Chuck it aaaart

downloadMrs Gnomepants: So we might get our lovely period bath re-enamelled rather than buy a new one. Its a lovely original cast iron bath.
Ma Gnomepants: Why would you want to do that? Oh buy a new one instead.

and

Mother-in-law – Why have you made your own cake? You’d have been better off buying a shop bought one.
A bit later..
Sister-in-law phwarr this cake’s lovely
stegzy Oh yes. Its delightful. Really chocolatey and moist. I’ll have another slice there should be plenty seen as your mum would prefer a shop bought one.

Ma Gnomepants Get yourself a new vacuum cleaner
stegzy Why? Whats wrong with the one I’ve got? I’ve only had it for 4 years
Ma Gnomepants It doesn’t suck right. I think it’s broken
stegzy Mum…Its either full or the pipe is blocked. Bit of poking about Ah yes. Look a big ball of cat hair and paper blocking one of the pipes. And look, it sucks….Thats saved me £100

My mum and the wifes mum are part of what I call the “Throw away” generation. The throw away generation tend to be aged between 50 and 80. If something breaks, whereas their parents would have endeavoured to fix or mend the broken item themselves or have the item repaired by someone else, the “Throw Away” Generation simply chuck it out and buy a new one.

junkMy Dad was born on the cusp of the arrival of this generation. If a hole appeared in one of his socks he used to darn the sock and prolong its life by a further 2 years. Similarly if something mechanically simple breaks, my dad will take it apart and have a look to see if he can repair the thing. This attitude saved me loads of cash as a kid when my over used joysticks for my Commodore 64 would break. A simple twist of the screws and a blob of solder would often fix the problem. Likewise with bicycles, bits of furniture, plumbing, general repairs or whatever, if a simple patch and repair could be affected it would. My mum however, is the opposite. Even the slightest tear of fabric in something and it must be thrown out and a new one bought. Note I said thrown out. Rarely are such items given away to anyone other than family and even then prolonged usage would receive comments such as “Why don’t you buy yourself a new one?” or “I see John Lewis have a sale on “.

I suppose the post war years and the post rationing years promised that generation exciting and disposable things. Instant Car! Just add water! or Our sofas are made of 100% cheap and nasty non-biodegradable polymer based materials. SO cheap! Why buy one? Buy four! If one breaks…chuck it out! Hurrah!!. Their rationed parents and grandparents looking on in bewilderment. “Hey wow look Ethel! Dorothy has bought yet another labour saving device! Gosh do you remember when you had to spend all day Wednesday working on the mangle?”.

So we come full circle again.

Things break
I’ll have a look at the thing.
Assess if I can fix it.
Ask my dad if he can fix it.
Buy a new one but keep the old one for spares.
Get bollocked by the wife for keeping shite that I’ll never get round to fixing
Dispose of thing in recognised place of refuse disposal.

Even when in our house where we have separate bins for recyclables and compostables. After the olds have visited we tend to find things in the wrong bin. I think if Liverpool council hadn’t had a “If you don’t compost we’ll frown at you” campaign, the olds would still be chucking out plastics and glass to landfill. Although to be fair my dad has always separated his bottles and papers, but mum just puts anything resembling rubbish into the bin. I think my dad separates the bottles because when he was young he could take bottles back to the shop for the penny deposit and newspapers were always useful for a variety of purposes. Whereas my mum sees that as a bit lower class and although my mum comes from the roughest arse end of Garston, she sees herself as having worked her way up to near the top and is quite proud.

The wife’s mum tends to just lump everything into the same bin despite constantly being told by her daughters that there are greener ways to do things. Though to give her her due she does switch everything off at the wall when she has finished. Not something I can hold my hand up and say I do religiously and she doesn’t drive a car (my dad drives a petrol guzzling Ford Focus) so I suppose that off sets some of her carbon foot print slightly.

I read this…..Is it right? Are your olds part of the throw away generation? How about you?

Its a Matter of Pride

OK…this has been bugging me for a few months now. It seems that, in the UK at least, there is a culture of nonpride.

Maybe because people dont give thanks for the mundane tasks we take for granted like sweeping streets, making tea, mopping up poo, sick and blood, posting mail, packing strawberry punnets, milking cows, stacking shelves in the supermarket etc.. Maybe its not up to us to give thanks and it should be the bosses that praise and give appreciation (not necessarily with reward).

It seems that in some service and consumer orientated sectors there are people that dont put any pride into their work. They show no compassion and basically follow things by the book, they work to the “get them in shove them out” idiom and the “I dont give a shit” attitude.

Some of the recent instances that I can think include:-

  • A really really arse non-compassionate bank worker basically not giving a shit and being unhelpful about a someones situation
  • a GP fobbing off a really pleasant gentleman with back problems (which clearly are causing him difficulty…Doctor just told him to take ibruprofen and take a few days off work!);
  • a waitress that just sat their daydreaming while a gang of yobs chucked salt and pepper at each other;
  • a helpdesk chap that couldnt give a shit about an A1 plot (oh hang on thats me…) ;
  • a plumber that couldnt be arsed plumbing a bath in properly and just McGyvered some network of pipes instead of getting the proper pipes;
  • Social security and benefit people that dont give a shit about peoples circumstances
  • Bin men that just chuck recycle bins on peoples lawns so that they blow away never to be seen again instead of moving them somewhere where they wont blow away.
  • Window cleaners that just give windows a quick dab with a mucky rag then expect £5

The list is endless really. But I cant be arsed to type them all….[Now is that because I have a lack of pride? I dunno. ]. It seems to me that the reason that there is so much poor customer service, poor and shoddy workmanship, dirty hospitals, litter on the street, unkempt gardens, chav scum, graffiti strewn trains and walls, is because there is no pride.

Im guilty of it. Look ! I’ll put my hand up now and type with one hand and say “I…Stegzy Gnomepants…take no pride in some things” I wont say I have no pride. I do. I am proud of things. Just the wrong things. Meaningless things. Im proud that my CD/MP3 collection is so big and catalogued alphabetically, I am proud of my friends and how they pull together when things go shit. I’m proud that I have a beautiful wife and two lovely puddytats. But Im not proud of a vast list…including

  • my job
  • the way after a year my car is still covered in dents and looks scruffy
  • my garden
  • some of the skeletons in my past
  • some of the things I own that I dont look after

Thats not an exhaustive list. Im sure if I thought about it I’d blather on about why Im not proud of this that and the other but brevity is the watchword here.

Granted noone is likely to say “Thankyou for making your garden lovely”, noone is likely to say “Oooh thankyou for not having a big fuck off hole in your car door” or “My Im sure glad you fucked Teana when you were 21”. In fact things like that are highly unlikely. So maybe it isnt the level of thanks that dictates the pride. Perhaps pride is the wrong word to use. Recognition? praise?

“Oooh your garden looks lovely!” is more plausable
“ooh your car is nice and shiney” is also plausable
“Ooh Going out with Teana was the right thing to do”….er….nah…..psycho bitchcow from Hells Hell.

Maybe there will always be things I can never be proud of. But there are things I CAN be proud of. There are things I can do to develop recognition for my actions. So everytime now I think I’ve done a really good job helping someone I’m going to tell them my name.

“Hey I’ve helped you. I’ve shown you how to do something you didnt know how to do. I hope I’ve shown you in a polite helpful and friendly manner. My name is Stegzy Gnomepants :-D”

Im also going to do a really good job of the garden so it isnt just some patch of mown grass with weeds. But really is that enough?

No.

It isnt….IMHO.

Really I should thank people who provide a service and do a good job. Make them feel proud of their hard work. If I think someone has done a good job I’m going to write to their head office a right nice letter….eg:

Dear Mr Tesco,

I am writing to tell you that Ms Shelf Stacking Lackey did a really good job of facing up the dried peas. Please give her a big pat on the back and a cheery smile.

Love

Stegzy

I might also send emails. There really is no excuse, Im sat infront of a PC most hours of the day typing drivel into SEMAGIC. In fact…hey…Im going to write an email to the Livejournal cheeses..

Dear Mr Live Journal Bloke

Thankyou for allowing me to spout drivel. It really has made a difference to my life and all the people I’ve met through it (including those that read but not become members or join the Flist) are lovely lovely people. I love you.

Kisses

Stegzy Gnomepants.

And when someone does a really crap job, Im going to write….

Dear Mrs Spa Shopkeeper’s boss,

You are a shit boss because you dont give your employees enough praise for their hard work. As a result, the woman in your shop that grumped when I asked for 10 fags because they were the other end of the counter was grumpy and thankless. This is your fault you heartless bitch. Dont you realise that they need thanks and recognition.

I will get my fags from Abuls instead.

Stegzy Gnomepants.

Then maybe people will start giving praise which will lead to a growth in pride, a big sloppy kiss, happy people and a much nicer society….

I’d also like to take this opportunity to say Thankyou all….yes you lot reading this….You all take pride over your LJ’s and do a really really good job of them and you all write exciting and interesting stuff which I read every word of. Some of it moving, some really lovely, some that make me realise that everyone faces shit every day of their life. Keep up the truely excellent good work…..and post this little award on your info page somewhere…..let the world know that you are proud to write good stuff about the good and the shit things in life…..


Love 😀