We're Wimps

Created on 5/2/2009

When did we Brits become such wimps?

It has snowed this week; it is still snowing in some parts of the country. That used to be called winter, now it is a “major snow event!”

This has resulted in our traffic infrastructure unraveling several times and huge delays in almost everything.

I didn’t receive any mail between last Saturday and yesterday when I went to the Post Office to collect it. This major trek passed without incident, but apparently was impossible for my post delivery worker. He was clearly concerned about his safety on the treacherous ground. I wanted to say, “Listen Nanook, it wasn’t minus 50, but hovering just under zero. There were no major drifts of snow, just some ice that could easily be walked around, if you wanted to bad enough.” When I spoke with the lady at the Post Office she informed me that the post office workers concerned had to be consulted, “and if they are happy with the conditions then they will deliver.” Clearly they hadn’t been happy for a few days!

Schools in some parts of the UK have been closed down for the week because of the potential danger to our tiny tots. Now sounding like an old fart I compare this to when we were kids; in weather worse than this we walked to the bus or if the buses couldn’t make the journey we walked the whole way, and we loved the adventure. If we didn’t turn up we were in trouble, and it was unthinkable for the teachers not to appear.

Another thing that seems to have disappeared is simple self help. When it used to snow we all got out our shovels and dug a path between the pavement (sidewalk) and our homes. During the recent snow I was only one of two houses in my turning that did this, all the other neighbors simply left the snow and ice where it was. If only to prevent themselves or others from slipping over you would think that they should have more sense than this, but apparently common sense is another thing that goes missing when the temperature hits zero.

When I collected my post I noticed that outside the building it was like an ice rink. I pointed this out to the counter clerk, she looked outside and solemnly nodded her head, “Yes,” she said, “We noticed that and called the council.” It wasn’t worth my while elevating my already considerable blood pressure by suggesting that she grabs a shovel and takes care of the Post Offices own exterior.

I completed my own office work and decided that the safest bet to get my outgoing mail delivered was for me to take it to the nearest sub Post Office in town. Again I walked the few minutes and found that this central post box was full to overflowing. I called the Main Post Office who thanked me for pointing out that the box was full. “The reason is,” they stated in a monotone that you couldn’t fabricate, “that we didn’t collect from there this morning due to the weather, but we will be collecting from there tonight.” I tried to suggest that the weather hadn’t actually changed between the morning and evening but apparently the post office workers concerned had to be consulted, “and if they are happy with the conditions then they will collect.”

As a country we used to have the so called Bulldog spirit, the bloody mindedness that has won us countless battles against seemingly insuperable odds, but now we can’t deal with a little bit of slush, snow and ice. Come on Britain, wake up, this is pathetic!