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Metro letters, Jan 26: ‘World would be mess without waste collectors’

Letters Wednesday

What’s got readers talking (Pictures: Alamy/Getty/

Gratitude is the main topic today as readers have written in to exalt the importance of saying thank you to essential workers.

A few contributors have pointed out that, without waste collectors and road sweepers, things will get very unsightly and unsanitary very quickly.

The debate over regional divides rumbles on. Readers suggest that northerners express their thanks more freely, while a south-westerner states that deprivation is not only found up north.

Elsewhere, a reader in London – where temperatures have dropped below zero this week – reveals he’s scrimping on heating to afford a trip somewhere warm. Read on to see what else is getting people hot and bothered.

■ Regarding saying thank you, from childhood I have learned to thank the people who serve me. I thank everyone and talk to people in low-paid service-industry jobs because they do jobs that are important. To most people, they are invisible.

Without our road sweepers, society would be in a bigger mess. I missed our binman the first week after Christmas and caught up with him last week.

If only I could have captured the look on his face when I gave him a box of biscuits to say thank you – it was as if I’d given him £100. His reply says it all, ‘Thank you, this means a lot to me.’ So, yes, courtesy goes a long way. Soneia, North London

■ We always give our postperson and refuse technicians a tip every Christmas and have done for more than 30 years. I’m always surprised by their reaction. I don’t catch buses any more, but if I did I’d make a point of thanking the driver. We order takeout through Just Eat, but still make sure we have a cash tip for the delivery person.

I can’t believe how rude people are to those providing a service for our benefit. I’m not rich but I was brought up with good manners. Try it, you may actually feel happy. Noel, Selby

Several dustmen with a dustcart collecting rubbish on bin day in the South of England, UK.

Without waste collectors, we’d be in a mess (Picture: Alamy)

■ Reading the MetroTalk letters about saying thank you reminded me of an incident experienced by a friend in the supermarket of a well-known chain.

He was having his purchases checked through by a particularly sullen girl who didn’t address a single word to him throughout the entire transaction. As she handed him his receipt, he said, ‘Can’t you even say thank you?’ To which she replied, ‘lt’s on the ticket!’ HG, Maidstone

■ Being appreciative to others should start at home with your partner. I’ve been married to the most beautiful goddess in the universe for almost 48 years. Every morning I greet my wife with a kiss and say, ‘Morning, beautiful’, or, ‘Morning, gorgeous’. And, no, it’s not boring, it’s absolutely bliss.

Often I will just say, ‘Thank you’ and she asks, ‘What for?’ I reply, ‘For being just as you are’, or, ‘For being gorgeous’ or, ‘For looking after me’. We still kiss and cuddle. And, yes, I always thank bus drivers, binmen, posties and street cleaners. John, Northampton

■ Being a bus driver must be one of the most stressful jobs going. Have a heart, people. Be kind and say ‘hello’ and ‘thanks’ – it doesn’t cost you anything. Bus drivers of the world, I salute you. Lizzie, Manchester

■ Many times I have seen OAPs giving bus drivers sweets when disembarking, along with a thank you. Is this just a northern thing? Dave A, Durham

Bus driver with passengers boarding electric bus

Saying thank you to bus drivers goes a long way, a reader says (Picture: Getty)

■ For so long l have meant to write in, to recognise and praise the superb work that bus drivers do. I have lived and worked in London my whole adult life, and in retirement I still use buses several times a week.

These drivers are wonderful. Not only do they deliver us safely to our destinations but they provide helpful information to tourists and visitors, with patience and friendliness. I always greet them and thank them, and I will take this opportunity in MetroTalk to give them all recognition for the important and valuable role they play. Trish, London

■ When I get the bus every day, I always say ‘thank you’ and ‘good morning’ to every driver. It’s very important for people to feel appreciated. Anna, Bishop Auckland

Turning off the heating for a hot break?

epa10381594 A central heating radiator dial at a home in London, Britain, 29 December 2022. Britain's major energy suppliers will increase their electricity unit prices from 01 January 2023 in line with Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) price cap. EPA/TOLGA AKMEN

Heating has become a hot topic this winter (Picture: EPA)

■ Is anyone else playing the ‘let’s see how much leccie and gas we don’t use, so we can afford a two-week break to a sunnier destination at the beginning of March’ game? Brrrggghhh! Jim, London

■ Regarding Samantha Priestley’s article ( about having to spend £450 a month on heating to keep warm because she has Raynaud’s phenomenon. The energy companies are supposed to help people with registered illnesses. As to keeping warm, it isn’t smart to keep seldom-used rooms in one’s house heatless. I’ve found that keeping the radiators on for an hour or so longer for a couple of times a week circulates warm air. Norma, by email

‘Butter does have a place in society – I’m not twisting the knife’

Buttering toast

A bit of butter makes bread a little better, one reader argues (Picture: Getty)

■ To Kylie (MetroTalk, Tue), my fellow South Croydoner, who joked it was her who made the tuna sandwich without butter that I bought. We must never get rid of butter. There is no substitute for it on a potato in its jacket. However, I guess it could be a bit lavish on an everyday sandwich. All I am asking for really is a thin layer of some olive oil-based spread, or even a cheap version of buttery spread to make the sandwich moist at the edges. Martin Lawrence, South Croydon

■ In response to Ant (MetroTalk, Tue), who says egg mayonnaise should have been banned under the 1925 Geneva Protocol. The problem is that the British don’t know how to make it. They omit a key ingredient: curry powder. In Australia, the recipe is one teaspoon of curry powder, one mashed egg and a decent dollop of mayonnaise. Tim, Birmingham

■ Butter is top of my list of favourite foods. Better than ice cream. Yummy! Anna, Richmond

‘It’s not grim up north only’

■ The north of England is being badly neglected by the government (Metro, Wed). It’s grim up north? How about the never-mentioned south-west? Cornwall is one of the most deprived areas of England. House prices in the south-west are high but wages are low. Why don’t northerners stop moaning? They think they have a monopoly on poverty. Barb, Poor Person In South-West

Camborne Foodbank Receives Unprecedented Donations After Featuring On BBC2 Programme

Volunteers at the Transformation Camborne Pool Redruth (CPR) food bank in Cornwall (Picture: Getty)

And another thing…

■ Rachel (MetroTalk, Tue) thinks taxpayers should pay for GP appointments. We already do. Our taxes fund the NHS. Kate, Manchester

■ To those in MetroTalk who say it’s a good idea to have IQ tests to be able to vote in elections, some people suffer from dyslexia and wouldn’t be able to vote, which is very unfair. Angry, Merseyside

■ So it’s the death of democracy, is it? If you want the engagement of the youth, teach it in schools: how to vote and why it’s important to vote. James D, Harrow

■ Why exactly do supermarkets set out fruit and vegetables as the first items you come to, as Frank in Kent points out (MetroTalk, Wed)? Surely it would make more sense to put the heavier items, such as tin cans and cleaning products, out first so that one can line the bottom of the basket or trolley. This will then allow you to stick the cherry tomatoes and bananas on top, to show the world what a healthy eater you are. It’s not rocket science. Dec, Essex

Woman put down green pepper in shopping trolley at supermarket

Put heavy items at the front of supermarkets to prevent produce from getting squashed, Dec suggests (Picture: Getty)

■ I felt compelled to write in response to Stefan’s comment (MetroTalk, Tue). He described the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games as cringeworthy. It was, in fact, brilliant entertainment directed by an Oscar-winning film-maker, Danny Boyle, who knew how to entertain hundreds of millions of people. Robert Sandall, Clapham

■ To those saying they are annoyed with toddlers on public transport, I say welcome, little ones. It is awful how children are expected to be stuck in a boring nursery all day. Well done to those few teachers brave and caring enough to show them the world. Caro, Canterbury

■ John from Bromley (MetroTalk, Wed) thinks that ‘with all the problems this country has’ we should concentrate on bikes going through red lights. Seems sensible… Simon, Luton

Start a text with VIEWS followed by your comment, name and where you live to 65700. Standard network charge applies. Or email Helpline for Views: 020 3615 0600. Full T&Cs on Metro is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation. Comments may be edited for reasons of legality, clarity or space.

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