Sigh.
Love BG xx

karen said...

Goodness, when we come to the UK we marvel at how things work, and how clean places generally are! Here one of the things that drives me crazy is people tossing beercans out of cars. We cross roads wherever we like, and nobody dares to step onto a zebra crossing until they have seen that the car is definitely planning to stop!

Pam said...

We have hefty "on-the-spot"littering fines here in Australia Mandy, also for jay walking. It seems there's a raw nerve in the hip pocket which goes quite a long way in keeping this country clean. Also "Clean up Australia" day,a day each year where people volunteer from one end of the country to the other, arm themselves with protective gloves, bags and suitable attire, scanning highways and byways (and waterways) to clean up others rubbish.The slogan is "Keep Australia Beautiful".Most Australians are horrified to see someone deliberately litter,particularly throwing rubbish or cigarette butts from a car. Country towns also compete to have the nationally accredited "Tidy Town" award, given annually and displayed proudly. It all helps.Don't start me on schools though - some are worse than others,supervised "yard clean up" bells after lunch seem to work, othertimes detention.

trousers said...

The litter thing drives me to distraction too - the other day a kid dropped litter at the bus stop right in front of his parents and they didn't care either. Couldn't believe it. I wonder, in some situations, whether to pick the litter up myself and put it in the nearest bin (in the case above, there was a bin 6 feet away!) to see what their reaction might be.

A friend of mine said that when they crossed the road before the lights changed, a policeman had a quiet but firm word with him: which suggests that such things are actually enforced over there (not a bad thing if you ask me).

trousers said...

Erm, the thing I mentioned about crossing the road was when they were in Berlin.

speck of dust said...

My therapist had a TWO WEEK cancellation policy!! And I so hate to waste money that I went to see him full of the flu, ha.

Sorry to hear about your frustrations. I also hate it when I have a plan and it goes wrong, especially when you've got your work clothes on!

You probably think I'm crazy but I pick up other people's rubbish when I see it on the beach or at the park. I even considered taking a black bin bag out and cleaning up the wooded area I walk my dog in sometimes. I thought, if everyone did that then it might make up for the messy buggers who don't care?

J.J said...

Whilst I was in China recently I saw no litter whatsoever in the cities - and not one single piece of chewing gum on the pavements.

what a bloody contrast to everywhere you go in this filthy country.


Mel said...

I don't like litter.
And I don't like last minute cancellations.

LOL I like my life neatly organized and MY way, ty. LOL

Helen said...

Good morning! Come to Central Oregon where there is no litter to speak of. A little graffiti here and there, but we can live with that.

Pam said...

I've been thinking about your post Mandy and questioned a guy at work today, recently arrived from England, about the litter problem over there. His slant on it was that litter bins had been removed everywhere because of the fear of terrorist explosives being hidden in them.I found that both sad and intruiging.

Fire Byrd said...

That may be true in the big cities Pam, but not in the sleepy country towns we have plenty of bins. And a careless society!

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Aaargh, a pox on clients! Very frustrating indeed!
So interesting your comparison between the UK and Germany. I have a German friend in the throes of moving to the UK and she too has remarked how much she wishes she was staying in Germany as things seem to be "sliding seriously" in the UK...
Here's hoping today has been much better! xxx

Rach said...

To be honest Mandy they probably do just that at home too, having friends that visit the lest salubrious of society I can tell you some of the homes they go into you have to wipe your feet when you walk out.

It is so one of my pet hates though and I even put cigarettes into a special pouch called a stub it until I can find a bin.

But when you are driving along and someone throws the contents of a Mcdonalds bag out of the car window there is just no hope.

Not sure how they manage to keep the streets clean in foreign countries but I can honestly say I have never been anywhere were there is as much litter as good old blighty.

Even France Bezier when they have 1.5 million people visit the Feria over three days there doesn't appear to be a lot of litter about...x

Rach said...

I also have to sometimes wade through it as I open my front door especially in term time as there is a school at the bottom of my street.

Oh and the next door but one neighbours have regular parties where they just throw empty beer bottles, cans and takeaway wrappers in the street, but the last ones to pull them up about anything got their front window put threw so I just keep quiet and pick it up myself..x