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Thursday, October 26, 2006

 

Class envy

I’m busy patrolling High Street the other week when a rather plummy voice comes from behind me. “Excuse me officer.”
“Sir.” I turn about to see an elderly gent in tweeds and flat cap.
“I need to load a new television from the store over there. Will that be all right?” It’s quiet this morning, he’s being polite, so why not?
“So long as I can see loading occurring sir, I’ll let you have twenty minutes.” Is my response.
“Oh I shan’t need that long. Thankyou officer.” He waves a battered looking Land Rover onto the single yellow restriction outside the shop in question. The middle aged blonde woman driving looks like she’s his daughter. Both of them rural types by the look of things. I log the Land Rovers VRM in, just in case he’s tempted to take the mickey and leave his vehicle there for more than the allotted loading time. However, the man is as good as his word and takes less than eight minutes to go in, get loaded (With a huge box that only just fit in through the rear door) and push off. He waves to me (Politely) as they drive away with new television. I touch the brim of my cap to acknowledge and begin to move on to my next port of call.

The next thirty seconds I could have done without. Turning around I am faced with the incandescent rage of an obese fortysomething woman. “What’dyer fink yer doing?” She demands.
“Pardon?” Her instant anger leaves me momentarily perplexed. I haven’t booked anyone today. Well not yet anyway.
“You let them fuckin snobs off!”
“Who?” What is she on about?
“Them fuckin snobs in that Range Rover!”
“What?” Where? What Range Rover? The light dawned. “You mean the people picking up the big box from the TV shop?”
“Yeah, them! Why’d you let them snobs off?” She demands. “You their fuckin mate? EH! EH!” a podgy finger is thrust aggressively under my nose.
“No.” I stick to monosyllabic answers. She won’t understand otherwise. “They were loading.” Keep it simple Bill; you’re not exactly dealing with brains here, (Or dress sense).
“Like fuckin hell they were – I’m reporting you! WHAT’S YOUR NAME?”
“My number, madam, is 515. My name is for my friends.” She misses the Lawrence of Arabia reference entirely. What a waste of a great line.
“Yeah, like them fuckin snobs? Eh, Eh!”
“No.” I’m not having this.
“Fuckin brown nose liar!” Now, apart from disguising my identity on this blog and changing dates and places for the same purpose I am both scrupulously honest and accurate. I really hate being accused of dishonesty. The one guaranteed way to really trip my trigger is by calling me a liar.
“First off.” I square up, hands on hips, leaning slightly forward. “It wasn’t a Range Rover.” I’m glaring straight at her and all of a sudden her bravado starts to come unstuck. “It was a rather battered British Racing Green short wheelbase Land Rover, 1983 registration. For your information, madam.” I put as much negative intonation on the honorific as I feel able. The rest is delivered in a tone you could cut glass with. ”I’ve never met the driver or passenger before. The passenger asked me nicely if they could load their new TV straight from the shop because it was too heavy to carry very far, so I gave them some time to do so.” I straighten up. “I do not see what it is to do with you. Now if you’ll excuse me.” Hands down, sidestep and walk on by. Fortunately I leave my verbal assailant speechless. Phew.

Just as a precaution, I take time out to write down the details of the confrontation in my rough notebook, paying careful attention to the dates and times in case the stupid woman made a formal complaint. In these cases I’ve found it invaluable to have a record made at the time and date so if people come and make false complaints about me, at least I have a written record to back up my side of events.

End of shift and I’m just logging my kit back in when Bernie turns up with his ‘you’re in trouble mate’ grin splitting his face from ear to ear. This time I’m ready for it. “Hello Bill. You been picking fights with the punters?”
“No, this about that woman who shouted at me this morning?”
“Yeah, sort of. She went to the Police.” Oh fuck.
“So what? I didn’t threaten her or swear at her. She swore at me. I wrote it all down.” I open up my rough notebook and show Bernie the details.
“Did you log it in your main pocket note book?”
“Of course. What do you take me for?” The notebook entry reads ‘Confronted by irate female member of public who was abusive – see report.’ Time, date and place have been recorded scrupulously.
“Well done Bill, give me a photocopy and copy the rest onto on a report form.” So much for getting home on time. Bugger.

All this over one stupid womans class envy. She hears an educated voice and goes berserk; as if rural people who are polite and speak English correctly were the source of some great personal injustice to her. What’s wrong with speaking English properly instead of some sub literate trans cultural patois which is often less intelligible than Neanderthal grunting? You can call me a snob if you like, but I know who I’d rather break bread with. A poor man who can speak properly, or a rich one who’s “Givin’ it large, innit?”. I may be only a Parking Jobsworth, but I do have some standards; wealth is not purely a monetary consideration.
Snob; Origin. Shorthand for the Latin Sine Nobilitatis shortened to S.Nob (Without Nobility) But there are other definitions. Like this, or this. Believe what you will.

8 Comments:

Anonymous A long-time reader said...

I have been reading your blog for a long time now, maybe since two months after you began writing.

It is a daily encouragement to know that there are decent, honest people out there.

Your post today is probably the most poignant of all. It captures the tragedy of modern Britain so well.

The city-countryside divide. The arbitrary finding of offense vs. common sense. The unnecessary involvement of police. Crudeness of language vs. politeness. The madness of management and the need to have everything in writing in order not to be punished for something that never occurred. I could go on.

What is to be done? I don't know. I fear that Britain as I knew it will never come back. That is very very sad and I am not even British.

Friday, October 27, 2006 3:10:00 am  
Anonymous colonial Immigrant said...

There is one accent in the UK which absolutly send me up the wall. The "Urban seal call" having that dubious distinction. My brain goes into neutral as soon as I am confronted with this "Engerlish". I would not be able to keep my cool when confronted with the ""parasite class" Givi' me some. It seems Darwins theory of natural selection has been turned on it head in the UK. I am an immigrant and proudly working class, But I stress "working class" not "fat,lazy and on benefits class"

Friday, October 27, 2006 6:48:00 pm  
Blogger gonorr said...

keep your powder dry bill.
Hope it turns out to be what it is.
A load of ropey old bollocks against you.

Friday, October 27, 2006 9:57:00 pm  
Blogger Haddock said...

Sounds like the country is going to the dogs. The Yob mindset seems to be prevailing. Good to see there as still some good people out there, like yourself with some good old common sense.

Sunday, October 29, 2006 11:48:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah yes...the great unwashed who are holier than thou...
I was once delivering official documents by hand and was in a private road (i.e. one that is not maintained by the local authority - that is all private road means by the way). I was accosted by an ignorant resident that I was not permitted on their 'private road' - what an idiot. He'd sure as hell complain if he didn't receive his 'offial doument' as the law prescribes he receive it direct to his home address. My sympathies if you have to deal with these creatures on a daily basis.

Monday, October 30, 2006 9:24:00 pm  
Blogger Mad Dog said...

I'm saddened to see that class stratification is still alive and thriving in the UK. I'm staying in Seattle for the time being...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 7:38:00 am  
Anonymous Jack Jones said...

Hi all,

Just wanted to say that I do have a 'modicum' of sympathy for the view of the nasty woman. But only because the middle classes tend to treat the law as something that applies only to the common people, and that with their higher state of reasoning they ought to be able to do what they like.

I DO NOT support her disgusting manners or her interference in this matter while you were simply doing her job.

I just get really fed up with the educated classes and their disgraceful manners sometimes. There was a report in a paper a while back where a council worker had to close a public park at 6pm and all the middle class parents in there gave him chapter and verse about why 6pm wasn't convenient for them, and how he should definitely bend the rules and let them stay put. Poor guy - he was only doing his job and they made it really difficult for him while making him feel utterly inferior. No wonder their kids treat people like that too.

ps. Sadly I too am middle class - but ashamed of it sometimes.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006 11:32:00 am  
Blogger PC South West said...

I would not want to do your job for all the tea in China. At least I don’t have to put up with that when I issue a ticket.
Unfortunately in my town we do not have any parking attendants of otherwise so it's down to the beat officers.
She would have been getting an £80 PND or getting nicked.
You must have the patience of jobe
.

Thursday, November 02, 2006 11:06:00 pm  

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Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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