This is a bit of a ramble from my thoughts this morning. I might do something more coherent in a few days! Maybe!
I was journaling around this word “Respect” and about the strikes and a WhatsApp conversation I had had with my son last night around him leaving the army this morning as I listed to the rain throwing itself at the window and the dustbin men emptying this bins at 7am.
He is leaving the army, along with many others, because he does not feel respected. When one really listens to the NHS staff on the picket lines, as in really listen, the main issue is the lack of respect. When we used to do Airbnb, because we lived within five miles of our local hospital, we had lots of junior and trainee doctors and nurses along with other hospital staff staying, and all were struggling with the lack of respect they were receiving – from their management and from the expectations of the public. One instance was when there was a call for doctor’s to be working all over the weekends, and one young woman told us that for that to work the doctor’s canteen would need to be open, the laboratories would need to be open, and there would need to be more doctors to cover all this.
A friend who worked on the railways was saying that most rail-workers contracts include having to do overtime and that most contracts are Monday to Friday and very few for the weekend and yet people want to catch trains on the weekend.
It made me think of the line from The Jam song “Going Underground” – “the public gets what the public wants” and I do wonder if this is what is going on. The government are so desperate for votes that when those they see as important voters ask for something they get it whether it is supporting the people who work in that area or not. But it is all done without respect for the workers – or even for how much it costs.
It is this respect that is the big thing though. I remember my Mum saying that they would always give the tradesmen – dustmen, postmen, milkman, paper boy – a tip at Christmas. Ok so I do remember her saying that with the dustmen it was more for fear that they would not pick up their bins in the new year but it was still done. It was till saying “thank you for being out there in all winds and weathers to do a rubbish job. I appreciate it”.
I know there was the clapping for the NHS during lockdown but then all was expected to go back to “normal” after a few weeks. And actually normal, as I had heard when doing the Airbnb prior to lockdown, was overworked staff, was ambulances outside hospitals for hours, was someone who phone for an ambulance for her father having a heart attack being told to get the town’s defibrillator and then drive her dad to hospital because the ambulance would not be there for over six hours. The news about all this is not news. It has been going on for years and years.
But I believe it is from years and years of lack of respect. I don’t think it is money really that is wanted. Though a decent wage for a hard job would be a start, but I think it is the need for those in power, and for us the general public, to show respect to those doing these jobs and stop expecting more than they are able to give.
I’d just like to end with this that I saw on Facebook this morning which I think sums things up